A lot of words might come to mind when you think of home theater, but portable generally isn’t one of them. Portable projectors promise big-screen picture at pocket sizes, but there are usually a fair amount of compromises to be had. With its newest projector, BenQ looks to be going the opposite route and packing in extra features.
The BenQ Colorific i500, announced on Wednesday, is a portable LED mini-projector with an extra trick up its sleeve: It also functions as a Bluetooth speaker. The i500’s goal is to be your all-in-one solution for on-the-go entertainment, and it looks like it just might do the trick. We’ve seen other combination projectors and Bluetooth speakers, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to see more.
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“The i500 smart projector is an entertainment game-changer,” BenQ America vice president J.Y. Hu said in a statement. “At just 3.3 pounds and 3 inches tall — just about the size of today’s tablets, the i500 is a powerful and versatile device for even the tightest spaces. Simply turn on the i500 and you’re ready to stream videos and music wirelessly for the ultimate big-screen experience anywhere.”
The resolution here is just 1,280 x 800 — the norm for projectors this size — but its short throw lens means it can project up to an 80-inch image from as close as just three feet away. The projector includes vertical keystone correction, meaning it can be placed at an indirect angle without any distortion of the projected picture.
In terms of sound, the i500 features a pair of 5-watt speakers for audio during movies or standalone use as a Bluetooth speaker. A number of streaming services including YouTube, Spotify, Vimeo, Netflix, Hulu, and others are included, meaning the only cable you need is the power cable. On the other hand, if you do want to plug in, the i500 features an HDMI input, USB 2.0 and 3.0 inputs, and audio inputs and outputs in addition to a microphone in.
The BenQ Colorific i500 is shipping now and sells for $750. For more information, see the BenQ website.