3 of the Best Mini Projectors in 2024

Evan Shephard Avatar

Reviewed By

Evan Shephard

(ISF Certified)

True Score Methodology

v1.5

10,085

Reviews Analyzed

Updated May 2, 2024 10:22 AM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

best mini projector guide that shows the top best projector model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

A portable mini projector is a game-changer for streaming videos on your phone, giving you that big TV experience without the bulky setup. When hunting for the perfect mini projector, you want something portable and versatile without skimping on performance. In our latest guide, three mini projectors stood out from 30 evaluated, thanks to their excellent image quality, brightness, and ease of use.

We analyzed 10,085 reviews and certified these models as tested. Our process included filtering out fake and low-quality reviews. Using our data derived True Score, we ensured only the quality projectors that performed well in testing made the cut, offering you reliable and high-performing mini projectors.

How Did We Rank the Best Mini Projectors?

Gadget Review’s guide to the best mini projectors stems from an in-depth review of over 200 sites, examining testing methods and customer feedback. Our team focused on understanding the critical aspects of performance and usability. The result? A list of top projectors defined by 1 must-have specification. This structured approach guarantees that our recommendations meet the highest quality and user satisfaction standards.

Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

?️ Minimum Specifications

  • Must be a small form factor or “mini” projector.

Latest Updates

  • 05/15/2024: Published the list of best mini projectors based on our True Score system.

Top Best Mini Projectors For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Anker Capsule 3

    • Best For Mini

    The Anker Capsule 3 combines portability with a large screen capacity, delivering over 120 inches of display. Ideal for diverse outdoor settings, its 1080p resolution and extensive connectivity make it a versatile choice, albeit at a higher price.

    Anker Capsule 3 Review →

    True Score

    74
    76
    8

    Experts

    79
    439

    Customers

    SAVE $50
    $799.99
    $749.99

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • Good image quality for size
    • Reasonably low input lag

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Poor brightness levels
    • No Netflix app

    Specifications

    ResolutionResolution1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
    Refresh Rate60 Hz
    Display TechnologyDisplay TechnologyDLP
    Contrast RatioContrast Ratio500:1
    Digital KeystoneDigital KeystoneYes
    HDRHDRYes
    Max DistanceMax Distancen/a
    Max Screen SizeMax Screen Size120"
    3D Ready3D ReadyNo
    Aspect RatioAspect Ratio16:9
    BrightnessBrightness300 ANSI Lumens
    DepthDepth6.5"
    HDMI TypeHDMI TypeHDMI 2.1
    HeightHeight6.7"
    Integrated SpeakersIntegrated SpeakersYes
    Light SourceLight SourceLaser
    Light Source LifeLight Source Life30,000 hrs
    Min DistanceMin Distancen/a
    Min Screen SizeMin Screen Size60"
    Noise LevelNoise Level32 dB
    PortablePortableYes
    Smart FunctionalitySmart FunctionalityAndroid TV, Bluetooth, Google Assistant, Google Cast, Remote, Wi-Fi
    Sync TechnologySync Technologyn/a
    TV TunerTV TunerNo
    ThrowTypeThrowTypeShort Throw
    Video InputsVideo InputsHDMI, USB
    WeightWeight2.1 lbs
    WidthWidth3.2"

    All Specs

    Test Results

    SDR Brightness (Lumens)175
    Contrast Ratio (x:y)138
    Input Lag (ms)22
    Color Gamut % (Rec. 709)92
    Color Gamut % (DCI P3 uv)75
    Color Gamut % (Rec. 2020)56
    SDR Color Temperature (K)6,863

    All Retailers

    • $749.99
      $800
      Save $50

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $799.99

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      No

    Our Verdict

    The Anker Capsule 3 is a portable projector that delivers a surprising screen size despite its small form factor. Reaching a maximum screen size of over 120 inches it’s a great way to get a huge screen showing video just about anywhere. The Capsule outputs 1080p resolution at a 16:9 aspect ratio, good enough for most standard content, if a bit limited. Given the portable nature of the Capsule, the reduced resolution isn’t a surprise, though given the high price tag, it is a bit of a letdown.

    Equipped with smart functionality, the Anker Capsule 3 offers direct access to streaming services via built-in apps, eliminating the need for additional streaming devices. Its connectivity is enhanced by multiple ports, including HDMI and USB, which accommodate a wide range of external devices from gaming consoles to mobile phones, making it an excellent choice for streaming high-definition content, including video games and live sports.

    Despite its small stature, the Anker Capsule 3 is designed for performance. Its compact and lightweight design does not compromise on power, making it easy to transport and capable of delivering superior projection quality. This makes it an attractive option for those who value mobility and functionality in their entertainment setups.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Kodak Luma 350

    • Best For Outdoor

    Ultra-compact and cost-effective, the Kodak Luma 350 maximizes portability without sacrificing screen size, offering up to 150 inches of display. It is perfect for mobility-focused users, though its upscaled 1080p resolution may not satisfy all high-quality video needs.

    Kodak Luma 350 Review →

    True Score

    70
    71
    4

    Experts

    74
    2k

    Customers

    $299.99
  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Optoma ML1080

    Optoma ML1080 blends robust performance with portability, supporting 1080p and 3D content across a 100-inch display. Ideal for varied lighting conditions, it provides comprehensive connectivity and long-term reliability, suitable for both leisure and professional use.

    Optoma ML1080 Review →

    True Score

    70
    71
    2

    Experts

    74
    294

    Customers

    $899.00

    Did you know 82% of projector reviewers are untrustworthy?

    Our research found only 16 of 86 projector reviewers as of July 2024 can be trusted. This is why Gadget Review is committed calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every projector review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    10,085

    Projector Reviews Analyzed

    30

    Total Products Analyzed

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best Mini Projectors?

By focusing on these criteria, anyone can quickly and easily compare these projectors and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a projectors that will meet your needs.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
SDR Brightness (lumens)> 1000 lumensYesThe amount of light the projector outputs from the lamp/bulb and projects onto the screen when playing SDR content.
HDR Brightness (lumens)> 2000 lumensNo (Nice to have)The amount of light the projector outputs from the lamp/bulb and projects onto the screen when playing HDR content.
Contrast Ratio> 2000:1YesThe difference between the brightest white and darkest black that a projector can produce, expressed as a ratio.
Color Gamut % (DCI P3)> 90%No (Nice to have)The % of colors a projector can produce defined by the gamut. DCI-P3 is commonly used in film.
Color Gamut % (Rec. 709)> 90%No (Nice to have)The % of colors a projector can produce defined by the gamut. Rec. 709 is commonly used by HD TV, and is also known as BT.709.
Color Gamut % (Rec. 2020)> 70%No (Nice to have)The % of colors a projector can produce defined by the gamut. Rec.2020 is commonly used by UHD TV content, as well as HDR content. It is also known as BT.2020.
Input Lag < 40 msNo (Nice to have)The amount of time it takes for inputs to be registered and processed by the projector and shown on screen.

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 86+ projector reviewers and found that 16 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for projector.

  1. Pierre-Olivier Jourdenais – Rtings, LinkedIn
  2. Geoffrey Morrison – CNET, MuckRack
  3. Kam Valentine – Projector Reviews, MuckRack

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every projector review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Projector Specifications, Test Data & Results

Disclaimer:

Projectors are complex and difficult to test and evaluate, requiring extensive testing on the same level as televisions to paint a complete picture of how any given unit performs. Unfortunately, the testing behind projectors isn’t as rigorous, and a lot of the data we’ve compiled from expert reviewers has been incomplete at times. With different brightnesses measured from different sources, different color gamut tested and spotty contrast ratio measurements, we’ve done the best we can to leverage the available data when putting together these lists but have also trusted our True Score to help us make decisions when the data isn’t available.

1. Brightness (Lumens) Specifications

Projectors have two ways you can realistically measure brightness: in lumens or in nits. Lumens are more common, but brightness in general matters because projectors have to project light strongly enough that it overcomes ambient light without losing detail or color.

Most of the time, a projector is going to be used in a fairly dark room to help give the unit the best chance of displaying content the way it was intended, but higher lumens output let you watch content in progressively bright spaces – or across longer distances on bigger screens. For standard dynamic range content, we recommend at least 1000 lumens for most home applications, but more isn’t a bad thing, and 3000 lumens or more are ideal.

Brightness (Lumens; higher is better; 0 = No Data)

2. Height Specifications

Mini projectors have to actually be “portable”mini”, and one way to confirm that is by looking at the measurements of the projector. Height gives you a decent idea of where you can set a projector, particularly if you want to stow it in a bag or place it on a set of shelves.

We don’t have a specific recommended size for height; you simply need the projector be short enough to suit your needs, which varies depending what kind of storage solution you have for the projector.

Height (Inches; 0 = No Data)

3. Width Specifications

Width is just as important as height when it comes to mini projectors. Get too wide and you’ll run into significant issues with being able to place the projector wherever you want, which is the whole point of getting a mini projector.

We don’t have a recommended size for width; you just need the projector to have a small enough footprint that you can put it wherever you want to or need to.

Width (Inches; 0 = No Data)

4. Noise Level Specifications

Projectors make noise when they’re running, and if the noise level is high, it’s going to start cutting into the content you’re watching. This is distracting, so the quieter a projector can run, the better.

That said, there’s no real “ideal” noise level for your projector, it just shouldn’t exceed 40 dB. For reference, a typical conversation is about 60 dB.

Noise Level (dB; 0 = No Data)

5. Maximum Screen Size Specifications

Projectors can produce images of varying sizes, and the maximum screen size is as the name suggests: the maximum size screen a projector can output. Anything larger and you start to lose focus and quality, so make sure to get the ideal projector screen for your projector.

We don’t recommend a maximum screen size for most applications unless you’re trying to use a projector for a church or outdoors on something like a garage wall. Generally speaking, you should opt for a maximum screen size that is no larger than what you’d realistically try to project. You don’t have to avoid projectors with large screen sizes, but there’s no reason to pay extra if, for example, that’s the only difference between the two choices you’ve narrowed things down to.

Maximum Screen Size(inches; 0 = No Data)

Best Mini Projectors: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Brightness Levels: Choosing a mini projector with insufficient brightness can result in poor image quality, especially in well-lit environments. Ensure the projector has adequate lumens for your intended use, typically at least 500 lumens for indoor use and higher for outdoor settings.

  2. Overlooking Resolution: Opting for a projector with low resolution can lead to blurry or pixelated images. Aim for at least 720p resolution, with 1080p being preferable for better image clarity and detail. If you have the budget, there are 4K projectors, but make sure to consider the pros and cons between 1080p and 4K projectors.

  3. Neglecting Connectivity Options: Not considering the connectivity options can limit the projector’s compatibility with your devices. Look for projectors with multiple input options such as HDMI, USB, and wireless connectivity to ensure versatility.

  4. Underestimating Portability Needs: Ignoring the size and weight of the projector can make it less convenient for travel. Ensure the mini projector is lightweight and compact enough to be easily portable.

The Best Mini Projectors Tests & Specs Compared

Product
True Score
Brightness
Height
Width
Noise Level
Max Screen Size

Anker Capsule 3

  • Best for Mini

74
  • 300 ANSI Lumens

  • 6.7"

  • 3.2"

  • 32 dB

  • 120"

$749.99
$800
$50

Kodak Luma 350

  • Best for Golf Simulator

70
  • 350 lumens

  • 1.25"

  • 4.45"

  • 30 dB

  • 200"

$299.99

Optoma ML1080

  • Best for Outdoor

70
  • 1200 Lumens

  • 2.6"

  • 6.18"

  • 28 dB

  • 100"

$899.00

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