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Optoma L1+ review: A compact, all-in-one projector

The Optoma L1+ ultra short throw home projector offers great picture quality despite its small size but could do with improvements in the sound department

The Optoma L1+ is an ultra-short throw-home 4K projector, and costs  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2,80,000.
The Optoma L1+ is an ultra-short throw-home 4K projector, and costs 2,80,000. (Press handout)

It’s not every day that I get to review a projector. When you have three projectors, from three different companies within six months, you can’t do anything but instantly compare. Each projector's image quality, setup hassles, and more are still sharp in your memory

The latest projectors that landed on my doorstep were from Optoma. The Optoma L1+ is an ultra-short throw-home 4K projector. These days, setting up a projector is a breeze, unless you get one which has Chinese as its default language.

Also read: Formovie C3 projector review: Brimming with features

Ultra-short throw projectors are designed to take up less space, be placed near the wall, and shine a bright and clear picture on your wall. Over the years, projectors have improved. That’s also the case with the Optoma L1+.

The Optoma L1+ comes with an Android dongle - that uses a USB-A port and one of the HDMI ports for connectivity - which is a full-fledged smart add-on. It comes with the Google Play Store, so you can download all your favourite OTT apps. There is no need for you to go out and buy another external device.

There’s also a speaker grille that faces the viewer, so you needn’t invest in any external speakers unless you’re a hardcore cinephile. The Optoma L1+ is an all-in-one projector. It’s a jack-of-all-trades. Optoma, when designing this product, made sure to provide everything that you need in just one box. It may have a sound system, but there’s also an optical audio out port (although an HDMI eARC option is missing), in case you want to use external speakers.

What I liked about the Optoma L1+ projector

Design: Simply put, the Optoma L1+ comes in a relatively light and compact package – at just 40cm wide and 32cm deep. This means it can easily fit right in front of your wall. The company says that this is one of the lightest and most compact 4K ultra-short throw projectors on the market.

There’s a gold power button, fabric over the speakers, and molded plastic. It looks all kind of classy. Built with recycled materials, the chassis is made with 50% post-consumer recycled plastic. The packaging is made from 99% recycled materials.

Easy set-up: Unlike the Formovie C3 projector I reviewed recently, the setup for the Optoma L1+ was a breeze. With the Optoma L1+, the key is to get the initial positioning correct, and thereafter, hope that no one bumps into the projector. You need a perfectly rectangular image with some wall space left on either side. If the image isn’t perfect, then there is keystone correction available, but that in turn, reduces the resolution. The focus is manually set, and achieving a perfect focus isn’t difficult. Yes, it takes a few minutes, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Opening the hatch and installing the Android TV dongle was relatively easy. It’s not a stick-type dongle like the Amazon Fire TV, but it is a square-type dongle that fits perfectly into the space provided. Since the dongle is from a third party, you get two different remote controls. One for the Optoma projector and one to use the dongle.

Picture quality: At first, I was instantly reminded of the Formovie C3 projector. Formovie’s picture quality stood out to me. It took me a while to get immersed in the Optoma L1+, but once I did, it was a pleasure to watch movies on. In my friends' huge basement, we watched The Promised Land, before being interrupted by a friend for a trashy Bollywood experience. The latter movie is Vivek Oberoi’s Prince. Both movies stood out on the projector. The sharpness was evident, colours were vibrant, and we were singing along to the loud sound during the latter movie. Thankfully, the picture quality was relatively smooth - not smooth enough for gamers, mind you - and thanks to the 2,500 lumens, the picture shone through even with ambient light coming through.

The Optoma L1+ shines when the room is pitch black. The colours are rich, the skin tones are accurate, and the 4K picture is razor-sharp. Don’t be deceived by the diminutive nature of the projector. It punches well above its weight.

Simply put, the Optoma L1+ comes in a relatively light and compact package.
Simply put, the Optoma L1+ comes in a relatively light and compact package. (Press handout)

Two things I didn’t like about the Optoma L1+

Sound quality: Sadly, the sound quality on the Optoma L1+ was a step down from the previous iterations of the projector. In fact, it wasn’t as good as the Formovie C3. The dongle declares the sound as stereo-only, and the lack of an HDMI eARC was disappointing. The silver lining was that the sound was loud and clear, though not sharp at louder volumes. Even the voices aren’t so distinguishable at the loudest of volumes. If you do buy the Optoma L1+, then I recommend you connect it to an external speaker system.

Two different remote controls: While not a dealbreaker, having two remote controls was certainly annoying. If you’re one to tweak the picture settings more often than not, then you’ll have to go through both remotes to get to the desired settings. The main Optoma L1+ remote feels a little soft and there isn’t any satisfying feedback from the buttons.

Verdict: Is the Optoma L1+ worth almost 3,00,000?

It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation. The Optoma L1+ doesn’t come with a screen and has a disappointing built-in speaker. The picture quality shines through and through. While most projectors don’t come with a screen, some do offer it as a bundle package. Optoma missed a trick here.

Still, the Optoma L1+ leaves me with little to complain about. Yes, I the sound quality can improve and juggling two remotes is not fun, but I was immersed for the most part in the various movies and TV shows I consumed over my review period.

If you get the placement right when setting up the projector in your room, it’ll go a long way in how much you enjoy it.

At 2,80,000, the Optoma L1+ isn’t an instant recommendation, especially when you can get TVs at half the price that have better picture and sound quality. But, if you are looking for a pure projector then the Optoma L1+ is definitely worth a try.

Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He writes @IMSahilBhalla.

Also read: BenQ V5000i projector review: Gamers, movie lovers take notice

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