Buying Guide for Mini Projectors
Why buy a mini projector?
Investing in home entertainment systems is a great long-term way to save money. You can get theater-like viewing without spending a fortune on tickets and popcorn with a mini screen projector. You can also have convenient control over the image and sound. Plus, mini projectors are more portable than full-sized projectors, so you can take them with you on trips and into the backyard.
What should you look for in a mini projector?
- Sound System: One of the first things you should look for is a great sound system. You don’t want your projector to have great picture quality but poor sound since that’s just half of the equation. Some projectors have the ports or Bluetooth compatibility you need to hook up your own speakers, while others have excellent built-in Hi-Fi speakers.
- Image Quality: Sorting through the technical image specifications can be a nightmare simply because there’s a lot to consider. For example, you want to look for both quality native resolution and supported resolution. The former is what the project is designed to display, and the latter is the resolution you can put into the projector. Look for a mini screen projector that offers the brightest and sharpest image quality to ensure that your pictures and videos are projected clearly. Other things to consider are lumens, color-contrast ratio, and aspect ratio.
- Ports: Many projectors come with different connection ports, so you aren’t as limited in terms of the kind of entertainment device you would like to connect to it. Some mini projectors have HDMI, USB, AV, and audio ports in place of Wi-Fi capability and are wired connections for smartphones and other media.
What should you know about viewing screens?
Some mini projectors actually come with screens. While it’s nice to have a screen, you don’t need necessarily need one. You can achieve a decent picture if you have a large, blank, white wall. Additionally, most mini projectors are adjustable to a wide range of image sizes. Maybe you want to curl up in bed and watch a movie projected onto the wall, small or big, in front of you. There are kids’ portable projectors that can be taken on camping trips where the tent becomes the screen. That’s the kind of flexibility that makes a mini projector worthwhile.
Our Picks for the Best Mini Projectors
TOPVISION T6 Portable Home Theater Mini Projector
An impressive multimedia projector with everything you need to make a home theater.
Pros: A quality mini projector is all you really need to create a home theater vibe, especially with a projector like the TOPVISION T6 and the included 100-inch screen. It uses upgraded LED lighting that’s more than 85% brighter than comparable 1920 x 1080 projectors. This projector provides a viewing size from 72 to 240 inches with a projection distance between 6.8 to 22 feet. With 9.5 feet of projection feet, you can achieve a projection size of 90 inches. With its built-in Hi-Fi stereo speaker, you’ll have crystal clear sound, but you can hook up an external speaker if you’d like to use the 3.5-millimeter audio output. For outdoor movie nights, take advantage of the remote control to change the projection size from 40% to 100% without changing the projection.
Cons: The main disadvantage to this mini projector is that it’s not Wi-Fi or Bluetooth compatible. If you want these features, you may want to look at other options.
Bottom Line: For all its multimedia capabilities, the TOPVISION T6 is a great buy. It’s hard to find projectors with the same quality of lighting.
VILINICE 7500L Mini Movie Projector
This mini projector makes an impressive cinematic experience.
Pros: The VILINICE mini projector supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you can easily connect your iOS or Android devices. The HD projector supports 240-inch viewing, perfect for an immersive indoor home cinema experience. Ready for some incredible specs? With its multi-layer, high-quality glass and optical film, the VILINICE can support 1080P resolution, native 720P resolution, 7500 L brightness, 5000:1 contrast ratio. It also features two fans with temperature sensors to adjust speeds so that the projector doesn’t overheat. This design reduces power consumption and can keep the lamp running up to 80,000 hours. Finally, there are also a variety of ports, so you connect the movie projector to computers, Amazon Fire Stick TVs, DVD players, and more.
Cons: The temperature control may be effective, but some customers report that the fans are loud.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for the ultimate indoor movie experience, the VILINICE 7500L might be just what you’re looking for. If you need a bit more convincing, the projector comes with remote control, HDMI cable, and a three-in-one AV cable.
NICPOW Mini 7500 L Outdoor Projector
A compact, portable outdoor movie projector with sharp picture quality and a variety of viewing options.
Pros: Designed specifically for outdoor movies, this mini projector comes with a 100-inch screen and features numerous optical capabilities to produce a fantastic viewing experience. The projector supports 1920 x 1080P resolution with 7500 L brightness, 4:3/16:9 aspect ratio, and ±15° keystone correction. The keystone correction adjusts image sharpness for the optimal high-definition image. Additionally, the projection distance is between 3.3 to 16 feet, and the viewing size is 32 to 240 inches and 6000:1 color contrast. Equipped with HDMI, USB, AV, AUDIO interfaces, the NICPOW mini projector is one you can easily connect your smartphone, PC, tablet, laptop, TV sticks, and more.
Cons: The mini projector does not come with the Lightning to HDMI adapter needed adapters to connect with iPhones or the MHL cable to connect with Android phones.
Bottom Line: There’s so much about the NICPOW mini projector to appreciate! Along with its impressive viewing specs, it comes with Hi-Fi stereo speakers and an SRS sound system for an immersive experience.
PVO YG300 Pro Kids' Portable Mini Projector
A cute mini projector made for kids and those who want an ultra-compact device for viewing entertainment.
Pros: Its most outstanding feature is its portability. Kids can take the PVO YG300 Pro just about anywhere—camping, en route to a travel destination, or grandma’s house—and enjoy games, movies, and videos. It’s only 5.6 inches wide, 3.7 deep, and 2.1 thick, and weighs only 11.2 ounces, the right size for kids to carry. The caveat is that this incredibly portable projector must be powered by a power adapter, mobile phone charger, car charger, power pack via micro USB interface, as it doesn’t take batteries. It’s equipped with multiple ports and connects easily to multiple media devices, including HDMI-enabled devices. In terms of viewing, the YG300 has a supported resolution of 1080P full HD and a native resolution of 800 x 480. It can project a maximum of 150 inches.
Cons: This mini projector has relatively limited brightness and low resolution. Also, it has neither Wi-Fi nor Bluetooth capability.
Bottom Line: This mini projector is so compact that it should fit into most pockets, backpacks, and totes. It’s an incredibly entertaining device, though it’s perhaps not the best for school or work.
AuKing Portable Mini Projector 2600 L,
A quality, long-lasting projector for those on a budget.
Pros: The AuKing is a great choice for a home cinema system because it meets all of the marks and is easy on the wallet. It supports up to 1080P and 2600L, with a native resolution of 800 x 480, and the contrast ratio is 2000:1, all specifications that make the mini projector 35% brighter than comparable products. Its projection size varies between 32 to 170 inches and 1 and 5 meters in distance. You can adjust the keystone correction and focus wheel to change the image shape and clarity. It has quality built-in speakers and audio ports if you want to hook up external ports. Finally, the AuKing is built with impressive fan cooling technology, which cools the heat of the LED lamp efficiently, extending the bulb life to 55,000 hours. It’s compatible with HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, and SD cards.
Cons: You’ll need an extra Lightning to HDMI adapter to connect to iPhones and an extra Micro USB to HDMI adapter to connect to Androids.
Bottom Line: The AuKing features a wide range of ports and impressive specs and brightness for its small size and reasonable price.
Mini projectors are fantastic for creating movie theater vibes inside your own home, yard, or vacation rental. Our selections are great products to help you enjoy more movie nights.