Asus has announced a new portable projector-cum-speaker called the ZenBeam Latte L1, so named for its coffee cup-like size (and, we hope, its ability to keep you awake).
Announced at CES 2021, the Zenbeam Latte L1 (henceforth simply “the Latte”) aims to counter the issues posed by large, unwieldy home projectors by offering competent display capabilities inside a tiny, fabric-covered package.
It certainly doesn’t pack the punch of more substantial devices – coming equipped with a projection range of 40 to 120 inches and a modest 300 lumens of LED brightness – but Asus says the Latte will provide a “homey” alternative to its bigger rivals, able to be carried from room to room should you wish to take your slideshow on the movie or watch your chosen Harry Potter movie on an outdoor projector.
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The Latte’s size, it seems, will also be its curse as much as its blessing. While it doubles as a Harmon Kardon-powered 10W Bluetooth speaker (in both dimensions and sound transmission), a three-hour battery life for movies means longer cinematic adventures, like The Lord of The Rings or The Irishman, are off the cards. A 12 hour charge for audio, though, means it may fare better primarily as a portable speaker.
Keep it moving
Having said that, being as small as it is means the Asus Latte has a few other uses you wouldn’t ask of a heftier, immobile projector. The packaged-in Aptoide TV store gives you access to streaming apps like YouTube and Kodi, and you can wirelessly mirror your phone screen to the Latte to quickly and easily play social videos, meaning it’s a great option for offices, hotel rooms or, dare we say, TikTok-fuelled sleepovers.
The projector also has three different viewing modes – Gaming, Movie and Music – which suggests it could be a cool way to beam some Temple Run, Candy Crush or even Fortnite to your living room wall.
It’s unlikely that Asus’ ZenBeam Latte L1 will redefine the landscape of portable projectors and speakers, but it certainly offers a quirky alternative to those looking for a pint-sized way to project content. There’s no word on price as yet, but the company plans to launch the device in North America sometime between April and June 2021.
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