The Asus ZenBeam Latte is a cup-sized mini projector that doubles as a speaker system

The Asus ZenBeam Latte is a cup-sized mini projector that doubles as a speaker system
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus revealed its latest project, the ZenBeam Latte, at CES 2021 and the teeny-tiny projector looks like it might be the cream of the crop when it comes to pocket-sized entertainment machines. We’ve got some issues with the name, but the Asus Zenbeam Latte is shaping up to be one of the best mini projectors of 2021.

The Latte pours a 720p image with 300 lumens of LED light, making it one of the beefier pocket projectors out there. It will also connect wirelessly to a smartphone or HDMI device. It also has an integrated 10W Harman Kardon-tuned speaker, so you can listen to music if you don't want to dive straight into movies or TV. However, the battery is a little disappointing: you'll get three hours of projector use from a 6,000mAh battery, meaning you would have to watch Netflix's The Irishman in two sittings. 

Still, it's portable cinema power, and a battery pack might be able to help keep it topped up. There's definitely a use-case for this, whether you want to take a projector on work trips or holidays, or perhaps you just have a tiny apartment with no space whatsoever. The Latte's short throw lens means a 40-inch image from one meter and an 120-inch image at three meters.

It's rather a shame that Asus has made a lot of odd claims in its press release. Firstly, the press release says that the speaker is mug-shaped, which it… we guess it's mug-sized? But we’ve not got any coffee cups that look like that. 

There's a video below where they really lean hard into the coffee cup motif, begging the question: why is this gray and not latte colored?

We’re happy to let that slide, but Asus also claims that it's the first projector with a fabric exterior, which is only kind of true. The MiSmart Compact Projector already exists and has a fabric front, but it doesn’t cover the whole device. We’re really scraping the barrel of world firsts if this is what companies are making the big claims about these days.

Regardless, this could turn out to be an exciting release. The Asus Zenbeam Latte is planned to release in May this year, and if the price point is right it could pick up plenty of fans.  We'll let you know as soon as we get to play with one.  

Jake is a freelance writer covering tech and games, with bylines at Red Bull, MCV, Trusted Reviews, and Pocket Gamer. He can currently be found over at NME, where he heads up video games coverage.