Best Pocket Projectors

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 25, 2021
Searching for a new projector for your classroom or office? Experience a big screen with a pocket-sized pico projector. We picked up and reviewed 5 Pocket Projectors for business and leisure, that can get a signal from your phone and display it right away. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Screen Size
Image
Light Output
Projector Type
Lamp Operational Life
Battery Capacity / Life
Data Interface
Extras
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

Owing to 1-second autofocus technology, it instantly adjusts image clarity and contrast. The built-in battery boasts a high capacity of 12500mAh and can last up to 3 hours after a full charge.

CONS

It's quite hefty (about 3.9 lbs).

OUR VERDICT

With DLP IntelliBright™ technology and radiant 500 ANSI-lumens, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro is surely one of the brightest projectors available for sale. Hence, it can be used even in well-lighted rooms.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

Up to 150"

Image

1280 x 720

Light Output

500 lumens

Projector Type

DLP

Lamp Operational Life

30 000 hours

Battery Capacity / Life

Built-in rechargeable battery

Data Interface

HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (Screen Mirroring)

Extras

Built-in control panel, Compatible with Nebula Connect app, Built-in dual speakers (2 x 10 W), Android 7.1 OS

Dimensions

7" x 4.8" x 5.43"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The fabulous image quality is complemented by a 5W Omni-directional speaker to deliver you high-quality sound wherever you sit. Also, the projector can be used with other speakers or used in speaker-only mode.

CONS

It might become slightly warm with prolonged use.

OUR VERDICT

The Nebula Capsule is one of the most portable options you can find on the market. Actually, it's not bigger than a can of Cola and can easily fit into a pocket.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

Up to 100"

Image

854 x 480

Light Output

100 lumens

Projector Type

DLP

Lamp Operational Life

30 000 hours

Battery Capacity / Life

Built-in rechargeable battery

Data Interface

HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (Screen Mirroring)

Extras

Built-in control panel, Compatible with Capsule Control app, Built-in speaker (5 W), Android 7.1 OS

Dimensions

2.7" x 2.7" x 4.7"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This projector has an incredibly long lifespan - the lamp works for up to 50,000 hours. So even with daily use (6 - 8 hours), it will last you for many years to come. A practical bag for transportation is included.

CONS

It has no built-in battery.

OUR VERDICT

The Vamvo L4200 is great for occasional neighborhood movie nights. Its display can range from 49" to 200" in size, depending on how far away it is. The projector has a good interface (includes VGA input).

detailed parameters
Screen Size

Up to 200"

Image

1280 x 720

Light Output

~300 lumens

Projector Type

DLP

Lamp Operational Life

50 000 hours

Battery Capacity / Life

AC

Data Interface

HDMI, 2 x USB, AV-out, VGA-out, 3.5-mm audio out

Extras

Built-in control panel, Built-in dual speakers (2 x 3 W), Remote control and carrying bag included

Dimensions

9.64" x 6.53" x 3.2"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The set includes a handy remote allowing you to change the image parameters, adjust the sound volume, and much more. A versatile smart stand lets you set the desired angle of view (doubles as a lens cover).

CONS

The brightness leaves a lot to be desired. 

OUR VERDICT

With a strikingly compact size of just 4"x 4", this ViewSonic projector can easily fit in your pocket without adding heft to it. It also boasts a stylish design and swappable panels (Gray, Teal, and Yellow colors) so it can perfectly match your interior.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

Up to 100"

Image

854 x 480

Light Output

50 lumens

Projector Type

DLP

Lamp Operational Life

30 000 hours

Battery Capacity / Life

Built-in rechargeable battery

Data Interface

HDMI, USB

Extras

Built-in control panel, Built-in JBL™ speaker (2 W), Integrated smart stand, Remote control, Wrist strap and swappable panels included

Dimensions

4.3" x 4.1" x 1.1"

Warranty

3 years (1 year for lamp)

PROS

AirPlay and Miracast compatibility makes it possible to display images and videos right from your smartphone and tablet (iOS and Android). A powerful Wi-Fi module guarantees a stable connection without lags.

CONS

Some users wish the sound quality would be better.

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a projector that would help you host outdoor movie nights, we recommend choosing the BOMAKER GC355N. It's capable of projecting a giant screen with a diagonal of up to 300".

detailed parameters
Screen Size

Up to 300"

Image

1280 x 720

Light Output

~300 lumens

Projector Type

DLP

Lamp Operational Life

50 000 hours

Battery Capacity / Life

AC

Data Interface

HDMI, USB, AV-out, VGA-out, 3.5-mm audio out, SD-card slot, Wi-Fi (Screen Mirroring)

Extras

Built-in control panel, Built-in speaker, Remote control included

Dimensions

8.6" x 6.5" x 3.5"

Warranty

6 months

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Anker Nebula Mars II Pro

Ultra Bright

If you’re shopping for the brightest portable projector on the market, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro. Actually, it delivers almost as bright, engaging, and accurate pictures as traditional projectors.

What seems to be most important for any projector is the type of ANSI lumens it uses. This one has 500 ANSI lumens which are so bright that the image will still remain clear and radiant even with a bright overhead light on. What’s more, the Mars II Pro utilizes autofocus technology and auto keystone, both of which work smoothly and render a beautiful picture. The autofocus feature ensures a razor-sharp, high-definition image without any adjustments required from you, whereas the horizontal and vertical keystoning allows you to project a squared image at almost any angle.

Right out of the box, this projector looks super impressive. After booting up, it guides you through connecting to your Wi-Fi network and downloading the Nebular app. Then, it drops you right into the main menu where you can choose to watch YouTube, Netflix, and more services available for Android 7.1.

What we also like about the projector is that it can be either battery-powered or cord powered. It outputs 200 ANSI lumens when using the battery, and 500 ANSI lumens when connected to a power source.

Review of Anker Nebula Mars II Pro 500 ANSI Lumen Portable Projector

Impressive Sound

Known as one of the best speaker brands, Anker hasn’t cut corners when creating this mobile projector and have equipped it with a decent set of two 10W speakers. They deliver sensational sound and enough volume to let the projector play movies in living rooms without a need for amplifiers. The speakers here are very solid and provide a deep, resonant bass for an immersive movie experience. By the way, if you use the unit in music-only mode, it’ll last for a whopping 30 hours after a full charge (charging time from empty to full takes about 3 hours).

Lastly, we would like to stress that it’s a 720p projector capable of producing a much more insightful image than standard 480p models. That said, you shouldn’t expect the same performance as from 1080p or full-size 4K projectors.

In all, if you need a super-bright 720p projector with a built-in battery and an amazing set of speakers, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro is surely one of the best offerings for you.

Anker Nebula Mars II Pro 500 ANSI Lumen Portable Projector in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $549.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07PX8PN5S

 

Anker Nebula Capsule

Super Mini

Anker is one of those rare Chinese brands that are praised all across the globe for innovations, affordable prices, and high-quality computer and mobile peripherals. And its NEBULA lineup represents a new class of smart, portable entertainment devices. The Nebula Capsule is one of them. It's the world’s first portable cinema that deftly combines smart capabilities and extra compact dimensions with immersive audio and visuals. 

For sure, it's the tiny size that grabs your attention at once. Actually, the Capsule is no bigger than a soda can. For this reason, it's extremely portable and can be carried just anywhere you go (a pouch is included for safe transportation).

Thanks to exceptional portability, this gadget is easy to just place on any tabletop and start watching your favorite movies. And despite its tiny size, the throw range of this projector is great. You'll get an 80-100 inch screen from a coffee table. In a relatively dark room, you can back up to about 10-11 feet away and get a large screen with good clarity and brightness ( a radiant 100 ANSI lm picture).

And if the sun hasn’t gone down yet, you can get a pretty bright picture from about 3-8 feet from the wall. The image will be bright and vibrant owing to the advanced DLP technology that utilizes IntelliBright algorithms. The fabulous image quality is complemented by a 5W 360° speaker to deliver high-quality sound wherever you sit. Also, it's worth emphasizing that ht projector can be used in speaker-only mode.

Review of Anker Nebula Capsule 100 ANSI Lumen Mini Projector

Easy Connection

The unit offers two video settings: standard and battery. We assume the latter will make it dimmer but work for longer. The battery life is amazing - the Nebula Capsule delivers up to 4 hours of continuous video playback on a single charge. And the Quick Charge 3.0. technology enables it to recharge faster. As a nice touch, you can use the projector while charging (as long as you're not watching a video from USB flash drive).

Speaking about compatibility, the projector runs Android 7.1 and therefore works as a portable smart TV on its own. It can house lots of native apps, ridding you of the need to always lug another device around with the projector.

You can operate Capsule directly from your phone after downloading the Capsule Control app available on both Google Play and the App Store. Your phone will literally become a touchpad for the projector control, though the remote is also included with the purchase.

All these things make the Nebula Capsule a very usable portable projector. And because of the fact it's no bigger than a can of Cola, it's surely one of the most portable options you can find on the market.

Anker Nebula Capsule 100 ANSI Lumen Mini Projector in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $299.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B076Q3GBJK

 

Vamvo L4200

For Movie Nights

The Vamvo L4200 mini projector is currently one of the best-rated devices on the market since it offers plenty of interesting features at a very reasonable price. So, if you’re looking for a low-cost model for weekend movie nights, keep on reading and discover more.

Firstly, we would like to put emphasis on the fact that even though this home-use projector is advertised as Full HD 1080p, it can only accept a 1080p input. The projector itself has 720p resolution and is able to provide a quite impressive 3800 lux brightness and 2000:1 contrast ratio. Surprisingly enough for such a budget-friendly option, the LED lamp here works for 50,000 hours, giving you a worry-free experience. It’s enough to last for many years without a need for replacements.

Next, the display of the L4200 projector can range from 49 inches to 200 inches in size, depending on how far away it is. The recommended distance is between 4.9 - 15 feet. Do note that the unit has a fixed zoom, so you'll need to move it to a correct position so as to make it fill your screen. On the upside, it lets you flip and mirror the picture, meaning you can either ceiling-mount it or use it in a behind-screen configuration.

The projector is made mainly of ABS plastic with well-ventilated sides which allow for plenty of airflow to the built-in dual fans. This design keeps the lens and bulb cool, so you won’t need to worry about overheating. The lens itself is housed in a silver ring with a couple of control wheels on top. The said wheels can be used to adjust the focus and the keystone correction.

Review of Vamvo L4200 Portable Video Projector (3800 Lux)

Connectivity Options

All inputs are located on the back of the projector - an HDMI input, 2 USB inputs, VGA input, AV input, and a 3.5mm audio jack for speakers. It’s worth mentioning that the built-in speakers aren’t very loud, so we think you’ll find the audio jack useful for connecting additional ones.

An important thing you should be aware of is the fact that the projector has no WiFi support. Yet, since it includes a USB port, you can always insert an Amazon Fire TV, Hulu, Chromecast, or Roku stick to watch your favorite shows.

The initial setup of this little box is a breeze and can be completed within a few minutes. The menus and the controls are very intuitive and the on-screen menus are easy to navigate.

All things considered, if you want an inexpensive projector for home use, the Vamvo L4200 can be the right option to go with. It’s surprisingly good for the price and offers a very large display. Add some robust speakers to it and you’ll get the perfect entertainment system for a great movie night.

Vamvo L4200 Portable Video Projector (3800 Lux) in the use
Last updated price $109.99
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07SHFHGQ9

 

ViewSonic M1 Mini

Extra Portable

Measuring only 4x4 inches, the ViewSonic M1 is surely one of the most compact and lightweight projectors out there. You can easily pack and carry it in your purse or back pocket without it adding heft to it. However, despite its tiny size, this project definitely packs a big punch. Let's see what the M1 offers.

It goes without saying that this model cannot replace a big, fully-sized projector, but it wasn't designed for that. First and foremost, this model was designed for smaller rooms like your or your kids' bedroom and provides about a 50-60 inch image just a few feet away. It handles almost all sorts of hi-fi inputs and supports 854 x 480 resolution, not the highest, obviously, but really good.

Moving on, 50M: 1 MEGA Dynamic Contrast Ratio along with the VA2446mh LED delivers stunning, uniform brightness and contrast with a good focus all across the screen. Besides that, a lot of image adjustments are available in the on-screen display (OSD), thus, you can control hue, sharpness, and saturation right while you're watching movies.

The projector also includes a pair of integrated JBL speakers that deliver fairly powerful sound. The on-board sound is really convincing and loud enough for general use without a need for additional speakers but if you decide to amplify the sound, there's a headphone socket included as well. Aside from this socket, the ViewSonic M1 has a good array of modern inputs including HDMI and USB-C ports. So you can use this projector to play videos from laptops, tablets, phones, media players, and more as well as use it with a Fire stick or other streaming device to watch Netflix, Sling, Hulu, etc.

Review of ViewSonic M1 Mini 120 ANSI Lumen Portable LED Projector

Useful Extras

The ViewSonic M1 Mini is designed with a versatile smart stand that doubles here as a lens cover to let you place the projector in a variety of different positions and angles. The rotating stand works really well and is very stable even with cables attached. It holds the projector without slipping on most surfaces.

Another nifty feature that makes the usage of the device easier is the included remote. It is ergonomic and very intuitive so you will have no issues figuring out how to use it. That said, make sure that you direct it at the projection screen rather than the projector itself, otherwise, it might not respond. 

As a nice bonus, you also get such useful extras in the box as a soft case and swappable projector panels. The customizable panels (gray, yellow, or teal) let you easily change the color of the projector to match it to your style or mood. So, if you're after a stylish and useful mini projector to enjoy multimedia wherever you go, the ViewSonic M1 is a perfect buy.

ViewSonic M1 Mini 120 ANSI Lumen Portable LED Projector in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $169.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07YGPK9HG

 

BOMAKER GC355N

Giant Screen

With more than a thousand positive reviews on Amazon, the Bomaker Portable Projector is one of the best-selling products on the market. It far outperforms other models within its category and has quite a lot to bring to the table.

Whereas many of the projectors at this price offer poor 480p native resolution, this one supports 720p natively, which means there will be no downscaling when connecting it to modern computers or streaming devices. Moreover, it can upscale the image up to 1080p (though we think the picture will look a little sharper at 720p on it). What also adds to the amazing viewing experience is the upgraded 6000 lux system that is 50% brighter than the older version. Also, it's twice more than what other 720p projectors typically offer. Hence, you'll definitely get bright pictures, vivid colors, and excellent contrast.

Yet, what really sells this product is the giant projected screen that is able to reach 300 inches in diameter for fun, outdoor movie nights. And even with a huge screen like this, there will no blur or noticeable lags. The only slight complaint is that the sound provided by the built-in 3W stereo speakers may be not enough for large gatherings. It'll be quite OK for a bedroom movie night, but for outdoor parties, we would recommend you to connect an external soundbar or speaker through a 3.5mm input for a richer, more immersive sound experience.

Review of BOMAKER GC355N 6000 Lux Portable Projector

Wireless Connection

Despite the giant projection the unit is able to provide, it looks quite neat. It has a flat back that allows it to stand vertically without any additional support required. Also, there is a screw-type stand to raise the angle with fine-tune adjustments.

All ports are located on the sides for easy and quick access. Namely, the projector is made with HDMI, USB, an SD card slot, VGA, AV, and a 3.5-mm audio out. This way, you'll be able to connect plenty of different devices including laptops, DVD or Blu-Ray players, smartphones, video game consoles, USB sticks, external hard drives, and so on. Also, it comes with a wireless connection that allows you to sync your iPhone, Android phone, tablet, and laptop wirelessly. The wireless Screen Mirroring is completed in a matter of 5-10 seconds. Alternatively, you can use AirPlay and Miracast which give more flexibility when connecting smart devices.

With the Wi-Fi connectivity, incredible brightness, and giant projecting screen, the Boomaker GC355N is an amazing value for the money. It's a very nice portable device for enjoying movies, games, and videos both indoors and outdoors.

BOMAKER GC355N 6000 Lux Portable Projector in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B088YF3Z6N

 

What Is a Mobile Projector?

Most well-known application of projectors is at the cinemas. Those are huge, industrial-like stationary machines that cast an image projection on a flat surface, such as a large screen or a wall. Modern technologies render it possible to make them so small, you can even put them in your pocket. Such mini projectors can be mounted on a tripod or a simple table in school classrooms, lecture halls or sleeping rooms. And lately, pocket projector became an essential companion of teachers and lecturers. They can be used almost anywhere, have different ports to connect them to a notebook or other digital devices. However, these micro-projectors, that are also called pico projectors, can display a crisp picture on the screen with a diagonal up to 120 inches and lighting lux at up to 100 lm. This is enough to get a distinct picture in a darkened room with closed drapes.

Note, that you will need some kind of white wall or screen to throw the image onto with your projector. If you don't have any, take a quick glance of the bestselling projector screens of this year. If you are a lecturer or a speaker, you will also appreciate our review of presentation remotes. They come with a built-in laser pointer and other useful features to make your job easier. Just check them out and see for yourself.

What Features to Compare

Projection Specifications

The first thing you should consider is the projection specifications of a projector. As we've mentioned above, it may project an image at a diagonal of up to 120 inches without losing its crispness. Such width may be necessary for university auditoriums so that even from the back rows people could see a presentation. The image quality is affected by many factors.

  • Resolution directly influences the quality of the picture. It shows a number of pixels in a projector matrix. Resolution is given as a value, that looks like 1280x720, where 1280 is the number of pixels horizontally, and 720 – vertically. It’s not the width of the picture, however, the bigger this value is, the more detailed image you get.
  • Brightness is also important. As it comes from the name, it’s how bright your projection will be. Brightness value is given in Lumens (lm) and similar to light bulbs - the bigger it is, the lighter your image will be. Go for bigger value if you are going to do presentations in light rooms.
  • Contrast defines the ratio between light and dark parts of a picture. You can use a pocket projector with a high contrast in lighter rooms to get a more distinct picture. Please note, that the main parameter for lighting is still the brightness.

Another few things worth mentioning are aspect ratio and the projector technology. The former shows a ratio between horizontal and vertical lines. In simple words, photos usually have a 4:3 aspect ratio, while most movies and videos are 16:9 nowadays. Projector technology is the type of a mechanism that’s used for producing a projection. For instance, DLP has a high contrast while LED has a great brightness.

Data Interfaces

Pay attention to data interfaces of the pocket projector. The USB port is used to connect a projector to a notebook, memory stick or even to a mobile phone. With HDMI you can transfer a video of high quality from a PC or Blu-ray player. 3.5mm audio output allows you to enhance the sound by adding external speakers or plugging headphones in. That’s an essential feature for large rooms, where built-in speakers are just not enough. Some models can work with Wi-Fi hotspots. You can connect them to the same network as your notebook or mobile phone and transfer a video directly from them. Neat, isn’t it?

Dimensions and Extra Features

Finally, take a look at dimensions and extra features. It should be lightweight and compact. Most of them can be carried in a pocket of a jacket or in a case. Tripod stand is great for adjusting the projector at a right angle to get the best view. Some mini projectors will not only receive a signal via USB but even charge other devices, like mobile phones or portable speakers. As for power efficiency, mini projectors are powered with batteries, that are usually enough for at least one hour of work. That means that you can even take them on a trip to show your kids a movie in the evening. Projectors are recharged via cable and most of them can work and be recharged at the same time

Overall, pocket projectors are great for indoors and outdoors activities. So let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Sources:

1. LARRY GEISZ Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Video Projector (PP60) review, the Gadgeteer. April 16, 2016.

2. TechGuru Best Pico Projector Reviews 2016, Nerd Techy. February 7, 2016.

3. Kate Kliner How to Choose a Projector for Business Travel, bhphotovideo. 2014.

4. Michael Antonoff Pico Projectors Buying Guide|, bhphotovideo. 2012.

5. Ionut Nedelcu The 9 Best Pico Projectors and How to Choose Them [Guide], TechPP. April 3, 2013.

6. Rob Cote Contrast Ratio of TVs, RTINGS. February 25, 2016.

7. Geoffrey Morrison DLP vs LCD vs LCoS, CNET. May 6, 2016.

8. Projector Buying Guide, EPSON.

9. Handheld Projectors, Wikipedia. February 16, 2016.

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