Review: Aaxa Technologies M1 – the travel friendly micro projector all grown up now

We’ve been covering pico and micro projectors here on Gadling since the very first one hit store shelves, and while the technology may not appeal to everyone, plenty of business travelers still rely on Powerpoint to do their job, and a projector is (sadly) an integral part of that.

In this review, we’ll look at the newest from projector company Aaxa Technologies. Their M1+ Micro Projector uses the latest LCOS technology to squeeze a very competent little projector into a small case, packing a 66 (or 75) lumen SVGA beamer into just 14 ounces.

The projector itself looks just like one its larger cousins – but smaller. Lens is on the front, focus lever on the top, vents on the side and a variety of connectors on the rear.

On the rear of the M1+ are connectors for VGA/component , AV in, audio out, USB, SD and power. The projector comes with a VGA cable and an AV cable. Additional cables for the iPod/iPhone, Zune and other devices are available from Aaxa.

One of the smarter features of the M1+ is its built in media player. The device supports a wide variety of media formats, including MP3, AVI, JPG, VOB and 3GP. Media can be added to the 1GB internal memory, off an SD card, or off a plugged in USB device.

The only button on the M1+ is the power button – so all other controls have to be operated using the included remote. Its range is quite decent, but you’ll need to point it directly at the projector for it to work.

Image quality is outstanding – the projector supports native 800×600 resolutions with enough brightness to project images up to around 100 inches in a dark room, or up to 60 inches in a dim room. With this, you’ll have the resolution and brightness required to give a presentation, and watch a movie on your hotel room wall.

A 1 watt speaker is built in, so you can play content directly off a media player, without having to drag along extra hardware. The only really confusing design flaw of the M1+ is its lack of a stand or tripod mount. You need to use the projector vertically, and since it lacks an adjustment screw, you’ll probably need to find some books or folders to prop it up for your presentation.

This design flaw is a real shame, because the M1+ is by far the best micro projector I’ve ever tested in this price range – images are crisp, the unit is quiet, and the built in media player is very good. Still, despite this minor flaw, the M1+ is an absolute steal at just $299, making it the best value for money in this category. The projector comes complete with a remote control, VGA and AV cables and a USB data cable. A battery pack is available for just under $80.

To learn more about the Aaxa Technologies M1+ and its brighter version, the M1 limited, head on over to the product site.