Leica, the popular camera company, just announced its first 4K laser projector that’s big on specs and packs a price tag to match. The new Leica Cine 1 ultra-short throw (UST) projector comes in two variants and can beam an 80- or 100-inch 4K image while only being a few inches from a wall.
Interestingly, this isn’t Leica’s first digital projector, as it has sold some under the Pradovit brand. However, this is the first UST projector with its name and logo attached.
Unfortunately, while Leica debuted these projectors at IFA and has a neat video showing them off, the announcement is light on specs or details. That said, the 100-inch 4k 60Hz model of the new Leica Cine 1 gets plenty bright, peaking at 2500 lumens. It can project that large 100-inch image with a distance of around 12-inches from the wall and takes advantage of Leica’s knowledge in optics to deliver what will hopefully be an excellent image.
Then, Leica also has an 80-inch model that works less than six inches from a wall and peaks at 2100 lumens. As expected, both projectors have a triple RGB laser light engine in partnership with Hisense, and the company says they’ll “probably run Android TV,” according to The Verge.
Demo units at the IFA event apparently have three HDMI ports (one HDMI 2.1 port with eARC), both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, not to mention a built-in TV tuner. As for audio, Leica hopes these UST projectors will ship with 4.2 Atmos-certified audio and have built-in Dolby Atmos-powered speakers and surround sound.
As we said earlier, key details regarding HDR10 support, contrast ratios, and other specs have yet to be announced. And with a release date expected sometime in Q2 of next year, we’ll probably be waiting a while before we learn more.
We do, however, know how much these Leica-branded projectors will cost. According to the announcement, you can expect to pay around $6,900 for the 80-incher, and $7,900 for the 100-inch 4K projector. These will have stiff competition from Samsung and LG at those prices, so hopefully, they’ll pack all the latest and greatest technology.