Until recently, pocket-sized portable projectors were nothing more than a novelty. They were fun, but didn’t offer very good viewing experiences. They’re still niche products, but lately, there has been an upswing in quality. Quite a few OEMs are now stepping up their game in this arena, delivering some amazing portable projectors. Here is a roundup of some of the best portable projects available right now. 


ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

Best Portable Projectors - Viewsonic

 

The ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector weights less than two pounds, but is powerful enough to put up a 100-inch screen on a wall, making it perfect for any business trip, or just to take outside for a full evening of movies at night. It’s helped by a built-in battery that should last up to six hours on a single charge, which should be more than enough for a long sales presentation or a double feature.

The 854 x 480 LED projector is backed up by built-in dual Harman Kardon speakers, which means your movie night or business slide show can be accompanied by excellent audio.  It has a microSD card slot for people who want to use their smartphone card to show images and video. It also has both a standard USB port and a USB Type-C port. Indeed, you can even use the latter port to charge up your compatible smartphone or tablet when connected to the projector. It also has an HDMI port, and you can connect the projector to a device like a Chromecast, Roku stick or Amazon Fire TV stick to turn it into a smart TV.

Finally, the ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector integrates a stand that can rotate 360 degrees, so there should be no issues with putting the image on any surface, including the ceiling. It’s available now on Amazon for $300.


RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector

RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector

This is perhaps the smallest portable projector on our list. The RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector is just a two-inch cube, but it can project an image as large as 120 inches on a wall.

As you might expect, the projector itself is very small and can only support 50 lumens, which isn’t very bright. The resolution is also very low, at just 854 x 480. That’s the price you pay for something as small and portable as the RIF6 CUBE Pico. It has an HDMI port and a microSD card, so you don’t have to connect it to a PC or smartphone. Its projector lamp is supposed to last up to 20,000 hours, and there’s an external speaker as well.

Amazon is currently selling the RIF6 CUBE Pico Video Projector for $230. For that price, you get the projector, a remote control, and a small tripod to stand the cube up in almost any setting.


AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector

Best portable projectors AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED

While not as small as some of the other entries on our best portable projectors list, the AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector is still highly portable, weighing less than a pound. The 400-lumen lamp on the projector is capable of displaying a 1,280 x 800 resolution image up to 120 inches.

The projector’s battery should last up to 60 minutes on one charge, which should be enough to get through most business presentations. It also has an HDMI port, a USB port, and a microSD card slot, in case you want to leave your phone or notebook at home. It even has some old-fashioned composite video inputs, if you need to connect it to some older hardware.

The lamp is supposed to last up to 20,000 hours and there’s even a small tripod included for keeping the device level. You can snap up the AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector now on Amazon for $340.


Apeman Mini Portable Projector

Apeman Mini Portable Projector
The Apeman Mini Portable Projector is light enough (1.2 pounds) and small enough (98 x 98 x 21.5 mm) to easily live in your bag or even your pants pocket. This device can project a video or photo to a wall with between 30 inches and 100 inches of size, with a resolution of 854 x 480. While it has an AC charger, it also includes its own 3400mAh battery that can last up to 2 hours on its own. The brightness isn’t that high (between 50 and 100 lumens), but it uses DLP technology for some solid contrast levels (between 1,000 and 3000).
 
This projector also comes with dual speakers on board, as well as a headphone jack and a 360-degree tripod to put the image pretty much anywhere. The LED bulb is designed to last up to 25,000 hours. You can snap it up on Amazon now for $199.99.

Optoma ML750ST Projector

Optoma ML750ST Projector

The older Optoma ML550 projector was on a previous version of our best portable projectors list, and the newer Optoma ML750ST model has a number of improvements. It has a higher image brightness (700 lumens versus 500 lumens for the older model) and it can project a 30-inch image from only 32 inches away from a wall. The image can get as large as 100 inches, with a resolution of 1,280 x 800. It also has a high 20,000 to 1 contrast ratio. All of that comes inside a unit weighing less than a pound that can be held in the palm of a hand.
The LED lamp in the projector is supposed to last up to 20,000 hours. You can even connect the projector to a PC, console, or mobile device for some big screen gaming. Paying for all of this will take some doing, as the Optoma ML750ST costs $524.99 on Amazon.

ELEFHAS Projector

ELEFHAS Projector

The ELEFHAS projector costs just $79.99 — the most affordable entry on our list. While you won’t find the types of features found on some of these products on this list, this is a good solution for people who still want to experience a large screen without spending a lot of money. It also weighs less than two pounds.
 
The ELEFHAS projector can project an image between 30 inches and 130 inches of size, with a resolution of 800 x 480. The LED bulb is designed to last up to 30,000 hours, which is a very long time considering how little this device costs. While you can connect the projector to a PC via its VGA or HDMI port, you may need an optional adapter if you want to connect your tablet or smartphone to it for gaming. Again, this is the cheapest product on our best projector list so make sure you want price over features.

Anker Nebula Capsule

Best Portable Projectors Anker Nebula Capsule

This may be one of the more unique looking products on our best portable projectors list. Best known for its external battery packs and other mobile phone accessories, Anker launched its own mini-projector, the Nebula Capsule. The projector part of this device has a bulb with a 100 lumens brightness and can project an image that’s up to 100 inches in size. It’s also a 360-degree speaker that can offer audio in any direction, which is perfect for presentations, parties, and more. The small cylindrical design weighs less than a pound, too.
 
If that was not enough, the speaker also has Android 7.1 Nougat pre-installed, which means you don’t have to hook up a smartphone or tablet to the Nebula Capsule. You can just run apps like Netflix, YouTube, and games directly on the projector and show them on a wall. You can also connect and use other devices like game consoles to the projector via its HDMI connection. The Anker Nebula Capsule costs $349.99 in its standard black color, or you can get it in red for $399.99.

Anker Nebula Capsule 2

A promotional image of the Anker Nebula Capsule 2.

Anker has just announced the follow up to the original Nebula Capsule portable projector. The Nebula Capsule 2 retains the very small size of the first model, but with a lot of improvements inside. The protector itself boosts up the resolution to 720p and the brightness has increased from 100 to 200 lumens. The embedded speakers are 60 percent louder in the Nebula Capsule 2.

While the new model still has Android 7.1 Nougat installed, it adds support for Android TV, which means that the projector can offer a better streaming media experience. It can also support more gamers, and it even comes with its own gamepad so you can play games on the side of your wall. The Nebula Capsule 2 also comes with full Google Assistant voice command support, which means owners can just say, “Show me action movies” and it should respond with some great action flicks.

The Nebula Capsule 2 has a 10,000mAh battery and should last up to 2 1/2 hours on a single charge.  It also has a USB Type-C port with a  30W input, which means it can be used to charge up your smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices. Currently, the Anker Nebula Capsule 2 is available on Kickstarter for the early bird price of $399 until Anker sells out of its Kickstarter models. Once that happens, the Nebula Capsule 2 will begin shipping in May 2019 to those early Kickstarter buyers and will be sold everywhere else, for the much higher price of $599.


Anker Nebula Mars II Portable Projector

Best Portable Projectors - Mars

If you want to get a slightly bigger projector that’s similar to the Anker Capsule, but puts out a brighter image with a bigger resolution, then the Anker Nebula Mars II may be for you. It has a bulb with a 300 lumens brightness, compared to the 100 lumens on the Capsule. Also, the resolution of the Mars II image is at 1280×720, compared to the 854×480 resolution of the Capsule. Finally, the battery in the Mars II lasts up to 4 hours, versus the 3 hour limit for the Capsule projector.

Yes, the Mars II does weigh a bit more at nearly 4 pounds, compared to just over one pound for the Capsule. However, the Mars II does come with a handle built into the top of the projector, so it should be easy to carry to any spot in the home or office. Like the Capsule, the Mars II projector has Android 7.1 Nougat running inside, so you can run Android apps on a big 100-inch projection. The lamp life on the Mars II should last up to 30,000 hours, and it has dual 10W speakers for excellent audio. There are also USB and HDMI ports so you can hook up nearly any device to the Mars II. It’s available now on Amazon for $397.

 

 

Best Portable Projectors – Conclusion

These are the best portable projectors currently available we found. There is a little something for everyone here. Whether you are looking to impress people with a very stylish and compact design, create a home theater anywhere, project beautiful video without breaking the bank, or go all out with a high-end Android device, there is something to suit your needs.

Any other great portable projectors we didn’t mention? Let us know about it down in the comments.

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