Many of you might remember the days when watching a movie on a big screen meant going to the cinemas where there were projectors the size of a small room. Technology and the world, in general, have come a very long way from that. We can now enjoy movies etc in the comfort of our own homes using small portable projectors. Projectors that can fit in your palm and are light as a feather are now more common than you think. You can make your very own home theater using these portable projectors that come with a variety of features.
Our picks of the top 5 portable projectors that you can carry around for impromptu movie nights covers a variety of projectors. One projector may have a set of features that may not be present in the other 4. However, it is important to keep in mind what your specific needs are. Simply buying the most expensive one in hopes of getting all the good stuff may not be the best strategy. Therefore, the list below will cover different types of projectors while ranking them numerically.
1. Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Mini Projector
Locked and Loaded
- Affordable price
- Different output sources
- Comes with an SD card reader
- Pretty decent battery timing
- Brightness level feels a little low
Resolution: 640 x 360 | Battery Time: 2-3 hours | Ports: SD Card reader, HDMI, USB-A, 3.5mm audio-out
Starting right off, we have a mini projector from a company whose name you’ll be very familiar with- Kodak. For a small and portable projector, this Kodak projector nails it and knocks it right out of the park. Skipping out on almost no major features, the Kodak Ultra Mini Projector is the best one that you can get. A stylish and rather cute design, affordable price, and decent enough brightness and luminance, the Kodak Ultra Mini projector takes the number 1 spot for the best portable projector in our list.
The Kodak Ultra Mini projector is available in three different sizes. It is available in white color, which is actually pretty nice. The build quality is solid and there aren’t any major complaints in that department. You can find the buttons and the lens on the sides, with the input sources at the rear. A really good thing about the Kodak Ultra Mini projector is that it can take input from both wired and wireless connections. There’s also a focus wheel that you can use to adjust the focus of the picture being projected. You can also connect an SD card to this projector. As for the other video outputs, there’s a full HDMI port and a USB-A port which you can use to connect a USB as well. There is also a 3.5mm audio port that you can use to connect speakers to it.
The Kodak Ultra Mini projector has a resolution of 640 x 360 which is pretty okay for a portable projector that is going to be used for entertainment purposes. The battery on this Kodak projector lasts around 2-3 hours, which is not that good. Kodak says that the maximum screen size that this projector can output on is 100-inches, however, there are going to be certain drawbacks from that. Primarily, you’ll start to notice the picture’s quality decrease as the size increases. It has a luminance of 25 Ansi and a contrast ratio of 1300:1. Kodak Ultra Mini projector’s contrast and the brightness seem a little low when you’re watching a movie under a somewhat lit room.
The Kodak Ultra Mini portable projector gets many things right and is a very nice travel companion to have. Not only will it not take a lot of space in your backpack, its 2-3 hour battery life, modest speakers, and pretty decent resolution mean you can enjoy watching movies on the road without having to worry about the reduced quality of the picture. And to top it all, the price is quite affordable for what the Kodak Ultra Mini projector offers.
Moving down to the second spot, we have the LG Minibeam LED portable projector. This one has a little higher price tag than the Kodak Ultra Mini, however, it makes up for it by offering a few additional benefits as well. Along with projecting from the normal and standard sources, the LG Minibeam projector can also output TV video.
With a small weight of just 1.5lbs, the LG Minibeam also looks a bit similar to the previous Kodak Ultra Mini projector mentioned. The lens is on the font whereas all the connectivity ports are on the sides. Despite the low weight, the LG Minibeam LED projector actually feels a bit dense, which is good since it reassures you of the quality of the material used. The LED light source on the front is rated at 30,000 hours, which is the standard for projectors. This means that the LG Minibeam will not give out anytime soon. On the back, you can find a plethora of ports. HDMI, USB, and audio-out ports are all there along with additional ones which are used for projecting TV picture.
The LG Minibeam LED has a resolution of 1280 x 720 which is sufficient for a portable projector. Its brightness levels are up to 550 Lumens, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy your movie in a moderately lit room as well. The primary and highlight of the LG Minibeam LED is the fact that it can be used to project your TV to a wall. There is a coaxial cable connection at the back which you can use to hook up your TV. There may not be a lot of use for that, but it is there and it really does brighten up the mood. It also features a wireless connection with Android devices and that is quite useful. The battery of the LG Minibeam projector will last you around 2.5 hours.
With all of that, the LG Minibeam LED sports a bit of an expensive price tag for a mini portable projector. Part of the price hike is due to its ability to be able to connect to a TV. The LG Minibeam is a small, versatile projector that can be used with just about anything. Along with TV and wired connections, it also can be used for wireless connections. Having this in your travel backpack is surely going to be a very good decision.
When thinking of choosing portable and mini projectors for yourself or someone else, you expect there to be some cutbacks on the features. After all, there’s only so much you can get in these miniaturized projectors. But that’s not the case with the Epson EB-S41. This mini projector, from the renowned Epson, offers just about everything you could need in a projector.
The Epson EB-S41 is not only ideal for entertainment purposes but can be used in professional environments as well. This small projector comes with a plethora of options, including a volume slider. On the top and, you can find the focus slider and a bunch of other buttons such as Menu, adjusting horizontal to vertical ratio (H/V). With a very solid design, the Epson EB-S41 also comes with USB-A, USB-B, audio-out, HDMI, and VGA ports located in the back. It also has its own built-in speaker. Should that not be sufficient, you can use the audio-out cables to connect external speakers.
Epson EB-S41 projector has a resolution of 800 x 600 and brightness of 3300 Lumens. The resolution of 800 x 600 feels a bit low for a projector that is going to be used for entertainment purposes. However, it is quite sufficient for occasions such as presentations and meetings. On the other hand, the high brightness and contrast ratio of 15000:1 means that you can even enjoy the projected image in a room with the lights turned on. It also supports wireless connection so you’re covered on that front as well. What’s impressive about the Epson EB-S41 is that it can project images and achieve a 350-inch display.
The Epson EB-S41 is a projector that is expensive as compared to the previous three mentioned, but it is a fantastic choice and a long term investment. Ideal for not just home or on the road entertainment but office-based presentations etc as well, the Epson EB-S41 can easily be put to good use by just about anyone.
4. AAXA P2-A
Live Stream Directly from your Projector
- Can be used with both iPhones and Android phones
- Live stream apps directly without using any other device
- Very small size and budget-friendly
- Brightness level is quite low
- The life span of the lens is not very long
Resolution: 854 x 480 | Battery Time: 2.5 hours | Ports: HDMI, USB-A, Mini USB, mini SD Card reader
Next up on our list, we have a mini portable projector that sure is going to surprise you with what it offers. The AAXA P2-A mini projector is so small, it can fit in your palm. However, this small projector has quite a decent set of features that can be very easily appreciated.
The AAXA P2-A is the smallest mini projector in our list. In fact, at first glance, you might not even think that it is a projector. On the side, you can see the focus slider which you can use to enhance and properly adjust the focus of the picture being displayed. The speakers along with a bunch of other output and input ports are located at the rear. On the top, there is also a small trackpad that you can use with this projector. We’ll get more on that later. For the ports, you have USB, HDMI, Micro USB, SD Card reader and audio-out.
The AAXA P2-A mini projector has a resolution of 854 x 480 and a brightness of 130 Lumens. For a projector this small, you really can’t expect high-resolution pictures being projected with great brightness levels. Your best bet with the AAXA P2-A projector is to use it in a room with all the lights turned off. This mini projector also has native Android support and can be used with both, Android and iPhones wirelessly. By connecting it to the WiFi network, you can project live-streaming apps directly onto the 100-inch screen that it has.
The AAXA P2-A is a very compact and small projector that packs in quite a punch. Along with its low price, there is also a great set of features such as direct live streaming from the AAXA P2-A. The downside to this is its low resolution and brightness and short life span of the lens.
The ViewSonic M1 Mini Portable projector is one of those that you just can’t dislike. It captures the essence of a small and portable projector very well and does not burn a hole in your wallet either. The ViewSonic M1 Mini Portable projector is a very good travel companion and is a smart investment if you want to enjoy watching movies while traveling.
With a size of just 4×4 inches, the ViewSonic M1 Mini is a really small projector that can easily fit in your backpack. In fact, it can even fit in the pocket of some jeans. With a turquoise plastic top and white body all around, the ViewSonic M1 also comes with a little stand of its own. You can use the stand to adjust the angle of this projector so that the picture is rightly angled onto the screen. There is no need for you to start placing books to try and get the right angle. With this small size, you also get lesser ports for video output. The ViewSonic M1 Mini only has an HDMI, USB Type-A, and a mini USB port.
The ViewSonic M1 Mini projector has a maximum resolution of 854 x 460p and a brightness of 120 Lumens. This resolution and the brightness level is not as high as what we’ve seen in the earlier products. This means that there will be significant picture quality drops when you’re watching a movie in a room that’s moderately lit. Plus, the resolution is quite low as well. However, there is an advantage to all of this and it’s the friendly price that it carries.
The ViewSonicM1 Mini projector lacks the high resolution, brightness levels, and ease of use by providing you with plenty of ports. However, its small size and price make it a worthwhile project or to talk about and even purchase. Not everyone is looking to spend a lot of money on something that they’re only going to be using every now and then. For that, the ViewSonic M1 Mini is ideal.