KEY POINTS

  • The ASUS ZenBeam Latte is a highly portable projector thanks to its size and shape
  • The ZenBeam Latte is capable of projecting video at 720p for three hours on a single charge
  • The projector can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker

ASUS is mostly known for its laptops, monitors and Chromebooks, but at CES 2021 it was a small projector that stood above the rest. The ASUS ZenBeam Latte looks small, but it packs a visual and aural punch.

The most immediate thing to notice about the ASUS ZenBeam Latte is the fact that it doesn’t look like a projector at all. If anything, it looks like it could be a Bluetooth speaker or even some kind of aromatherapy device. However, underneath the ZenBeam Latte’s fabric exterior lies a powerful projector that is capable of producing images at a light level of 300 LED-lumens that can be viewed at a distance of up to 10 feet.

The ZenBeam Latte is designed to be portable. Its battery lasts up to three hours (when set on its battery-saving eco-mode) on a single charge when projecting. That means it is capable of showing at least one full movie before it needs to be charged back up unless you are watching “The Godfather” or some other movie epic. It wasn’t explicitly mentioned, but it’s likely the ZenBeam Latte can run when plugged in to provide for longer viewing sessions at the sacrifice of portability.

A wide variety of apps are supported on the ZenBeam Latte thanks to its Aptoide TV integration. This is an alternative app store from Google Play or the Amazon App Store, but still carries all the apps you would expect like YouTube, Netflix, Plex and more. The ZenBeam Latte can also be set up to wirelessly mirror a device like a laptop or a phone if any apps aren’t supported.

For gamers out there, the ZenBeam Latte also has an HDMI input on the back of the device. This allows the ZenBeam Latte to project game consoles like a PS5 or Xbox Series X. That said, it should be noted that the ZenBeam Latte only projects in 720p resolution. This isn’t too surprising given the compact size of the projector, but it means the projector can’t take full advantage of the 4K visuals from the new consoles.

The ZenBeam Latte is also powered by a 10W Harmon Kardon speaker. To further improve audio quality, the Latte’s exterior is made from fabric instead of plastic or metal. This helps audio more easily pass through the exterior of the projector. For a little added versatility, the ZenBeam Latte can be used just as a Bluetooth speaker instead of a projector. Running only audio boosts the battery life of the ZenBeam Latte up to a lengthy 12 hours.

ZenBeam Latte_2 A closer look at the ASUS ZenBeam Latte Photo: ASUS

Speaking of audio, the ZenBeam Latte comes with three different audio modes. One is designed for watching movies, the second is ideal for playing games and the third is for when you are just listening to music instead of using the projector. Each mode has been balanced to make the most of each medium.

ASUS has yet to provide any pricing information on the ZenBeam Latte but did confirm it is expected to go on sale in North America between April and June of this year. Expect more news from ASUS as the ZenBeam Latte’s release date draws nearer.