The 8 Best Mini Projectors to Buy in 2017

Watch movies and give presentations with these portable mini projectors

Vivitek Qumi Q6-BU Q6
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Remember projectors? Those clunky devices your teacher would use to share slides with the class? Well a new class of smaller, smarter devices has moved in that make projecting movies, photos and presentations a breeze. They come in a range of sizes, from pico to palmtop and up, and offer variety of features that make them perfect for home theater enthusiasts, on-the-go business presenters and more. Read through the list below to find the best mini projector for your needs.

The Q6 tops our list of best mini projectors because of its feature richness, smart design, great connectivity options and impressive 1,280 x 800 native resolution. The device, which measures 4.03 x 6.5 x 1.34 inches and weighs 1.1 pounds, comes in an array of six fun colors. It’s rated at 800 ANSI lumens and has a 30,000:1 contrast ratio, so the picture is visible even if your room isn’t too dark.

Unlike most small projectors, this one offers Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you can easily stream from your mobile device of choice via its EasyCast Pro app – no cables needed. And, thanks to its 2.5GB of accessible memory, you can even download media directly to the Qumi internal memory and ditch your device. With native support for popular file formats such as DOCs, PPTs and PDFs, it’s a perfect fit for business people. And while it also projects movies, slight rainbow artifacts and poor speaker performance might deter you from using it in your home theater.

With a native resolution of only 800 x 480, the Elephas 1200 lumens LED mini portable projector might not be the best small projector you can buy, but it’s certainly the best budget one. It can scale up to full HD, but you’ll lose some quality as its not the native resolution.

On a positive note, this projector has great connectivity options: It has two USB ports (including a 5V port), one HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio port, an AV port and an SD card slot. Considering the price point, it has pretty decent speakers, too, but if you’re able, we’d recommend hooking up dedicated speakers via the audio jack. It’s also surprisingly quiet, which makes watching movies much easier. If you’re wary of buying a budget device, its 12-month warranty and two-month hassle-free return/replace policy should let you rest easy.

Honestly, could there be a cuter projector? The tiny RIF6 CUBE is a silver 2- x 2- x 1.9-inch cube that weighs just five ounces, so it easily slips into your bag. (The cube shape, however, makes it not so pocket-friendly.) On one side it has a USB Micro-B port for charging, a power button and a headphone jack. On the opposite side, it has a microSD card slot, a mini HDMI port and a tiny focus wheel. It produces a brightness of 50 lumens and a native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, which is pretty common for pico projectors.

It would be hard to find a projector that Amazon reviewers are more in love with. “Super dope,” “a surprise in a box” and “phenomenal” are just a few of the phrases used to describe it. Still, the RIF6 CUBE does have some faults: it doesn’t connect wirelessly and video quality could be better. But if you’ve got design in mind, this projector is the way to go.

Sure, it's expensive, but the Optoma ML750ST is well worth its steep price tag. The LED projector boasts a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and can upscale video content to 1080i. With 700 lumens, it yields high color accuracy and produces a beautiful, bright picture.

The ML750ST’s short throw ratio of 0.8:1 is also to thank for its impressive image quality. While many projectors need a 1.2:1 to 1.5:1 ratio to project a large picture, the ML750ST can sit rather close.

The ML750ST has run-of-the-mill connectivity options, including an HDMI port, a USB port, a 3.5mm audio output and a microSD slot. Its integrated document reader makes it a great pick for business applications, though. You can project PDFs, DOCs and more from a USB thumb drive, so you don’t need to hook it up to a laptop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an internal battery, so you need to stay within reach of a power outlet, but when used in an office setting, that shouldn’t be a problem.

When it comes to projectors, contrast ration is a major factor. If it’s too low, it will be hard to see the screen, even in dark environments. The P300 is one of the brightest pico projectors on the market, with 400 lumens and a solid 813:1 contrast ratio. The P300 also has a short throw distance. You can place the projector as close as four feet from the screen and still get a decently large and bright picture. This makes it a great projector for business and gaming alike.

The P300 has a removeable battery pack that lasts about an hour. It’s not quite long enough to watch a full movie, but if you carry a spare battery, you’ll be fine. Alternatively, you can keep it plugged in via HDMI. On top of that, it also has connectivity options for VGA, Composite A/V connections, plus microSD and USB readers. Unlike most other small projectors, the P300 comes with a remote, which lets you adjust volume and switch inputs, among other things.

Roughly the size of an iPhone 6S, the 8.5-ounce iCodis G1 pico projector is easily one of the lightest devices on this list, making it perfect for presenters on-the-go. But lightweight doesn’t mean it lacks power. Its 100 ANSI Lumen bulb can project a screen of up to 120 inches, with native resolution of 854 x 480, and it has 30,000 hours of LED life.

It has lots of input options for a pico projector: You can choose to watch media via Miracast, Airplay, Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB or MicroSD. The G1 houses a 3000mAh built-in rechargeable battery, which will keep you running for about two hours. It also comes with a small tripod for easy mounting and stable viewing. Amazon reviewers praise its combination of power and portability, though its one flaw might be sub-par color accuracy.

LG Electronic’s PH550 Minibeam projector is a standout choice for portable projectors with excellent connectivity options. The 4.3 x 6.9 x 1.7-inch projector weighs 1.43 pounds and has a built-in mirroring function that allows it to connect to a smartphone or tablet for projection, but it can also display movies, pictures or even documents directly from a USB drive.

 While the wireless options require an Android device or Windows operating system hardware, (Apple is limited by design), additional options include Bluetooth streaming for sound directly to a Bluetooth-compatible sound system (home theater setup, headphones or even a soundbar) for an all-around projecting experience. The 2.5 hours of battery life for viewing is paired with 30,000 hours of total life on the LG’s LED lamp, adding up to more than 10 years of use even if the projector is utilized for eight hours every day. The native 1280 x 720 resolution and 100,000:1 contrast ratio outclasses nearly all middle-of-the-road portable projectors.

If you’re after a projector with a best-in-class throw, look no further than the ASUS S1. The throw ratio, also known as the distance from the projector’s lens to the screen, is 1:1, so you can get a large picture without needing to sit the device too far away. It’s very compact, measuring just 4 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches and weighing .75 pounds, and it’s housed in an aluminum chassis with a sleek concentric-circle finish.

It packs 200 lumens, has 854 x 480 native resolution and a screen size of up to 100 inches. Because of its limited brightness, some Amazon reviewers complain that the image can appear washed out and the text can be difficult to read. Still, the S1’s 6,000 mAh built-in rechargeable battery can deliver up to three hours of use, which gives it a major advantage over other pico projectors. 

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