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ViewSonic M2e Projector Review: Portable, but a Little Unpolished

Rating: 7/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $500
The ViewSonic M2e with its carry case
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

Projectors are going through somewhat of a renaissance at the moment. Whatever your needs, there is an option available. There are projectors bright enough to be used outside in daylight hours, cheap options for people with sub-$100 budgets, and some are incredibly compact.

The ViewSonic M2e projector falls into the latter category. It’s noticeably light and compact, meaning you can throw it in a backpack or carry it around without too many issues.  A small carry case with pouches for a couple of cables or accessories comes with the projector, so you could use that. The projector is also fairly reasonably priced. You can pick one up for less than $600, which puts it firmly in the mid-range projector category. But nothing is free, if you make something small, the price usually goes up, or other performance areas tend to suffer. Let’s see if that’s the case with the M2e.

Here's What We Like

  • Very light and portable
  • Good connectivity options
  • Solid all-round projector

And What We Don't

  • The app selection is poor
  • Outdoor focus issues
  • Its remote is pretty bad

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Specs As Reviewed

  • Native Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Resolution Support: VGA(640 x 480) to FullHD(1920 x 1080)
  • Project Size: Up to 100 inches
  • Contrast Ratio: 3,000,000:1
  • Light Source: LED
  • Brightness: 1000 (LED Lumens)
  • Lamp Life: up to 30000 in Normal Mode
  • Throw Distance: .65m-2.68m(80″@2.14m)
  • Vertical Scan Rate: 23-120Hz
  • Horizontal Frequency: 15K-102KHz
  • Projection Offset: 100%+/-3%
  • Keystone Adjustment: H:+/-40° , V:+/-40°
  • Input Lag: 66ms
  • Optical Zoom: Fixed
  • Digital Zoom: 0.8x-1.0x
  • Sound: 3W Cube x2
  • Inputs/Outputs:  HDMI 1.4, USB Type C, USB Type A, 3.5mm Mini Jack, Micro SD
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 5gn
  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 7.2 x 2.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Setup is Easy

Cables plugged into the Viewsonic M2e
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

The Viewsonic M2e is pretty easy to set up. Just point it at a flat surface around six feet away, and select the corner adjustment option in the settings menu to square off your screen. The ability to adjust all four corners isn’t present on all projectors but does make life a lot easier. In most circumstances, the auto-focus will get your image sharp for you; we’ll discuss one of the few exceptions shortly.

Regarding connectivity, there’s an SD slot, an HDMI slot, and a USB-type C slot available. You can also connect speakers to the projectors via a 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth if you want to stay wireless. Casting from a phone or tablet to the ViewSonic M2e is also possible on Android and iOS. Setup is as simple as selecting screen mirroring on your iPhone or scanning a QR code on your Samsung. An app store is also available, and apps are simple to download once your projector has a WiFi connection. Downloading apps on ViewSonic’s projector may not be that straightforward, as I’ll explain later.

ViewSonic Nailed The Portability Aspect

Viewsonic Projector being used near a fire pit
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

As mentioned in the intro, this is one of the smallest, lightest projectors I’ve encountered. While it isn’t “coke can” sized, it is still small and lightweight enough to toss in a bag or carry around in its own case without impacting the person carrying it. While in its bag, it’s about the same size and weight as a packed lunch, so if you can take a sandwich, chips, and soda on a day trip, you’re capable of taking the M2e to a family BBQ.

And the family BBQ is a pretty ideal habitat for it. One of the first places I tested the M2e was in a friend’s garden during a cookout, and despite some teething issues, it performed pretty well. The M2e is nowhere near bright enough to work in direct sunlight, but once the sun goes down, you can point it at a vaguely white surface and enjoy yourself. There was an issue with the projector’s autofocus feature while using the M2e outside. We were unable to determine if the irregular shape of the surface caused the issue we were projecting it on (it was the side of a house), the light from our fire, or moths fluttering past the sensor. The autofocus worked perfectly indoors and was easily fixed outdoors by turning it off shortly after the projector booted.

The Picture and Audio Quality are Pretty Good

Viewsonic M2e projecting onto a wall indoors
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

While it isn’t a 4k projector, the picture quality on the M2e is pretty good. You can max out the screen size without distortion or loss of focus in any area. At 1080p, everything is sharp enough to enjoy. Equally, the built-in speakers aren’t bad at all. Users can hear the audio clearly, even when outdoors or in a crowded room. They aren’t perfect, and a soundbar will still be a massive improvement if you’re using the M2e in a home cinema setup, but they do hold their own. This is great, as having to lug around speakers would drastically reduce the device’s portability. The noise the projector itself makes is minimal, close to a low hum at the worst of times. This is a bonus, as the fan noise of some projectors can ruin your audio experience the second they get a bit hot.

You can also use the M2e for gaming. It isn’t advertised as a gaming projector and hasn’t got the specs an actual gaming projector has. Still, I managed to play FIFA 2022 just fine indoors and Mario Kart while the projector was beaming it onto the side of a house without any problems. While you should probably get top-specced, specialist equipment if you’re a professional gamer — not everyone has those stringent requirements.

ViewSonic Did Skimp, But Not In Major Areas

The Viewsonic M2e remote
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

The frustratingly bad bits of the M2e’s hardware isn’t in an area you’re likely to be bothered about. The remote feels pretty cheap and unresponsive, and that’s the only real issue. As you would expect from a cheap remote, it’s very light and has that cheap plastic feeling. It’s also frustratingly unresponsive. If your remote is pointed directly at the projector, from fairly close range, there’s a reasonable chance your commands will go through. If it’s pointed even slightly in the wrong direction, you’ll probably have to try again.

This would be fine if, as with most things, there was an app with a remote function. Those tend to work over the WiFi network, so connectivity isn’t an issue. They also run from your smartphone, which means you won’t regularly be searching down the back of the couch for a plastic object with one single purchase. The good news is there is an app; the bad news is the app isn’t great either.

There Are Some Software Issues

The ViewSonic app selection
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

While the M2e’s hardware is pretty impressive, the software really lets it down. ViewSonic has a couple of apps available on both the App Store and Play Store. There’s a distance calculator app that can help you set your projector up and a remote app if you want to cast the crappy plastic one down the back of the couch and never think about it again. The setup app is a nice idea, though probably unnecessary, as you can set it up by trial and error in a few minutes. The remote app is almost as bad as the physical remote, which is unfortunate as it could quickly solve one of the projector’s few flaws.

The app selection on the M2e is hit and miss for several reasons. Firstly, there is no official Youtube app; you have to go with a knock-off. The knock-off still gives you access to the real YouTube, but it is nowhere near as polished as the official app. Then there are official apps available but those have been neglected by their developers. The official MLBTV app is a prime example. Watching sports on a projector is one of the world’s finer home entertainment experiences. Unfortunately, the MLBTV app looks like it hasn’t had an update in two years. Then there are apps like Netflix that are official and function but are difficult to navigate due to the terrible remote and the occasional spot of lag on the projector’s part.

While all of this sounds like a potential deal breaker, there is a straightforward fix. While additional purchases aren’t ideal, plugging something like an Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, or Apple TV into the projector’s HDMI slot instantly solves all of its major problems.

The ViewSonic M2e Strikes a Pretty Good Balance

Viewsonic M2 projecting onto the side of a house
Dave McQuilling/ReviewGeek

In the $600 or less price bracket, you’ll find more portable projectors than the M2e, and you’ll find projectors that are better for a home cinema than the M2e. However, ViewSonic’s effort strikes a great balance between the two. As a home entertainment centerpiece, it isn’t disappointing, and only the choosiest of tech aficionados will fault with it. Most people will just go, “oh wow, he has a projector that looks pretty nice.”

Equally, the M2e’s size makes it ideal for people who haven’t got much storage room and only set up their projector for special occasions. It also makes the projector perfect if you want to liven up a family gathering or go round a friend’s place for a movie night. Projectors are heavily specialized devices, and with the M2e ViewSonic has brought a solid all-rounder to the table.

Rating: 7/10
Price: $500

Here’s What We Like

  • Very light and portable
  • Good connectivity options
  • Solid all-round projector

And What We Don't

  • The app selection is poor
  • Outdoor focus issues
  • Its remote is pretty bad

Dave McQuilling Dave McQuilling
Dave McQuilling has spent over 10 years writing about almost everything, but technology has always been one of his main interests. He has previously worked for newspapers, magazines, radio stations, websites, and television stations in both the US and Europe. Read Full Bio »