Portable projectors let you turn any wall into a movie theater in the blink of an eye. Most come equipped with their own rechargeable batteries, speakers, and apps to stream all your favorite shows on the go.
We’ve tested a handful of portable projectors to help you find the best one for your needs and budget. Our guitar picks are easy to operate and have enough battery life to run a 2-hour movie, yet are small enough to fit in a bag.
BEST PORTABLE PROJECTORS
- Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector
- Nebula Capsule Smart Portable Projector
- Anker Nebula Capsule Max
- Anker Nebula Mars II Pro portable projector
- AAXA P7 portable projector
- Sony MP-CD1 portable projector
Whether you’re using it for work or play, this reliable portable projector lets you make presentations and videos with you wherever you go. It offers an impressive native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels and the ability to project an image up to 120 inches.
The projector is equipped with dual 5 Watt Dolby tuned speakers and all the ports you want. On the back of the device, you will find an HDMI port, a USB-A port, and a headphone jack. This projector depends on an AC adapter for the power supply and is not equipped with a battery.
The beamer runs on one of the most up-to-date versions of Android TV, so you can easily download your favorite apps to stream videos and music. It even has Chromecast and the Google Assistant built in to quickly mirror your smartphone screen or control playback with your voice.
What we like most is that the projector is backward compatible and has no issues streaming 4K HDR content. This means that although it doesn’t output the real 4K video, you can still play 4K video without getting blurry. And since this projector has a full 1080p resolution and 500 lumens of brightness, it offers the best picture quality yet.
Anker’s capsule meets all the requirements of what a portable projector should be. It’s reasonably priced, but it doesn’t feel cheap. It offers a clear picture and exceptional sound quality. Plus, it has a 4-hour battery life, so you never have to worry about it dying before the movie ends.
Compared to the comparable Nebula Capsule II and Nebula Apollo projector, the image quality of this device is not that clear or detailed. With a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels, it’s not even high definition and doesn’t auto-focus like our best selection of photos.
However, we think the picture quality is good enough for most users, and thanks to the projector’s cylindrical design, it delivers a full 360-degree sound. Of all the projectors we have tested or researched, this one has the best design. It’s small and lightweight, and the unique shape and size of the soda can mean you can really take it anywhere.
While we wish it would charge via a USB-C port instead of MicroUSB, this projector is still a great buy considering its excellent balance of price, performance, features, and portability.
The Nebula Capsule Max is very similar to the Capsule Projector mentioned above but is about 18% thicker and an inch larger. What sets it apart is the image quality. With this model, you get an image with a resolution of 720p that is twice as bright. More pixels provides a much more detailed picture and an immersive experience. And since the projector uses the Android TV operating system, you can easily stream your favorite videos and music from various apps.
Compared to the eponymous Capsule II projector, it charges with an AC adapter instead of a USB-C port, which means it isn’t quite as versatile or fast to charge. The Capsule II also has Chromecast technology on board, which means you can quickly “cast” videos on YouTube or other streaming apps from your phone to the projector in just seconds, a feature this model lacks.
Compared to Anker’s Nebula Capsule line, their portable Mars II Pro projector is significantly larger. Fortunately, this one has a handy leather-like handle for easy portability, as well as fuller sound and a much wider picture. It has a resolution of 1280 x 720, a convenient autofocus function, and dual 10-watt audio drivers that deliver full cinema sound that is much louder and clearer than the AAXA P7 projector.
As versatile as the Nebula Capsule, the Mars II Pro features built-in Wi-Fi, an HDMI connector for connecting video game consoles, and several downloadable apps for fast and easy streaming.
While this model costs $ 50 more than the comparable Nebula Mars II, it is brighter and has better color accuracy.
The device is able to project a 120 inch HD image at 600 bright lumens, making it suitable for daytime use.
In addition, the P7 projector offers a wide range of connectivity options, including HDMI, Composite AV, Mini-VGA, USB, and microSD. All these ports are useful when you need to share your computer screen in the office.
At about 5 inches in length and 4 inches in width, the P7 is small enough to throw in a bag, but it doesn’t have a built-in operating system, which makes portability somewhat difficult. You need to use a streaming device, connect it to your laptop via HDMI, play files on USB drives, or use a memory card.
But if you want the best picture quality possible, this portable projector is still a great choice!
Sony’s MP-CD1 projector is about the size of a smartphone, making it small enough to fit in your pocket. But don’t let its size fool you, as it can project a 120-inch screen onto your wall or ceiling. It has a metal body, which makes it feel much more robust and premium than other projectors.
The projector has a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels and can wait 2 hours before needing to be recharged. While the battery life isn’t as long as other projectors we mentioned, you can still use the projector while charging, which is a huge benefit, especially since it has a USB-C port that supports fast charging.
In addition to the USB-C connection, it is equipped with a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, an HDMI port, and a small speaker. We wish the audio quality was a little better and this portable projector had a remote control.