There’s nothing quite like going to the movies or a drive in to see a new movie. Something that is shared between these experiences is the unique offers that come from having a projector.
Projectors have come a long way in recent years as they get higher resolutions and smaller form factors that make them more appealing than ever before.
It is a common belief that projectors are only for movie theatres and expensive home theaters, but that is no longer the case. Modern projector companies are creating a new category of projectors that are known as portable projectors.
These projectors are smaller and able to be used in a wider variety of places than traditional options in a more comfortable form factor.
To help give you some buying advice, we want to give you some of the best portable projector options for 2021. As we look at the best offerings on the market, we will also give you some buying advice and outline what you need to know about every projector to pick your favorite.
Table of Contents
The Five Best Portable Projectors of 2021
While a review gives you a deeper dive into what each projector offers, we want to make your choosing process for a portable projector as easy as possible. To do this, we have made a table that outlines the products we will review later as well as the highlights and why you would want each product.
Reviews of the Best Portable Projectors of 2021
With the quick comparisons now out of the way, let’s dive into each product individually to see what each one is about. We hope that these reviews provide you the necessary information you need to make an informed purchase decision.
Marketed as the cinema experience that can fit in your pocket, the Nebula Capsule II is the same size as a standard can with a lot more packed inside. This package is perfect for low-light situations and home movie experiences.
The DLP technology helps project screens up to 100” without needing to be placed far away. The high-quality sensor also allows the unit to project in clear 720p that is sure to please even the pickiest movie lover.
Get fully immersed in the movie experience as you are surrounded by sound with the built in speaker that makes for one less thing you need to worry about bringing with you. Every scene comes to life with realism and plenty of clarity making for an amazing experience.
Take advantage of the powerful Android 9 TV 9.0 that allows you to watch what you want, the way you want it. Try out any number of the 3,600 apps included with the projector so you can switch from watching an action movie to a live stream in a second.
- Very small form factor in a compact package
- Built-in speaker for easy movie watching
- Large screen potential under the right circumstances
- Instant access to thousands of apps
- Rather expensive for a non HD unit
This small but mighty projector is much more than meets the eye as it can outperform even some of the large standard size units. Not only is It incredibly portable, but it is packed full of useful features that the traveling movie lover will appreciate.
The native 1080p resolution from this unit is a pleasant surprise considering the price and overall size of the projector. Get up to a 120” screen in the right conditions and have all the ports you need to plug in your devices for projection.
A unique feature for this unit is it’s included battery that allows you to use this unit without the help of wall power. Get up to 90 minutes of playback from a single charge to watch your movies wherever you want to take them to.
The onboard speaker is perfect for those times you want to get off the grid and don’t want to have to deal with a mess of cables. As a plus, the onboard bulb is rated at 30,000 hours and will likely never need to be changed.
- High definition projection from a small unit
- Variety of input connection options
- Internal battery for audio playback
- Long-lasting bulb for thousands of hours
- Not the slimmest design for transporting
LG is a big name in the entertainment industry, so seeing a mini projector from them is very promising. The Minibeam takes everything great about larger units and boils it down into a package that is much easier to transport to wherever you need to use it.
The HD resolution of this unit is a nice feature to have for the size as you are able to enjoy your media with a higher quality than many competitors. The 30,000 hour bulb life is another plus that allows you to enjoy many movies with this unit.
Wireless connection and Bluetooth mean that you are able to use this unit with no strings attached to anything. Get connected to android for sharing your media content and link up with a speaker to get immersed in sound.
The icing on the cake for this unit is the powerful built-in battery unit that adds to the wireless usage of the device. Get up to 2.5 hours of playback to watch any movie you want in a format that is comparable to larger and wired projectors.
- HD playback with a durable bulb
- Wireless connections to speakers and media
- Internal battery with long life
- Reputable brand name and quality
- Not great in brighter areas
For the business presenter looking for something unique and easy to use, the ViewSonic M1 could be just what you are looking for. This unit fits right in with the office décor and has some added features to make it great for giving presentations on the go.
The design of this unit is very unique as it comes with its own stand that can come in handy in a pinch. You are also able to orient this projector in a number of ways so that you can always have an effective screen size and views.
The included speakers in this unit are a very premium option as they come from reputable audio engineers Harmon Kardon. Experience sounds right out of a recording studio when using this unit to impress anyone with its powerful speaker unit.
If you are looking for a unit that has a powerful internal battery, this could be a great option for you. Get up to 6 hours of battery life when using this unit which is substantially more than almost any other projector of this size.
- Classy and practical design
- Class-leading interior speakers
- Very long battery life
- Simplistic controls and interface
- Doesn’t have a very high quality resolution
For a literal pocket projector, the APEMAN NM4 projector has all the power you could ever need in a package that can slip in and out of your packet. Finding a unit of this size with all the features packed into the APEMAN is something very exciting.
To make your viewing experience as pleasant as possible, this projector comes with an included tripod that allows you to set it up perfectly. To help you get immersed in your media, the unit comes with a quiet operating design that doesn’t buzz or whine when in use.
Watch whatever you want the way you want to watch it with a substantial amount of inputs for connecting any kind of device you want. When watching with this tiny unit, enjoy your content in full HD for a cinema experience in your pocket.
Take your movies and media on the go with a built in battery that can help you enjoy around 2 hours of movie content anywhere you want.
- An incredibly small and powerful package
- Included tripod and quiet fan
- A wide array of connection options
- Built-in battery for off the grid viewing
- Doesn’t project the biggest screens
Portable Projector Buyer’s Guide
With a projector being something you want to really understand before buying, we want to make sure you have some helpful information when picking your unit.
Let’s take a look at a few important considerations to keep in mind when looking at portable Projectors.
Portable Projectors vs Standard Projectors
When deciding between buying a portable projector and a standard projector, you need to understand what you are looking to use your projector for. If you plan on just using a projector in one room somewhere with consistent power, then a standard projector may work for you.
If you want to use a projector in unique locations where you aren’t tied down by bulky and difficult to set up units, then a portable projector may be perfect for you.
Portable Projector Resolution
Resolution refers to the quality of the image produced by the projector. Why this is an important thing to keep in mind when buying a projector is because it can have a substantial impact on your viewing experience.
For example, a 720p and a 1080p projector resolution will look a lot different, especially when you are trying to create a larger image. If you are just using your projector for presentations and don’t need too large of a screen, the resolution may not matter as much.
Portable Projector Lumens
Lumens are a number you will see on every projector that represent how bright the image produced by the projector will be. The higher the lumen number on the projector, the easier it will be to see when it is being used in a brighter environment.
If you think you’ll mainly be using your projector in dark areas, the lumen count is not too important. If you think you will need to use the projector in areas where there is a higher amount of light, looking for a projector with more lumens will help the image quality.
Just because projectors used to be large and clunky doesn’t mean that they are still built that way. Modern portable projectors can give you plenty of power and a great experience wherever you plan on taking them.
Every projector we looked at has a personality of its own and provides users with a unique experience. You’ll find some projectors that don’t really seem to make sense for your needs and then find some that you have to have.
From projectors that can fit in your pocket to ones that fit in your hand, this guide looked at the best portable projectors of 2021.