Author: Travis Young
Last Updated: January, 2020
Having a projector that is portable and can be carried around just as you would a laptop, is seriously useful. Whether you want to use it for a business presentation or a family movie night, being able to easily travel with one of them allows you to do so much.
The best portable projectors out there provide you with high-quality image projection despite their small but convenient size. These gadgets can project your data and video at surprisingly impressive sizes and brightness. You can also get some amazing audio quality from them.
Having a portable projector is like being able to carry around your own private movie cinema. Or if you are using it for presentations, then you can easily set it up wherever you go.
Based on our research and reviews, the best portable projectors for 2020 are:
- ABOX T22 Portable Home Theatre
- EUG Mini Portable Video Projector
- Abdtech Mini LED Projector
- Epson Powerlite
- Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Projector
ABOX T22 Portable Projector
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EUG Mini Projector
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Abdtech Mini LED Projector
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Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Projector
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Best Portable Projectors 2020 – Reviews
This portable device is seriously efficient at doing its job. It is easy to transport and set up, with clear visual quality and value for money, we highly recommend the ABOX T22as one of the best portable projectors.
The Abox T22 projects super crisp images even in bright settings. This is thanks to the brightness quality of up to 46 ANSI lumen which gives you top image quality with bright, vibrant colours. All the details will become clear in your projections with this model.
The quality of projection is aided by the 5 layer LCD technology. While many other projectors will use a single chip to deliver colour sequentially, this one has a dedicated chip to process each primary colour continuously. The LED technology is of an environmentally friendly source.
Lamp life in this model is impressive too. You can watch up to 50,000 hours of video on the lamp – that’s a few years worth of movies. So there is no need to worry about replacement lamps with the T22.
The image size offered by this projector covers a wide range. You can get clear, quality projections starting from 32 inches up to 176 inches. This comes from the range of 1280*720p resolutions. What this means is, no matter what kind of room you are in or what your space needs are, you will be able to easily handle it with this wide size range.
On top of everything, this product is easy to set up and travels really well. We highly recommend it to anyone wanting to own a portable home theatre.
The EUG Mini makes our list of best portable projectors because it offers awesome picture quality and displays at an affordable price. We really like the various useful features on this product and think that it is great value for money all around.
You can easily transform any place into your own private theatre with this highly portable model. It’s around the size of an iPad mini, so carrying it around is no problem at all. Setup is also really simple and easy as the gadget has various connectivity choices (HDMI/USB/VGA/TV). All you need to do is plug it into your source and start projecting.
The gadget has a TFT LCD display, with an LED brightness of 1,500 lumens. This offers you really vivid colour and a fantastic image for projecting in a dark room. The native resolution sits at 960*640 and supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, and 480p. All in all, you get a clean and clear picture that works great for video or presentations from this model.
The LED lamp promises longevity and will last you an impressive 50,000 hours. The cooling fan is nice and quiet, and there are some useful mounting options for this product if you don’t plan on travelling with it.
Small and lightweight, delivering great image quality and brightness at an affordable price, the EUG Mini is a smart buy.
If you are looking for the ultimate home movie projector, then this product by Abdtech should be one of your top choices. With high-quality projection, clear brightness, and pretty powerful built-in speakers, you can turn your home into a private cinema with ease.
This LED projector has a 1,200 luminous efficiency with a native resolution of 800*480p. Basically, this means that it projects clear, rich colours, and a striking image. This is brighter than many other portable projectors can manage, making it ideal for home movies and video games. We definitely recommend using this device in the dark.
A great bonus of this product is the powerful audio that it generates. The built-in speaker offers HIFI stereo audio. This makes travelling with your device a whole lot easier as there is no real need to bring along additional speakers. All you need to do is set the device up and hit play.
The Abdtech Mini offers multiple inputs so that you can plug it into all kinds of sources to project your video or images. The LED lamp gives you 30,000 hours of use for an impressive amount of movie time.
As a portable device, this model really delivers. Weighing in at only 2 pounds, it is super lightweight. This makes it very easy for you to take it anywhere you want. It is also such a compact size that you will have no trouble packing it into your bags.
Quality video picture, good brightness, built in HiFi stereo speakers and long-lasting lamp life, this product does everything you want it to do. We recommend it as one of the best portable projectors for anyone wanting to project wherever they go.
If you are serious about quality and results, then you want a portable projector like the Epson Powerlite. This model is super slim, lightweight, and packs an amazing picture quality. For those looking to project a cinema quality image from a compact device, this is the answer.
The Epson Powerlite has two different settings – one for more well-lit rooms, and one that projects a more vivid colour. There is a 3,200 lumens colour brightness for the more accurate, intense picture, and a 3,200 lumens white brightness for lighter rooms. Both of these offer impressive, crisp results.
In order to keep the images sharp, this product uses a WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800. This offers you double the resolution than SVGA projections. This means that you get an HD quality image for the ideal presentation or movie night.
A feature that we love about this gadget is that it runs completely wireless. This means that you can use your smartphone or laptop to project from anywhere in the room. You are also able to move about freely with the projector and place it wherever is most convenient without the hassle of wires.
The Epson uses 3 chip technology for more accurate colour brightness, and up to 3x wider colour gamut than comparable products.
On top of everything, this is one of the best portable projectors because it is as slim as a laptop and really lightweight. It is the perfect product for travel and delivers the highest quality projections. We recommend the Epson for anybody who wants to see serious results.
- 3,200 Lumens colour brightness
- 1280 x 800 WXGA resolution
- 3 Chip technology for improved colour
- Battery powered
- Slim and ultra-light
- Really impressive picture and colour quality
- Comes with colour brightness and white brightness options
- Auto horizontal/vertical keystone
- Sound quality could be better
- One of the more expensive models
There’s a reason that this product by Magnasonic is called the Pocket Pico – because it is so small that you can easily carry it around in your pocket. Don’t let this concern you about quality though, as this is a gadget that can deliver high quality, big images that are sharp and vivid.
This device definitely does best with video, so if you are looking for one of the best portable projectors to create movie nights then this is a good choice. It does have a fairly low brightness (25 lumens LED DLP light engine), as well as resolution (640 x 360) which is why it does not perform as well with text-heavy presentations in brighter rooms. As a video projector in the dark though, it is crystal clear.
With a fully rechargeable (2100mAh) battery that can last up to 2 hours, you get more freedom to use the projector wherever you want for longer periods of time. This makes travelling and business presentations a breeze with this product.
The Pocket Pico uses an HDMI connector. This means it works perfectly with smartphones, laptops, and tablets as you can easily plug in and project with your device.
There’s an internal speaker included too which actually works pretty well considering the compact size of the device. And if you need to use an external audio source, there is a headphone jack to connect the two.
The size is amazing and seriously convenient for portability, the video quality is sharp, and you get all round great value for money with this product. We love it and would recommend it to anyone looking for something compact and simple.
What To Look For When Buying a Portable Projector
When you see something like “projector resolution 1920×1080”, this is referring to the number of pixels horizontally multiplied by the number of pixels vertically. Pixels are what make up the image projected, and so a greater number of pixels will result in a sharper, more lifelike image. It is the resolution of a projector that ultimately determines the clarity of the image being projected.
Because a higher resolution means a better quality image if you plan on using your projector for videos and movie screenings, definitely look out for the best resolution available.
There are a few standard resolution formats that the best portable projectors follow. These are XGA (1024 x 768), WXGA (1280 x 800), HD (1920 x 1080) and 4K (3840 x 2160). Depending on what you are going to use your gadget for and how serious you are about clarity, the resolution is a major aspect when making a purchase.
Throw distance refers to the distance between the device and the screen it is protecting against. The throw has a big impact on the overall size and quality of what you will be projecting.
Owning a portable projector will probably mean that you want to use it in a variety of different rooms and settings. If this is the case, you will need to be able to adjust the throw as each environment will be unique.
Make sure that your projector has a lens that can be adjusted according to this. Short throw and long throw lenses are both available, and can both be used to fix your throw ratio. Ideally, your device will be easy to use and set up, as you don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling over the lens to get the throw ratio right – especially if you are doing a business presentation.
This is a pretty clear factor when selecting one of the best portable projectors. The smaller and more lightweight your device is, the easier it will be to travel with it and carry it around. If you will be on the move a lot, you really want to make sure that it is of a convenient compact size for your needs.
Pico, or pocket projectors, offer the ultimate portability. They are around the size of a smartphone, and can easily be taken anywhere for on-the-go use. Unfortunately, their brightness and resolution levels are often not lacking when compared to larger models.
LED projectors are a little bit larger than pico models, but they offer more in terms of brightness and picture quality. While they are bigger, they still come in small, compact sizes.
Choosing the right projector for you comes down to what your requirements are. It can be useful to compare your needs on portability with video quality before making a purchase.
Lumens are what is used to measure the total amount of light, or brightness, sent from a projector. This is a vital factor in the device’s overall performance and picture quality.
With more lumens, you will be able to project a brighter, more vibrant image. Colours will come through better and you will see greater definition. With a lower lumen capability, your image will not be as clear.
Projecting in the dark will help you to get a clearer image, but if you plan on using your projector in a light room then definitely look for something that can display a brighter image. Having a higher number of lumens will be an advantage here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many lumens do you need to project in daylight?
If you are projecting in a dark room, 1,000 to 1,200 lumens will be perfect. If you are in a brighter, lighter space though, it is ideal to have around 2,500 lumens or more for a well-defined image.
Do you need external speakers?
Many of the best portable projectors will come with built-in speakers. However, these can often be of a fairly low quality. For better quality, you will need to plug the projector into speakers using a headphone jack.
DLP, LCD, or LED projectors?
DLP projectors deliver sharp images, have a great response time, and can even do 3D. LCD projectors are more affordable and still deliver good images, but require filters and output less contrast. LED’s project better colours and have a longer lifespan. However, they have limited brightness.
How long should a projector lamp last?
All projector lamps have an expected lamp life which varies between different models and projector styles. Lamp life refers to the length of time that the bulb or lamp inside your projector is expected to run for. On the high end, a good LED projector can have a lamp life of around 50,000 hours.
What connectivity ports do I need?
This depends on what you are connecting to your projector. HDMI is what most modern devices use as a connection interface. Other options will be USB, VGA or even the older RCA composite. When shopping for your gadget, know what your source device will be and take it from there.