A Portable projector is a must-have for any business presentation, camping trip, or backyard movie night. These compact battery-powered mini projectors can deliver surprisingly good video and audio quality and some even fit in your pocket. Check out our picks for the best portable projectors to watch movies on the go.
What Are the Best Portable Projectors in 2019?
1. ViewSonic M1
The ViewSonic M1 is a jack of all trades that offers a clever design, long battery life, and powerful audio to create a respectable cinematic experience.
This projector has a short throw lens that allows its to project a 100-inch image from only 8.9 feet away. The ideal conditions are from 5.1 feet which still produces a 60-inch picture. One caveat is that this projector doesn’t have a particularly powerful LED lamp, and therefore needs near total darkness to project a detailed image.
The ViewSonic M1 has a native WVGA (854×480) resolution, which is about as detailed as a standard-definition TV. While this isn’t a particularly impressive figure, the picture still looks sharp and colorful. The contrast is fairly impressive but you still might have trouble watching low-light scenes like “The Long Night” episode from Game of Thrones.
One big benefit of this projector is that it has built-in Dual Harman Kardon speakers, which sound nicer and get louder than other built-in speakers in other units in this price range. They eliminate the need to carry an extra speaker with you when traveling.
The ViewSonic M1 is equipped to handle a variety of inputs, including HDMI, USB-C, USB-A, and MicroSD cards up to 32GB. It also has 16GB of internal storage. There aren’t any wireless connectivity options built-in but you could easily use a Chromecast or some other streaming device to handle mirroring from a mobile phone or PC.
Ultimately, the biggest benefit of this speaker is its 4000mAh battery, which offers a staggering 6 hours of playback time. Considering the next best portable projector can only run for half the time, this is a huge win, especially if you take it on a long camping trip.
This projector can be mounted on a tripod but it is much easier to use the M1’s built-in 360° stand, which allows you to pivot this projector in any direction. It also acts as a lens cover when storing the projector. This works great with the projector’s automatic vertical keystone function, which eliminates the need to have to use the glitchy remote control.
The M1 may not have the brightest or most detailed picture, but its sheer versatility and smart design make it one of the best portable projectors around.
Contrast Ratio: 12,000:1
Brightness: 250 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI, USB-C, USB-A, MicroSD card
Battery life: 6 hours
Dimensions: 5 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches
2. Best Pico Projector: Miroir HD Pro M220
The Miroir HD Pro M220 is a powerful portable projector that is ideal for mobile users because of its ultra-compact 4.2 x 6.7 x 1.1-inch form factor.
This projector delivers an impressive amount of brightness considering it is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. It produces a picture between 20 and 100 inches but if you want to push it to its limit, then you’ll probably want to set up in a darker room so the projector’s light isn’t so diffuse. It will also have to sit about 10 feet away from the projection surface.
With a native 720p resolution (1280×720), the M220’s HD picture looks surprisingly sharp. Its colors are vivid while its contrast is just sufficient. When you are setting your expectations for this projector’s picture, you have to remember that its size severely limits its performance. With that in mind, it still meets the mark.
This projector also has built-in 2W speakers or a 3.5 mm audio out port for audio playback. They aren’t very powerful or detailed but they get the job done if you are watching a movie on the go.
Another flaw of its compact size is that it only has a few onboard inputs. The only two physical inputs it has are HDMI and USB-C video. This will hook up to any mobile device that supports USB-C video out. You can also use your wireless HDMI dongle of choice to get wireless connectivity.
The M220’s 2-hour battery life might not look too impressive besides the figures for larger projectors but it is actually pretty solid. That still doesn’t change the fact that you can’t finish even one Lord of the Rings extended edition installments. It recharges via USB-C, making it easy to keep plugged in if you want to watch longer features on the go.
No projector this small is going to be without its limitations, but with this fact in mind, the Miroir M220 still manages to pack an impressive amount of performance into a small package. Will it replace a full-size home theater projector? Probably not. But will it replace your laptop or phone screen on the road? Absolutely.
Contrast Ratio: 400:1
Brightness: 400 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI, USB-C
Battery life: 2 hours
Dimensions: 4.2 x 6.7 x 1.1 inches
3. Most Versatile Projector: LG PH550 CineBeam
At only 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.7 inches, the LG PH550 is a highly portable projector that offers 720p HD playback that is equally viable for gaming, home theater, or office use.
Its bright LED lamp is strong enough to work for a mid-day meeting with the curtains drawn, while its high-resolution playback is well-suited for playing movies. It even has a decent 34 ms of input lag, which makes it solid for gaming too.
The contrast and saturation of the picture are not quite on the same level as an LG TV in the same price range but the picture still looks sharp and vibrant in ideal viewing conditions. The picture can be displayed at any size from 25 to 100 inches but looks best at around 4 feet away, where it makes a 40-inch picture.
One downside to this projector’s picture is that it is hard to focus thanks to the touchy focus dial, which has a slight lag when you adjust it.
The projector has two 1W speakers but they are small and low-quality. They will get the job done on a camping trip but can and should be replaced with an aux or Bluetooth speaker for other uses.
The PH550 has a versatile selection of inputs. It has USB-A to connect flash drives or provide a charge out. It has an HDMI/MHL port to either connect to a Chromecast or an MHL-compatible smartphone via Mobile High-Definition Link. It also has a VGA port for connecting to a PC and coaxial for connecting to a set-top box.
The PH550 also supports Miracast and WiDi, two wireless streaming protocols that can be used to mirror an Android smartphone’s screen. This projector does not support Apple AirPlay, so iOS users will have to buy a separate adapter to use an HDMI/MHL cable.
The portability of the PH550 is another winning feature, although it does come with the downside that this projector has almost no onboard controls. You will have a much easier time using the included remote control. This projector also comes with a carry case. It does not fit the remote control or the charging cable in it but it is still worth using since the unit itself does not have a lens cover.
The PH550 has a rechargeable battery that delivers about 2.5 hours of video playback off of one charge. This puts it towards the top of the pack for battery life and once again reinforces the sheer utility of this portable projector.
Contrast Ratio: 100,000:1 (I have no idea how LG measured this)
Brightness: 550 Lumens
Inputs: USB-A, HDMI/MHL, VGA, coax, Miracast, WiDi
Battery life: 2.5 hours
Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.7 inches
4. Best Smart Projector: Anker Nebula Capsule II
With a 720p projector display, built-in speakers, and access to over 3,600 streaming apps, the Anker Nebula Capsule II is an all-in-one entertainment solution that can go with you anywhere.
At only 5.9 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches, this cylindrical mini projector can easily fit into a jacket pocket. It also packs more features per square inch than any other projector we reviewed. The most important feature, though, is obviously its LED projection lamp.
The Capsule II delivers 720p (1280×720) video between 20 and 100 inches in size depending on how close you position it to the projection surface. Its brightness is only a modest 200 ANSI lumens though, so a smaller picture will be sharper and more defined. At an average throw distance, this projector is still bright enough to watch in a dim room but results will be much better in total darkness.
The capsule has one-second autofocus and auto keystone, making it easy to set up anywhere. Just note that you need a tripod to point it at an angle because of its cylindrical shape.
The Capsule II also has an 8W 270° speaker built in, which has an above-average audio quality. This speaker can even be used over Bluetooth independent of the projector.
The most unique feature of the Capsule II is its Android TV OS, which comes pre-loaded with over 3,600 apps. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, you can access a huge library streamable content without needing to attach any other devices.
Unfortunately, Amazon Prime and Netflix are conspicuously absent from this list and both of which have to be sideloaded onto a thumb drive using the projector’s USB port. This projector also has an HDMI port that can be used to connect a Chromecast.
You have all the basic controls split between the top of the projector and the included remote. A nice feature of the remote is that it supports Google Assistant voice control to select media from the home menu. It doesn’t work with every app, though.
The Capsule II has a solid battery life of 2.5 hours and recharges via an onboard USB-C port. If you want to use it for even longer, you can leave it plugged in while you play. You can also simultaneously charge out to media sources using the onboard USB-A port.
If you are looking for a portable projector and a streaming device all in one, the Capsule II is an easy pick.
Contrast Ratio: 600:1
Brightness: 200 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI, USB-A, Wi-Fi, Chromecast, Bluetooth (audio only)
Battery life: 2.5 hours
Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches
5. Smallest Portable Projector: RIF6 Cube
It truly doesn’t get more compact than the RIF6 Cube, which at 2 cubic inches, is easily the smallest portable projector that actually works. That shouldn’t sound like an accomplishment but it is.
It should come as no surprise that this small of a device suffers from some physical limitations but it is far more functional than you might guess just by looking at it. It delivers video in WVGA (854×480) resolution and has an internal battery that lasts about 1.5 hours.
You’ll have to plug its included USB-C charging cable into a power bank or wall outlet if you want to make it through something like Avengers: Endgame but this is totally fair considering it fits in your pocket.
While WVGA only delivers standard-definition detail, the RIF6 Cube still has a clear and vivid picture. In absolute darkness, this projector will look pretty much like a 60 to 120-inch TV set. It will be washed out in even a partially lit room though, as its LED lamp only produces 50 ANSI lumens of brightness.
Onboard inputs are limited but the RIF6 comes with all of the cables you would need to connect most devices. It only has one MicroSD and Micro HDMI on its side panel but the HDMI port supports MHL. The RIF6 comes with a mini HDMI to HDMI cable, a MicroUSB cable, and a Mini HDMI to Android MHL cable so you can connect right out of the box. You still need one more adapter to connect this to iOS devices as it does not have wireless connectivity.
This projector also comes with a remote and a tripod with a special mount. The tripod has bendable legs so you can position the RIF6 to project at any angle. Last but not least, this speaker also has built-in speakers. These are great for mobile, though you’ll probably want to plug in some speakers to the 3.5 mm audio out port whenever possible.
Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
Brightness: 50 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI/MHL, MicroSD
Battery life: 1.5 hours
Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 1.9 inches
6. Best 3D Portable Projector: Wowoto P5
The Wowoto P5 is a palm-sized projector that stands out for its ability to deliver HD 3D video in larger than life sizes.
You certainly wouldn’t expect to find this much power packed in an aluminum alloy cylinder measuring 9.4 x 3.9 x 2.3 inches. Yet, this portable projector is capable of producing a picture up to 300 inches at 1200×800 resolution. Realistically, you’ll get a picture closer to 100 inches if you use the projector its recommended 6.6 to 9.8 feet from the projection screen. The picture at this middle distance is clear and vibrant.
The LED lamp on this projector is fairly bright. It can throw a decent picture with diffuse daylight, even though it is still ultimately meant for nighttime use. Its contrast is fairly nice considering the projector’s size. This projector supports 3D as long as you download a 3D movie and have your own 3D DLP active shutter glasses.
Its solid picture is complemented by two 5W speakers built into each side, which deliver a pretty solid sound on their own. If you use the P5 at home you can also connect a larger pair of speakers to the 3.5 mm audio out port.
The P5 only has three physical inputs but it supports a number of wireless streaming protocols, making it ideal for mobile use. You can connect media via USB, MicroSD, or HDMI. You can also use Airplay, Miracast, DLNA, or Ushare to connect wirelessly with a compatible device.
This projector has a 15,600mAh battery that nets you about 3 hours of projection time off one charge. The P5 checks off all the boxes for things one might look for in a portable projector, making it an easy choice for most needs.
Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1
Brightness: 3,500 Lumens
Inputs: USB-A, HDMI, MicroSD, Airplay, Miracast, DLNA, Ushare
Battery life: 3 hours
Dimensions: 9.4 x 3.9 x 2.3 inches
7. Best WiFi Projector: BenQ GV1
The BenQ GV1 is a sleek and stylish portable projector that merges go-anywhere portability with powerful WiFi streaming options to transform any room of your house into a home theater in seconds.
The name of the game with this device is ease of use. Setup on a horizontal wall is incredibly simple thanks to the device’s auto vertical keystone correction and tilting hinge. If you want to get creative and project onto a ceiling or a slanted surface, you’ll need to attach the GV1 to a tripod using its mount on the bottom.
From there, you simply need to connect the device to your home WiFi and you are good to stream wirelessly over Google Cast, AirPlay, or WiDi. You can also stream via USB-C if you have a Samsung Galaxy S9 or newer. If you have a fairly modern selection of media sources, it doesn’t get easier to connect it to a projector.
In fact, you don’t even need to connect to a media device if you plan to stream anyway, as the GV1 has access to thousands of built-in apps using the Aptoide TV platform. This Android-based OS has access to all the major streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube. This gives it a leg up over the Anker Nebula Capsule II, which we mentioned earlier in this post.
However, the GV1’s absolute simplicity is also its biggest flaw. In an attempt to make a device that only uses the latest and greatest connection standards, BenQ has forgotten those who still have laptops that connect via HDMI or VGA. Rather, BenQ has forced those users to pursue other options like their TH671ST, which has at least twice as many available inputs.
Having to connect to WiFi and having no USB port for thumb drives means that this projector is not well-suited for business use. This is a shame as its machined aluminum would look cutting edge in the office and the device has a solid 3-hour battery life. But once you look at the GV1’s video specs, it becomes apparent that this is meant for home theater use.
The BenQ GV1 throws a gorgeous picture anywhere from 30 to 100 inches in size. The optimal picture appears at around 35 inches, which can be achieved as little as 3 feet from its projection surface. Its 480p resolution falls short when you try to produce a bigger picture but it still offers enough detail to get a rich picture.
Colors come through well and the projector has solid contrast. Its LED lamp can produce 200 ANSI lumens of light, which means it can get washed out when projected in a fully bright room. Using this projector in the dark greatly improves its picture quality.
This projector also has a solid built-in 5W speaker, so you won’t have to connect any external audio to enjoy the full cinematic experience. If you have an even bigger speaker, you can connect it via Bluetooth. If this is your only speaker, you can connect a source to play music over Bluetooth independent of the projector screen.
The BenQ GV1 is a beautiful projector that produces an even more beautiful image. However, it is not your traditional projector setup, and therefore, you must plan ahead to ensure that you have WiFi service where you plan to use it and a USB-C (or WiDi) compatible device to make it all work. If you do, then this is a fantastic choice.
Contrast Ratio: 100,000:1
Brightness: 200 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: USB-C, Google Cast, AirPlay, WiDi
Battery life: 3 hours
Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches
8. Best Cheap Pico Projector: Vamvo S1
The Vamvo S1 is an ultra-compact portable projector whose versatile connectivity and pocket-sized form make it the ideal projector to pack on the go.
With support for screen mirroring protocols like AirPlay, DLNA, and Miracast, you can wirelessly connect your smartphone directly to the Vamvo S1 even where WiFi isn’t available. This projector also has a USB port where you can use the free EZCast app to set up wired screen mirroring for devices with iOS 9, Android 5.0 or above. The USB port can also be used for flash drives.
The Vamvo S1 also has an HDMI port and a MicroSD slot, allowing more traditional methods of media playback as well.
As for playback, the Vamvo S1 delivers acceptable quality, though no aspects of its picture truly stand out from other pocket projectors. It has an 800×480 resolution, which is going to look somewhat pixelated if you’re used to HD content.
Its LED lamp produces 1,800 lumens, which is sufficient for playback in a dimly lit room but not much brighter. As is expected, picture clarity improves greatly in darker settings. Contrast is unrated but leaves little to complain about.
The S1 projects a picture between 15 to 130 inches when placed between 1.6 and 10 feet. You’ll get the clearest picture at 80 inches — about 5 feet from the projection surface. If you plan to use this for a larger audience, you may want to attach an external speaker via its aux port, as its 1.5W speakers are only about as powerful as a smartphone would have.
The S1 has a 5200mAh battery which delivers up to 2 hours of playback time. If you want to use it for longer than that, you’ll have to plug it with its included charging cable. This projector also includes a small tripod, which can be used to project at angles you wouldn’t normally be able to reach.
If you are looking for an ultra-compact portable projector at a value price, then the Vamvo S1 is an ideal choice.
Contrast Ratio: Not listed
Brightness: 1,800 Lumens
Inputs: HDMI, USB-A, MicroSD, AirPlay, DLNA, and Miracast
Battery life: 2 hours
Dimensions: 5.7 x 3.2 x 0.9 inches
9. Best Portable Projector With Speakers: Apeman M7
The Apeman M7 is equal parts portable projector and Bluetooth speaker, making it useful for watching movies and listening to music on the go.
The M7 houses two 3W speakers, which deliver clear and loud audio. These speakers can be used independently of the projector via either Bluetooth or 3.5 mm in. At only 4.0 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches, it is about the size of an average Bluetooth speaker, which makes you wonder how it also manages to fit a WVGA (854×480) resolution projector into the mix as well.
The projector can produce a picture between 30 and 100 inches from a distance range of 2.6 to 8.5 feet. It has manual focus with no automatic keystone. The picture is clear and colorful despite the lower resolution. It handles motion well too.
The Apeman M7’s LED lamp has a brightness rating of 4,000 lumens, which is surprisingly high for its size and price range. That said, this is not an ANSI lumen rating, so it is likely measured at unrealistic conditions. This projector is still bright but it won’t light up the wall in broad daylight. It is best for use in a dark room.
One downside to this projector is that it only has one input, an HDMI/MHL port. Sure, there are a lot of devices you can connect via HDMI, including a streaming stick, a smartphone, a Blu-Ray player, or a laptop, but the similarly-priced Vamvo S1 has Miracast and other digital inputs. It has a USB charge out port but it does not support flash drives. The Apeman M7 comes with an HDMI cable and an MHL adapter.
If you want to use the M7 on the ceiling, you will need to attach it to a tripod using the tripod connection underneath. Otherwise, it is almost too small to prop up. But in the end, that’s we love about this projector. It delivers a lot of performance in an incredibly small package.
Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
Brightness: 4,000 Lumens
Battery life: 2.5 hours
Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4 inches
10. Best Cheap Portable Projector: Vankyo Leisure 3
The Vankyo Leisure 3 is among the least portable projector options but its solid picture quality and budget price make it a tempting option if you don’t mind its lack of battery power.
You will be hard-pressed to find a better projector at this price range, as video content looks clear and vivid through its LED lamp. It has a brightness rating of 1,800 lumens, which is quite solid for the money. It still throws a picture in sunlight but you should watch it in a fully dark room for best results. The picture has a slight coolness to the color but is otherwise accurate.
This projector has a throw range of 4.9ft to 16.4ft and will create a picture between 32 and 176 inches on the projection surface. It requires manual focusing and keystone adjustment.
At 7.9 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches, you’d have to carry it around in a backpack if you wanted to travel with it. You’d also have to plug it into AC power since it has no battery. It comes with a remote and also has easy to access controls on top.
It has plenty of inputs, including HDMI, VGA, USB-A, AV, and MicroSD. It does not have any built-in wireless screen mirroring but this can be done using a Chromecast. There are certainly more powerful and more portable projectors out there but if this is where your budget lands you, then there’s nothing wrong with this solid budget pick.
Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1
Brightness: 1,800 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI, VGA, USB-A, AV, MicroSD
Battery life: N/A
Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches
11. Best Gaming Projector: Optoma ML750ST
If your goal is gaming on the go, then the Optoma ML750ST is the ideal portable projector for you. It might not have a built-in battery but this compact model delivers top-tier picture quality with consistently low latency.
This palm-sized projector only requires 10.7 feet to project an image of 100 inches. You can project from as close at 1.8 feet and still get a readable 17-inch picture. It is easy to set up using the onboard controls or the more comprehensive remote control. It has adjustable feet and an easy wheel to control focus. It also auto keystones to correct the orientation of the picture on angled surfaces.
It is capable of producing a WXGA (1280×800) resolution picture, which looks sharp and vibrant even in indirect light thanks to its bright 20,000-lumen LED lamp. No HD support is a bit of a disappointment but it is about what you should expect from the ML750ST for its entry-level price range. The picture still warrants no complaints, especially with its deep contrast rating.
The ML750ST has a number of inputs, including USB-A, MicroSD, universal I/O (used as an adapter for VGA), and HDMI/MHL. This device also works with Optoma’s HDCast Pro device for easy screen mirroring on Android, iOS, and Windows devices but it is not included. All inputs except for this wireless adapter stream with a minimal 17 ms of latency, making this projector ideal for gaming.
The built-in speakers are a nice touch but they don’t offer much in terms of a cinematic experience. Thankfully, this projector has a 3.5 mm audio out port if you wish to offload the sound to a more capable pair of speakers.
Having no battery life is a big shortcoming for a portable speaker but the ML750ST’s small size and included carrying case help it towards its purpose of on the go big-screen gaming.
Contrast Ratio: 20,000:1
Brightness: 700 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI/MHL, MicroSD, USB-A, universal I/O, HDCast Pro
Battery life: N/A
Dimensions: 4.4 x 4.8 x 2.2 inches
12. Best Portable Home Theater Projector: BenQ TH671ST
Trying to find the best portable projector for home use is somewhat oxymoronic at its core, but if you need a portable projector that turns any room in the house into a movie theater, the BenQ HT2050A is a great pick.
This short throw projector is the largest of the portable solutions we reviewed but it also outperforms most other options in brightness and clarity. The major sticking point for many will be its lack of battery.
The TH671ST is still small enough to throw in a backpack at 11.6 x 4.7 x 8.8 inches, but ultimately, it is mostly meant for home use. This short throw version does at least offer the convenience of projecting a 100-inch picture at 5 feet. Its image size range is from 30 inches to 300 inches but it also has a 1.2x zoom which offers some added flexibility for positioning.
When it comes to picture quality, the TH671ST represents the raw image processing power that you get when you forgo portability and battery power. In other words, it looks freaking amazing. It has a native 1080p HD resolution, which gives clarity and sharpness to its picture.
Its LED lamp delivers about 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, which is good enough for daytime viewing (although nighttime viewing will always look much more clear and rich). The BenQ LumiExpert technology even actively adjusts the picture’s brightness based on ambient light conditions.
The TH671ST has a low 16.7 ms of input lag, which makes it great for gaming as well. It has a 5W built-in speaker that delivers pretty solid audio on its own too. Of course, you can easily connect an external speaker via a 3.5 mm audio out port if you have better speakers available.
This projector has a solid selection of inputs, including USB-A, USB-B, VGA, and two HDMI ports. One of the HDMI ports offers MHL connectivity with compatible smartphones. There are no wireless input options but you can use any combination of HDMI streaming sticks or adapters to make this possible. If you have an Android phone, using a Chromecast is one of the easiest ways.
Focusing and setting up this projector is fairly easy but note that the projector only has vertical lens shift and not horizontal. That means the projector has to be directly perpendicular to the display surface or else the auto keystone will trigger and scale your picture.
If picture quality is more important than portability, then, by all means, go all-out and opt for the BenQ TH671ST.
Contrast Ratio: 10,000:1
Brightness: 3,000 ANSI Lumens
Inputs: HDMI, HDMI/MHL, USB-A, USB-B, VGA, 3.5mm aux
Battery life: N/A
Dimensions: 11.6 x 4.7 x 8.8 inches
13. Best Portable Office Projector: Epson PowerLite 1781W
When you need the best portable projector for giving office presentations on the go, ultra-compact battery-powered designs aren’t as much of a concern. Brightness and versatility are, however, which is why we added the PowerLite 1781W to our list.
This projector is a bit larger than the others we reviewed but it can still easily fit into a laptop case or backpack. It has an adjustable front kickstand built in and as many onboard controls as its included remote has.
Because it is a bit larger than other portable projectors, it is able to fit a large selection of digital and analog inputs onboard, including HDMI/MHL, USB-A, USB-B, VGA, and RCA. This projector also supports wireless LAN connectivity to Windows computers or smartphone running the Epson iProjection app.
As long as you have all the necessary hookups prepared in advance, this projector is incredibly quick to set up, making it great for no-nonsense meetings. It has snappy autofocus and auto-keystone features that help get the clearest picture possible. The 1781W can throw a 120-inch picture at 9 feet, but the autofocus works much better closer to 6 feet, where you’ll get a crisp 80-inch picture.
This projector has only an average WXGA (1280×800) resolution but the picture still looks clear and vibrant. Plus, if you are using this for business purposes, you usually don’t need HD video. You do, however, need your projector to be bright, as not every meeting room has sunshades. The PowerLite 1781W’s LED lamp delivers a max 3,200 lumens of brightness, making it decently viewable in a dim room.
This projector has built-in speakers but they are fairly lackluster. The most frustrating part of this is that there is no audio out port on the projector itself, so you will have to find a workaround if you need audio for a presentation.
The fact that is a slightly larger projector that is not run on battery power may hinder its use a mobile entertainment system, but in an environment where you always have a wall port to plug into, the PowerLite 1781W is an absolute powerhouse.
Contrast Ratio: 10,000:1
Brightness: 3,200 Lumens
Inputs: HDMI/MHL, USB-A, USB-B, VGA, RCA
Battery life: N/A
Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.4 x 2.1 inches
When you are researching portable projectors, it is important to understand the tradeoffs between projectors for portable use and home use. Both serve the same basic function but portable projectors are considerably smaller than home theater projectors and often have an internal battery.
But because of their smaller size, portable projectors are also less bright and lower resolution. A small LED lamp won’t be physically able to create as much light as a larger one. However, just because a projector’s resolution is low doesn’t mean that the picture is small or blurry.
This article on TV resolution from the Home Cinema Guide suggests that while a higher resolution does equate to a more detailed picture, it doesn’t necessarily mean a better picture. There are more important factors like color recreation and clarity that are measured totally separate from resolution.
So while you won’t find a 4K projector on this list (yet), you will still find some incredibly good-looking options. They can also be quite large without a high resolution either.
Portable projectors are the best choice for confined or improvized viewing spaces because they only need about 10 feet of distance to project images up to 100 inches across. This is because of their wide-angle short throw lenses.
How Did We Choose These Projectors?
When we picked out the best portable projectors, we made sure to focus on the most important criteria for differentiating the top picks across a wide price range. The most important factor was overall picture quality, as determined by a combination of picture specs.
The second most important factor is, of course, portability. Special consideration was given to projectors that run on battery power, though you will find a couple of pico projectors that need AC power but deliver additional performance power.
Other essential aspects include a built-in audio solution and plentiful inputs, both wired and wireless. As long as you are aware of what your specific needs are, you should have no trouble finding the right portable projector for you.