A portable projector isn't really what we would call a must-have in a home, but its certainly nice to have. From a high quality indoor movie theatre that's almost like the real thing to outdoor campfire movie nights, a good projector can really spice up those cosy family nights.
With so many off-brand low-quality projectors on the market, it might be tough to pick out the good ones and even tougher to identify the best projector to suit your needs. Whether you're looking for high-end 4K quality to mid range 720p, we've covered all the bases in this list.
Best Overall Projector: LG CineBeam HU80KSW
Best Pocket-sized Projector: Anker Nebula Capsule II
Best Multimedia Projector: Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Best Outdoor Projector: BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector
Best Kid-Friendly Projector: CINEMOOD TV
Pros: Compact box, 4K HDR picture, Harman Kardon stereo speakers
Cons: No removable battery, Requires power cable, Expensive
The LG CineBeam is the ultimate top of the line all-in-one portable projector that's all-round impressive. While it may not be the smallest portable projector on the market, its' integrated handle makes it easy to carry around and its slim tall design makes it easy to store in tight spaces. The CineBeam is essentially an entire home cinema system fit into one tiny box which makes it our pick for the best overall portable projector.
The LG CineBeam is skinny and compact with the power cable wound up into the base. Unlike most portable projectors, it doesn't come with a rechargeable battery. Instead, you'll need to plug the CineBeam into the main power outlet so while it is still portable, it's probably not the best for outdoor usage. Indoors, the CineBeam is about as good as it gets with 4K HDR picture, Harman Kardon stereo sound, a projection size of up to 150 inches and a strong 2500 ANSI lm bulb that's bright enough for crisp image quality even in the day.
The design of the LG CineBeam is intuitive and convenient. You can use the LG CineBeam anywhere in your home on literally any surface. Its rectangular base means that you don't have to prop it up or tilt it against anything. Instead, there is a mirror on the underside of the lens cap which allows you to project your video anywhere you like simply by tilting the mirror. The CineBeam, even recognises whether you're using it horizontally or vertically with Auto Vertical Keystone aligning your picture accordingly.
The LG CineBeam also serves as a smart hub that runs a range of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+ and more. It does come with two HDMI ports and two USB ports for you to load up your computer screen or a thumb drive. Screen mirroring for your phone is also available along with Bluetooth speaker support although we doubt you'll need to make use of it what with the 7W dual-channel Harman Kardon speakers.
All in all, the LG CineBeam HU80KSW is versatile, intuitive and simply the best of the best. Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to put away — it's 4K movie theatre magic with ease. It does come with a hefty price tag, but that is to be expected when you're seeking out the best. Shop the LG CineBeam HU80KSW here.
Pros: Android TV operating system, Soda can sized, Sleek design
Cons: Cannot tilt picture, Limited battery life
The Anker Nebula Capsule II is small, like large soda can small. Despite its convenient compact size, it emits an impressive 8W of sound and can project images up to 100 inches in size. Unlike the LG CineBeam, the Capsule II comes with a rechargeable battery that gets you up to 2.5 hours of video playback per charge. This makes the Capsule II super portable and great for movies, although not too great for binging serials.
The Anker Nebula Capsule II projects 720p image which is more than enough for the average viewer, but definitely lacking in comparison to most 1080p projectors. However, at its small size 720p is honestly extremely impressive and makes for a worthwhile tradeoff. It has a pretty decent bulb of 200 ANSI lm which is bright enough for nighttime use or use in a dark room — pretty typical of a projector. The Capsule II comes with autofocus and keystoning features meaning you won't have to mess around with adjusting the settings every time you turn it on.
Connectivity-wise, the Anker Nebula Capsule II functions on Google's Android TV platform which means in-built access to streaming platforms and a nifty application store. There's also HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast support which pretty much covers the essentials in a portable projector. You can even use Google Assistant through the remote which just adds to the overall convenience of the Capsule II.
Overall, the Anker Nebula Capsule II offers solid features and quality packed into one small compact body. It certainly is a far cry from the LG CineBeam in terms of specifications and picture quality, but it is truly one of the best packages you can find when it comes to ultra-compact portable projectors. Shop the Anker Nebula Capsule II here.[product]
Pros: 4-hour battery, Loudspeakers
Cons: Mediocre brightness and contrast, 720p image quality
In terms of portability, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro is closer to the LG CineBeam than the Anker Nebula Capsule II in that it features an easy-to-carry handle but you won't be throwing it into your to-go bag — but that's not to say its a bad thing.
The Anker Nebula Mars II Pro supports up to 4 hours of video playback on battery saver mode and comes with a decently bright 500 ANSI lm bulb. Image quality is stuck at 720p but as aforementioned, that's pretty decent for the average movie viewer. The 10W speakers make for a powerful and clear stereo sound that's far louder than most other battery-powered projectors. That's even louder than the LG CineBeam, so much so that you could honestly even use the Mars II Pro as a stand-alone speaker.
User-interface wise, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro functions on Android 7.1 which has support for here's Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus. There's also HDMI and USB plug-in support for your laptop or even your PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and more. What makes the Mars II Pro the best for multimedia is not just its loudspeakers with resonant bass that make for an immersive experience but also its low input lag (34ms) which makes it great for games.
Compared to the more compact Anker Nebula Capsule II, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro's larger size means more room for a brighter bulb, stronger battery and louder speakers. And compared to the LG CineBeam, the in-built rechargeable battery on the Mars II Pro makes it suitable to bring outdoors. Overall, the Mars II Pro is a great middle-ground for users looking for versatility, true portability that doesn't sacrifice too much quality and yet doesn't cost a bomb. Shop the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro here.[product]
Pros: Splash-proof, Drop-proof, Highly portable
Cons: Mediocre volume, Inferior Aptoide TV Interface
While the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro is good for outdoor use, the BenQ GV2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector is the BEST outdoor portable projector. The BenQ GS2 is a cube-like mini projector that is super portable and known for its ability to withstand the outdoor elements.
The BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector has a rubberised exterior and hidden connections that make it splash-proof. It's hence able to withstand light rainfall (up to 0.12 inches per minute) and is drop resistant up to 1.6 feet. It comes with the standard set of ports including HDMI, HDCP, USB-C, USB 2.0 and a 3.5MM audio output jack. What is not that common is its ability to supply power, meaning you can plug a streaming stick into the HDMI port and simultaneously power it with the USB 2.0 slot and trust us, you'll definitely appreciate having this alternative.
Our main qualm with the BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector is its Aptoide operating system that's pretty limited and rather frustrating to use. Although the BenQ GS2 supports 720p image quality, some apps on the Aptoide TV store only output videos in 420p quality. Even worse, some apps like Disney+ from the Aptoide TV store don't even work. Luckily, a quick fix to this would be just to invest in an affordable external streaming stick — not ideal, but a solution nonetheless. The 2W speaker on the BenQ GS2 isn't the best either but to compensate the BenQ GS2 does allow for Bluetooth connections to external speakers.
Moving past this, the BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector is still undeniably a great outdoor projector with a 500 ANSI lm bulb and a rechargeable battery. The internal battery supports up to 3 hours of playback and the BenQ GS2 even has seven picture modes: Bright, Vivid TV, Cinema, Sport, Camp Fire, Bed Time, and User. These different modes tailor the colour balance and brightness of the bulb to match the various contexts which are really unique and offers a pleasant optimal viewing experience for each situation.
Overall, the BenQ GS Wireless Mini Portable Projector is a no brainer for those looking for an outdoor projector. It's definitely one of the most durable and portable projectors on the market and the splash-proof and drop-proof features are a must-have for outdoor usage. Shop the BenQ GS Wireless Mini Portable Projector here.
Pros: 1080p video, Ultralight & compact, Preloaded kid content, 360 video
Cons: Laptop mirroring not supported, No HDMI and USB ports, Expensive
The CINEMOOD TV is a 3.3-inch, wireless, movie projection cube that is the first in the market to specialise in content for kids. Its ultralight, durable and portable at only 0.8lbs which makes it super kid-friendly for kids to pick up safely and easily.
Despite its ultra-compact size, the CINEMOOD TV packs up to 4 hours of rechargeable battery life and projects 1080p video at a size of up to 150 inches. It also features a decently bright 200 ANSI lm bulb, a 4W speaker and fanless quiet cooling for superior sound.
The main selling point of the CINEMOOD TV is its host of kid-friendly content. The CINEMOOD gives you access to the typical streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, AmebaTV, YouTube, and YouTube Kids. On top of that, its preloaded with 40 digital books, 27 safety videos and short cartoons featuring characters from Frozen, Toy Story, Lion King, Beloved Whisker Haven Tales, The Lion King Wild, the Science of Imagineering and many more.
It's worth noting that most of the pre-loaded content on the CINEMOOD TV can be accessed for free online but having it pre-loaded means it's convenient and accessible 24/7 even without access to wifi. CINEMOOD TV also allows you to explore 360-degree videos with Youtube 360 or experience unique 360 VR games. Users can also upload and play their own content with 40GB of internal memory via the CINEMOOD mobile application. You can also use the screen mirroring function for IOS devices although it's worth noting that laptop screen mirroring is not supported.
All in all, the CINEMOOD TV is a game-changer for parents with young children. We love that CINEMOOD was developed with a kid and family-centric focus but was still engineered to have decent high-quality specs all while keeping things compact in a tiny 3.3-inch cube, all of which makes it our pick for the best kid-friendly projector. Shop the CINEMOOD TV here.[product]
It's hard to rank these projectors in a numbered list, after all, there are so many factors to consider when picking a good projector that fits your budget and user needs. We hope that after viewing this guide, you'll be able to decide on the projector that fits you best.