It measures 5. Some Android devices can connect wirelessly, via integrated Wi-Fi. Its built-in battery is charged via a micro-USB charging port, and lasts about three hours of continuous video playback roughly the same as the PicoPro. The MP-CL1 has a small built-in speaker that is fairly puny but works in a pinch. A headphone jack allows you to attach outside speakers or a pair of headphones. Its big advantage is portability. You could travel with it and an iPhone.
In a dim room — or a dark campsite — it puts out a pretty bright, clear picture. Be careful! Only a few years ago, the concept of having a projector small enough to take with you in your bag, let alone in your pocket, was just wishful thinking.
The Best Portable Mini Projector
But as projectors have come down in size, portable models have certainly come into their own, making it possible for you to project your data and video anywhere you go. Not only that, but portable projectors encompass a surprisingly wide range in size, brightness, and features. Here, we will help you sort out their differences, as well as highlight our favorite models. Pico or pocket projectors are a little larger than smartphones. Because they can accommodate videos and photos for on-the-go entertainment, in addition to slides and charts for business or classroom presentations, these models can be thought of, essentially, as multimedia display systems.
Though convenient and snazzy, they tend to be of low brightness and relatively expensive for their performance. So-called palmtop projectors are larger and brighter than pico projectors, typically a bit too large to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, even with your fingers outstretched.
Still, they are lightweight enough that you wouldn't think twice about packing one in a bag or a backpack. Most are brighter than, and have more connection options than, pico models. If you do want to bring a laptop with you, though, check out our roundup of the best ultraportable laptops. Some even have 1GB or more of internal memory for storing media files. Several models come with built-in rechargeable batteries so you can use them away from a power outlet.
See How We Test Projectors. Many manufacturers have introduced LED-based mini projectors that are generally a bit larger than palmtops, but considerably brighter. They pack a relatively high WXGA, or 1,bypixel resolution, and their larger frames let them include more physical ports than their smaller brethren. Although a few have internal rechargeable batteries, most run solely off of AC power.
Thin-and-light projectors are as wide, deep, and bright as standard models but barely an inch thick, and weigh in at about 4 pounds. They are highly portable, but you pay a premium for their svelteness, and they usually have a limited set of connection choices. Finally, some standard projectors are still small and light enough to be easily portable, whether you're moving them between classrooms or taking them on a cross-country flight. Many come with soft carrying cases, but they could just as easily be slipped into a travel bag or backpack.
TechRadar's picks for your next projector
The projectors we highlight here are relatively lightweight, with the heaviest weighing just more than 2 pounds and the lightest just more than 4 ounces. They vary considerably in size, brightness, features, and performance. Any one of these could be your favorite travel companion. Also b e sure to check out our full list of projector reviews , as well as our roundup of the best projectors overall , size regardless. Compact and lightweight. Good video and data image quality. Abundant port selection. Bluetooth connectivity.
Built-in TV tuner. Rechargeable internal battery. Modest brightness.
The 11 Best Mini Projectors to Buy in 12222
Soft audio. Its automatic focus and keystoning, well-laid-out remote, and intuitive mobile remote app make the Mars II the easiest projector to set up and use, and its almost-four-hour battery life was the best of the bunch. The original Nebula Mars delivers the best overall image quality, but its lack of a mobile remote app makes it more difficult to use.
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- The Best Portable Projectors for 12222!
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The original Anker Nebula Mars offers the best overall image quality of any projector we tested in , and it has many of the same features as the Mars II, including plenty of connection options, internal applications, automatic focus and keystoning, and a well-laid-out remote. The Mars Lite lacks the internal Android TV OS and a few other features that improve ease of use, but its image quality is on a par with that of projectors that cost twice as much.
Presentations (and More) in Your Pocket
Adrienne Maxwell has reviewed projectors and home theater equipment for over a decade. She has a full complement of objective testing gear to measure and evaluate the performance of these projectors, as well as the knowledge to get the best performance from them. Their work builds off of the testing that was conducted in previous years by staff writers Chris Heinonen and Sabrina Imbler.
They are small enough to carry from room to room and can show a inch-plus image on a wall or screen. This is not the type of projector you want for a dedicated home theater room. They are not bright enough, and their black-level performance and color accuracy are not up to home theater standards. For the best picture quality, look to our guide to the best home theater projector. Those projectors use standard metal halide lamps, rather than the little LED lamps inside these mini projectors—so they can be five to 10 times brighter and can easily create images to inches in size.
They usually have more inputs and more video adjustments to produce a more accurate picture. But if you need something even more portable, a battery-powered mini projector should do the trick. To determine which projectors to test for our latest update, we considered the following elements:. With these parameters in mind, we narrowed the list to six projectors to test against our previous pick, the AAXA P Adrienne cast a inch image from each model on a 1. But given the intended use case for this type of product, we think that light output and contrast ratio are the most important parameters, so here are the numbers we got in those areas: After these measurements were complete, Adrienne sent the projectors to Daniel in New York for real-world testing.
Daniel spent several hours using each projector—through at least one run of its battery life—streaming movies and TV from his computer and, when possible, using the internal streaming applications. Daniel cast the image directly against a white wall, which is how we think most people will use this type of product. In determining what makes the best portable mini projector, we prioritized ease of use over absolute image quality. So we set the following criteria during our evaluations:. Of all the mini projectors that we tested in , the Anker Nebula Mars II is the easiest to set up and use, and it delivers a fairly bright, accurate image with solid contrast and detail.
On the Nebula Mars II, however, the software worked exactly as expected. Having such an elegant interface made it easy to toggle between an HDMI source like our Nintendo Switch, a USB source to see photos from a recent trip, screen mirroring with a mobile device, or one of the many internal apps.
Some internal apps, including Netflix, require you to use the control app to navigate within their interfaces. When you open these apps, a pop-up appears on the screen telling you to use the control app. We initially found this annoying, but ultimately we ended up preferring to use the app over the remote—not having to dig into the folds of our couch just to adjust the volume is pretty great. Most of the mini projectors we tested produced a good, but not great, image, and the Nebula Mars II was no exception. What made the Mars II and all of the Nebula projectors stand out was how easy it is to set up that image.
The 9 Best Mini-Projectors: Home Theater, HD, and DLP
This was so much easier than with the other projectors that require you to fiddle with a dial to focus like the LG PF50KA or trapezoidal buttons on the remote to keystone like the AAXA P —and the resulting image looked more crisp and clear than what I was able to dial in manually with some of the other models. Though the Mars II was not the brightest or most accurate projector in our test, in important areas like brightness and contrast, its objective numbers did land near the top see the chart above. On the audio side, its speaker was one of the best that we tested.
This should be more than enough power to last through an entire movie. But those projectors lack some usability features that we think are more important to the overall experience. The Anker Nebula Mars projectors are the biggest mini projectors we tested. You can fit them in a backpack, but it would be awkward to carry much else.
In fact, the thin handle on the top actually makes this easier. The Nebula Mars offers the best overall image quality of any projector we tested for this update, and it has the same inputs, Android TV interface, remote design, and size and shape as its newer sibling.
Plus, its battery life is a little bit shorter than that of the Mars II, and this model costs more. The Mars is not as user-friendly as the Mars II.