Leica is best known as the iconic company that basically helped steer the birth of popular photography, and over a hundred years later Leica is still a leading presence in the camera industry, as well as an uber-desirable lifestyle brand, spanning cameras, optics, watches and now – home entertainment systems.
The new Leica Cine 1 laser projector is Leica’s latest project that will have you drooling over its premium looks. I was recently invited by Leica to see the Cine 1 in person. Now, I love to nerd out about cameras, but when it comes to home entertainment, I usually just settle for a top-rated TV without giving it too much thought. Leaving the demonstration though, I am seriously asking myself, why don’t I have a laser projector?!
The Cine 1 has been designed with the same attention to craftsmanship and premium materials as Leica's stunning range of cameras, and this is a centerpiece any Leica fan needs to add to their entertainment setup. Even fairly superficial design features like the projector's retractable dust cover open with such an elegant flare I just wanted to open it on repeat. This is a seriously stunning-looking projector and it is unsurprising that it received an iF Design Award 2023 for outstanding product design.
Leica is of course renowned for its high-quality camera lenses, and the Cine 1 projector borrows from this lens legacy, using a custom Leica Summicron lens, alongside a triple RGB laser and Leica Image Optimization to project a clear and vivid 4K picture. The projector is available in both 100-inch and 120-inch versions, although are not interchangeable, so ensure you pick the right version for your space!
The Cine 1 outputs at approximately 3000 lux, and has HDR support including Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10+. With its own in-built OS, you have access to all the latest streaming apps directly, as well as AirPlay and casting from your other devices. You can also plug essentially anything into the Cine 1, with ports for HDMI, USB, Ethernet, antenna, S/PDIF, and CI+. The Cine 1 is even capable of becoming your gaming monitor, with a specialized gaming mode complete with a latency of under 60ms.
The projector can display on any solid wall, although for the best picture, Leica recommends using a projection screen with Ambient Light Rejection (ALR) technology, which of course Leica will happily sell you alongside your Cine 1. These screens can either be static wall-mounted, or for even more elegance, you can use a roll-up screen that can be secreted inside or behind furniture when not in use. The screen Leica used in its demonstration was a wall-mounted screen, and even though we were in a showroom flooded with natural light, it was impressively contrasty from a wide range of viewing angles.
Not forgetting about sound, the Cine 1 has a built-in sound bar with integrated Dolby Atmos surround sound from two four-channel 25W speakers, which in my demo showed it could get loud, with punchy sound and good bass, and left me impressed, even if I couldn't get the full audiophile experience in the showroom.
Now, here's the kicker, as you’d expect from Leica, all this luxury doesn’t come cheaply. The Cine 1 costs a wallet punishing £8,495 for the 100-inch projector, or £8,995 for the 120-inch version. US pricing is to be confirmed, but it is expected to start at $8,295 for the 100-inch Cine 1.
The Cine 1 is already available in parts of Europe (where you can also get an 80-inch version), and from today, the Cine 1 can be purchased in the UK, with US sales starting on September 6. To get more info or find out where to buy it head to your nearest Leica showroom or check out the Cine 1 website for more details.