Asus announced its new ZenBeam Latte at CES 2021 today, and it’s kind of cute. It’s a mobile movie projector that looks like a one-eyed, fabric-covered mini-robot of sorts. Importantly, it fires out its 720p image using up to 300 lumens of LED light, making it brighter than capsule projectors we’ve seen from the likes of Anker, and it has an integrated 10W Harman Kardon-tuned speaker system to boot.
Weirdly, Asus insists that its projector looks like a coffee cup.
The ZenBeam Latte projector.
It does not. It’s not the right shape (just watch the video!), and why would a “homey” coffee cup (Asus’ word) be gray instead of a glorious brown? Asus also claims it is “the first projector to offer a fabric exterior,” which is demonstrably false.
Of course, you cannot drink Asus’ latte because it only dispenses light and sound. It can wirelessly project your phone or an HDMI device, though.
So consider this an opportunity, gadget makers: build the coffee cup that Asus didn’t. Just make sure it lasts longer than a movie — Asus quotes three hours from a 6,000mAh battery — and gets bright enough to create a decent-sized screen. Asus says this one can produce a 40-inch picture when placed one meter from the wall, 80 inches at two meters, and a maximum of 120 inches (presumably at three meters). Don’t expect a 300-lumen projector to be very bright at nine feet away, though.
Asus says it’s coming to the US in the second quarter of the year, but there’s no word on pricing.