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Best portable projector for 2021 Best 2022 portable projection device for 21

Best portable projector for 2021 Best 2022 portable projection device for 21

A portable projector is a great way to enjoy soaring IMAX films in your backyard, or you can take one with you on the go to conduct presentations -- all without having to carry tvs. These tiny wonders run on batteries and are about the size of a large Bluetooth speaker. Most miniature projectors can stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services without having to install another device.

Nonetheless, a portable projector has its share of drawbacks. One problem with the mini projector picture quality is that it's not very bright -- you'll only get a fraction of the brightness of if you increase the projection size too much, your image will be distorted. And too much ambient light may render your film unwatchable. Another drawback is that tiny projects, such as pocket projectors, have a lower resolution. Further, portable projector batteries don't have hours of life in them -- if you're careful, the battery should last for a single film, but that's it.

If you're never going to be far from an outlet and have a projector screen, external speaker, and more in your backyard, one of our home theater projecto picks will give you soaring, brighter, higher-resolution images for similar money. These are the best portable mini projectors if you want something that's small enough to fit just about anywhere with all the choices battery power provides.

Best portable projector for portable use

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET Geoff Morrisson/Geoffree Morrisin/Edward Morriso/The CNET/ Geelocation Morrisson is a journalist who works at CNet

Due to its high output, overall image quality, ease of use, and overall design, the Mars II Pro is easily the best compact projector option. This mobile device is a bit bigger and more expensive than any other portable projector, but the extra money and size is worth it.

The 12,500-mAh capacity is good for about 3.5 hours, or more if you use it as a Bluetooth speaker. There are apps integrated, some of which consider the Mars II a portable device, which means you may download material to its 8GB internal memory for offline viewing. The faux-leather strap also makes it super easy to transport the outdoor projector around.

Read our Anker Nebula Mars II Pro review.

$550 at Amazon.com.
Walmart offers $550 for $575.

Best 1080p portable projectors

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET/Geoffree Morrisson

The M2 wasn't as good as the Anker above, but it does have one thing in common: more pixels. With 1080p resolution, compared to the Anker's 720p, you're less likely to see pixel structure or a "screen door effect" when watching from close-up or with 'a really big image screen size. However, in most cases, 720p is fine, and the Anker's screen image is equally or more impressive in many ways.

The Viewsonic is a larger video projector than the others on this list, but it lacks 'a built-in battery, so you'll have to supply your own USB-C battery pack if you want to make this outdoor projecter truly portable. It also lacks 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 Viewsonic M2 review.

Adorama, in Adorema, is offering 700 dollars for $700.

Best budget portable projectors for small projects.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET Geoff Morrisn/Geoffree Morrisson/GEO

The PH30N is not only less expensive than the two above, it's also incredibly compact. This mini projector fits perfectly in my hand, yet it produces a 720p image. It has an HDMI cable input, as well as a USB connection that might allow you to use if you want to stream content from the LG's internal battery.

Because the LG lacks built-in applications, the stick connection is crucial. Although their contrast ratios are roughly the same, light output is about half that of the Anker Mars II Pro and M2. The internal portable mini projector battery should last about two hours in the projecter's dimest mode. Reduced battery life when you're also powering a streaming stick.

The mini projector, on the other hand, fits in areas that other projecters won't, making it, ahem, handy.

Read our LG CineBeam PH30N review.

$397 on Amazon at 397.
Walmart's $397 offer at Walmart is $317.
Best Buy offers a $397 price tag on Best Purchase.

Best portable 1080p projector runner-up

David Carnoy/CNET/David Caroo

While we didn't like it as much as the Mars II Pro, this smaller, flatter Anker mini portable projector has more pixels than its blocky stablemate and costs about the same. It also has a superior app store, with full Android TV, but the Solar's dimming image makes us prefer the Mars overall. Compared to the Viewsonic M2, the Solar lacks brightness and is dimmer, but has a built-in battery and costs surprisingly less. If you want a sleek, budget-friendly portable with 1080p resolution, this is arguably advisable.

Read our Anker Nebula Solar Portable review.

$600 on Amazon.com.

Cutest portable projector.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET/Geoffree Morrisn/ Geoff Morrisson/FrenchNet/GEoffrei Morrisson

The GV1 has one of my favorite designs of any mini projector I've ever reviewed. To me, this tiny projector is like something Pixar or Hayao Miyazaki would dream up. This mini projector is about 10 inches in size and has a tiltable head that makes it easy to place the projecter where it's needed or where he or she is.

Sadly, the beauty of this portable projector is largely skin deep. Its picture quality isn't very good, its contrast ratio is a bit low, and it's only 480p. The size and price are all reasonable, but it's also fairly difficult to use. The internal app store is frustrating, some applications crash or do not load correctly, and its one input (USB-C with an included dongle for HDMI connectivity) negates the ability to use a streaming stick without external power.

It's also very cute, though.

Read our BenQ GV1 review.

$497 at Amazon.com.
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