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Best portable projectors 2022: mini, handheld and on-the-go projectors

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Take a look at our selections for the best portable projectors

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(Image credit: Samsujng)

We have selected the best portable projectors to this guide to make it easy to view TVs, movies, and sports outdoors without the limitations of a TV.

Our experience with many projectors means that we are well-informed to identify the main considerations when choosing a portable projector. These include picture quality, connectivity, price, and battery life.

A portable projector can be used to view your favorite TV shows and movies anywhere. For example, you can place it on the wall in your living area, garage, or dorm room if you are a student who wants to share the big screen experience. People who travel for business use them to present in various locations.

Many of the top portable projectors can be used outdoors, so you can transform your backyard into a cinema. As spending priorities have changed over the years, people have been upgrading their homes and outdoor spaces with the most up-to-date technology. A portable projector can make a big difference.

The best projectors available today are portable, which means they are lightweight and compact. These projectors can also be connected wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop via Bluetooth, which makes them extremely fast and easy to use.

We recommend that you take note of maximum image size, resolution and other specs if you are looking for the best portable projectors. These specs will give you an idea of how the content will look projected onto a wall. Pay attention to the battery life. It is important to ensure that your battery life will last at least 2 hours without charging it.

For the ultimate home theater experience, you won’t even need a portable projector. Take a look at our best 4-K projector guide. If you don’t need a portable projector, take a look at our list of the top portable projectors for 2022.

The best portable projectors in 2022:

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung The Freestyle

The ultimate portable projector


Projection system: DLPResolutions 1920 x 1080Brightness 550 LumensContrast ratio 100000:1Video inputs HDMI (micro). Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

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There are many reasons to buy

+Excellent portability+A great suite of built in apps+Impressive auto adjust

Avoidable reasons

-Sluggish navigation-Occasional autofocus issues

Samsung’s The Freestyle projector was designed to be easy to use. Its simple setup was easy to use and had us up in no time.

The Samsung projector is easy to use and has a variety of smart features and streaming apps. It’s almost like a Samsung TV OS you can take along.

We were pleasantly surprised at how easily this projector can be taken with us during our testing. It is only 0.8kg in weight and measures 95.2×171.4×95.2mm. This means that it can be easily picked up and thrown into your backpack.

The Freestyle is our top pick for portable projectors right now, thanks to its amazing (but somewhat finicky) auto-levelling function, excellent Full HD picture quality, and surprisingly loud 360deg speaker.

It isn’t necessarily the most affordable option — see the Anker Nebula Solar Portable below to find a cheaper alternative — but it is definitely the most professional and covers all bases. We wrote about the Samsung The Freestyle projector in our review: “Compact and portable, with a suite of apps, The Freestyle offers everything you need in a single place. You only need a surface to project onto.

We have Samsung’s Freestyle review

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Anker Nebula Solar Portable

The most affordable portable projector


Projection system: DLPResolutions – 1920 x 1080Brightness : 400 lumensVideo inputs : HDMI, USB 2.0Size : 7.6 x 7.6 x 2.3 in Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

View at Amazon

View at Amazon

There are many reasons to buy

+Stunning design+Doubles as Bluetooth speakers

Avoidable reasons

– A bit dim-Sound could have been punchier-No wired headphones output

We loved testing the Anker Nebula solar portable, a stylish and compact mini projector. It delivers in nearly every area and at a very affordable price.

The sleek design of the item will look great on a shelf in your living area between uses. It measures 19.2×19.22×5.45cm, weighs 2.38kg and is small enough to fit in a drawer or a backpack for trips outside.

The battery lasts for about three hours. This is quite good for such a small portable projector. It can also be used to get in a film if you aren’t near a plug socket. You should be able to connect a power bank to the USB-C port for multiple purposes.

The Solar Portable’s Bluetooth speaker functionality is an excellent addition to its feature set. It effectively delivers two devices in one: a Bluetooth projector and a Bluetooth speaker.

The projector’s picture quality is good for its price and form factor. However, we were disappointed by the low brightness. The Nebula Solar Portable’s listed brightness of 400 lumens means that it will not be visible in bright environments. Dark scenes, however, are difficult to see even in ideal viewing conditions.

It’s a great choice if you are looking for a decent projector. We think you will need to upgrade to one Anker’s higher-end models if you want to see a bright, impressive image, such as the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K.

See our Anker Nebula Solar Solar Portable projector review

(Image credit: Anker)

3. Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K

The ultimate luxury portable projector


Projection system: Laser projection system. 3840x2160Brightness 2400 lumens. Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

There are many reasons to buy

+Stunning design +Doubles as Bluetooth speakers

Avoidable reasons

-Sound could sound punchier – No wired output

The Anker Nebula Laser 4K compact projector isn’t your typical one. It’s packing in some considerable brightness, peaking out at 2,400 Lumens, which we found to be sufficiently bright for a semi-light-controlled environment during our testing, and its laser lamp makes for a high-quality image.

It is more than capable of serving as your projector, and can even stay put in your living area. Its dimensions of 26.4x22x15.5cm and weight of 4.8kg mean that it is easy to pack and carry from one room to the next.

The Cosmos Laser 4K’s portability is a problem. There’s no battery onboard. We wrote in our review: “Without battery power the Anker Nebula Astros Laser 4K doesn’t exactly transport well.” Although it’s portable and easy to transport, you will still require AC power to operate the projector. Keep this in mind if your goal is to use the projector outdoors or away from home. If you are looking for an on-board battery, check out the Anker Solar Portable.

It comes with built-in speakers as well as a streaming stick, which can be hidden behind a cover. This device is capable of powering the entire entertainment system in any space it’s placed. This is a great deal for $2,199 / PlayStation1,740 / AU$3,055

There are many options, but the Anker Nebula Astros Laser 4K is the best. It will work well in almost any room, and it will also be a great projector for outdoor use.

Read our Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser4K review

4. Optoma ML750e HD-ready portable projector

The best palm projector portable


Projection system: DLPResolutions 1280 x 800Brightness 700 lumensContrast Ratio: 10000:1Video inputs : HDMI, VGA and microSD, USB Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

There are many reasons to buy

+Good brightness+Versatile projector

Avoidable reasons

-No Wi-Fi-Tablet integration requires dongle

Optoma ML750e projector is versatile and powerful. It weighs in at only 0.4kg and measures just 10.4 x 10.5 x 3.9. During testing, it fit into our hands easily. It is easy to transport and worthy of our top portable projectors guide.

The ML750e is bright and powerful. It has a 700 Lumens bulb that allows you to present in darkened rooms. It’s also great for outdoor use in the evening.

The Optoma ML750e portable projector is smaller than the picture. However, it has an impressive array of ports that makes it one of the most popular in the world. It has one MHL-ready HDMI input and a USB 2.0 slot to store thumbdrives. There is also a universal I/O slot and a microSD slot.

The ML550 performed admirably on our 90-inch screen and reached a maximum of 60 inches. It is worth noting that Wi-Fi access requires a dongle to be purchased. This is the only problem we have found.

(Image credit: ViewSonic)

5. ViewSonic M1 mini Ultra-Portable LED Pocket Projector

Portable projectors at an affordable price


Projection system: LEDResolutions 854x480Brightness 250 lumensContrast: 120000/1Video inputs are HDMI, SD Card and USB-C Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

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There are many reasons to buy

+Compact design+Good selection of ports

Avoidable reasons

Low resolution – Not that bright

Although the ViewSonic M1 measures just 14.6x 4.0x 12.6cm, it is compact and versatile. Despite its small size, it has a good selection of ports.

This allows you to connect the M1 to many devices, and makes it easy for you to take this projector with your.

It’s also not too expensive. The image quality isn’t as good as its rivals due to the low resolution (854 x480 pixels). Projectors with better image quality such as the Optoma ML750e and the Anker Nebula Portable are portable options.

The maximum brightness of 250 lumens is also a little too low. This can cause images to look grainy in bright environments. It’s still a great portable projector that you can use for presentations at work or on vacations, even if it isn’t expensive.

There are several newer versions of the projector that you can buy. Our Viewsonic Mini Projector Review shows that it still has low brightness, but offers 1080p Full HD resolution. It was a solid portable projector that is suitable for first-time buyers.

(Image credit: ASUS)

6. ASUS ZenBeam E1 Portable LED Projector

Best pocket projection


Projection system: DLPResolutions 854 x 480Brightness 150 lumensContrast ratio 3500:1Video inputs HDMI, MHL Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

View at Amazon

View at Amazon

There are many reasons to buy

+5-hour battery +Very small, portable+Can double up as power bank

Avoidable reasons

-Low resolution -Low light output

The Asus ZenBeam E1 projector is so well-designed that it has won numerous awards. It’s compact enough to fit in your pocket and measures 8.3×2.9×11 cm. It also weighs a light 307g.

The tiny dimensions of the device make it easy to carry around, regardless of whether you are looking for a way to share presentations at work or watch movies on the road.

It is important to note that the unit can project images up to 120 inches with a 150 lumen EcoLED light source.

The projector comes with a built-in battery of 6,000mAh that can run the projector for up 5 hours. This makes it very flexible and you won’t need to look for a socket to charge the device so you can watch a movie or two.

The projector can double as a battery bank, which is a nice touch.

The Asus ZenBeam E1 may not be the most powerful portable projector, but it is versatile, easy to set up, and has an eye-catching design that makes it great for traveling.

How to pick the right portable projector

When you are looking for a portable projector, it is important to be aware of what to look out for.

You’ll find the perfect mix of features if you consider how you will use it. Luke Chen, Viewsonic Europe’s senior business line manager, was kind enough to share his perspective (no pun intended).

First, think about what situations you will be using your projector for and then choose the one that best suits your needs. You want to take your smart projector with you? You should consider how portable the projector is. Is it portable? Can it be folded into a portable container? Make sure your projector says “short throw” if it is to be placed on your coffee table.

Consider durability. LED technology does not dimm projector issues and allows smart projectors shine brightly for as long as 30,000 hours. LED light sources are cooler than bulbs-based light sources, which means less fan noise. Look for “Lamp-Free”. This means that you don’t have to rely upon bulbs which can be damaged over time. They’re eco-friendly, too. Lamp free means that no glass bulb is required, which is also a sign of no mercury.

Resolution is another thing to be aware of. Smart projectors can be smaller than regular projectors. This makes resolution the most important thing. A lower resolution is ideal for those who love camping and want to entertain around the campfire. Mini projectors are the most difficult to resolve. However, not all smart projectsors have poor resolution. There are 4K Smart LED projectors on the market. Choose 4K resolution if home entertainment is your preference. The most expensive smart projectors will be called “True 4K” projectsors.

Next, up, apps. Apps are only as smart and useful as the projector itself. It makes sense to have the app store installed on your projector. Is the projector you are looking at compatible with the app store? A smart projector that has ample storage, processors, memory and storage is required to work with apps, stream movies, enable voice commands, as well as stream videos (all in one)

Smart projectors must compromise on sound. This is the only way to pack all components into a compact size. Premium speakers are a good option if you don’t have a premium sound system installed in your home theatre. There is no one-size-fits all projector.

We tested the top portable projectors

Over the years we have tested many types of projectors, but there were some key factors that we had to consider when looking for the best portable one.

Portability is the most important. Different things mean different things to different people. We’ve stated in the guide that certain designs can be moved from one room to another. For example, the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K. Others, such as the ASUS ZenBeam E1 portable LED projector, are more compact. Technically, both are ‘portable’, but in different degrees. We’ve made this clear in our guide.

Projectors must be easy to use. If it is difficult to set up, you don’t need one. While we tested these portable projectors, it was important that they are easy to set up, even if we haven’t had much experience with them in the past.

Although brightness and picture quality are subject to change in the guide, all can project TV shows and movies with decent quality. We looked for projectors with decent brightness and resolution given their price and the value they offer. It’s clear that you will likely get a dimmer experience but in a small and affordable package. This might not be a priority for everyone.

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