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Of the seven of the best mini projectors on this list, the Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector shined the brightest, with upgraded LED lighting that provides 60 percent more brightness than other products, while boasting 3,600 lumens and a bulb capacity of 40,000 hours. This multimedia projector offers fantastic picture quality and easily connects to nearly any gadget, via USB, VGA, or HDMI ports, and features an innovative cooling system that keeps fan noise to a minimum.
To help you find the best mini projector, one that is well suited to a home theater, business environment, or camping setting, we scoured mini projector reviews and tested out a plethora of models, looking for products that delivered pristine HD visuals onto large canvases, looking for just the right lumen capacity (no less than 2,600) and long-lasting bulbs (no less than 40,000 hours.) We also kept an eye out for the best mini projector for iPhone and Android OS users, as well as the best cheap mini projector, seeking products that were so easy to set up that anyone could get it out of the box and have it ready to watch movies or business presentations in minutes. Keep reading to learn more about the Vankyo Leisure 3 and the other overhead projectors on this list. Another mini projector from Anker that just missed our list is the Nebula Capsule II.
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Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Why we like it: This affordable mini projector has an HD resolution of 1920×1080 px and easily connects with a wide variety of platforms, including iPhone, Android, Xbox, and Mac, and PC laptops. It’s also among the quietest of all the products listed in our mini projector reviews.
Read Full Review: VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector Review
If quiet operation and ease of set-up are priorities, this may be the best mini projector on Amazon right now in its price range. But, you could always compare the Vankyo vs Yaber to verify its features. The Vankyo Leisure 3 LED Projector has a noise reduction feature that cuts fan noise in half, and it has twin HDMI ports as well as USB and VGA ports, so you can connect it with computers, smart TV, smart home devices, and mobile devices, too, though you’ll likely need to supply a USB-C to USB cord in order to use it with a recent Mac.
Brightness tops out at a respectable 3600 ANSI lumens, and bulb life is listed at 40,000 hours. Resolution is up to 1920×1080 or full HD, and the viewing size goes up to 170,” making it perhaps the best cheap mini projector in this regard. And the best monitor in picture quality. If you want something with 4k, take a look at the best 4k projector. But, keep in mind that 4k projectors can be expensive.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This LCD mini projector ships with a 100” screen included, plus it comes with handy features like built-in dual speakers and an easy-to-use focus knob.
Read Full Review: DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Review
This versatile product is often listed near the top of its class in the best mini projector reviews. It matches our top pick, the Vankyo, in terms of claimed bulb life, contrast ratio, and brightness. Though it is capable of 1080p HD with certain applications, it lists a native resolution of 1280×720.
It doesn’t have wifi or Bluetooth. However, it offers a large array of physical connection options, including an SD card slot, which is great for watching videos from your camera or editing photos with a creative team. It also has HDMI, USB, and VGA ports. With the HDMI input, you can connect your game console, TV stick, DVD, laptop, PC, etc. A 3.5mm headphone jack is also great for connecting your gaming headphones. This mini projector is also one of the few that ships with an included projector screen. Overall, this is one of the best projectors for any of your entertainment needs.
Award: BEST PORTABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: A well-designed portable mini projector with WiFi and built-in speakers, it offers a 360º speaker, a 100-lumen lamp, and a battery life long enough for 4 hours of movie watching.
Read Full Review: Anker Nebula Capsule Review
One of the new breed of “smart” mini projectors (with Android 8.1 operating system), this device can pair with a smartphone or laptop either wirelessly over WiFi or via its USB or HDMI ports, and it can also work on its own to display media from various streaming services such as Netflix, Youtube and more. You can also stream content to this monitor via Bluetooth, Airplay, or Miracast. It’s also remarkably bright with perfect picture quality, for such a tiny (soda-can-sized) machine. This portable projector is compact and weighs just 1.04 pounds, so it is easy to carry around. That is more than half the weight of our #1 pick, which weighs 2.1 pounds.
Along with its 100-lumen lamp, this mini projector has a built-in 360-degree speaker. It’s battery-powered so you can take it with you anywhere, and the battery is rated to last for 4 hours of viewing. If you want to look at other options, check out this list to find the best projector screen for you.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bargain-priced home mini projector comes with built-in dual speakers, up to 170” image size, and a class-leading 55,000-hour lamp life.
Read Full Review: AuKing Mini Projector 2020 Review
Thanks to a long, 55,000-hour lamp life and a versatile screen size, this might be the best cheap mini projector we’ve tested. It has VGA and USB ports and can easily connect with most Mac and PC laptops, and though it lacks wireless or mobile app functionality, it’s easy to connect it to a mobile phone as well if you have the right cable. But, making a projector with your phone might be another alternative.
Compromises are few, and compared to the best mini projector on Amazon overall, the max brightness of this budget mini projector falls a bit short, at 2600 lumens compared to over 3700 lumens. For other budget options, check out the best projector under 1,000.
Award: BEST BRIGHTNESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A unique design and bright, 3800-lux lamp and large, 200” max screen size make this mini projector a great choice for home theater use, office presentations, or even outdoor movie screenings.
Read Full Review: Vamvo L4200 Portable Video Projector Review
Well designed and boasting the largest canvass size of the mini projectors we’ve tested, this model is well suited to home theater use and is capable enough to use in a classroom, office, or even for backyard screenings as well. It has HDMI, VGA, audio out via a 3.5mm headphone jack, and twin USB ports.
Compatible with fire TV stick and PS4, this is also perhaps the best mini projector for iPhone in its class, as long as wireless connectivity isn’t a must-have. It’s compact and comes with a handsome lunchbox-sized carrying case, though it doesn’t have a battery. Although, our list of leading pico projectors has units with batteries included.
Award: BEST FOR TRAVEL
WHY WE LIKE IT: This ultra-compact HD mini projector has 360º sound and comes with a tabletop tripod, so it’s easy to set up anywhere. Plus, it has a 3400 mAh battery giving it enough endurance for a whole feature film.
Read Full Review: APEMAN NM4 Mini Portable Projector Review
Designed for convenience, this portable mini projector is barely larger than a phone at 3.2×6.7×7.7 inches, and comes with an included tabletop tripod. It has a USB port as well as an HDMI port and is compatible with Fire TV Stick and Chromecast. It also works with iPhones and iPads if you supply a lightning adapter to HDMI cable, or can work wirelessly with a (separately sold) dongle.
It has a 3400mAh battery with a claimed 2.5 hours of use per charge and is even quieter in operation than most corded home mini projectors. However, it’s not as bright as some other models on our list, like the Vankyo Leisure 3, and it also has a slightly lower native resolution, but if a convenient and portable setup is your priority, this may be the best mini projector for iPhone on our list. If you’re on a budget, consider this list to find the best cheap projector for your home.
Award: BEST HOME THEATER
WHY WE LIKE IT: Easy smartphone projector connectivity via USB with screen mirroring support, plus 3600-lux brightness and a 2000:1 contrast ratio, make this a strong contender for the best mini projector for iPhone and Android mobile devices in your home theater.
Read Full Review: TOPVISION Projector Review
If convenience is key and you don’t particularly need a battery or wifi, then this is among the best mini projectors for iPhone and other mobile device movie watching. It has a very long 50,000-hour bulb life, class-competitive brightness of 3600 lux, and a contrast ratio of 2000:1, the same as the more expensive Vamvo L4200. Although, it’s not as high as the Goodee video projector, which has a contrast ratio of 3000:1.
This Topvision mini projector is also easy to connect to an iPhone or iPad; just plug your lightning-USB cable into the USB port and it supports screen mirroring. Native resolution is on the low side for today’s projectors, at 800×480 as opposed to the 1280×720 the Vamvo offers.
Note: Other portable mini projectors are the KODAK Luma 150 pocket projector, the Optoma ML 750, and the AAXA P7 Mini pocket projector. The Luma 150 has a built-in speaker, 16:9 projection, and clear imaging with a 1500:1 contrast ratio. Kodak Luma offers up to 150-inch viewing with 1080P resolution for immersive entertainment watching movies, streaming Netflix, viewing pictures or for presentations. The Optoma ML750 has incredible picture quality with a 20,000:1 contrast ratio. And for connectivity options, the ML750 has got a microSD card slot and USB connectivity. The AAXA P7 Mini has the latest generation High Definition DLP optical engine mated to a high MTF lens for the best clarity. And for connectivity options, it has a USB, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot, just like the ML750.
In order to bring you a number of choices for the best mini projector on sale right now, we scoured mini projector reviews and tested out numerous models, looking for brightness, ease of use, reliability, and resolution.
We only considered plug-in projectors with a brightness of 2600 lux or higher; this way, you can use the projector in a medium-sized home theater or even a dimly lit conference room without much trouble. We also looked for contrast ratios of at least 2000:1, so that the image quality would appear sharp and easy to see.
For battery-powered portable projectors, we looked for at least 100-lumen output and a viewing image at least 42” wide. We also required no less than 2.5 hours of battery life, so that the mini projector would stay on for at least the duration of an average feature film.
For home mini projectors, we looked for connectivity options and favored models with both USB and HDMI as well as VGA ports. This adds versatility and gives you plenty of options for plugging your devices in. Wifi wasn’t a requirement, but we did consider it a bonus, as with the ability to interface with smart home devices like Fire TV.
Another option to consider that just missed our list is the ViewSonic M1 – an LED Portable Projector with Harman Kardon Speakers. The ViewSonic M1 features a 30,000-hour LED light source, 854 x 480 resolution, six-hour battery life, and a smart stand for 360-degree projection. This ViewSonic model also has USB and HDMI connectivity and dual Harman Kardon Speakers.