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
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
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.
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
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
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.