For a lot of people, a projector is the next logical step when it comes to upgrading their home entertainment. While larger and better TVs are increasingly more affordable, few can rival the immersion a projector can achieve, taking you closer to that home cinema experience.
Usually there are a few common factors that put people off a projector, but the main one is often a lack of space in the home. Projectors typically need to be a couple of meters away from the wall for the optimum size and quality, often further if you want the projection to be larger. For a lot of people this kind of room real estate isn’t available, whether we’re talking about a living room or a man cave.
Thankfully, there is a solution: a portable ultra short throw projector, and we we’re lucky enough to try out Sony’s offering, the LSPX-P1. With an emphasis on portability, this nifty little box can turn a blank wall into an 80” projection for watching films, or display a 22” weather forecast from your location.
To get nitty gritty details out of the way:
- 22” to 80” diagonal projection
- 1366 x 768 px display resolution
- 2lb 1oz weight
- 80mm x 131mm x 131mm
Technical bods may raise an eyebrow at that projection quality, but this isn’t what the LSPX-P1 is about. It’s strengths are its portability, ease of use and the sheer opportunity it presents around the home, and once you see it in action, you wouldn’t realise the resolution is 720p.
Not that the display resolution is actually low quality, it produces a surprisingly vibrant and crisp picture from an incredibly short distance from the surface. For example, we decided to watch this season of Game of Thrones on the LSPX-P1 and were able to produce a 72” projection on a blank (light grey, not white) wall from a mere 15” away. Football (or soccer) also looked surprisingly good, as did the video games we tried.
Going wire free is where the projector really excels as it’s so easy to place the unit wherever you wish to project, with the smartphone app handling everything from selecting a projection source to speaker volume. There’s no fiddling with any lenses as the unit can handle it all automatically, though more advanced users can tinker with the focus and keystone correction manually if they wish. The rechargeable battery stretches to around 2 hours, which is more than enough for most films, and if you are anticipating a lengthy session you can of course plug it directly into a power source. You can also set it to turn off automatically when your phone is far away, and back on when it’s nearby, useful for the clock and weather projection features.
While the built in speakers are small, they do pack quite the punch. It won’t rival a proper home sound system, but the two 25mm bass reflex speakers and xLOUD technology are better than most TV speakers, and we found them more than enough for watching films and TV series.
The app itself serves it’s purpose well enough, though it can be clunky to use at times. For example there’s sometimes a 3-4 second delay between changing the volume and it actually happening, but they are minor nuisances in the grand scheme of things. The app comes with prebuilt ‘posters’ to achieve various ambience and moods, and you can stream your phone’s videos/photos or even set up IFTTT integration to pull in your social media feeds. We also noticed that we received a couple of updates to the app over the space of a month, so there’s no reason why Sony can’t or won’t continue to improve it or add new features.
If you want to send content from a HDMI source such as a PC or laptop, you’ll have to use the wireless HDMI adapter box. Setup for this is simple, you plug in the power and HDMI and choose the HDMI source on the app, and it will start projecting. The wireless HDMI box is also pretty small and easy to hide away somewhere.
Entertainment aside the LSPX-P1 does have an abundance of other uses, such as projecting onto a table or floor. This is as simple as changing the orientation of the projector itself, which it automatically detects and displays accordingly. We had a lot of fun projecting pictures onto a large piece of paper for the little ones to draw over, and the smaller projections are of course very high quality.
It’s surprising how the projector can change the ambience of a room, though for maximum impact it generally does have to be a darkened one. We had it rotating through the top posts of reddit.com/r/cozyplaces while reading a book for example, as well as cycling through old (and embarrassing) photos during a University reunion.
We’ll be covering other interesting uses around the home in a later post.
Overall, the LSPX-P1 is a serious piece of kit. While it doesn’t project in 1080p/HD, it has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve, and the portability aspect certainly won us over. At $999 it’s not the most affordable projector on the market, and would be a considered purchase for most. However, if you are looking for a projector that easily fits in a backpack, the LSPX-P1 definitely the one you should be picking up.