Best Mini Projector [2019]

Best Overall: AAXA P7 Mini Projector
For those who want a great, high-quality mini projector that offers 1080p support while not breaking the bank, the P7 is perfect. It comes with a bevy of inputs to connect to almost anything imaginable while offering up to 90 minutes of battery-powered operation.

Sale
AAXA P7 Mini Projector

  • Screen Size Of Up To 120” Diagonally
  • 90 Minute Battery Life
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life

Budget Pick: VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini Projector
For those who do not want to break the bank, the Leisure 3 packs in a 1080p resolution with an impressive 2200 lumens of light output. They even included a carrying case and tripod. If you wanted a simple all-in-one solution, this is it.

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VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini Projector

  • True 1080p Resolution
  • 2200 Lumen Light Output
  • 40,000 Hour Lamp Life

Best 4K Mini Projector: AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector
This is kind of unfair seeing that the only 4K mini projector is the AAXA 4K1. But, if you want high resolutions with great image quality, you cannot pass this mini projector up.

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AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector

  • Motorized Focus For Ultra-Clear Videos And Images
  • Screen Size Of Up To 120” Diagonally
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life

How We Picked

Mini projectors are becoming popular faster than ever before. And when something becomes popular, all the manufacturers jump on the “bandwagon”. Which is good for you, but it leaves you with a lot of options to sort through.

Picking the perfect mini projector can be difficult. But, today we are going to try to make that decision a little easier for you. We have already looked through a ton of mini projectors and we found ten that we believe will be perfect for you. But, if you do not find one that is perfect for you, we have included a buyer’s guide to help make it easier to narrow down your search.

So, are you ready to see the best mini projectors available right now?

#1 AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector

AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: 4K (3840×2160)
  • Brightness: 1500 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: No

Starting out our list is an impressive 4K offering from AAXA. To be completely honest, we did not expect a 4K mini projector. But, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the AAXA 4K1 was available.

Now, this is small, but it is teeter-tottering on the portable/full-sized market. It is 8.3 inches wide by 7.2 inches deep by 2.4 inches tall. To give you a comparison, the Optoma UHD50 is 15.4 inches wide by 11.1 inches deep by 5.1 inches tall; so it’s basically half the size of a full-sized projector. For a portable projector, this one has a little heft at a total of 3.8 pounds.

AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector on table

Getting straight to the point, most mini projectors can barely scrape by and produce a true HD/1080p native resolution. The 4K1 absolutely destroys this, putting out a staggering 4K native resolution. This is one of the only mini projectors capable of truly producing a 4K1 native resolution. The 4K1 uses a 30,000 hour LED/lamp system that will last more than 10 years when used for eight hours a day, 365 days a year. Basically, you will never have to worry about the lamp dying. And because it is an LED lighting system, there is no warm-up period before you can use it (instant-on).

AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector back

The 4K1 has several input options to work with; they are:

  • HDMI
  • Composite AV
  • USB
  • microSD

Oddly enough, this comes with two HDMI inputs. It also comes with a composite AV connection, plus USB connectivity and a microSD card slot too. One thing we would like to point out is that this does not have a VGA connection. We can only assume that this is due to the size of the projector and the second HDMI input. It does have a built-in media streaming app to work with your USB and microSD cards/devices.

The 4K1 has two premium speakers with 2 watts of power each, making it suitable for small rooms and some business presentations. But, it does not have any low-end punch. For gaming and movies, you will want to use an external speaker system of some type. Connecting to an external speaker can be accomplished using the 3.5 mm audio out jack.

AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector in office

What We Like

This is a true 4K mini projector that can project high-quality videos and images. The 1500 lumens rating is still less than most full-sized projectors, but in a controlled lighting environment, it holds its own well.

Overall

While this is a 4K mini projector, it still lacks some features that it is full-sized predecessors have. But, for those who do not need a full-sized projector, this will sufficiently handle your requirements.

Sale
AAXA 4K1 Mini Projector

  • Motorized Focus For Ultra-Clear Videos And Images
  • Screen Size Of Up To 120” Diagonally
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life

#2 AAXA P7 Mini Projector

AAXA P7 Mini Projector

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: HD/1080p (1920×1080)
  • Brightness: 600 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: Yes; Lithium Ion

When you think of portable, you think of small; the smaller it is, the “better” it is. If size is all that you are after, then the last statement is true. But if performance is what you are after, the lack of size is not always the most important feature.

Now, the AAXA P7 Mini Projector is one of the smallest projectors on our list. It measures in at 4.7 inches wide by 4.4 inches by 2.7 inches tall; it’s a handheld that can literally be palmed. And while you probably won’t be holding it much, it only weighs 1.4 pounds.

AAXA P7 Mini Projector back

Are there some smaller/thinner options? Absolutely!

So, what makes this one so “special”? This is one of the only mini projectors that offers a true HD/1080p native resolution. As we have already mentioned, the higher the resolution, the better the image will be when viewed (especially on large displays). In order to get all of this out of the P7, AAXA uses a 4th-generation Texas Instrument DLP and a 30,000 hour LED/lamp system. The LED system is capable of producing a brightness level of up to 600 lumens and is available instantly (no warming up period).

AAXA P7 Mini Projector unboxed

Getting signal to the P7 should be a problem as it is loaded with input options:

  • HDMI
  • Composite AV
  • Mini-VGA
  • USB
  • microSD

With all of these input options, you can easily connect streaming devices, mobile phones and tablets, computers and laptops, gaming consoles, cameras, memory cards, and even thumb drives. As an added bonus, it has its own built-in media streaming app to work with your USB devices and microSD cards.

Audio is pumped out through a premium speaker with 2 watts of power. While 2 watts is not a lot, it is amazing that they were able to include a speaker at all considering its size. This speaker is not going to blow you away but it will work in a smaller environment. To truly enjoy this, you will need to use the audio out port and connect it to external speakers.

AAXA P7 Mini Projector on table

The P7 can be powered by a DC cord or through the onboard lithium-ion batteries. When in battery mode, the brightness is limited to 450 lumens instead of the 600 lumens when on DC mode. Battery life is expected to last around 90 minutes per charge; however, you can charge and use the P7 projector at the same time.

What We Like

This is one of the smallest full-HD mini projectors we have seen. It is a small as a Rubik’s cube but can project an image up to 120 inches diagonally. For small sessions, the 90-minute battery life is acceptable; for longer movies, you may want to leave it plugged in.

Overall

While this is a full-HD mini projector, it is better suited for business presentations. When used and still applications, the image quality is immaculate. Yes, the brightness is a little low, but in a controlled environment, it will work just fine. For those looking for an ultra-portable mini projector with an easy to stomach price, this is perfect.

Sale
AAXA P7 Mini Projector

  • Screen Size Of Up To 120” Diagonally
  • 90 Minute Battery Life
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life

#3 AAXA M6 Mini Projector

AAXA M6 Mini Projector

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: HD/1080p (1920×1080)
  • Brightness: 1200 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: Yes; Lithium Ion

The AAXA M6 Mini Projector is extremely compact, measuring in at 7 inches wide by 7 inches deep by 2.1 inches tall. Plus, it will not have much weight to your traveling bag with a total weight of 2.5 pounds.

AAXA has dominated our list so far, but it is because they make some really awesome mini projectors. This is another mini projector that has a true HD/1080p native resolution. It has the same 4th-generation Texas Instrument DLP paired with a 30,000 hour LED/lamp system. However, this one is able to double the brightness level to a maximum of 1200 lumens with no warm-up whatsoever.

AAXA M6 Mini Projector back

The M6 shares the same input options as the P7 listed above; they are:

  • HDMI
  • Composite AV
  • Mini-VGA
  • USB
  • microSD

With so many input options, you will easily be up to work with mobile phones and tablets, streaming devices (i.e Roku), gaming consoles, computers and laptops, memory cards, and thumb drives. They also have been included media streaming app to work with external memory devices (i.e. USB drives and microSD cards).

AAXA M6 Mini Projector in office

The M6 upgrades the audio system from the P7 by incorporating two 2-watt premium speakers. While this is an upgrade, it is still not going to be a lot to work with and a large room. In most situations, you will do better to use the audio out port to connect to external speakers.

AAXA M6 Mini Projector outdoors

This mini projector can be powered by a DC cord or through the internal lithium-ion batteries. While using the battery, the brightness level is limited to 500 lumens. Otherwise, the brightness level can max out at 1200 lumens. Battery life has not been extended from the P7, giving you around 90 minutes on a single charge.

What We Like

The upgrade from one speaker (AAXA P7) to two speakers does help the audio quality/output. While it is still not groundbreaking sound, it does project better. It seems the optics are little better too which gives us a screen size maximum of 200 inches.

Overall

This is another full-HD mini projector that is truly built for portability. While not as small as the P7, it packs a serious punch. This is a better option for presentations as it can peak out at 1200 lumens in DC mode.

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AAXA M6 Mini Projector

  • Built-In Media Player For USB Drives And Memory Cards
  • Screen Size Of Up To 200” Diagonally
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life

#4 LG PH550 CineBeam LED Mini Projector

LG PH550 CineBeam LED Mini Projector

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: 720p (1280×720)
  • Brightness: 550 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: Yes; Lithium Ion

Stepping away from the AAXA lineup, we are now going to look at the LG CineBeam LED Mini Projector. This is another extremely compact mini projector measuring in at 6.9 inches wide by 4.3 inches deep by 1.7 inches tall. Carrying this around should be a problem as it only weighs 1.43 pounds.

LG PH550 CineBeam LED Mini Projector bag

Now, the CineBeam does not offer 1080p resolution, instead peeking out at 720p. This is a little disappointing, but the image quality is still amazing when the screen size is less than 50 inches. Like all the other mini projectors on our list so far, this also utilizes a 30,000 hour LED/lamp system. Unfortunately, it is only able to produce a maximum of 550 lumens.

LG PH550 CineBeam LED Mini Projector on bag

The CineBeam has several input options; they are:

  • HDMI
  • Composite AV
  • RGB-In
  • USB
  • Digital TV Tuner
  • Screen Share via Bluetooth

That last input option makes this a great choice for home entertainment setups as a can receive over-the-air (OTA) signals that are broadcast for free; you will need to be in an area where OTA signals are available. With so many inputs, you should not have a problem connecting to external video sources.

LG PH550 remote control

Audio is available through a dual speaker system with each receiving 1 watt of power. The speakers are fairly underwhelming and are easily overtaken by ambient noise. However, the CineBeam can connect to wireless speakers using Bluetooth helping to compensate for the lack of audio output.

Power is available by a DC cord or the included internal battery. The battery has a maximum life of 150 minutes on a single charge. As the brightness is already limited to 550 lumens, there is no change when used in either power configuration.

LG PH550 CineBeam unboxed

What We Like

The digital TV tuner really separates this from other mini projectors. Being able to receive OTA signals makes this a great option when traveling and/or enjoying outdoor activities. The battery last for up to 150 minutes, giving you more than enough time to enjoy your favorite movies and/or shows.

Overall

This is not going to replace your business presentation set up. Instead, this is going to be suited more for general gaming and/or movie nights in a very light-controlled room.

LG PH550 CineBeam LED Mini Projector

  • Battery Lasts Up To 150 Minutes/2.5 Hours
  • Bluetooth Audio Output
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life
  • Built-In TV Tuner

#5 Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD

Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Brightness: 3200 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: No

For those looking for a more business-friendly platform, the Epson PowerLite should pique your interest. Starting out, this measures in at 11.5 inches wide by 8.4 inches deep by 1.7 inches tall. It is rather robust at a total weight of 4 pounds; this is one of the heaviest units we have seen.

This is another mini projector that actually has a 1080p native resolution. But where this really shines is in the 3200 lumen rating output which is driven by a 3LCD system. Lamp life is projected to be between 3500 hours and 7000 hours, depending on the power consumption mode chosen.

Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD on table
Photo: www.benchmark.rs

Input options for the Epson PowerLite include:

  • HDMI
  • Video-In
  • RGB/VGA
  • USB
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Miracast

Pretty much, it works with every device. Through a wireless connection, you can use your laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone. Plus, connecting to your wireless devices is simple using the built-in QR code system.

While there is a speaker built into the system, you would be better to utilize an external speaker. Is extremely underwhelming and users have reported numerous complaints about the overall quality.

Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD remote
Photo: www.benchmark.rs

What We Like

Finally, a mini projector with more than 2000 lumens of light output. This works great in almost any lighting environment, keeping up with some of the full-sized projectors on the market.

Overall

For those looking for a business-friendly mini projector, the search is over. Most mini projectors do not have the power to overcome the lighting of a business office. But the Epson PowerLite puts out 3200 lumens while still maintaining a true-HD native resolution.

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Epson PowerLite 1795F 3LCD

  • 3200 Lumen Output
  • Bluetooth/WiFi/Miracast
  • Full HD/1080p Capability

#6 Optoma ML1050ST+ Mini Projector

Optoma ML1050ST+

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: WXGA (1200×800)
  • Brightness: 1000 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: No

Optoma makes some of the best full-sized projectors on the market today and now they are attacking the mini projector market too. The ML1050ST measures in at 4.4 inches wide by 4.1 inches deep by 1.5 inches tall. What makes this one so unique is the fact that it weighs less than 1 pound, coming in at 14.1 ounces.

The ML1050ST does not offer true 1080p quality, instead opting for WXGA with a resolution of 1200×800. Even so, this is capable of projecting screen sizes up to 50 inches without distorting and/or becoming blurry. Lamp life is an expected 30,000 hours via the LED system.

Optoma ML1050ST+ back

Input options for the ML1050ST include:

  • HDMI/MHL
  • AV Port
  • microSD
  • USB
  • WiFi

Overall, this will connect to most any device without any problem. If you want to use screen mirroring, you will need to add an optional USB adapter which will give you HD Cast Pro capabilities.

Optoma is known more for its video quality than their audio quality. While there is an internal speaker, you’ll want to outsource the audio to an external speaker. For basic applications, the speaker will work in a pinch.

Optoma ML1050ST+ top

What We Like

Portability comes in two flavors: size and weight. While this is not the smallest, it is probably one of the lightest mini projectors we have seen. It still manages to get a high-quality image even though it does not offer 1080p.

Overall

For those who do not need screens over 50 inches, this ultra-compact and lightweight mini projector is a great option. It is slightly better than a 720p projector but still lacks 1080p image/video quality. You will definitely need to use external speakers as the internal speaker is underwhelming.

Optoma ML1050ST+ Mini Projector

  • 1000 Lumen Output
  • Screen Sizes Up To 50 Inches
  • Auto-Focus Lens
  • 30,000 LED/Lamp Life

#7 Epson PowerLite EB-S41 Mini Projector

Epson PowerLite EB-S41

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: SVGA (800×600)
  • Brightness: 3300 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: No

We never expected to add an SVGA option on our list, but Epson made it almost impossible to leave this one off. The EB-S41 measures in at 11.89 inches wide by 9.33 inches deep by 3.23 inches tall; it is close to a full-sized unit. It is extremely heavy for a portable projector option with a weight of 5.5 pounds.

The native resolution is a paltry 800×600 (4:3), but it works great for business presentations. While we thought the previous Epson was the brightest option on the mini projector market, we were wrong. This one bumps out a whopping 3300 lumens making it one of the best options for business presentations.

Epson PowerLite EB-S41 back

Input options for the EB-S41 include:

  • HDMI
  • Composite AV
  • VGA
  • USB

This does not offer a wireless connection of any type, so screencasting is not possible with the EB-S41.

Sound is pushed out through a single 2-watt speaker. For business presentations, this is suitable but you still may want to use an external speaker.

Epson PowerLite EB-S41 top

What We Like

The brighter the better – that’s what we believe. While this is not an ultra-compact mini projector, it is portable. The 3300 lumens hold up in almost any lighting environment without too much washout.

Overall

This is another great option for business presentations. While it could be used for movies and/or gaming, the lack of a higher resolution and the fixed aspect ratio of 4:3 limits its use.

Epson PowerLite EB-S41 Mini Projector

  • 3300 Lumen Output
  • Screen Sizes Up To 200 Inches
  • 6,000 to 10,000 Hour Lamp Life

#8 BenQ HT2050A Mini Projector

BenQ HT2050A Mini Projector

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: 1080p/HD (1920×1080)
  • Brightness: 2200 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: No

Gaming components tend to be a little bigger than their standard counterparts and the HT2050A from BenQ is a little bigger too. It measures in at 15 inches wide by 11 inches deep by 5 inches tall. Plus, it weighs an astounding 8 pounds!

However, this is a true 1080p option with an extremely low lag which is great for gaming. Even better, it comes with the ability to project a brightness level of 2200 lumens which easily beats most other mini projectors. Lamp life is projected to be between 3,500 to 7,000 hours based on power consumption mode chosen.

BenQ HT2050A Mini Projector back

The HT2050A comes with a ton of input connections, including:

  • HDMI
  • Component
  • RGB
  • RS-232
  • Mini-USB
  • USB

It will work with the majority of devices, and what it does not support can be connected using specialized video connectors.

One really awesome feature that makes this a standout is the ability to side-project. The projector does not have to be directly in front of the screen, but rather it can work from a side angle making it easier to locate while still enjoying a crystal-clear image up to 100″ in size.

Audio is blasted out of the HT2050A through a 10.5-watt speaker. When compared to other mini projectors, nothing has as much output as this.

BenQ HT2050A Mini Projector in home theatre

What We Like

Having the ability to locate this off to one side makes it easy to use in any environment. The low latency/lag really helps in gaming environments.

Overall

While this is not one of the brightest mini projectors on the market, it is a big-time competitor. The 10.5-watt speaker absolutely blows away the competition for audio quality. Unfortunately, it is one of the heaviest portable units we have seen yet.

Sale
BenQ HT2050A Mini Projector

  • 2200 Lumen Output
  • Screen Sizes Up To 100 Inches
  • 3,500 to 7,000 Hour Lamp Life

#9 Anker Nebula Capsule II

Anker Nebula Capsule II

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: 720p (1280×720)
  • Brightness: 200 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: Yes; Lithium Ion

Anker is known for building quality components at reasonable prices. So, it is not surprising that the Nebula Capsule made our list of top mini projectors. This is a cool looking, space-age designed mini projector that measures in at a height of 5.9 inches and a diameter of 3.14 inches. It is extremely light with a total weight of only 1.6 pounds.

Anker Nebula Capsule II size comparison

The native resolution of the nebula capsule is 720p, which is fine as this will only work in low-light situations. Unfortunately, the LED backlight system only produces a total of 200 lumens; this definitely will not work as a business presentation mini projector.

For inputs, the Nebula Capsule comes with:

  • HDMI
  • USB
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi

Due to the size of the Nebula Capsule, sacrifices had to be made. Where other mini projectors offer multiple input selections, there just was not enough room in the design. Even so, you have the ability to connect to most input sources through HDMI and/or Bluetooth/WiFi. The built-in Android TV works with your WiFi giving you access to thousands of movies, shows, and other games. Plus, you have access to more than 3600 apps including titles like Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.

The Nebula Capsule has a single 8.5-watt speaker that is surprisingly loud. While it does not have a thumping low-end, it is rather impressive for such a small mini projector. In fact, it can be used independently as a wireless Bluetooth speaker.

Anker Nebula Capsule II on table

It also comes equipped with an internal battery that can last up to 2.5 hours or 150 minutes on a single charge. If that is not enough, it works via a DC power cord while simultaneously charging the battery.

What We Like

This is an extremely small and portable mini projector. It comes equipped with Android making it a great option for kids. It works with Google Assistant making it an extension for those who are comfortable with the Android platform.

Overall

If you want an extremely small and portable mini projector that does not weigh much, the Anker Nebula Capsule is a great option. It is designed for no-light situations as it can only produce 200 lumens. However, the 8.5-watt speaker is extremely loud and rather impressive considering its size.

Anker Nebula Capsule II

  • Battery Lasts Up To 150 Minutes/2.5 Hours
  • Android TV With Access To 3600+ Apps
  • Impressive 8.5-Watt Speaker

#10 VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini Projector

VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Specs:

  • Native Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Brightness: 2400 Lumens
  • Battery Powered: No

Finishing out our list is a budget option that manages to squeeze in 1080p. The Leisure 3 from VANKYO is rather impressive, especially for the price. It measures in at 7.9 inches wide by 5.9 inches deep by 3.1 inches tall and weighs 2.1 pounds.

It actually comes with the ability to work in 1080p which is just unheard of at this price point. It has an LED/lamp life of over 40,000 hours while still pumping out over 2400 lm of brightness!

VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini Projector internals

The Leisure 3 has several input options including:

  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • Composite AV
  • TF Card
  • USB
  • TV Box

Pretty much, you will be able to connect to almost anything you want. It even has the ability to connect directly to a TV stick such as a Roku and/or Fire Stick. For portability, it even comes with its own carrying bag and tripod which is unreal for the price.

Audio is available through dual speakers, but the speakers do lack any true output. Instead, you will want to use external speakers with this mini projector.

What We Like

This is definitely a budget-friendly option with a high output resolution and brightness. Amazingly, it works well in most environments except in high-light situations.

Overall

If you are looking for a mini projector that is not going to break the bank, this is it. They managed to squeeze in 1080p support while giving you more than 40,000 hours of lamp life at up to 2200 lumens. It is nowhere near the best on the market, but it is a great budget-friendly option that cannot be overlooked.

Sale
VANKYO Leisure 3 Mini Projector

  • True 1080p Resolution
  • 2200 Lumen Light Output
  • 40,000 Hour Lamp Life

Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best Mini Projector

Brightness

The brightness of a projector is represented by a lumens rating. One lumen is the amount of light that a candle projects in one square foot area. So, 1000 lumens would be equivalent to 1000 candles.

The most basic projectors generally start at around 500 lumens with higher end projectors starting around 2000 lumens. Of course, some projectors go well above 2000 lumens and are used in highlighting situations. Where the projector is being used will dictate how many lumens you will need. In a home theater room with controlled lighting, 2000 lumens will be more than enough. But, in a business presentation where you have a lot of ambient lighting and/or LED lighting, 2000 lumens might not be enough.

If you are looking to use a mini projector as a home theater solution, look for a minimum lumen rating of 1000 lumens. If you plan to use the mini projector in a room with some ambient lighting, then look for a minimum lumen rating of 1500 lumens. And, if you are using a mini projector in a room with a lot of ambient lighting and/or specialty lighting, look for a minimum lumen rating of 3000 lumens.

Image Quality

A projector’s image quality is affected by three things: native resolution, quality of the video and/or stream, and the contrast ratio.

Starting out, the native resolution is the fixed resolution for the video output. Currently, there are two primary resolutions: HD (1920×1080) and WXGA (1280×800). Basically, these two numbers represent how many pixels can be shown at one time. So an HD resolution has a total of 2,073,600 pixels. And the WXGA resolution has a total 1,024,000 pixels. As you can see, HD has twice as many pixels in total when compared to WXGA; this can affect the size/quality of your video projection.

Next, what you are using for video and/or streaming can affect your quality too. If you are using a DVD player that only outputs in 480p, the image will not be clear no matter what your final native resolution is. Most video/streaming devices now broadcast in HD/1080p. For the most part, you should try to match the broadcast/streaming resolution to your mini projector to reduce any chance of image/video degradation.

And finally, the contrast ratio affects how significant the differences between black and white are. Ultimately, the higher the ratio (i.e. 20000:1 vs 2000:1), the better the projector is at creating contrast between shades of gray and other colors. A projector with a lower contrast ratio will tend to blowout/washout images which create pixelated areas on the screen.

For the most part, you should look for a mini projector that supports HD resolutions and has a contrast ratio around 2000:1 or higher.

Aspect Ratio

Older TVs used to have a fixed aspect ratio of 4:3 (4 inches wide to 3 inches tall); a TV that was 20 inches wide would be 15 inches tall. However, another fixed aspect ratio became extremely popular in the early 90s known as 16:9; this is considered a widescreen format. These are the two most popular aspect ratios currently in use. There are other aspect ratios such as:

  • 1:1
  • 2:1
  • 16:10
  • 17:9

However, it is best to focus on a mini projector that supports the 4:3 and/or 16:9 resolutions as these are the most common. The 16:9/widescreen format is generally used for home theater use; the 4:3 format is generally used for presentations.

It is best to consider the purpose of the mini projector when deciding on the native aspect ratio. Some projectors have the ability to work with multiple resolutions depending on the source signal. But, make sure that they truly work with multiple native resolutions. Reason being, a 4:3 resolution will display 16:9 image/video but will experience letterboxing (i.e. black lines on the top and bottom of the video).

Lamp Life

A lot of people associate a projector’s life with the life of the lamp. When a lamp goes out, they think that their projector has died. However, replacing a lamp will instantly rejuvenate a “dead” projector.

Lamp life is a rating that refers to the “half-life” of the lamp/bulb. For instance, a lamp life rating of 2000 hours would indicate that you should expect around 2000 hours of use before the bulb starts to lose brightness. While the land will still work for longer, it may not display projections that are easy to see.

When considering a mini projector, you should consider the application you will use your projector for. For instance, if you intend to use it as a primary display for your television and/or gaming needs, then you will want a lamp life of 4000+ hours. Since replacement lamps are not cheap, it is important to find one that meets all of your needs (i.e. life, brightness, cost).

  • An average lamp will last between 2000 of 4000 hours.
  • Replacement lamps generally cost between $50 and $200.
  • A good way to increase the life of your lamp is to make sure you clean your intake filter events properly.

Sound Quality

For the most part, mini projectors will not have high-quality speakers. It is extremely hard to fit speakers large enough to project properly without creating a ton of heat in the device’s body. Plus, speakers require large amounts of power created by amplifiers which can drain the battery quickly. Sure, mini projectors can come with speakers, but they generally sound very thin and lack any true depth.

Instead, you should look for a mini projector that has the ability to connect to external speakers. Most mini projectors have at minimum a 3.5 mm audio output. Some include RCA outputs and/or Bluetooth connections too. This would give you the ability to work with higher-powered speakers for any type of application.

Battery Life

While most mini projectors do not have internal batteries, some do. As such, understand what your purpose is before you buy a mini projector. If you intend to use this on a day to day basis, then a battery-powered mini projector is not the right choice.

Mini projectors that rely on battery power are generally used in mobile situations such as outside venues and/or hiking trips. In most cases, battery-powered mini projectors are not as powerful and/or bright as their corded counterparts.

The battery life of a mini projector is roughly one hour to four hours before they stop. However, some are able to run while charging. If you are using a mini projector for a business presentation, you should not trust a battery-only projector as it could leave you “hanging” at the worst possible moment. While battery advancements have come a long way, mini projectors have a way of draining battery stores quickly.

Connection Options

There are plenty of ways to get signal to your projector: VGA, HDMI, Component Cable, DVI, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Now, it is hard to find a mini projector that has all of these options. The most common input connections are VGA and HDMI. Some newer models now include Bluetooth and WiFi. Depending on what you are using for your video source, you might need to use an adapter.

Getting signal out of your projector is a little different. Most of the time, the output signal will be audio related. Which means you will need a 3.5 mm audio jack, RCA jacks, a Bluetooth connection, or a WiFi connection. The most common audio outputs are 3.5 mm audio jacks and RCA jacks. But, newer mini projectors work with Bluetooth speakers and/or Wi-Fi connections.

Make sure that the mini projector you are looking for has the input and output connections that you need. All too often, people by mini projectors without the proper connections in have to use adapters which affects the quality of the input and output signal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mini Projectors

Q: Are Mini Projectors Cordless?
A: This depends on what you mean by cordless.

If you are asking if a mini projector can work using wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, then yes, some mini projectors are cordless. Now, not all mini projectors have wireless technologies built into them. These are considered “extra” features that tend to cost more.

If you are asking if a mini projector can work on batteries alone, then no. At the moment, mini projectors still pull a ton of power and finding a way to truly cram enough batteries/power into the smaller devices is not cost-efficient. While we have seen some mini projectors that have built-in batteries, they are generally lower quality and do not perform well enough to make our list.

Q: Will A Mini Projector Work In A Well-Lit Room?
A: In order to answer this question, we must first highlight what factors affect a projector. There are two specifications to look at: lumens and contrast ratio. One of the best full-sized projectors for business presentations is the ViewSonic PA503S with a lumens rating of 3600 and a contrast ratio of 22000:1.

With that being said, lumens is the rating of how bright the image will be and the contrast ratio is a rating of how well you can see the difference between light and dark images being projected. Most of the mini projectors on our list have a lumens rating of 300 or less (only a few make it above that) and a contrast ratio rating of 1200:1 or less (only a few make it above that).

For the most part, mini projectors will not have enough lumens to work in a well-lit room. While the image might be visible, it will not be as easy to see as other full-sized projectors.

Q: How Big Can The Picture Get Before It Gets Blurry?
A: This depends on a couple of factors including the resolution and the zoom/lens.

First, the higher the resolution, the better the image will be. Higher resolutions have more pixels to work with, making it easier to enlarge them without negatively affecting the quality of the projection. This is why HD videos look great on a 55″ television but old videos look grainy/blurry.

The other factor that affects whether images are blurry or not is the zoom/lens. Projectors have two ways that they can in large and image: through digital zoom or through an optical lens. Most mini projectors do not have either of these features as these at a tremendous level of cost.

A true HD (1920×1080) mini projector should be able to comfortably produce a picture size of 4 feet diagonally. As the resolution goes down, so will the size of the picture/quality.

Q: Are Mini Projectors Good For Business Presentations?
A: For the most part, a mini projector should not be your first choice for a business presentation. However, some of the ones that have made our list could be used in a pinch. You would need to adjust the brightness of the room and make sure that the projector resolution was HD quality.

Q: Will A Mini Projector Connect To WiFi?
A: Some mini projectors come with the ability to connect to WiFi. For the most part, WiFi will be used for streaming purposes and/or smartphone mirroring capabilities. If a browser app was built into the mini projector, there is a possibility that you could use it for web browsing as well.

Q: Will A Mini Projector Connect To Bluetooth?
A: Some mini projectors have the ability to connect to Bluetooth speakers. For the most part, this is about the extent of their Bluetooth capabilities. While Bluetooth can be used for some streaming, it is not nearly as consistent as a direct connection and/or WiFi.

Q: Can I Use A Mini Projector With My Xbox or PlayStation?
A: Most mini projectors have the required connections to work with any game system. However, some older game systems do not use the current standard for video connections. In these cases, you will need to use some type of video connection adapter to make your main projector work with them.

Q: Can I Use A Mini Projector With My Computer?
A: Most mini projectors have the ability to work with computers. Overall, the most common outputs found on a computer are VGA, HDMI, and DVI. Most mini projectors work with VGA and HDMI without any issues; however, DVI connections are not nearly as common.

Q: How Do I Clean My Mini Projector?
A: There are only two areas that you need to focus on when cleaning your mini projector: the lens and the intake fan vents.

Cleaning the lens should be done using a microfiber cloth and a glass cleaning solution. In fact, it is best to use a cleaning solution built specifically for optical cleaning. Do not use any type of cloth not designed to work for optical cleaning.

Cleaning the intake fan vents should be done using a vacuum. Never blow compressed air into the vents which only pushes the dust inside of the unit. A vacuum will pull the dust away from the unit helping to keep it clean both outside and inside.

As this is an electrical device, avoid using high amounts of cleaning solution and/or water.

Q: How Long Will A Mini Projector Last?
A: While we would love to give you a timeline, it is not completely possible. Electronic components wear out over time due to use, abuse, and general wear and tear. However, a mini projector could last for a long time (i.e. years) if used properly. If he gets bounced around a lot during travel sessions, it probably will not last as long as a larger/full-sized projector. In most cases, it is the projector bulb that fails first. But, bulbs can be replaced. As long as you protect your mini projector and keep it clean, it should last quite a while.

Q: How Often Will I Have To Replace The Bulb?
A: Generally speaking, a bulb/projector lamp should last up to 2000 hours. However, there are several factors that affect this including use, transportation and protection, and even heat. Some bulbs are even rated for up to 5000 hours (not common).

To break this down, a mini projector used for four hours per day would have a life expectancy of 375 days based on a 1500 hour lamp life.

Q: How Hard Is It To Replace A Bulb?
A: In most cases, it is not difficult to replace a lamp/bulb. Most of the time, you will need to remove the cover which is held in place by screws and/or retaining clips and then change the bulb. This process generally takes less than five minutes to complete.

Conclusion

While the market for mini projectors is just now starting to heat up, there are still enough options to make it a difficult decision. Being able to find the best one for your needs and/or applications can be daunting. Making it even more difficult is some of them are so closely matched that it comes down to one or two features.

Today, we have given you a list of the ten mini projectors that we feel are the best for 2019. All of these will produce high-quality projections while staying within budget. Some of them are close to the price of an actual full-sized projector, but they give you portability: something a full-sized projector cannot. Of course, there will be trade-offs as a full-sized projector can utilize more powerful equipment.

So, if you have decided that a mini projector is what you need, you got just about everything you need to find the right one for you. If you did not find what you wanted on our list, we gave you a buyer’s guide to help narrow down your search. We even went a step further by giving you answers to the most frequently asked questions about mini projectors. Ultimately, our goal was to help you find the perfect mini projector for you.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API