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Electronics, TV & Radio

8 Best Portable Projectors for Movies Reviewed in 2020 (UK & USA)

Discover what is the best portable projector below, with our reviews of the best portable projectors on the market

Last updated on 14th Jan 2020 by Tom

Quick Comparison

Product reviews

With over 100+ hours of testing 20 projectors in two rooms – one of which was brightly lit and the other pitch-dark – and comparing their performance on various indicators including compatibility, throw-distance, resolution, brightness, and price, we have selected the top 8 portable projectors money can buy.

Of these 8, the Epson PowerLite 1781W is undoubtedly our top pick.
It has a zooming feature, horizontal and vertical image correction capability, and a built-in speaker to produce crisp sound.
Then there is its ability to reproduce wider images in their correct proportions.
A comparison table is included below.
In-depth reviews are also available for each product to help you choose which portable projector is perfect for your needs.
  1. 1
    94%
    94%

    RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector

    The RIF6 Cube Pico Video Projector is a light and stylishly designed portable projector.

    It has a USB Micro-B port for charging, a headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and a mini HDMI port.

    It also has its own integrated speaker.

    Then, with a native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels the RIF6 Cube can mirror the screens of compatible mobile devices, and can project to a distance of 10 feet.

    It is also easy to set up and offers a small tripod in the package.

     

    The Good
    • Comes in an aluminum casing
    • Native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels
    • Streaming is supported works with most streaming sites
    • Has a Mini HDMI port and microSD card slot
    The Bad
    • Battery lasts less than 1.5 hours
    Check price on amazon

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  2. 2
    92%
    92%

    APEMAN Mini Video DLP Projector Review

    The APEMAN Mini Video DLP Projector is lightweight device which offers a lot in features.

    It has 1.5 hours of battery life and is capable of projecting to a size of up to 100 inches on a wall.

    And while it does not have HD native resolution, video playback is still bright and sharp.

    The low fan noise allows you to immerse yourself fully in the media, courtesy of the unit’s high-quality speakers.

    It also comes with a tripod, and it is built to fit in most pockets.

    The Good
    • It is lightweight and compact, no bigger that most phones so you can comfortably carry it around anywhere
    • Screen quality is excellent, even under moderately bright lighting conditions
    The Bad
    • Problems with streaming
    Check price on amazon

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  3. 3
    86%
    86%

    ELEPHAS LED Video Projector Review

    While the ELEPHAS LED Video Projector may not be the best portable projector on this list when it comes to performance, this model definitely makes up for it with its price.

    It is the best budget portable projector available right now, and is comparable to many more expensive models.

    It can scale up to full HD, and comes with great connectivity options: two USB ports, an HDMI port, an audio port, an AV port, and an SD card slot.

    The Good
    • Set up is quick and easy,
    • Allows adjusting protection quality
    • The brand offers a 12-month warranty
    • 2 months return/replace warranty
    The Bad
    • Audio is not as good as most of its competitors, and we recommend connecting the projector to your preferred sound system.
    • Some users have reported problems connecting to some streaming sites
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  4. 4
    86%
    86%

    GooDee Efficiency Portable Projector Review

    The GooDee Efficiency Portable Projector is an affordable portable projector that comes with great features.

    It sits somewhere between a full-size projector and a pico model.

    It boasts a direct light path that is 20% brighter than most traditional models.

    It has a built-in subwoofer with bass, which provide a clear and high-quality sound.

    Also, since it has a throw distance of 5-17 feet and a screen size of 50 – 150 inches, you can adjust the image size of this projector by changing its distance.

    The Good
    • Stylistically attractive and easy to configure
    • 3-year warranty
    • Supports up to 1080p
    • Various connectivity options
    The Bad
    • Image size can only be changed by adjusting the distance
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  5. 5
    86%
    86%

    Optoma ML750ST Short Throw LED Projector Review

    The Optoma ML750ST Ultra-Compact LED Projector is a light and compact short-throw projector that is equipped with a powerful and bring LED projection technology.

    While it is expensive, this projector comes with indispensable capabilities such as a built-in Office viewer.

    You can also use it with your mobile through its HDMI/MHL connectivity.

    With a 720p resolution, you should expect to see great quality projections.

     

    The Good
    • Great quality audio, but it also has a headphone jack which you can use to connect to a speaker set.
    • It comes with a remote control keystone correction, features high quality color and a great contrast ratio.
    The Bad
    • It does not come with an internal battery, which means that it has to be constantly plugged in.
    • This model is quite expensive compared to the other portable projectors in this list.
    Check price on amazon

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  6. 6
    86%
    86%

    CAIWEI DLP Wifi Projector Review

    The CAIWEI DLP Wifi Projector is a model on the higher end of the price range.

    It has high-end features including a dual wifi-capability so that you can browse the Internet directly, stream online videos or play games.

    It has a Bluetooth Sound Out features which means that you can wirelessly stream the sound from the unit to a Bluetooth-compatible sound system.

    It also has a keystone correction function that can automatically fix distortion.

    The Good
    • Setup only takes a few minutes
    • Bluetooth Sound Out Feature
    • Multiple connectivity options including wifi
    • Capable of playing Blu-Ray 3D
    The Bad
    • The fan can be really loud and distracting.
    • Audio output isn’t that great
    Check price on amazon

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  7. 7
    86%
    86%

    RAGU Z400 Mini Portable Projector Review

    The RAGU Z400 Mini Portable Projector is the least expensive product on this list.

    It is comparably brighter than many mini projectors, and comes with a native resolution of 800×480.

    It can produce clear, sharp, and bright images even under less than desirable settings.

    It has a powerful cooling system allows its noise output to be lower in comparison to competition.

    Multiple connectivity options such as an HDMI port, a USB port, an AV/TV connection, and an SD card slot are also on offer.

    The Good
    • Extremely affordable
    • Streaming is supported
    • Rich-looking images in dark environments.
    The Bad
    • An external speaker is recommended, especially with larger rooms.
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  8. 8
    82%
    82%

    Epson PowerLite 1781W Portable Projector Review

    The Epson PowerLite 1781W is a portable business projector that is highly rated and highly recommended by its users.

    It has a slim design which sets its apart from the numerous other business projectors in the market today.

    Setup is remarkably easy, and the model supports USB and HDMI connections.

    It has a high quality image resolution at 1280×800 WXGA.

    Its brightness is measured at 3200 lumens, which means that the output is consistently clear and vibrant.

    The Good
    • Wi-Fi compatible
    • Built-in speaker has great quality
    • 1280x800 WXGA
    • 3200 lumens
    The Bad
    • Because it is LCD based, it cannot project 3D content
    Check price on amazon

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Side-by-side

94%

RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector

  • Comes in an aluminum casing
  • Native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels
  • Streaming is supported works with most streaming sites
  • Has a Mini HDMI port and microSD card slot
Check price on amazon
92%

APEMAN Mini Video DLP Projector Review

  • It is lightweight and compact, no bigger that most phones so you can comfortably carry it around anywhere
  • Screen quality is excellent, even under moderately bright lighting conditions
Check price on amazon
86%

ELEPHAS LED Video Projector Review

  • Set up is quick and easy,
  • Allows adjusting protection quality
  • The brand offers a 12-month warranty
  • 2 months return/replace warranty
Check price on amazon
86%

GooDee Efficiency Portable Projector Review

  • Stylistically attractive and easy to configure
  • 3-year warranty
  • Supports up to 1080p
  • Various connectivity options
Check price on amazon
86%

Optoma ML750ST Short Throw LED Projector Review

  • Great quality audio, but it also has a headphone jack which you can use to connect to a speaker set.
  • It comes with a remote control keystone correction, features high quality color and a great contrast ratio.
Check price on amazon
86%

CAIWEI DLP Wifi Projector Review

  • Setup only takes a few minutes
  • Bluetooth Sound Out Feature
  • Multiple connectivity options including wifi
  • Capable of playing Blu-Ray 3D
Check price on amazon
86%

RAGU Z400 Mini Portable Projector Review

  • Extremely affordable
  • Streaming is supported
  • Rich-looking images in dark environments.
Check price on amazon
82%

Epson PowerLite 1781W Portable Projector Review

  • Wi-Fi compatible
  • Built-in speaker has great quality
  • 1280x800 WXGA
  • 3200 lumens
Check price on amazon

Frequently asked questions

What is a Portable Projector?

A portable projector is a small and compact device which projects images and videos onto a surface or a screen for various purposes.

They are considered as media display systems which are light and pocket sized.

Most of them work using a digital light processing technology, which is a projection technology that is quite similar to LCD.

The illumination for portable projectors comes either via an LED or laser source.

Most portable projectors can run files from a USB drive or an SD card, while some may have an internal storage for media files.

Still, there are others who offer Wi-Fi compatibility.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Portable Projectors?

Advantages

  • You get near-identical power, functionalities and features that overhead and front projectors have at a fraction of the cost, space, and weight.

 

  • Portable projectors are easy to transport, which make them the ideal choice for traveling businessmen.

 

  • They are easy to set-up; typically takes less than a minute.

 

  • They run on batteries, which means you don’t have to run the hassle of finding an electrical outlet.

 

Disadvantages

  • Many portable projectors still have low resolution – typically WGXA and XGA resolutions or lower, which makes them unsuitable for watching videos or playing games.

 

  • Some portable projectors are also only able to produce limited brightness, within 10-100 lumens in comparison to business projectors which produce 1000-1200 lumens

What should I look for when choosing a Portable Projector?

Degree of Portability

How portable do you want your ideal compressor to be? Portable mini projectors today are classified as either palm-top or pico.

Palm-top projectors are portable enough to be carried around when they are needed, while pico projectors are smaller generally resemble a smartphone in size and weight.

If you have to carry a portable projector with you every single day of the week, the pico projector is your best bet.

If you would rather leave your laptop behind, invest in Palm-top projectors that are able to read files directly from a USB flash drive.

Resolution

Second, what type of resolution do you want and how bright does the projector have to be?

The standard resolution for most portable projectors is 800×600, but there are models that would offer you more choices.

Keep in mind, though, that most portable projectors rarely have HD as the native resolution.

Brightness

While brightness is no doubt an important factor, similarly crucial is the lightning conditions of the area where you intend to use your projector.

That is, a project will low brightness will do well in a library than in a well-lit conference room.

Mini projectors top out at 250 lumens, but there are portable projectors on the higher end of the price scale that boasts of more than 2500 lumens.

Operability

How do you want to operate your projector? If you hate the hassle of dealing with wires, go wireless.

However, if you think that the wireless model is too expensive – which they generally are – there are projectors out there who offer remote-control operability

Noise Output

Noise output is also one essential factor to consider.

If you hate the noise of cooling fans, choose a unit that has the lowest decibel values, approximately 36 dB or less.

 

What’s the approximate price range for Portable Projectors?

Portable projectors range in price between £10 and £3,600.

Expect to pay around £300 for a light, compact, and good quality portable projector.

 

What’s the best Portable Projector? Why is it the best?

Epson PowerLite 1781W is the best portable projector.

It weighs only 4 lbs with a light and slim design and offers 3200 lumens in brightness, making images, videos and presentations comfortable and pleasurable to watch.

Also, it has a WXGA resolution of 1280×800, which means that its projections are sharp with detailed colors.

It is easy to set up and also provides wireless operability as a possible option.

It has a throw range of 30-300 inches, which means that it can be used in practically all room sizes.

What is a pocket projector?

A pocket projector is an ultra-portable projector that is compact enough to carry around in your pocket.

Examples includes mini projectors, pico projectors, and mobile projectors.

Some of them weigh less than a pound.

What’s the best pocket projector? Why is it the best?

RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector is the best pocket projector.

It is tiny, weighs a paltry five pounds, and comes with an microSD card slot and a mini HDMI port.

It also has its own speaker and rechargeable internal battery.

Brightness is relatively low at 50 lumens, but is par when you compare it with other pico projectors.

Its native resolution is 854×480 pixels, which is great for playing games and streaming movies.

 

What is an LED projector?

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) projectors use an array of red, green and blue LEDs to produce the light that is needed to project an image or video, instead of using the bulb that is typical for most traditional projectors.

This process is called electroluminescence.

What’s the best led projector? Why is it the best?

The Optoma ML750ST is the best LED projector.

It has a bright and powerful short-throw LED and also offers wireless and device mirroring capabilities.

Despite the fact it weighs a paltry 14.1 ounces, the Optoma has a razor sharp focus, with Rec709 color accuracy.

What is a USB projector?

A USB projector is a type of projector that can run files from a USB thumb drive so you do not have to carry your laptop around.

You can use the same USB port to charge them as well.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a USB projector?

Advantages

  • The primary advantage of using a USB projector is the convenience. Since USB projectors can run files directly from a USB thumb drive, you do not need to lug a heavy laptop around.

 

  • They are also cost-effective and reliable and durable models can be purchased at less than $200.

 

Disadvantages

  • USB projectors tend to be smaller than most, since they use the same port for charging and for running input.

 

  • Because of their size, USB projectors tend to have lower battery lives, typically less than 2 hours.

 

What’s the best compact projector? Why is it the best?

RIF6 CUBE Pico is the best compact projector.

It only measures 2’’ wide, however, despite its miniscule size, it is capable of powerful functionalities.

It projects up to 10 feet and can be used for normal HD viewing at home or for business presentations at work.

You can stream directly from your mobile device, or you can use the built-in SD card reader. The battery also lasts up to 1.5 hours.

 

What’s the best multimedia projector for home use? Why is it the best?

The Epson PowerLite 1781W is the best multimedia projector for home use. With brightness at 3200 lumens and a WXGA resolution, the image and video quality is exceptional, and the colors are bright and well saturated.

Image adjustments are also easy to make with the horizontal and vertical keystone correction and the Screen Fit feature.

While it is on the higher end of most budgets, it is a well-rounded and compact portable projector that is well worth the investment.

 

What’s the best wifi projector? Why is it the best?

The Epson PowerLite 1781W is the best Wi-Fi projector.

This model offers speedy Wi-Fi connectivity which means you can run it from any of your device.

It has a built-in LAN module, and it can also connect through NFC.

Tests have shown that it has the most stable and responsive wifi connection compared to other projectors within its price range.

 

What’s the best wireless projector? Why is it the best?

The CAIWEI DLP Projector is the best wireless projector.

This model is equipped with a wireless connection that can easily enable you to achieve a bright and color-accurate multi-screen display from your mobile devices.

The image projected is clear and crisp and the connection is reliable and responsive.

The sound quality generated is good and it comes highly recommended by its users as part of a home entertainment system.

 

What is a handheld projector?

A handheld projector is just another name for a portable projector or a mobile projector.

It is a device that projects images, videos, and presentations to a surface or screen.