The popularity of ultra-short throw projectors has increased over the last few years due to improved performance and a decrease in cost. Most brands are focusing on the largest market share, but they have neglected the consumers. The Infinite M1 Pro portable display projector can transform any flat surface into an interactive display, but there are some caveats.
Prices and availability
Amazon currently has the Hachi Infinite on sale for $1079.10, with a 10% discount when you use the code at checkout.
You can position the M1 Pro horizontally or vertically, depending on your preference. It looks like a rectangular, polished charcoal-colored plastic brick. The glass facia hides the projector hardware and has plenty of air vents for cooling the components.
It is slightly larger than a DVD boxset and measures 138 x 215 x80mm. It weighs in at 1.3Kg. When used as a UST Projector, it can rest on four rubber feet.
The top, when raised, contains a camera sensor and microphone. There are also two volume buttons, as well as a large power button. The USB-C connector is hidden behind a flap. However, it can only provide power. There’s also a dedicated USB-C connector that can be used to power. A headphone jack and an HDMI connector are also available.
It has a premium look and comes without removable batteries. You will need to charge it with a micro USB cable. If you don’t have a compatible card, it may be difficult to swap out batteries.
The remote does not provide any indication of when the battery is running out. Additionally, the Infinite M1 Pro comes with a dedicated power supply unit but it doesn’t include a micro USB cable or charger to charge the remote.
The M1 Pro’s set of components is quite powerful, compared to the bundles that projector vendors offer. Hachi used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, an octa-core SoC from the Google pixel 3a. He paired it up with 6GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage (sadly, eMMC rather than the faster UFS).
The manufacturer also included a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi 5 connectivity, Bluetooth5.0, Bluetooth 5.0, two 5W speakers, and two microphones. Surprisingly, the battery is 5000mAh, which can power the device for as long as 2.5 hours. This feature highlights the versatility of the device. It can be used for video conferencing, business projectors, and large format displays thanks to native Miracast support.
The native resolution of M1 Pro (1280 x 720 pixels) is not HD/720p. It uses the ubiquitous TI DLP tech with a rated brightness (measured centrally), of 600 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio of 600:1.
You will need to set up the projector in the same way as an Android smartphone. First, you will need to set it up as a touchscreen device and then pair the Bluetooth remote. Do not try to do it – we did it without reading the manual. Turn on the projector, and then use the remote control to set the device up.
The M1 Pro has an Infinite OS UI, which is a customized UI that sits atop Android 9.0. It reminds us of the efforts by Android box makers to create a user interface.
You can find a lot of preloaded apps, including some Hachi’s (like an AI Kitchen), but it doesn’t have Google Play yet as it has not been officially certified. There is Chrome, but not YouTube.
The company stated that they are working hard to certify the device for Google Mobile Services. They expect to complete this process within the next few months. Once the certification is completed, all previously purchased devices will have access to GMS via a simple software upgrade. GMS-based apps cannot be downloaded directly to the device at this time. Apps that use GMS, such as YouTube and Hulu, are available for download on the device in the interim. You can access these apps via the web browser and use them as normal on your device. These apps can be screencast to the projector by pairing with an Android or iOS device.
The remote control, buttons on the top and physical buttons at the top of your device, or the Anypoint virtual touchscreen technology (with 10 points) allow you to operate the projector. The projector can be projected horizontally or vertically at a size of 23 inches. Both the keystone correction and focus are automatically processed on either axis.
Once you understand the basics, the virtual touchscreen works great. To make the most of this feature, you need a white surface that is at least 51x29cm or a diagonal of 58.8cm. The diagonal size can be increased to 202cm if you increase it to 43cm. Although the picture quality is not as good as traditional UST projectors like the Polaris 4K, it is still adequate, especially in a darkened room.
Surprisingly, the sound quality was actually quite good. It was able to hit all the right notes and deliver enough bass when necessary (e.g. It was a soundtrack and had a clear, rich definition with no artifacts in a speech or conversation.
Although touch typing is possible, it’s not ideal. The sensor must be able to read what your fingers do. We have had to deal with shadows accidentally created by accident many times. The touchscreen feature works when the project is vertically, but it is much more difficult.
The camera is useful in vertical projector mode, but it doesn’t seem to be used elsewhere. It would be very useful to have the ability to rotate it sideways or up.
Hachi Infinite M1 Pro is an excellent way to get a feel for the specialized world of BYOD. As long as you are aware of the limitations of the device, you will be able to transform any flat surface into a board game or virtual piano.
We struggle to see beyond the novelty of the $1000+ price tag. It can be projected on a wall, but it is difficult to use and not as responsive.
We are left with an HD ultra-short-throw projector, which can also double as a fixed horizontal touchscreen display (projecting downwards). We would love to see the M1 Pro have a USB-C support PD that can transmit power and data, voice control (via Google Assistant), and a larger battery.