Best Portable Projector for 2023
I didn’t realize projectors could be awesome outdoors until I tried one. The best portable projectors are easy to set up in any room of your house or in the great outdoors (or at least your great outdoors). Don’t worry about picture quality: Projectors have come a long way.
Whether you project onto a blank wall or a projector screen, you can capture the picture quality you crave without getting weighed down. They also offer a handful of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, HDMI and Bluetooth, and typically run on batteries. Many mini projectors can give you access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu and other streaming services without you having to connect a streaming device or laptop.
Portable projectors do come with some drawbacks, though. One is that many are relatively dim, lacking the brightness of a traditional home theater projector. Meaning they can’t project as large an image as the big guys. Another is that most portable projectors, especially the cheapest ones, often have lower resolution than their larger counterparts, especially 4K projectors. If you’re never going to be far from an outlet, a standard projector will get you a much bigger, brighter and better image for similar money. But if you want something compact, portable and maybe battery-powered, here are our top picks for the best mini projector.
Other products we’ve tested
Anker Nebula Solar Portable: We didn’t like the Solar Portable as much as the BenQ GS50, Xgimi Halo Plus or even its sibling, the Mars II Pro. Its main disadvantage compared to others on this list is its relatively dim image, which means it can’t project as large a picture and still look good. If you want a sleek, budget-friendly portable with 1080p and plan on keeping the image on the small side, however, this is a solid choice. Read our Anker Nebula Solar Portable review.
BenQ GS50: The GS50 is roughly the same size as the Xgimi Halo Plus, and is also 1080p and has a built-in battery. You can even use it as a Bluetooth speaker. However, it’s dimmer than the Xgimi Halo Plus for similar money. Read our BenQ GS50 review.
LG CineBeam Ph40N: The LG Ph40N is tiny even compared to other portable projectors, even smaller than the AAXA. It’s not particularly bright, however, nor does it have built-in apps. The battery doesn’t last as long as the AAXA either although it is a bit cheaper. Read our LG CineBeam Ph40N review.
Samsung Freestyle: The small, cylindrical Freestyle is an interesting idea, but it comes up short. About the size of a Bluetooth speaker, and in fact can double as one, the Freestyle can pivot on its stand to project an image at any height on walls and even the ceiling. Its built-in streaming is far better implemented than most portable projectors. However, it lacks a battery and its performance is average, at best. Worse, its price is a good 50% higher than it should be based on how it looks and performs. Read our Samsung Freestyle review.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2: Another relatively expensive small projector we didn’t love, the Xiaomi at least has a gorgeous, Apple-like design going for it. We appreciated the compact size, 1080p resolution and built-in Android TV streaming, but the cons outweigh the pros. It’s relatively dim, especially for the price, and it lacks both a built-in battery and compatibility with a USB power source, so it’s not truly portable. Read our Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 review.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K: Since it has a handle and a compact size, the Cosmos Laser 4K is technically portable, but it’s hardly mini at more than 10 pounds. There’s also no battery so you’ll need to plug it in. It’s nice and bright, but the other downsides — lack of zoom, average overall image quality and a steep price for what you get — keep it off this list. Read our Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector review.
BenQ HT2050A: The HT2050 isn’t technically a portable projector at all, but it is compact and roughly the same price as one of the more expensive “portable” options. Its picture is also much better in pretty much every way, so if you’re looking for a projector for use around the home, or maybe backyard, and you don’t need battery power, it’s worth considering. Read our BenQ HT2050A review.
How we test portable projectors
Every projector we review goes through elaborate objective and subjective testing. CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
Read more: How CNET Tests Projectors
The Best Portable Projectors for 2023
Not too long ago, the concept of having a projector small enough to take with you in your bag, let alone in your pocket, was just wishful thinking. But as projectors have come down in size, portable models have come into their own, making it possible for you to project your data and video anywhere you go. (Even if “anywhere” these days just means around the house.)
Portable projectors encompass a surprisingly wide range in size, brightness, and features. Here, we will help you sort out their differences, as well as highlight our favorite models—the lightest of which weigh less than two pounds. We’ve outlined below our top picks among portable projectors we’ve tested. Read on for our labs-tested favorites, followed by the buying basics you should know when shopping for one. Also note: At the very end of this article is a detailed spec breakout of our top choices.
Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks
Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector
Best Portable Projector/Smart TV
The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is a smart TV masquerading as a portable projector. Its small form manages to contain a long-lived laser light source, Android TV, Google Play Store apps and games, and even good audio.
- Long-lived laser-phosphor light source
- Native 1080p resolution; supports 4K UHD (3,840-by-2,160) input and HDR
- Three-chip LCD engine (3LCD) for equal color and white brightness and no rainbow artifacts
- Integrated Android TV
- Wi-Fi and two HDMI ports
- Impressive audio options
- No 3D support
- Only moderate brightness
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Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector Review
AAXA P7 Mini HD Projector
Best Portable Projector for Business Presentations
4. 0 Excellent
The AAXA P7 Mini HD Projector is a tiny 1080p model good for business presentations on the road, and it does a decent job at showing video and photos, as well as playing music.
- Highly compact and lightweight.
- 1080p native resolution.
- Built-in battery.
- Good data-image quality.
- Plays music and displays photos or video from memory cards or USB sticks.
- Only so-so video quality.
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AAXA P7 Mini HD Projector Review
Kodak Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector
Best Pocket-Size Projector for Movies
The Kodak Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector is an Android-based palmtop that throws a larger-than-usual usable image given its brightness output. It does well in projecting photos, and its video quality is fine for casual use.
- Android 6 OS lets you download, run apps (including control app)
- Lightweight and portable
- Includes remote control, built-in battery
- Projects a decent-size image for its brightness
- Above-par photo quality
- So-so video quality
- Mere one-year warranty
- Controls on projector itself are limited
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Kodak Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector Review
ViewSonic M1 mini
Best Budget Pocket-Size Projector
3. 5 Good
ViewSonic’s M1 mini is a highly portable palmtop projector that counters its modest brightness with a cleverly designed stand, decent image quality for photos and videos, and the ability to play music files.
- Highly portable
- Simple yet innovative stand
- Interchangeable top panels in three colors
- Media player handles photo, video, and music files in a variety of formats
- Can project images only at modest size
- No on-body control panel
- Tiny remote is easily lost
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ViewSonic M1 mini Review
Best Non-Battery-Powered Portable Projector
The 1080p Xgimi Elfin delivers film and video quality easily suitable for casual viewing, and adds surprisingly high brightness for a projector that weighs all of two pounds.
- Small and light
- Surprisingly bright; rated at 800 ANSI lumens
- 1080p native resolution; accepts 4K input
- Built-in Android TV 10 for streaming via Wi-Fi
- Image quality easily good enough for casual movie and video watching
- HDR quality issues
- No Netflix app available
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Xgimi Elfin Review
Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector
Best Portable Projector With 4K Input
4. 0 Excellent
The 1080p Anker Nebula Solar Portable offers lots of desirable features, including support for 4K and HDR, built-in Android TV, and good brightness for its size and weight. Color accuracy isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for most people to accept without a second thought.
- 1080p (1,920-by-1,080) native resolution; accepts 4K (3,840-by-2,160) input
- Supports HDR and copy protection standards used by 4K UHD discs
- Android TV 9 and Wi-Fi built in
- Battery life rated at 3 hours in Battery mode or 1.5 hours in Standard
- Capable autofocus
- Color accuracy is off by just enough to notice
- Does not deliver improved image quality with HDR material
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Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector Review
Miroir Synq M189
Best Portable Projector for Streaming Media
The Miroir Synq M189 delivers impressive color accuracy and robust audio, plus it packs a compartment big enough to hide your favorite streaming stick. It’s our top pick for portable streaming projectors.
- Excellent color accuracy for its size and price
- Robust audio for the small size
- Built-in battery lasts up to 4 hours
- Accommodates any streaming stick
- Only one HDMI port, no other inputs
- Image settings can’t be adjusted
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Miroir Synq M189 Review
Anker Nebula Apollo
Best Portable Entertainment Projector/Speaker
The Anker Nebula Apollo entertainment projector can project videos, photos, and Android apps, as well as play music and operate as a Bluetooth speaker. Its long battery life makes it ideal for portable, on-the-go use.
- Reasonably priced
- Long battery life between charges
- Runs Android 7.1
- Multiple control methods
- Doubles as a Bluetooth speaker
- Modest brightness
- Oversensitive touch pad
- Occasional audio distortion at high volume levels
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Anker Nebula Apollo Review
AAXA P400 Short Throw Mini Projector
Best Portable Short Throw Projector
3. 5 Good
A highly portable palmtop projector, the AAXA P400 offers 1080p native resolution, a short throw, and a built-in battery. It’s solid for on-the-go presentations, and perhaps light home use.
- 1080p (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) native resolution
- Short-throw design projects a big image from close to the screen
- Built-in battery rated at two hours per charge in Eco mode
- Highly portable and lightweight
- Holds shadow detail well in dark scenes
- Low brightness
- Slight green bias, most noticeable in photorealistic images
- Limited settings to adjust
- No 3D support
- Prone to rainbow artifacts in film and video
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AAXA P400 Short Throw Mini Projector Review
Best Semi-Portable Short Throw 4K Projector
The ViewSonic X10-4KE delivers 4K UHD resolution, HDR, and built-in streaming, plus an excellent audio system. It’s semi-portable—call it luggable—and its LED light source will last for years.
- Long-lived LED light source
- 4K UHD (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) resolution using TI’s XPR fast-switch pixel shifting
- HDR10 support
- Built-in handle for easy portability
- Notably high-volume, high-quality audio
- Integrated streaming, Android OS, and smart home features
- Perceived brightness is lower than the rated 2,400 LED lumens
- Out-of-the-box color accuracy is somewhat off
- Disappointing shadow detail in dark scenes
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ViewSonic X10-4KE Review
Buying Guide: The Best Portable Projectors for 2023
Portable projectors come in various size classes: Some are small compared to others. Pico or pocket projectors are a little larger than smartphones. Because most of them can accommodate videos and photos for on-the-go entertainment (in addition to slides and charts for business or classroom presentations), these models can be thought of as multimedia display systems. Though convenient and snazzy, they tend to be of low brightness and relatively expensive for their performance.
How to Buy the Best Projector
So-called palmtop projectors are larger (and generally brighter) than pico projectors, typically a bit too large to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, even with your fingers outstretched. Still, they are lightweight enough that you wouldn’t think twice about packing one in a bag or a backpack. Most are brighter than pico models, and have more connection options.
The AAXA P7 Mini really does fit in your palm.
Most pico and palmtop projectors can run files from a USB thumb drive and/or SD card, so you don’t need to lug your laptop with them. (If you do want to bring a laptop with you, though, check out our roundup of the best ultraportable laptops.) Some even have up to 8GB of internal memory for storing media files. Many can project content from a smartphone or tablet, either wirelessly or via an HDMI port that supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL). A growing number offer USB-C connectivity. Many models come with built-in rechargeable batteries so you can use them away from a power outlet.
Larger (But Still Portable) Projectors
Many manufacturers have introduced mini projectors that are generally a bit larger than palmtops, but considerably brighter. They pack a relatively high resolution, and their larger frames let them include more physical ports than their smaller brethren.
The next step up from these, thin-and-light projectors, are as wide, deep, and bright as standard models but barely an inch thick, and they weigh in at about 4 pounds. They are highly portable, but you pay a premium for their svelteness, and they usually have a limited set of connection choices.
The LG Minibeam LED projector is lightweight, but it doesn’t sacrifice image quality.
Finally, some standard projectors are still small and light enough to be easily portable, whether you’re moving them between classrooms or taking them on a cross-country flight. Many come with soft carrying cases, but they could just as easily be slipped into a travel bag or backpack. Although a few have internal batteries, the majority of standard projectors—as well as most thin and light ones—are limited to use with AC power.
Understanding Key Projector Specs: Brightness, Resolution, and Technology
Pico projectors have low brightness (from less than 50 to up to several hundred ANSI lumens). They generally have low resolution, often 854 by 480 pixels (aka FWVGA or 480p), with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. This combination limits their effective use to projecting onto a small screen in a darkened room, with optimal image sizes ranging from 24 to 48 inches, measured diagonally. If too much ambient light is present, or the image is enlarged too much, it will look washed out and detail will be lost.
Although a few palmtop projectors have a brightness of less than a hundred lumens, most fall in the range of 200 to 600 lumens. Some palmtops have 480p or lower resolution, and a few have resolutions up to 1080p (1,920 by 1,080), but most are 720p (1,280 by 720 pixels). Their optimal image size tends to be between 36 and 60 inches, depending on their brightness and resolution. Slightly larger mini-projectors can have brightnesses of 1,000 lumens or more. Thin-and-lights and standard-sized portable models are often in the 3,000-lumen range, use standard projector screens, and can tolerate ambient light.
We have seen a few small laser-based projectors and a smattering of liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) models. However, the vast majority of pico, palmtop, and other small projectors are LED-based, and most use TI’s Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology in their light engines. LEDs have exceptionally long lifetimes and are generally rated for 20,000 hours or more, so the light source should last the lifetime of the projector. Single-chip DLP projectors often show potentially annoying rainbow artifacts (little red/green/blue flashes), but this so-called “rainbow effect” tends to be more of a problem in standard projectors than in pico or palmtop models.
Larger portable projectors vary in technology, most being either DLP or liquid-crystal display (LCD). An advantage of LCD projectors is that their images are free of rainbow artifacts.
Multimedia Projector Trends
We have lately seen a growing number of small multimedia projectors that can double as Bluetooth speakers. When you switch one of these projectors to Bluetooth mode, it operates purely as a speaker. In that capacity, it can play music streamed from a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as your mobile device or computer. When you want to use it a projector, you just switch it into Projector mode.
The Anker Nebula Capsule II projector can also function as a Bluetooth speaker.
Many recent consumer-oriented small projectors (including some Bluetooth-speaker models) incorporate their own Android operating system. Although most pack standard Android builds, we have also seen ones running the Android TV OS. Android-based projectors let users run pre-installed apps (such as YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix), download more from the Google Play store, and perform other standard Android functions.
So, What Is the Best Portable Projector to Buy?
The pandemic may have kept most projectors at home over the last few years, but now is a good time to make sure your tech will be ready to hit the road. Whether you’re a business traveler who makes presentations at multiple venues, or you want to share movies and photos with friends in person, late-model portable projectors up to the task. Just make sure you pick one that’s designed for the images you’re projecting and the space you’ll be in.
The projectors we highlight here are relatively lightweight, with the heaviest weighing just more than 2 pounds and the lightest right around 3 ounces. They vary considerably in size, brightness, features, and performance. Any one of these could be your favorite travel companion.
Mini Gobo Projector 7W LED Logo Projection up to 3m – Indoor
Item Code: 11-480
I have a question
Custom Logo for Gobo Projectors – Full Color
6 750 ₽
Custom logo for Gobo projectors (2 colors)
4 500 ₽
Gobo projector optics – 0. 65 lens at 10m distance – 6.5m logo width
3 075 ₽
Optics for gobo projector – 1.0 at 10m distance – logo width 10m
3 825 ₽
Product Description Mini Gobo Projector 7 W LED logo projection up to 3 m – indoor
Mini Gobo Projector 7 W LED logo projection up to 3 m – indoor. Great promotional tool to display company logo, text or image. Rotatable ceiling projector, logo projection up to 3 meters indoors with IP20 degree of protection. This projection lamp displays the logo or image on the floor, ceiling or wall. The powerful 7W light with a high quality Osram bulb with HD resolution is hidden under the projector’s robust aluminum housing, which is however not waterproof and therefore suitable for use in a room. Suitable for all commercial establishments such as shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars, clubs, or as decorative lighting for an apartment, home or children’s room. Simple and quick installation and simple projector control ensure that the effectively promotes your logo in the field. Gobo Projector – Custom Logo Projection Lights – LED indoor advertising projectors, lights, floor or wall logo projections from 3M.
LED logo projector (gobo) – projecting your logo – eye-catching advertising
Convenient tilt adjustment of the LED logo projector
This projector is an excellent promotional tool for displaying a company logo, text or image. Do you need to make your brand visible, grab attention when presenting a new product or a special event? The logo LED projector is the perfect solution you are looking for. This is an excellent advertising attraction with a projection distance of 1 to 3 meters thanks to the OSRAM 9 high-performance LED chip0004 . Of course, we can custom your own logo (one or more colors) to use in our projector.
GOBO 7W LED spotlight (logo reflector) suitable for interior – PERFECT LIGHTING ADVERTISING
During the indoor presentation, the displayed content stands out even in daylight or artificial lighting with floor projection 900 04 . The LED projector can also be used to illuminate various objects and objects. In the interior can be used in galleries, museums to effectively illuminate signs and information on the floor, wall or ceiling.
Logo Projection – Custom Illuminated Advertising – GOBO Projector 7W
The projector uses a 0.3 lens.
The displayed logo size can be changed depending on the projector’s distance from the projection surface.
LED logo projector
OSRAM LED chip
Projection distance 1-3m
Low power consumption
Model: Pro o Gobo X7
Lens: 0, 3
Adjustable arm: 0-180°
Throw distance: 1 to 3 meters
Gobo lens size: 30 mm
Power supply: 100-260 VAC
Color temperature: 4000-6500K
Durability: 30,000 hours
Luminous flux: 650-700lm
CRI: 85Ra -40 to 60° C
Adjustable projector tilt: yes
Weight: 0. 3 kg
Dimensions: 8x11x4 cm
1x LED logo projector
1x mounting kit
!!! It is also necessary to order the service of making your logo for use in the Gobo projector (which you just need to send by e-mail, ideally in .jpg or .pdf format)!!!
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