Portable projectors are emerging as the hottest category of digital displays today. The benefits associated with portability are just too tantalizing to ignore, along with the fact that they’re designed for entertainment purposes only. However, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the technology involved before taking a plunge into buying your own portable projector – here’s an overview of how these things work:
The general idea is simple enough; projectors beam light onto a translucent screen where it can be viewed by viewers (often times more than one). However, this also depends on whether you’ve opted for LCD or DLP projection technology, both of which have their own respective sets-ups and expected ranges of use.
DLP vs. LCD
DLP – or Digital Light Processing – refers to products that are fitted with an array of microscopic mirrors, each measuring about one millionth of a meter long. These mirrors are then turned on or off according to the image being displayed on screen, which results in either black-and-white or color images being projected onto surfaces for viewing purposes. The technology was invented by Texas Instruments back in 1987, but didn’t enter the mainstream market until the first few years of the 21st century . Today, it’s still preferred over LCD projection because it produces better contrast and overall superior image quality (especially during video playback).
LCD – otherwise known as Liquid Crystal Display – is more common among home theaters than DLP because it’s cheaper to produce. However, it’s also not preferred because picture quality tends to be less vibrant when compared to DLP projection. Nevertheless, this is probably the most affordable way to go if you’re on a budget (it’s often times cheaper than DLP), and it works well for small rooms where you won’t mind compromising on image quality.
Light Sources of Portable Projectors
Now that you understand how these things work, let’s take a moment to discuss the different types of lighting sources available for these projectors. The most basic form of portable projector uses LEDs or fluorescent lamps for operation – both are commonly used at homes due to their affordability, although they don’t really measure up against modern day LCD technology just yet . Most LED light sources are known to have a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours or more before needing replacement, but they’re still not as bright as fluorescent lamps which can last several years without requiring any assistance.
Color Wheel Speed
Just like conventional projectors used in schools and conference rooms today, the best portable models use rotating color wheels (or filters) for projection purposes. The benefit of having a faster color wheel speed is that it’s capable of displaying colors in rapid succession; picture quality won’t be compromised despite quick switching between images or video frames that result in less than ideal viewing effects . So if you were expecting the same level of image quality seen on home theater systems (which typically refers to 1080p HD), you’ll need something with at least a 7 millisecond speed to be considered “good enough” for entertainment purposes.
It’s also important to consider the output resolution before making a purchase, especially if you were expecting top-notch image quality because portable projectors are typically rated anywhere between 480p up to 1080p HD . Keep in mind that most budget models are limited to 720p or less, but it can go as high as 4K (2160p) which is four times greater than 1080p . However, keep in mind that projector distance has an effect on picture clarity, so make sure you have at least 30 inches of space available if your video source is 1080p HD.
But if you’re looking for the best portable mini projectors, then I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my personal recommendations that are guaranteed to offer awesome results:
Best Portable & Small Projectors
Dr. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector
- [100Inch Projector Screen Included] PORTABLE LED VIDEO PROJECTOR: To meet our customer's new needs, DR.J has improved not only the brightness, contrast ratio of the projector, but also included a 100" Portable Projector Screen in the package. Enjoy the great movies outside with your family in your yard.
- HIGHEST 1080P RESOLUTIONS SUPPORTED: Supported resolution:1920*1080, Aspect Ratio: 4:3/16:9, Contrast Ratio: 2000:1, Lamp lifetime: 40000 hours, Watching Size: 32”-176” with projector distance 1.5m-5m. [Note: not recommended for PPT, word, excel or business presentation.]
- MULTIMEDIA PORTABLE PROJECTOR: DR.J projector is compatible with TV Box, ChromeBook, PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Blue-ray DVD player, SD Card, USB Flash Drive, Video Games, Media players (Music, Pictures, Video, TXT), Smartphones ( Wireless HDMI Dongle not included).
- IDEAL CHOICE FOR HOME ENTERTAINMENT: DR.J LED projector is great for home theater, indoor and outdoor movies & kinds of video games by HDMI port connection. You can also connect your home theater system or surround sound system to get a better sound quality. Recommended to use in dark environment.
- IDEAL CHOICE FOR CHRISTMAS: DR. J Professional HI-04 movie projector is definitely the best choice for Christmas. It works well with both your daily TV Stick but also smartphones. With DR. J Professional unique packed100Inch Projector Screen, you will enjoy the happiness home theater time with your family in both indoor or outdoor time.
Anker Nebula Capsule Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector
- Remarkable Clarity and Contrast: DLP's advanced IntelliBright algorithms deliver a remarkably bright 100 ANSI-lumen image. (Recommended for use in dimmer environments.)
- 360° Speaker: Equipped with a powerful omnidirectional speaker, this mini projector pumps out sound all around.
- Home Entertainment: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows, and more up to 100 inches big anywhere in your home thanks to Capsule’s soda can-sized design.
- Android 7.1: Run streaming and media apps flawlessly. Seamlessly display content from Netflix, Youtube, and more on your mini projector for endless entertainment.
- NOTE: Copyrighted content from Hulu, Netflix, and similar services CAN NOT be mirrored or screencast. Download and use the apps directly through Capsule portable projector to view copyrighted content from these providers. Chromecast is not supported.
Vankyo Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector
- 【NATIVE 1080P FULL HD RESOLUTION】With native resolution of 1920*1080 and contrast ratio of 5000:1, the VANKYO Performance V600 brings 3 times of more details than 720P projectors, delivering impeccable image quality for professional use.
- 【+80% BRIGHTER THAN OTHERS】Featuring greater brightness, this V600 projector provides a display up to 300" in size, and ideal contrast for business presentations, designed to create an excellent performance.
- 【ULTRA LONG-LASTING LAMP】With long-lasting lamps, this V600 full HD projector lasts for over 10 years of daily use (2-3 hours per session)
- 【VERSATILE DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY】The V600 has two HDMI ports, including one premium audio, allow users to project full HD presentations from laptops, smartphones and streaming devices.
- 【THREE-YEAR & PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT】VANKYO offers 3 months free return for full refund and 3-year free repair, Long life professional customer service & technical support. If you have any problem, please feel free to contact us.
Apeman M4 Mini Portable Projector
- BIG SCREEN HD MOVIE: The latest UPGRADED DLP technology provides a 70% brighter, more vivid, and 50% sharper image. Supports full HD 1080P video with a 2000:1 contrast ratio and 800 x 480p native resolution. You can enjoy a 30-100" big display screen within 1-4 m distance.
- LIGHTWEIGHT AS A PHONE: Pocket size mini projector (3.86x3.86x0.85 inches) and lightweight (0.44 lbs). Easy to take and operate. It comes with a TRIPOD with a fully functional 360° rotation and firm stand. This neat projector is an ideal and popular New Year gift!
- EXCELLENT FEATURES: Super low noise which hardly to hear when you are watching a movie. The mini projector is perfect for home cinema, parties, or camping entertainment in a relatively dark environment. Not suitable for business or teaching presentations.
- BUILT-IN BATTERY & LONG LAMP LIFE: The pico projector has a built-in battery which lasts for 1.5-2 hours after fully charged. It can be also a power bank. Flexible to use anywhere and don't need charging always. Long lamp lifetime up to 45000 hours. If use it for 3 hours per day, that's 40 years.
- EXTENSIVE CONNECTIVITY: This portable projector can widely connect to a laptop, TV Box, DVD, tablet, camera, PS3/4, smartphone, etc. via HDMI port to enjoy a variety of entertaining resources from many devices. Make your living room become a home theater! Note: The M4 projector doesn't have a keystone correction.
Vamvo L4200 Portable Video Projector
- 【Superior Home Theater Projector】: Vamvo L4200 projector is professionally made as an HD video projector, ideal for home entertainment. 2020 upgraded LED lighting delivers 80%+ more brightness than previous version. With 1080P resolution supported, L4200 provides the most accurate colors with top contrast on the market in the price range, ideal for family entertainment with a budget.
- 【Portable Size with Latest Top Lighting Innovations】: Vamvo L4200 projector comes with a portable size（9.64*6.53*3.2inch）and a weight of only 2.75lb, which can be easily taken everywhere. Enhanced LED lighting system provides 3800 lux brightness, 720P native resolution, 2000:1 contrast ratio and 50000 hours LED lamp life, giving you worry free using experience compared with the chunky ones on the market.
- 【Multimedia Projector】: Vamvo L4200 video projector is equipped with multiple ports, including HDMI, USB, audio and AV interfaces. It can be easily connected with your phone, PS3, PS4, X-Box ONE or Wii, to play video, TV series, photos sharing, games etc.
- 【Big Screen & Built-in Speaker】: Vamvo L4200 video projector has a 49-200 inches projection size with 4.9-15 feet projection distance. Built-in dual stereo speakers with SRS, provide clear well-balanced sound quality, a truly amazing sound experience.
- 【Reliable Product Quality 】Vamvo provides 2 year for the projector. If you're not completely satisfied with the order, please let us know and you'll be offered a refund or Replacement alternatively within the first 3 months. Absolutely risk -free purchase for you.
How to Choose a Mini Projector
Whether you need a projector for entertainment or professional use, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect one. Here is a guide to help make your decision easier.
A projector can be used in different ways by different people. This means that depending on who will be using it, you might want something more specific. The article below gives tips about factors to take into account when buying one.
The first thing should always be personal preference because it depends on how the user will use the unit and what technology they’ll need. You should also take into consideration the size of venue where you’ll place your device since bigger spaces would require more advanced equipment like home theatre projectors . Besides, you have to think whether the surface where you plan on using the projector will be suitable for it, especially if you’re looking to use your device outdoors.
If you don’t know much about projectors or home entertainment equipment in general, then read more on the subject . It’s important that you learn some basics first because this way you’ll know what questions to ask and most importantly which factors are worth considering. You can start with reading our useful guide : Tips for buying a projector . Have everything clear before visiting an electronic store so that the salesperson won’t trick you into anything.
Today, prices vary according to specifications and quality. If money is not an issue then there’s nothing stopping you from buying any projector available on the market but if not then it might be better to compare prices online . This will give you a better idea on how much you can spend and if there are any good discounts. If you’re not sure about the quality of the product then look for reviews before making any purchase to help guide your decision.
The colour reproduction, resolution, contrast ratio, brightness level, input type and connection compatibility should always be taken into consideration no matter who will be using it . These features apply to home theatre projectors but not necessarily mini projectors , which usually come with basic specs and options since they’re aimed at more personal use like projecting presentations or streaming short video clips. Do your research and read the specifications sheet carefully to get an idea about what’s included in each model.
Nowadays it’s also important that the projector offers intuitive controls because you should be able to change settings without any difficulty. This way you won’t need additional gadgets or tools to operate it and most importantly, your users will learn how to use the device immediately after opening the box. Look for features like remote control operation and an easy menu interface since these usually make things easier for everyone involved.
When choosing a projector consider all these factors and depending on what you need it for, choose one that’s right for you . Whether you want it as a home entertainment accessory or want to save some money by using it at work presentations , there are many ways to benefit from owning one. They’re very useful devices and they can help improve your movie experience whether you watching movies alone or with friends as well as save you time and effort during presentations.
Think about the room where you’ll use it because bigger spaces require more powerful models . Also, think about what surface will be suitable for placing the projector on since this also affects its performance. If money is not an issue then read more about different types of projectors to find out which one suits your needs best. Compare prices online if you want to buy a professional home theatre projector but remember that cheaper mini projectors usually come with basic specs and options for personal use.
To sum things up
Portable projectors are popular today for a wide range of reasons. And while most use the same technology as traditional projectors, their portability factor makes them a whole lot more fun to play with. The key factors you’ll need to consider before making a purchase are: DLP vs. LCD technology Light sources available for projection Color wheel speed Resolution
In conclusion, portable projectors are awesome devices that can open up a world of possibilities when it comes to showing off videos and presentations in your free time – whether it’s during outdoor activities or road trips . Just make sure you fully understand everything listed above before making the decision, and remember that there’s no such thing as “the best one” just yet. As long as you’ve done your research and know what you’re getting yourself into, you’ll have a blast playing with these tools no matter how often it gets used.