Mini projectors are a must-have for those who are constantly on the go. Whether it’s for family road trips, leadership conferences, or everyday situations, having a mini projector on standby is always a good idea.
Mini projectors will allow you to present slideshows, watch movies, or give presentations whenever you need to.
They come with many different features and uses. And, no, not all mini projectors are made equal. Finding the best mini projector for your needs depends on how you’d like to use it.
So, what the best mini projectors of 2020?
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
The Five Best Mini Projectors You Need to Know About
The table below delivers an overview of the top five as well as their highlights and why you’d want them.
Below that, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details and functions of each mini projector individually.
An In-Depth Review of the Best
If you’re looking for a more detailed comparison of each of the mini projectors, you’ve found the right place.
Each of these products has features that may be unique to them and they serve different functions and needs. Take note of the pros and cons to get a quick glimpse into the benefits of each mini projector.
If you’re curious as to what specs matter and how much, a buying guide is found below to help your needs!
Here is the reviewed list:
The ViewSonic is a great portable projector that has a wide range of ports so it can serve its purpose in almost every scenario.
It’ll take video inputs from HDMI, SD cards, and USB-C.
It uses a short-throw lens to project, so you can expect a large image from this small machine. From 8 feet and 9 inches away, you can expect the M1 to project a 100-inch screen. This can be ideal if you have limited space such as a meeting room or in one-on-one presentations.
It’s easy to set up and comes with its stand so you can easily adjust the image. You won’t find yourself fiddling with a projector that seems impossible to work with the M1, it’s incredibly user-friendly and isn’t difficult to figure out.
On the downside, it does lack in lumens and resolution. It delivers a mere 250 lumens and a resolution of 854x480p. This can make some high-quality images a bit blurry if the image projected is too large.
This shouldn’t be much of an issue in a work or professional environment – presentations, PDFs, excel spreadsheets and more are easily viewed and won’t cause any issues.
However, it may not be the best option to satisfy your teenagers on a family vacation.
- Multiple video inputs
- Short-throw lens for huge images
- The brightness is relatively low
- The resolution isn’t optimal for entertainment
The Epson Powerlite S41 is similar to the M1 if the M1 was the caterpillar and the S41 was the butterfly.
You can expect to use the M1 and the S41 for the same functions – mostly professional environments. However, the S41 brings all the features you’re missing and with better equipment.
As with all mini projectors, they’re meant for use on the go. Its small size allows you to carry it with you, easily, without any hassle.
The S41 isn’t a short-throw projector, so you’ll be losing the ability to deliver projections at close ranges, but you gain image size. It’s able to produce an image size of up to 300 inches. You’ll have no trouble presenting to several hundred people with that capability.
The video inputs are also expanded and work with USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, VGA, HDMI, Composite, and S-Video.
Its brightness shines through with 3,300 lumens of extra light. This will vastly enhance the clarity of your projections.
On the flip side, the resolution is the only 800x600p, so don’t be expecting a cinematic experience when using the S41.
- The image size can be up to 300 images
- 3,300 lumens will translate into great clarity
- Wi-Fi compatible with a variety of video inputs
- Lacks in resolution
- Only a 4:3 aspect ratio
The ML1050ST is an impressive short-throw mini projector that brings together all your needs into one place.
It weighs under a pound, so, you’ll easily be able to carry it in your purse, bag, car, or even under your arm without any stress.
The short-throw projector will project up to 100-inches from a short distance away. That translates into a huge picture in areas where you may be confined.
Much like the M1, short-throw projectors will sacrifice huge, 300-inch screens for the ability to cast a highly-respectable 100-inches from just feet away.
You can expect the LED light to last approximately 30,000 hours. If you think that’s too little, you watch your projector too much. 30,000 hours will last an average of five hours a day over 16 years. That’s value.
The lumens on the ML1050ST are also sitting pretty at exactly 1,000. This means any poorly-lit areas won’t be a problem to work with. Your images will project fine.
The autofocus on the ML1050ST is a feature we haven’t seen yet on this list. The autofocus will allow the projector to readjust images if they’re moved or bumped without any reconfiguration of the projector. This means
- 30,000 LED light life span
- Above-average lumens
- Autofocus features to save you the trouble of adjusting the images
- Not great for entertainment as the resolution isn’t HD
Jinhoo has been in the mini projector game for a few years. Their success is obvious – they target gamers. The M10 is the latest 2019 edition and delivers on providing a great gaming experience.
You’ll be able to connect via Wi-Fi to the M10, through a computer or mobile device. It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices so you can take your mobile games onto the big screen.
It’s rated at 4,200 lux, so it’ll be alright in darker or dimly lit rooms. However, it may struggle in an area that is too bright.
However, it is HD compatible with 1080p resolution supported. You’ll be able to see high-quality projections of whatever movie, game, or image you’ll be viewing. It’s also compatible with TV Boxes, Laptops, Tablets, PCs, and USB flash drives. All your standard gaming devices should be supported on the M10.
The M10 also markets itself as a home theater projector as well. It comes with 2-watt stereo speakers, which are impressive given its size.
It also can project up to 176-inches in size. Although, you’ll more than likely want to keep it smaller than that to preserve the integrity of the images.
- HD compatible
- Wide variety of video inputs as well as Wi-Fi connections
- Ideal for those wanting a mini projector for entertainment
- Not for use in a professional environment
- The remote is known to be difficult to work with
The Leisure 3 is similar to the M10 in that they’re both meant for entertainment purposes
Leisure 3 is ideal for video games and movies. It’ll work with all modern consoles and supports an image size of 32-inches to 170-inches.
Its maximum distance to the project is approximately 16 and a half feet. However, it’s recommended to project from a distance of 6 and a half feet.
Mini projectors often have the issue of being too loud. They’re compact and often work feverously to provide large images, so fans are usually going at it. Leisure 3 fixes the issue with a noise suppression system. It should reduce the loud churn of the machine’s fan by about half.
It’s also conveniently compatible with smartphones without the need for an app. You won’t have to download anything, you can simply connect your Android or iOS device using an adapter for your mobile device’s connector.
You’ll also be happy to know that this projector is HDMI capable with 1080p resolution integrated.
- Great for video games and movies
- Capable of projecting huge images
- Noise suppression system to keep a quiet room
- 1080p resolution
- Smartphone compatible
- Not meant for business or professional environments
- The remote is known to be difficult to work with
Your One-Stop Mini Projectors Buying Guide
It’s important to know what aspects of a projector are the most important to you. It all depends on your needs, but it can be confusing to understand which specs are good for what.
Luckily or you, we’ve created an easy-to-read buying guide to go over the key features you should look out for when buying a mini projector.
Work or Play?
This should be the first question you ask yourself when you’re looking to purchase a mini projector. The answer to this will vastly change the options you should be looking at.
Mini projectors made for work environments will typically have brighter lumens associated with it. You’ll often see the lumens reach 4,000 or more in these projectors.
That’s because professional environments can have a large variety of light settings. More lumen translates into an easier viewing experience if the room is full of light.
On the other hand, those who are wanting a projector for video games or general entertainment don’t need to worry as much about the lumens. Ideally, your projector should be set in a room that is optimized to be as dark as possible when using the projector.
If you’re accustomed to watching movies and playing games at night or in a dark room, you’ll only require a relatively low amount of lumens.
Mini Projectors Brightness
As I’ve stated above, lumens come into play when thinking about how and where you’ll be using your mini projector.
You can expect most projectors lumens to start at around 300 but many can and do expand into 6,000+. The prices associated with more lumens may vary, but a generous amount of lumens won’t matter as much if you’re consistently using your mini projector in a dark environment.
Mini Projectors Short-Throw Question
Short-throw projectors are great options, depending on your circumstances. These mini projectors can deliver large images from a small distance away, making them perfect for areas with confined space.
However, they give up some size in the process. Short-throw projectors will often be limited to 150-inches, or in many cases, 100-inches. These can be ideal for more personal settings or work meetings. But, don’t bring them to a presentation for 300.
Generally, short-throw mini projectors aren’t needed for gaming purposes, unless you’re looking for something to put in a personal room.
The choice is yours.
Purchasing a mini projector in 2019 can be a tough decision. Finding the best one is even more difficult as the answer will vary depending on what you need it for.
You’ve made the first step, and these mini projectors listed should cover all the needs you may want out of a mini projector. They’re the five best mini projectors in 2019, and they’ve all earned it.
Be sure to focus on what you need your mini projector before you buy one.
Lumens, short-throw, long-throw, and the setting you’ll be using it in are the key factors to look out for to make the best purchase of 2019.