Portable Projector Face Off - Optoma ML750ST vs Viewsonic M1
Portable projection gives you the big screen atmosphere in a tiny package and we've had some hands on time with two of the dinkiest, yet impressive projectors to give you some idea of what to look for and which one is best for you. Both the Optoma ML750ST and the Viewsonic M1 are brilliant pieces of kit - they're well built, TINY, and can both throw an image onto your wall with skill.
A projector is all about the image right? Well they both deliver what they promise - a solid, large screen experience that is more impressive than any TV for a much lower price per inch. But there are differences.
First up, the Optoma offers a 720p image and is pretty short throw, meaning you can get a 6 foot wide (diagonal) screen from the middle of your average lounge. It's also astoundingly bright and sharp - the resolution difference between this and a full-fat 1080p unit is obvious, but soon forgotten when you're watching a film on something twice as big as the TV next to it. The same with games - you might be able to see the pixels, but that doesn't matter when you're ripping up foe-after-foe in a round of Fortnite.
The Viewsonic M1 delivers a similar experience, but it isn't quite as bright OR sharp. You'll still get a decent sized screen - on a par with the Optoma, but you'll need a much darker room to get the best experience. The slight perceived softness in the image does however manage to hide the pixels that are more obvious on the other device being tested and the picture, especially in films, may feel a little more natural. It just lacks the wow factor and convenience that the bright vibrant Optoma brings to the table.
Winner: Optoma ML750ST
While we rarely consider audio as being a major factor on a full-fat projector, with something portable it becomes more important. You can't lug an amp and half a dozen speakers around with you in a small bag so there are times when you'll be more reliant on the sound output from the projector itself.
The Viewsonic M1 comes out top here - and my a surprisingly large margin. Despite the diminutive nature of the device it actually packs two Harman Kardon Speakers that can fill the average lounge satisfactorily - yeah, it might be very tight stereo, but you won't struggle to hear what's going on and when there are no other audio options available to you it actually does a decent job and is able to offer a relatively deep soundstage and range.
The Optoma ML750ST actually disappointed us here. While it may offer a visual performance that took us back, the sound was underwhelming - quiet and muffled, you'll find it hard to justify not bringing a backup audio option with you.
Winner: Viewsonic M1
Both projectors are surprisingly stylish - the Optoma ML750ST looks like a full sized projector that's been through a shrinking process - a nice big lense in relation to the overall unit. The Viewsonic M1 on the other hand is far more adventurous in its ambitions - it has a great built in stand that doubles as a power switch and while it might be a little more unstable than the Optoma, it still works well and looks gorgeous.
Value for Money
For under £500 from some retailers, both projectors offer phenomenal value. The Optoma ML750ST is awesome value for money.
The Viewsonic M1 goes a step further - JUST £250 at the time of writing. That's phenomenal value for money and as long as you use it in a dark room you'll certainly never be disappointed in such a small outlay.
Winner: Viewsonic M1
Both devices offer brilliant performance backed up with ultra-portability and value for money. The Viewsonic M1 is our choice if money and audio performance is paramount, but for the sheer brilliance of the picture that the Optoma ML750ST is our favourite despite it costing twice the price and having the lackluster sound experience meaning we'll need to pack in a speaker.