Gone are the days of 'portable' projectors amounting to multi-kilogram monsters that needed a heavyweight bag just to be carried from the car to the boardroom. These days, mobile executives are far more likely to opt for a super svelte model like the beautiful and exquisitely sized 1.45kg 1280x800 Asus P2B. The P2B is sublimely easy to carry, it slips comfortably from one hand to the other, and you can even unplug the power supply and rely on its batteries instead. These ran for only a smidge under Asus's stated hour and a half, although you can extract further juice by slightly decreasing the brightness rating.
A Micro SD drive (along with 2GB of internal memory) allows you to save presentations, pictures and other files to a suitable memory card, so you don't even need to take a laptop or other gadget with you. The Asus connects easily to mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. And if your device has MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) compatibility, the projector will be able to recharge it even while it's being used to display images.
HDMI is the main interface for connecting Blu-ray and other players. You can also use the mini-VGA port to hook up the projector to a D-Sub. Apart from these options, though, there aren't any other ways of connecting the Asus. So no DVI, and not even any RCA/phono. Admittedly, HDMI is very common these days, so this is unlikely to cause many problems, but it's worth bearing in mind. Besides these, you also get USB and a headphone socket.
The P2B is absurdly easy to use. It powers on almost instantly, and does a very good job of correcting the image automatically. We didn't have to fiddle around with the keystone settings to get a straight picture, and mobile executives will find this a real asset. It can also be powered off almost immediately, and requires next to no cooling down period. It's also very quiet, and in ecomode can be turned down to a virtually inaudible 24db - even its standard noise levels of 32db are very hard to pick up unless the room is almost silent. The P2B's picture is astonishingly large, and the short throw lens creates a 42in image while just one metre away. Given three times that distance, it can project an image approaching 120 inches. In a cramped boardroom, you'll have few problems creating a images that flood the senses.
The brightness rating, though, only stretches to 350 ansi lumens. While this is fairly standard for ultra-portable models in this price point, it's still a little disappointing. If you'll be projecting in rooms with a lot of light, you can expect the image to be pale and lacking in colour. Even a bit of light can mar the image. In a room with blinds, getting a decent picture shouldn't be too much of an issue, but you can't always guarantee that if you're visiting other people's offices. If ultra-portable projectors do suffer from a significant drawback, it must be the lack of brightness. Even the considerably more expensive Dell M900HD's rating of 900 ansi lumens suffered from a few issues, despite being almost three times as bright. If you'll be moving this from one location to another, you need to think about whether you'll be able to guarantee good conditions - and if not, will you mind if presentations are a little pale.
Assuming you have a relatively dark room, the 1280x800 images are smooth and fairly clear. The palette is slightly overcast, and the generous 3500:1 contrast ratio (created by the ever-impressive DLP technology) helps deliver decent colour depth for the price and size. For PC work, presentations, and images, with a little video added, the Asus is more than adequate. Sound isn't bad, if a little lacking in power and bass. It is comfortable to listen to for short bursts, though.
This pretty little projector has amazing portability. The short throw lens and easy setup are excellent, and sound levels are low. As ultra-portables go, this is a very good choice. If you think you'll be frequently using it in rooms containing plenty of light, however, you'll need to look to a model with a higher brightness rating.