The Best Portable Projectors of 2023

Projectors have come a long way from those gigantic, unwieldy boxes we lugged around for meetings and school presentations. These days, the best portable projectors are light, compact, and incredibly easy to use.

What to Look For in a Portable Projector in 2023

When it comes to projectors, full-sized or not, brightness is king. Measured in lumens, a projector’s brightness determines how well the image will be visible in different lighting conditions. For a portable projector, aim for at least 300-500 lumens for indoor use in dimly lit rooms. If you plan to use it outdoors or in well-lit spaces, opt for a model with 1000 lumens or more.

A projector’s resolution refers to the number of pixels it can display, affecting the image quality. A 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) resolution should suffice for presentations or casual movie nights. However, if you want a more immersive viewing experience, consider a portable projector with a 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution or higher.

Mini projectors can have resolutions below 720p, but this shouldn’t be much of an issue if the projected image size versus your viewing distance is reasonable.

In this era of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, your portable projector must play nice with your devices. Ensure that it has various connectivity options, such as HDMI, USB, and even Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for wireless streaming. Some projectors even offer compatibility with streaming devices, making sharing content from your preferred sources easy.

Some portable projectors have built-in batteries, while others can be run from battery banks or other USB sources. When a projector does have a battery, it’ll last about two to three hours, which will last for most movie run time. Unless you’re watching The Irishman or The Lord Of The Rings’ extended edition, you may want to invest in a portable power station as well.

Usually, we don’t recommend portable projectors for gaming purposes, but if that’s your specific use case, take some time to look up the total latency for any projector you’re looking to buy. However, any projector with a native resolution below 1080p is unlikely to be comfortable for gaming.

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Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12
Epson

Pros

Cons

✓ 1080p HDR

✗ No auto keystone correction

✓ Laser promises longevity

✓ 3LCD engine means no rainbow artifacts and equal color and white brightness

✓ Compelling design

✓ Great audio

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is a smart streaming laser projector that stands out in a crowded market of LED projectors. It’s impressive how much tech Epson could squeeze into this portable model.

Its matte black finish and rounded corners make it an attractive addition to any living space. The built-in Android TV platform to the Mini is a welcome addition, eliminating the need for an external streaming device. Setup is a breeze, and the user interface is snappy and responsive based on what customers say.

The laser projection system is the true star of the show, offering bright and vibrant colors with a respectable contrast ratio. The native 1080p resolution may seem a tad antiquated in the era of 4K, but the image quality is still impressive, especially considering the projector’s size. In any case, 4K portable projectors, especially at reasonable prices, are still a ways off.

However, the Epson isn’t without its faults. The lack of automatic keystone correction can make that setup a bit finicky for those with less-than-perfect manual adjustment skills.

The EpiqVision is on the pricier side of the portable projector spectrum, but thanks to that laser system and 1000-lumen brightness, this can be your projector at home or wherever else you may go.

epson epiqvision
Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector

Epson’s portable projector is a little pricey, but it has fantastic specs and image quality, making it worth the price.

WIMIUS P61 Projector on a gradient background
WIMIUS

Pros

Cons

✓ Solid design with leather handle and vents

✗ No keystone correction

✓ Supports 1080p video at 16:9 aspect ratio

✓ 40 to 300-inch large screen display

✓ Lots of connectivity options, robust multimedia playback built-in

The WIMIUS P61 Projector is a capable and versatile high-lumen portable projector that is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Combine that with its 1080p FHD resolution, and you’ll get vibrant and clear visuals that offer a more realistic and immersive viewing experience.

It sports a minimalist rectangle design and a nifty leather handle for carrying it about. Tiny air outlets throughout its chassis help to dissipate any heat it generates, allowing it to function for longer.

With a display size of 40 to 300 inches and 16:9 aspect ratio, it is ideal for use in any-size enclosure or space and can create cinematic quality viewing. 2 x 6W speakers with SRS sound ensure that audio output is great, allowing you to enjoy your viewing experience all the more.

Connectivity is a breeze with the WIMIUS P61. Equipped with 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, and a smart remote controller, you have multiple options to seamlessly connect your Android, iOS, Fire TV Stick, HDMI, PlayStation, USB, and AV devices, among others.

Say goodbye to manual focusing hassles. The WIMIUS P61 features electric focus for adjusting image sharpness. Measuring 5.3 x 4.1 x 6.1 inches and weighing 1.9lbs, it is easy to carry and set up anywhere, making it perfect for movie nights, gaming sessions, or business presentations.

WIMIUS P61 Projector pfp on transparent background
WiMiUS Mini Projector

Best Budget Portable Projector

$130 $200 Save $70

The WiMiUS Portable Projector is a great option for those looking for a high quality projector that is both affordable and portable.

Best Mini Portable Projector: LG PF50KA

LG PF50KA in bag
LG

Pros

Cons

✓ Small and light

✗ Not the best built-in sound

✓ Built in battery

✓ 1080p at up to 100

✓ Comes with LG SmartTV WebOS

The LG PF50KA is a compact, full HD LED projector that aims to balance portability and functionality.

The design of the PF50KA is both modern and minimalist, with a clean, white finish that complements any décor. The compact form makes it easy to transport and a suitable companion for movie nights, gaming sessions, or business presentations. The built-in LG SmartTV platform offers access to many streaming services without needing an external device.

Sporting a native 1080p resolution, the LG PF50KA offers crisp, detailed images with impressive color accuracy, thanks to its LED light source. The 600 lumens brightness is sufficient for most dimly-lit environments, although it might struggle in well-lit rooms.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The built-in speakers, while serviceable, may disappoint those seeking a more immersive audio experience. Additionally, the 2.5-hour battery life, while fine for shorter sessions, could be limiting for extended use.

The LG PF50KA is a well-rounded portable projector that offers an appealing mix of performance and portability. Its full HD resolution and Smart TV functionality are standout features, but potential buyers should be prepared to invest in a separate speaker system and manage battery life expectations.

For its mix of specifications, size, and price, we think this is the best mini-class portable projector you can buy.

lg pf50ka
LG PF50KA Portable Full HD Projector

$275 $700 Save $425

The LG PF50KA has great performance for its size and price, almost like a shrunken-down version of a normal projector.

Samsung The Freestyle Projector on table
SAMSUNG

Pros

Cons

✓ Ease of setup

✗ Some reviews mention occasional autofocus glitches

✓ Impressive image quality for the price

✗ Perhaps a little pricey

✓ Tizen OS with all major streaming apps

✓ Impressive auto adjustment

✓ Optional Battery Base

✓ Usable 360 speaker

Samsung’s The Freestyle FHD projector has an innovative design and impressive features. The compact, lightweight, and cylindrical design allows for easy portability and 180-degree rotation, making it suitable for various surfaces and locations, be it indoors or outdoors. The built-in handle and (optional) battery support add to its convenience.

The projector delivers crisp, vibrant visuals with a Full HD resolution (1920×1080) and HDR10+ content support. Its 550 ANSI lumens brightness is adequate for most indoor settings, while auto-focus and auto-leveling functions ensure a hassle-free setup. At the same time, the built-in speakers provide decent audio quality.

Integration with Samsung’s Smart TV platform and compatibility with popular voice assistants make it a versatile device for streaming apps and controlling your media. However, the projector’s brightness may be insufficient for well-lit rooms with only 550 peak lumens, and its price point could be a sticking point.

Given its design, easy adjustment, and amazing automated setup technology, The Freestyle is perfect for an impromptu movie night. In practice, the auto-focus feature seems a little unreliable, but it gets it right often enough to be considered a boon.

samsung the freestyle
SAMSUNG 30 – 100 The Freestyle FHD HDR Smart Portable Projector

$505 $598 Save $93

Samsung has a truly innovative portable projector with an awesome auto image setup feature.

FAQ

How do portable projectors work?

Portable projectors work by projecting an image onto a surface, such as a wall or screen, using a light source and a lens. They typically use LED or laser technology for their light source, and can be connected to various devices such as laptops, smartphones, and gaming consoles. They tend to be smaller than regular projectors and many can run from battery power.

How do I connect a DVD player to a portable projector?

To connect a DVD player to a portable projector, you can use an HDMI cable or a composite video cable, depending on the inputs available on both the DVD player and the projector. Simply connect the cable to the corresponding ports on both devices, and switch the projector to the correct input source.

How do I connect a phone to a portable projector?

To connect a phone to a portable projector, you can use a compatible cable, such as an HDMI cable or a USB-C to HDMI adapter, depending on the type of phone and the inputs available on the projector. You may also be able to connect wirelessly using technologies such as Miracast or AirPlay.

Do I need a projector screen for my portable projector?

While you can project the image onto any flat surface, using a projector screen can help improve the quality of the picture by providing a more uniform and reflective surface. It can also help reduce the effect of ambient light and provide a more immersive viewing experience. However, using a projector screen is unnecessary, and you can still enjoy your portable projector without one.


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