Best portable projector for 2021

Summer is here, and a portable projector could be your next on-the-go entertainment companion. These little wonders make it possible to watch a movie while camping or have a cinematic experience on the big screen in your backyard – all without having to lug around a big tv. They run on batteries, are about the size of a large Bluetooth speaker, and most can stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney plus, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services without having to add another device.

There are still some drawbacks. One is that the image quality is not very bright – you will only get a fraction of the brightness of a home theater projector, so if you enlarge the projected image, your image will be quite dark. Another is that portable mini projectors are also generally lower resolution. Also, if you’re careful, the battery should last just one movie, but that’s it.

Read more: Portable projectors can create great images anywhere. Are we right for you?

If you are never far from a point of sale, one of our home theater projector choice you will get a much bigger, brighter, and better image for a similar price. But if you want something that’s small enough to fit just about anywhere, with all the possibilities that the battery has to offer, these are the best options.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The Mars II Pro is easily the best compact projector option here because of its light output, overall image quality, ease of use, and overall design. It’s a bit bigger and more expensive than the others here, but the extra money and size is worth it.

The built-in 12,500mAh lasts about 3.5 hours, longer if you just use it as a Bluetooth speaker. There are built-in apps, some of which consider the Mars II a portable device, meaning you can download content to its 8GB internal memory to watch it offline. The leatherette strap also makes it very easy to carry.

Read our Anker Nebula Mars II Pro review.

Read more: Projector Setup Tips: How To Get The Biggest And Best Picture For Movie Night

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

I didn’t like the M2 as much as the Anker above but it does have one thing going in its favor: more pixels. With a resolution of 1080p, compared to Anker’s 720p, you are less likely to see a pixel structure or “screen door effect” when looking at close range or with a very large screen size. picture. However, in most cases 720p is fine, and Anker’s picture is as good or better in many ways.

The Viewsonic is a bigger projector than the others on this list and doesn’t have a built-in battery, so you’ll need to provide your own USB-C drums if you want to make it really portable. It also doesn’t have a handle, and the speakers are worse than the Anker. Even so, if you want 1080p and portability, this is a good choice.

Read our opinion on Viewsonic M2.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The PH30N is not only cheaper than the two above, it’s also tiny. This mini projector fits in my hand, but creates a 720p image. It has an HDMI cable input and a USB connection which might be able to run a streaming stick from the LG internal battery.

Key-in is important as the LG lacks built-in apps. The light output is about half that of the Anker Mars II Pro and M2, although their contrast ratios are about the same. The internal battery should last approximately two hours in the weakest mode of the projector. Less if you also feed a streaming stick.

It fits in places other spotlights won’t, however, which makes it, hum, convenient.

Read our review of the LG CineBeam PH30N.

David Carnoy / CNET

While we don’t like it as much as the Mars II Pro, this smaller, flatter Anker has more pixels than its stable mate and costs about the same price. It also has a superior app store, running full Android TV, but the Solar’s weaker image makes us prefer the Mars overall. Compared to the other 1080p projector on this list, the Viewsonic M2, the Solar is again more dimmer but has a built-in battery and costs a little less. If you want a sleek, budget laptop with 1080p, this is a solid choice.

Read our review of the Anker Nebula solar laptop.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The GV1 has one of my favorite designs of any projector I’ve ever reviewed. To me this little projector is like something from Pixar or Hayao miyazaki would dream. This mini projector is not much bigger than a Coke can and has a tilting head that makes it easy to place the projector where it fits or where it’s needed.

Unfortunately, much of her beauty is superficial. Its image quality is not very bright, its contrast ratio is quite low, and it is only 480p. All of this can be excused considering the size and price, but it’s also quite difficult to use. The internal app store is frustrating, some apps crash or refuse to load properly, and its single input (USB-C with an included dongle for HDMI connectivity) negates the ability to run a streaming stick without external power.

It’s still adorable.

Read our BenQ GV1 review.

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In addition to covering television and other display technologies, Geoff organizes photo tours of museums and cool places around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, aircraft cemeteries and more.

You can follow his exploits on Instagram and Youtube, and on his travel blog, Bald Nomad. He also wrote a bestselling science fiction novel on city-sized submarines, as well as a after.


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