Best Mini Projector Buyers Guide

Mini projectors are a testament to just how far technology has come in the last decade. Not too long ago, projectors were clunky luxury items that were reserved for board rooms and movie theaters. Today, the market for projectors is impressive. Mini projectors, in particular, offer a ton of unique benefits to their larger counterparts. Not only are they portable enough to take with you wherever you go, but they can be used alongside a variety of different devices. Whether you’re looking to game on a massive projected screen or plan on using your projector for on-the-go presentations, a small projector has you covered.

We have rounded up a collection of some of the best mini projectors on the market. Also referred to as pico projectors or portable projectors, there’s no shortage of products to fit anyone’s budget and needs. Check out our mini projector reviews and buying guide below to find a projector that can serve you well.

 

Best Mini Projector Reviews

Yaufey Mini Projector

This mini projector from Yaufey is small enough to fit inside your pocket. However, it’s packed with great technology to help you create an image that’s as large as 120 inches diagonally. It’s a DLP projector with an LED bulb that lasts for up to 30,000 hours. Thanks to the numerous connectors on the back, you can use virtually any device and audio source. Best of all, it has its own operating system and built-in Wi-Fi. With the included remote, you can use the mini projector to connect to all of your favorite streaming services. You can connect it to your smartphone as well. The projector also has automatic keystone, Bluetooth, and more.

Pros:

  • DLP technology
  • Palm-sized
  • Projects screen size up to 120 inches
  • Supports 1080 resolution
  • Built-in Android operating system
  • Automatic keystone adjustments
  • MicroSD, USB, and HMDI
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Includes remote control, case, and tripod
  • Bluetooth

Cons:

  • Lower native resolution
  • Only 120 minutes of runtime
  • 120 lumens

 

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Nebula Capsule, by Anker

With its unique size and shape, the Anker Nebula Capsule is a projector stands out from the crowd. It looks like a small can of soda. The distinct design offers several benefits. The biggest is audio quality. Rather than using a mono speaker, this projector from Anker has an omnidirectional one. That means that it’s capable of filling your room with sound from all directions. In terms of picture quality, this projector does a great job. It uses DLP technology. It also has the IntelliBright feature, which uses complex algorithms to give you the best image possible.

Pros:

  • DLP technology with IntelliBright
  • Can make a screen as large as 100 inches
  • Omnidirectional speaker
  • Four hours of video playback
  • Can operate as speaker for 30 hours
  • Automatic vertical keystone adjustments
  • HDMI and USB ports
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Cons:

  • Lower native resolution
  • Does not support HD
  • 100 lumens

 

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Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector

The newest version of the previous projector, the Nebula II, takes things a step further. It’s brighter and offers a higher resolution of 720p. Like the previous model, it features the omnidirectional microphone and a built-in Android operating system. You can connect to Wi-Fi to stream your favorite content and use thousands of apps. This model is also compatible with Google ChromeCast. You’ll be able to mirror the image from your Apple or Windows computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Pros:

  • 720p resolution
  • Can make a screen as large as 100 inches
  • Omnidirectional speaker
  • Android TV 9.3 operating system
  • 200 lumens
  • Automatic vertical keystone adjustments
  • HDMI and USB ports
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with Google ChromeCast

Cons:

  • Lower battery life

 

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VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector

While the Leisure 3 mini projector is a bit larger than the previous options, it makes up for it with superb image quality. It supports full HD 1080p and has a brightness rating of 2,700 lux. That means that it can be used in a variety of lighting conditions without sacrificing image quality. Furthermore, the projector can be set as far back as 16 feet. Physical button controls and manual adjustment wheels make it easy to get a clear picture.

Pros:

  • LCD projector
  • Supports 1080p resolution
  • Throw distance as far as 16 feet
  • Screen size up to 170 inches
  • 2,700 lux brightness
  • Automatic vertical keystone adjustments
  • HDMI and Micro SD card slot
  • Multiple aspect ratios supported
  • Comes with HDMI cable

Cons:

  • Larger design
  • Manual keystone adjustments
  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

 

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Vamvo Mini Projector

This HD projector from Vamvo is designed for portability. It only measures roughly 5 inches long by 3 inches wide. Plus, it has a rechargeable battery that can last as long as five hours. To achieve this battery life, the manufacturers didn’t even have to sacrifice image quality. It supports 1080p and can produce 1,800 lumens. While it doesn’t have any wireless connectivity, there several ways to connect your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.

Pros:

  • Weighs less than a pound
  • Screen size up to 130 inches
  • Five-hour battery life
  • USB and HDMI port
  • DLP technology
  • 1,800 lumen LED lamp
  • Connects directly to smartphone

Cons:

  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
  • Weak speaker
  • No keystone correction

 

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AAXA Technologies KP-101-01 Projector

This small pocket projector is easy to use. It has a variety of connection options that you can take advantage of. There’s mini HDMI, USB, and AV. On top of that, you can use microSD cards up to 16GB in size to play media from the projector directly. The projector does have a built-in speaker. However, there’s also a headphone jack for some privacy. This device uses LED projection and has a lamp that lasts for up to 15,000 hours before it needs to be replaced.

Pros:

  • Native 720p resolution, supports up to 1080p
  • Compatible with mini HDMI, USB, and AV cables
  • Simple physical buttons
  • Weighs less than a third of a pound
  • LED projection technology
  • LED light source lasts for 15,000 hours

Cons:

  • Only 25 lumens
  • Battery lasts for only 80 minutes
  • No keystone correction
  • Screen size limited to 60 inches

 

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APEMAN Mini Projector

This option makes a great home theater projector. It produces 4,000 lumens, making the picture very bright and crisp. As if that wasn’t enough, the DLP projector has a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The device can be connected to a range of sources thanks to its HDMI and USB ports. While there is no Wi-Fi connectivity, it does have Bluetooth. As a result, you can use it as a standalone speaker. The 3-watt speaker sounds great. Thanks to the robust cooking system, the projector is relatively quiet while it runs.

Pros:

  • DLP projection
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • Built-in Bluetooth speaker with 3 watts of output
  • Supports 1080p
  • 4,000 lumens
  • HDMI and USB
  • Screen size up to 100 inches

Cons:

  • Shorter throw distance
  • Lower native resolution
  • No keystone correction
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity

 

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RIF6 Cube Full LED Mini Projector

The Cube from RIF6 is one of the smallest projectors that you can currently get. It measures only 2 inches in all directions. So, you can easily pop it in your bag and take it with you anywhere. The projector comes with a flexible tripod for easy setup. Don’t let the projector’s small size fool you. It supports 1080p resolution and uses LED technology to produce a crisp image. You can create a screen up to 100 inches in size and connect it to many different devices with the included USB and mini HDMI cables.

Pros:

  • Ultra-small design
  • Supports 1080p resolution
  • MicroSD and mini HDMI port
  • LED light projection
  • Screen size up to 100 inches
  • HDMI and USB
  • Screen size up to 100 inches
  • Comes with remote control, battery charger, connection cables, and tripod

Cons:

  • Only 50 lumens
  • 90 minute runtime
  • No keystone correction
  • No wireless or Bluetooth

 

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AKASO Pico Projector

Next up is this pico projector from Akaso. It’s a DLP projector with a contrast ratio of 2000:1. It also supports 1080p. This advanced technology produces a crystal-clear picture. There are also multiple ways to connect to your devices. It has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Additionally, there are numerous ports and a MicroSD card slot. When you’re not using it to watch movies or HDTV channels, the projector can act as a mobile power bank to charge your electronics on the go.

Pros:

  • Weighs less than half a pound
  • Supports 1080p resolution
  • HDMI, USB, and AV connections
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Screen size up to 130 inches
  • Automatic keystone correction
  • High contrast ratio of 2000:1
  • Can be used as power bank
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Cons:

  • Only 50 lumens
  • Lower battery life

 

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Cocar Mini Projector

Last, but not least, is the Cocar mini projector. It’s a compact device that’s similar in size to a smartphone. There’s even an operating system built right in. With the included remote control, you can use all of your favorite Android apps and stream from popular services directly. If you want to connect to an external device, you can do that too. There’s an HDMI port and USB port. The MicroSD slot can also be used to project media directly. To ensure that all of the advanced technology stays safe, the projector is clad in a tough aluminum alloy material.

Pros:

  • Fits in the palm of your hand
  • Built-in Android operating system
  • Battery life of over 2 hours
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Screen size up to 150 inches
  • Manual and automatic keystone adjustments
  • DLP projection technology
  • LED light source lasts for 30,000 hours
  • USB port, HDMI port, and MicroSD slot

Cons:

  • 100 lumens
  • Lower battery life

 

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What Are Mini Projectors Used For?

The great thing about owning a portable mini projector is that there’s no limit to how it can be used. While larger at-home machines are great for creating a theater-like experience, they’re a bit more limited in terms of uses. Those machines need to be placed very strategically and require more in-depth renovations to make the most out of their features.

With a mini portable projector, you can achieve much of the same results in a significantly smaller package. These devices are small enough to transport virtually anywhere. They are battery-powered, allowing you to use them outside or in an area with no access to reliable power.

One of the things that we love the most about these pint-sized projectors is that they are often compatible with a wider range of devices. These days, a lot of people consume media on smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Whether you own an iPhone or an Android device, you can easily connect it to the projector to stream from your favorite service. This can ultimately expand your home cinema possibilities.

In the academic and corporate worlds, miniature projectors serve a very practical purpose. Giving a presentation to a large group of people is much easier when you have visual elements behind you. Rather than having to worry about file compatibility issues with the equipment at your presentation venue, you can connect the projector to your own device, just like you practiced.

 

Features to Consider

When you’re shopping for a pocket projector that can serve your needs, there are many things to consider. While they all serve the same end purpose, there are several ways projectors will create your image.

 

Type of Projection Technology

For pocket projectors, two technologies are primarily used. The first is DLP, which stands for digital light processing. DLP projectors are praised for the image quality they produce. They’re comprised of tiny mirrors that spin at very fast speeds to reflect light onto the wall or screen. One-chip DLP projectors are capable of producing over 16 million colors, ensuring that the videos you’re projecting look great. However, you can also find three-chip DLP projectors. With over 30 trillion different colors, these machines can replicate your media very well.

The second projection technology you’ll come across is LED. Chances are, you already have a lot of LED technology in your home. It’s used in modern televisions, computer screens, and smartphone screens. LED projectors tend to be a bit smaller than DLP projectors. They are also better in terms of power consumption and residual heat, as there are no moving parts and everything runs cool. The downsides of an LED projector? They require a very dark room to see all of the colors. Ambient lighting can drown out the picture.

 

Brightness

The brightness of your mini projector will ultimately affect its picture quality and where the device can be used. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the ANSI lumen level, the better. Most pocket projectors have at least 100 lumens. However, they can go much higher than that.

If you plan using the projector indoors only, you can get away with a lower lumen rating. You may have to get rid of ambient lighting, but the picture will look great. If you choose to use it outdoors, more ANSI lumens are always better. It’s recommended that you get a projector with a few thousand lumens for better visibility.

 

Picture Quality

In addition to the brightness levels, the resolution of a portable projector will play a role in the image quality it can produce. Nowadays, most projectors are fully capable of producing full HD resolution. High-definition video projectors can make your movies, TV shows, and video games look crisp and colorful. 4K resolution is rarer in pocket projectors, but they do exist. They’re ideal for Blu-Rays and 4K-capable streaming services.

 

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, don’t expect to get a theater-like experience from a mini projector. To achieve that small size, manufacturers have to sacrifice on audio. Most speakers have at least one mono speaker. Though, there are a few options out there with a stereo setup. These do a decent job at reproducing audio and perform well in small home theater setups.

With that being said, most portable projectors give you plenty of options to get the audio quality you’re after. There may a 3.5mm jack that you can use for headphones or external speakers. Bluetooth technology is also fairly common. It allows you to connect the projector to Bluetooth speakers, sound bars, and surround sound systems.

 

Battery Life

The biggest perk of a mini projector is that they can be used anywhere. Most models are powered by a rechargeable battery. The capacity of that battery will determine how long you can use the device at one time. Most products can last for a few hours, which is enough time to watch a full-length movie. If you want to extend your runtime, look for projectors that can be used while connected to the charging cable.

 

Ways to Connect

How do you plan to use your mini projector? Will it be for business or recreation? The answers to those questions may determine which types of connectivity features you need. At the very least, most projectors offer an HDMI input. It can be used with consoles, streaming boxes, and more.

Some devices also offer VGA and USB ports. VGA ports are great for connecting to computers in a business setting. The USB port offers the greatest flexibility. Depending on the model, you may be able to use it to connect to mobile devices, thumb drives, and more. There are even projectors with microSD card slots, allowing you to insert your media source directly into the mini projector.

One of the most flexible connectivity features available is Wi-Fi. A Wi-fI-capable home projector lets you connect devices over the Internet. You can use something like Google ChromeCast to mirror your mobile device’s image onto your wall. Some devices also have built-in operating systems that can be used to take advantage of services like Netflix, Hulu, and more.

 

Throw Distance and Picture Size

The throw distance refers to how far away the projector needs to be to produce a clear picture. Because mini projectors are designed with portability in mind, they’re quite flexible in terms of placement. They allow you to get a good screen size at only a few feet away from your wall or screen. Another term for projecting from a small distance to the screen, is short throw projection.

Another beneficial feature to have is keystone adjustment. Sometimes, the position of the projector can affect the aspect ratio and make the video you’re watching looks skewed. Keystone adjustment features let you correct those issues by straightening out the image. Some projects will make up for the projection angle automatically while others require a bit of manual work.

 

Size

Finally, let’s talk about size. A mini projector is all about portability. However, some models will feel clunkier than others. If your main priority is the ability to take your projector anywhere you go, smaller is always better. The device should be small enough to fit into a bag or briefcase without any issues. You may even be able to find slim models that can be slipped into your pocket.

 

Conclusion

All in all, a mini projector is a great investment for anyone that likes to stay entertained on the go. These devices let you turn any blank wall into a massive screen for viewing movies, playing video games, or giving presentations. No matter how you choose to use the projector, the key to getting the best viewing experience possible is choosing a device that serves your needs. Use this guide to help you find a product that you’ll love using.