Best Portable Projectors of 2022 - Buying Guide

Cassie Brown
  Sep 25, 2022 12:28 PM

We've examined a wide range of projectors, from lightweight beamers to high-end models loaded with capabilities, and we are aware of the important factors to take into account when choosing a best portable projector, including connection, battery life, picture quality, and cost.

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Overview

Over the past few years, the best portable projectors have undergone considerable advancements, making it simpler to find one that doesn't sacrifice brightness or image quality. The best home theater and best projectors for outdoor movies are well balanced in our selection of the top portable projectors.

On this list, there are choices that are excellent for watching movies and others that are more suited to work or professional settings. There is a portable projector on this list to suit your demands.

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Top Picks

Looking for the best portable projectors based on our experts' advice.

Reviews

1. Samsung The Freestyle

Product’s Highlights

The Freestyle projector from Samsung is designed from the ground up to be simple. We'll start with its quick setup procedure, which we found easy to use and got us up and running in no time.

By providing a variety of integrated smart capabilities and streaming apps, this Samsung projector maintains its approachability. It resembles a portable version of the Samsung TV OS.

Speaking of carrying it about, we were pleasantly impressed by how portable this projector is during our testing. Because it is roughly the size of a dog food can and weighs only 0.8kg, you can pick it up and put it in your bag without any difficulty.

The Freestyle is unquestionably our choice for the best portable projector you can buy right now when you consider its outstanding (though a bit finicky) auto-leveling capabilities, excellent Full HD picture quality, and its surprisingly loud built-in 360° speaker.

It's true that it isn't the most affordable option on this list; nevertheless, it is the most comprehensive and covers all the bases. For a more affordable option, see the Anker Nebula Solar Portable below. "Compact, portable, and with a built-in suite of apps, The Freestyle is a projector that gives everything you need in one location," we stated in our evaluation of the Samsung The Freestyle projector. Simply supply a surface that is empty for projection.

Pros

  • Fantastic portability

  • Excellent collection of built-in applications

  • Outstanding auto adjustment

Cons

  • Navigation that is slow

  • Sometimes having autofocus troubles

2. Anker Nebula Solar Portable

Product’s Highlights

We thoroughly enjoyed testing the Anker Nebula Solar Portable small projector because it performs admirably in practically all areas at a reasonable cost.

It has a modern style and looks lovely when put on a shelf in your living area while not in use. However, at 19.2 x 19.22 x 5.45cm and 2.38kg, it is lightweight and compact enough to slip into a drawer or even a backpack or tote bag for carrying outside.

We discovered that the battery life is reasonable for such a little portable projector and should be sufficient to watch a movie when you are not close to a plug outlet, lasting about three hours. However, thanks to its USB-C power connector, you ought to be able to connect a portable power bank for a variety of purposes.

The Solar Portable's Bluetooth speaker functionality is a wonderful addition to its feature set because it allows users to use the projector and a Bluetooth speaker simultaneously.

While we were dismayed to discover the projector was a letdown on the brightness front during our testing, the picture quality is fairly sufficient considering the price and form size. The Nebula Solar Portable's 400 lumens claimed brightness means it will struggle to remain visible in bright settings, and even in optimal viewing conditions, dark scenes are challenging to make out.

Pros

  • A beautiful design.

  • Serves as a Bluetooth speaker as well

Cons

  • A little dim

  • The sound could be stronger.

  • Lacking a connected headphone output

3. ASUS ZenBeam E2

Product’s Highlights

The Asus ZenBeam E1 projector has earned honors for its exquisite design. We adore that it is pocket-sized, measuring 8.3 x 2.9 x 11 cm and weighs a featherweight 307g.

Because of its incredibly small size, it is perfect for traveling with, whether you want to view movies on the go or need a quick way to share presentations at meetings or business travels.

The fact that it can project images up to 120 inches in size with a respectable 150-lumen Eco-LED light source is crucial in this case.

Its built-in 6,000mAh battery makes it quite flexible because you won't need to worry about finding a plug socket to power the device to get you through a movie—perhaps two—because it can power the projector for up to 5 hours.

The Asus ZenBeam E1 isn't the most potent portable projector in this roundup, but its adaptability, simplicity of setup, and attractive appearance make it the best option for traveling. For additional power, check out the Samsung The Freestyle.

Pros

  • Five-hour battery

  • Extremely portable and tiny

  • A power bank

Cons

  • Minimal resolution

  • Little light output

4. Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K

Product’s Highlights

A typical compact projector is not the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K. During our testing, we discovered that it has a peak brightness of 2,400 Lumens, which is sufficient for a semi-controlled environment and produces high-quality images thanks to its laser lamp.

It looks fantastic and is more than capable of serving as your primary projector while remaining stationary in your living room. But because of its size and weight—26.4 x 22 x 15.5 cm and 4.8kg, respectively—we had no issue packing it up and moving it from room to room while we reviewed it.

However, there is a significant issue with the portability of the Cosmos Laser 4K: there isn't an on-board battery. In our review, we stated: "The Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K isn't exactly portable without a battery. Even though it is portable, it still requires AC power to operate." If you're looking for a projector to bring with you while traveling or outdoors, keep that in mind. If you're interested in on-board battery instead, take a look at the Anker Nebula Solar Portable over there.

Pros

  • A beautiful design.

  • Serves as a Bluetooth speaker as well

Cons

  • The sound could be stronger

  • Lacking a connected headphone output

5. Optoma UHD35

Product’s Highlights

The Optoma UHD35 is a capable and powerful projector, but it has an exceptionally small footprint and weighs only 0.4kg. During testing, it practically fits in the palm of our hand. Because of this, it is lightweight and well deserving of inclusion in our list of the top portable projectors.

The Optoma UHD35 Lumen bulb allows you to present in partially gloomy spaces thanks to its brightness. This is advantageous if you also want to use it outside at night.

Aside from its size and image quality, the Optoma ML750e is also among the best portable projectors available because of its extensive selection of connectors. It has one HDMI input that is MHL-ready, a USB 2.0 thumb drive slot, a universal I/O slot, and a microSD card slot.

The ML550 performed admirably during testing, peaking at a screen size of around 60 inches while handling our 90-inch test screen. However, it's important to note that a dongle is required for Wi-Fi connection. That is the only big flaw we have identified.

Pros

  • Good brightness

  • Versatile projector

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi

  • Tablet integration requires dongle

The Best Portable Projectors

TOP Choice
1
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    9.6
  • Brand
    YABER
TOP Choice
2
  • AffCMS Score

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    9.2
  • Brand
    Alvar
TOP Choice
3
  • AffCMS Score

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    9.0
  • Brand
    Sovboi
4
  • AffCMS Score

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    9.0
  • Brand
    HAPPRUN
5
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.8
  • Brand
    NEBULA
6
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.8
  • Brand
    FUDONI
7
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.8
  • Brand
    NEBULA
8
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.6
  • Brand
    Auking
9
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.6
  • Brand
    FANGOR
10
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.6
  • Brand
    NICPOW
11
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.2
  • Brand
    ViewSonic
12
  • AffCMS Score

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    8.2
  • Brand
    Pokitter
13
  • AffCMS Score

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    7.2
  • Brand
    AAXA Technologies

Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

1. What distinguishes a mini projector from a standard projector?

Light output is the main distinction. Any Portable mini projector cannot compare to the brightness of a traditional, full-size projector. While full-size projectors employ either UHP lamps (essentially high-powered light bulbs) or laser light sources, portable projectors often have an LED lamp. Lumens are units used to measure projector light output. A typical home theater projector has 1,500 lumens or more of brightness, whereas the brightest portable projectors we've tested had roughly 350 lumens.

Larger images can be created with a bright projector, which also looks better in environments with some natural light. Dimmer portable projectors are therefore best used with smaller images and in settings that are as dark as feasible.

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2. Are all projectors portable?

Sure, you can carry them wherever you go, but some are more or less portable than others. Mini-projectors differ in size from extremely small pico projectors like the AAXA P8 to pricey, heavy (10.7 pound), and bulky devices like the Anker Nebula Cosmos 4K that does have a handle and is marketed as "outdoor." Batteries are a common feature of portable projectors, but some—particularly budget models—do not.

3. Is it necessary to connect it to a protable projector?

It varies. Many portable projectors come equipped with built-in batteries that can operate for two to three hours without the need for an electrical outlet. Some of them can run without a plug by connecting to external USB battery packs. However, a lot of smaller, more affordable portable projectors lack a built-in battery or only work with external battery packs. To function, they must be plugged in.

Final Though

Despite their ease, these best mini projectors were nonetheless difficult to recommend a few years ago. Even in a completely dark environment, "Pico" projectors had low light sources that could not properly render colors or contrast.

Modern portable projectors take advantage of advancements in LED and laser light technology. And that means the picture will be larger and brighter, and you won't have to worry about replacing the lamp after a year or so. Typical projector lights have a lifespan of 2000–3000 hours. LEDs have a 100,000-hour lifespan.