Best mini projector

Projectors

Using specialized projector paint on a blank wall can enhance the image clarity and brightness, adding to the overall experience.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which mini projector is best?

If you’ve always wanted the full cinematic experience without having to spend a fortune on a custom home theater, a mini projector is the perfect alternative. These space-saving and portable devices can connect to most smartphones, laptops, tablets and other modern electronics to project high-quality videos and images. 

A mini projector’s small size makes it great for tight spaces or apartment living. If you’re in the market for one of the best mini smart projectors, the LG PF50KA Wireless Smart DLP Projector is a highly rated choice. 

What to know before you buy a mini projector 

Usage 

Mini projectors aren’t strictly limited to watching feature-length films and TV shows. Many people will actually utilize these handy devices to display slideshows, reports, briefings or their computer screen in office settings. 

Depending on how you intend to use your mini projector, you can base your purchasing decision on the features that will make most sense for your lifestyle. Higher-resolution models will often be better suited for at-home entertainment purposes. 

Image size 

Every projector will state its maximum image size that can be achieved without sacrificing resolution. The majority of mini projectors will have a “screen size” that measures between 60 and 170 inches. This is always measured diagonally from the top to bottom corner. Be sure you have adequate space to accommodate the projector’s image. 

Display location

Since there is no physical screen, a mini projector will need a clear, blank and flat surface on which to project images. Some people prefer to set up a separate projection screen to maximize quality, while others prefer to simply use a large blank wall. 

What to look for in a quality mini projector 

Resolution 

The higher the resolution, the clearer and sharper the display. For the best HD quality resolution, look for models that have a native resolution of at least 1920 x 1080. This will allow them to project in full HD. Others may support 1080p resolution videos but end up reducing the quality to meet their more limited capabilities. You can occasionally find high-end mini projectors with 4K resolution. 

Ease of transportation

One of the best parts about mini projectors is their ability to be moved from place to place. If you plan on traveling with your projector or changing its location often, pay attention to the size and weight so you can find a model that easily fits in your bag or luggage. 

Device compatibility 

There are plenty of mini projectors that feature wireless connectivity so you can pair your device effortlessly. Other ways to connect your device directly to the mini projector include USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, VGA and other common connection ports. 

Some options may also allow you to control the device using a convenient smartphone app. 

Brightness 

A mini projector needs to be bright enough to effectively display your videos or images, which is why you should pay attention to the lumen rating. Most models will have between 100 and 1,000 ANSI lumens. The higher the lumen rating, the easier it is to see in bright settings. 

Battery life

Certain mini projectors will be powered via a rechargeable battery, others may need to be plugged in and some may have the ability to utilize both power methods. If using a battery-powered mini projector, make sure the battery run time is sufficient for your needs. 

Speakers

It is not uncommon for mini projectors to feature built-in speakers, which can come in handy for anyone on the go or those who don’t want to connect external speakers. However, built-in speakers sometimes lack the desired audio quality. 

How much you can expect to spend on a mini projector 

The cheapest mini projectors can be bought for under $100, while you can expect to spend between $200-$300 for midrange models. High-end mini projectors can retail for well over $500.

Mini projector FAQ

Can you use a mini projector outside? 

A. Yes, you can use a mini projector outdoors as long as the display brightness is suitable for the setting. Watching a movie outdoors will likely be better at night or in shaded areas. 

How long do mini projector bulbs last? 

A. Every mini projector should state the expected lamp life, which is represented by the total number of hours. Many will sport a lamp life between 1,500 and 5,000 hours, while others with efficient LED bulbs can run for up to 30,000 hours. Depending on how often you use your projector, it can often last several years before needing a replacement. 

What’s the best mini projector to buy?

Top mini projector

LG PF50KA Wireless Smart DLP Projector

LG PF50KA Wireless Smart DLP Projector

What you need to know: This mini projector from a well-known and reliable brand can produce HD images no matter your location. 

What you’ll love: Weighing just over 2 pounds, this highly portable model connects wirelessly so you can stream TV shows and movies with ease. Plus, the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and 100-inch screen size make for a truly cinematic experience. 

What you should consider: Users have noted that the zoom function on this projector isn’t the best.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top mini projector for the money

Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector

Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector 

What you need to know: The affordable Kodak Luma 150 is a thin and compact projector that is great for travel. 

What you’ll love: By using an efficient LED light source, this projector has a lifespan of 30,000 hours. It also makes it easy to connect your device via wired HDMI or USB connections or through its wireless compatibility. 

What you should consider: If you’re looking for HD resolution, this may not be the best option. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Anker Nebula Apollo Projector

Anker Nebula Apollo Projector

What you need to know: This Anker model is a reasonably priced projector with a long battery life for extended viewing.

What you’ll love: Users will enjoy the compact and sleek design as well as the high-quality built-in speaker function. The accompanying smartphone app gives you complete wireless control over this mini projector. 

What you should consider: The resolution quality is slightly lower than expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.