The first of the two, the ProBeam UST is an ultra short-throw laser projector. Short-throw projectors differ from the kind of projectors you’ll find in most home theaters, in that they are placed near the display surface rather than being placed at the back of the room or installed in the ceiling. The ProBeam UST requires only 4.7 inches of space between it and the screen or wall to display up to a 100-inch, full-HD 1080p resolution picture, with a brightness of up to 1,500 lumens and a claimed 150,000:1 contrast ratio.
Short-throw projectors also have the benefit of being flexible to setup when compared with most standard projector models. The ProBeam UST does not require its own stand, and can instead be placed on any furniture already present in your room. Plus, it features a corner keystone for adjusting the picture to correct horizontal and vertical distortion. And since the ProBeam UST sits directly in front of the screen, you won’t have to worry about shadows being cast by objects that wander into the projector’s path.
Enhancing that flexibility is the included Bluetooth connectivity for pairing up wireless speakers or headphones. The ProBeam UST is also equipped with LG’s webOS Smart TV operating system, enabling users to stream content from streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
The second of the pair, the LG MiniBeam is a compact portable projector that aims to give users more control over their setup. To achieve full portability, the MiniBeam is powered by a rechargeable 9000mAh battery. LG claims the battery will last up to four hours on its own.
The MiniBeam projector’s single USB Type-C port serves multiple functions, allowing playback from connected laptops, smartphones, or tablets, and also serving as the charging port. We are curious to see how this work in practice, but at the very least, being able to use the device with only a single cable is an enticing prospect.
Setting up projectors can be finicky, requiring a certain level of precision to avoid distortion. To that end, LG designed the MiniBeam with a multi-angle projection feature. With this, the MiniBeam can be tilted up to 70 degrees for projecting onto a wall or screen.
While LG has us intrigued by the ProBeam UST and MiniBeam’s features, we’ll need to wait a bit longer before getting our hands on them. Pricing and availability for both devices will be detailed later this year.