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10 Best Mini Projectors to Enhance Movie Night (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

If you’re, on the hunt for a compact addition to your home viewing experience, you should consider a mini projector. You’ll get the benefits of a big screen in a small, portable package. And to assist you in navigating the surplus of available products, we’ve come up with a list of the best mini projectors on the market.

Mini projectors 10 Best Mini Projectors to Enhance Movie Night (2021 Buyers Guide)

The projectors we have today make the projectors of the past look like ancient artifacts. Those old relics feel clunky, loud, and decrepit when you compare them to the current selection.

Thankfully, technology has advanced in a very short time frame. Now we have portable mini projectors with excellent picture quality. If you were able to experience both the projectors of our past and present then you know just how lucky we are today.

But, there are varying degrees of good, and not everything that’s new is worth the money. That’s why we’ve put together this buyer’s guide for the best mini projectors for your buck.

10 Best Mini Projectors

In order to ensure the quality of your purchase, we’re reviewing only the best-rated mini projectors. Each projector chosen has its own advantages and is worth taking the time to consider.

1. Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector 10 Best Mini Projectors to Enhance Movie Night (2021 Buyers Guide)
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Vankyo’s Leisure 3 is an unsuspectingly capable projector. You get 40,000 hours of lamplight with a throw of 4.9ft to 16.4ft. The screen size ranges from 32” to 176” with a brightness of 2400 lumens.

Vankyo’s design is simple but smart with an impressive fan system to keep your mini projector cool and a noise suppression system. Plus it comes with its own carrying case.

You’ll be able to connect to your phone, computer, or gaming consoles and use your projector with ease thanks to the multiple ports available. The Leisure 3 has all the standard port options available, HDMI, USB, SD/TF, VGA, and AV. It only takes a couple minutes to hook everything up and enjoy.

2. APEMAN LC350 Mini Projector

APEMAN LC350 Mini Projector with remote
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Looking for a hard-hitting mini projector that will easily blend in with its surroundings? APEMAN has a great option available with their LC350. Sure, it is small, but it has all you need to beef up your home entertainment.

You can enjoy a 180” max display, with a throw of 5ft to 8ft. The LC350 has a stated brightness of 4500 lumens, which is bright enough to use both indoors and outdoors. But the brightness level is probably best for casual use–and in practice the output is somewhat less than advertised.

So, if you’re looking for an ultra-high def projector to use at the office then this might not be for you. But if you’re on the hunt for a solid movie night upgrade then APEMAN has you more than covered.

3. Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector

Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector next to popcorn and beer
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The Anker Nebula Capsule is a smart mini projector with an award winning design. If you want portability with a minimalist aesthetic then look no further. The Nebula Capsule is the size of a can of soda but still manages to pack a punch with 100 ANSI lumens.

Because of it’s small size, the Nebula Capsule is limited on available ports but still has a USB and HDMI. You can also stream via Bluetooth, Airplay, or Miracast. You’ll have access to a 100” screen you can take with you anywhere you go. Just keep in mind the quality is best in a darker environment.

4. Crenova XPE500 Mini Projector

Crenova XPE500 in red with remote
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Crenova’s XPE500 is another stylish portable projector. It comes in a vibrant red and is only a few inches larger than most smartphones. The maximum screen display is 200” with a brightness of 4500 lumens.

The Crenova is a true short-throw mini projector with a throw of 3.7 ft to 19.7 ft. So, you can enjoy your projector in a variety of locations, as space shouldn’t be a limitation.

You’ll be able to utilize a multitude of port options ranging from VGA, micro SD, to USB, and HDMI. Hook up your phone, laptop, or gaming devices for a thrilling immersive experience indoors or outdoors.

5. PVO YG300 Mini Projector

Funky yellow and white PVO YG300 mini projector
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If you’re searching for a mini projector that’s easy on your bank account then check out PVO YG300. You’ll get a lightweight projector at just 5.6” x 3.7” x 2.1” with all the necessary port options–you can even plug up your Amazon Firestick!

The screen size goes to a maximum of 100” and is a standard short-throw projector. This projector comes with a power adapter and can also garner power from a 5v external charger or car charger.

PVO not only offers a lightweight versatile mini projector but one that is stylish as well with a sleek orange and white design.

6. Jinhoo Wi-Fi Mini Projector

Jinhoo Wi-Fi equipped projector with included screen
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Jinhoo’s contribution to the mini projector market is not only impressive but generous. Along with a high quality projector you get a 100” screen with a price tag that doesn’t hurt your wallet.

Although the screen included is only 100”, the max screen display is 176” and can support 1080p resolution. The brightness goes up to 6500 lux with a lamplight of 55,000 hours. That’s a lot of screen time!

Connect via USB, HDMI, VGA, or cast with the Wi-Fi. With the Jinhoo mini projector you’ll never miss out on experiencing film and television on the big screen again. It’s also perfect for indoor and outdoor events. Set it up for karaoke, the big game, or as a backdrop.

7. ViviMAGE Explore 2 Mini Projector

ViviMAGE Explore 2 Mini Projector on its tripod
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The Explore 2 mini projector has everything you need to enjoy high quality images with easy portability. It comes with Wi-Fi capabilities, and multiple ports to make hooking up your consoles, laptops, or phones even easier.

The display has a brightness of 6500 lux and can support 1080p. You’ll get roughly 40,000 hours of lamplight from the Explore 2, so you’ll be able to enjoy your projector for years.

Explore 2 is a true short-throw projector with a range of 3.7ft to 19.68ft. The projection screen size is between 38” and 200”. Plus it comes with a mini tripod to help stabilize the display and makes mounting a breeze.

8. Elephas W13 Mini Projector

Elephas W13 with phone casting its screen
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The Elephas W13 gives you a 1080p supported display in a sleek, compact, design. Effortlessly connect via one of its many port options from TF/SD card, HDMI, USB, and VGA. It’s also Wi-Fi capable so you can go wireless if necessary.

The Elephas W13 is a short-throw projector with a display distance of 2.6ft to 14.5ft and has a max screen size of 200”. The design includes a superior cooling system and noise suppression to make sure you’re hearing the entertainment and not the projector fan.

This mini projector is suitable for casual purposes and artistic endeavors. It doesn’t get bright enough to use in a well lit space such as a meeting room. So, it might not be the best choice for work related use. But with 50,000 hours of lamplight, you’ll have a fantastic addition to your home and traveling theater system.

9. KODAK Luma Ultra Mini Pocket Projector

The minuscule KODAK Luma
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The KODAK Luma is the smallest mini projector on our list. It’s roughly the size of a smartphone and can fit in your pocket just as easily. This ultra mini projector supports 1080p resolution and has a surprisingly capable brightness of 60 ANSI lumens.

Although it’s a small size the Luma still features multiple ports and an audio jack to boost your sound quality. You can also stream via Airplay or Miracast.

Because the KODAK Luma is so portable and user friendly, you can keep it with you for a quality big screen picture anytime, anywhere. It even stays charged for 2.5 hours, which is plenty of time to enjoy a movie or gaming session.

10. Optoma HD146X Mini Projector

Optoma HD146X Micro projector
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The Optoma HD146X is the largest projector on our list but it certainly deserves a mention. At 6.2 lbs. it’s still portable and is great both indoors and outdoors.

With a slightly larger size you get superior image quality with 3600 lumens and a 300″ screen. The throw distance is around 9ft to 13ft, so it isn’t the best option is you’re limited on space.

However, with those brightness levels, you’ll be able to have a dazzling image in a dark or well lit room. That versatility makes for a great business accessory, or a wonderful home theater display.


Understanding Mini Projectors

When it comes to technology, small sizes can have limitations. Mini projectors are similar to computers in the way desktops typically outperform laptops.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a plethora of powerful, high-performance, laptops available. And the same can be said of mini projectors.

Depending on what you’re planning to use your mini projector on, the specs might not be an issue. However, if your needs are more business oriented, quality might win over portability.

Brightness

Brightness has a huge influence on the picture quality of a mini projector. When you start looking further into buying a projector you will immediately notice terms such as lux, lumens, and ANSI lumens, getting thrown around.

Unless you’re well versed in the International System of Units then these terms probably mean little to nothing to you. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you with a very basic understanding of these terms.

  •  Lumen: A gauge of energy according to a measure of time.
  •  Lux: The amount of luminous flux emitted from a surface, aka lumen per square meter.
  •  ANSI Lumen: A measurement of the overall light output by a projector; an American standard rather than SI-based lumen.

Most mini projectors will be around 1000-2000 lumens. The more lumens, the brighter your projector will be.

Portability

Where do you plan to use your mini projector? There are projectors that are as small as a smartphone so portability isn’t an issue. However, you can always purchase a carrying bag for your mini projector that’s too big for your pocket.

Projection Size

Having the right size screen is what a projector is all about. If you wanted a tiny screen you’d stream from your laptop.

The aspect ratio is also important to take note of. This is where you’ll see 4:3 ratio display or 16:9 ratio displays mentioned. This ultimately depends on the aspect ratio of the content you’re watching but can lead to stretching or condensing an image.

How Does a Mini Project Work? Throw

A projector’s “throw” is the distance between the screen and the lens. Mini projectors are often considered short-throw projectors. This means you can get a good quality image from a short distance, which is great for small spaces.

If you’re planning on using a mini projector at a campsite or in a smaller space, you’ll want to look into purchasing one with a short-throw.

Ports/Wi-Fi/Casting Capabilities

Having accessibility is crucial if you plan to use your projector outside of your home. You’ll want to make sure your mini projector has ample ports, casting capabilities, or Wi-Fi connectivity.

There are several smart projectors on the market that make syncing up your favorite streaming apps and casting your phone or laptops image remarkably easy. Some even work along with Roku, Amazon Fire, or other streaming sticks. The Wi-Fi enabled projectors also have apps you can download making for a very user friendly process.

Although, if you see yourself being out of range or Wi-Fi, the benefits of proper ports is vital. You’ll then have the option to connect to your projector via USB, HDMI, or SD card.

What Can You Do With Mini Portable Projector?

Because mini projectors are so portable and user friendly, you can use them in many ways. Standard projectors are often mounted to a surface and hardwired into a speaker system. But a smaller size means more flexibility.

Have a Movie Night

Can’t make it to the theater? Have a movie night at home and still have a big screen experience with a mini projector. Be a little more creative and have it outdoors.

Play Video Games

Many mini projectors on the market are specifically designed with gaming in mind. Project your game night anywhere you like, a blank wall, side of the house, ceiling.

Watch Sports on the Big Screen

Don’t feel like going to the bar for a big game but don’t want to sacrifice the experience? Throw your own party and use a mini projector to watch your favorite sports.

Express Yourself

Mini projectors are great additions to crafting and other forms of artistic expressions. Use them as a backdrop to photos or to project images to trace onto larger surfaces.

Use it for Work Purposes

Need to display a presentation during a meeting but don’t have the necessary tools? Get a mini projector and always make an impression.

“I Can’t Choose–Just Tell Me Which Mini Projector I Should Get!”

If you’re still lost on which of these magnificent mini projectors you should choose, we’re here to break things down a bit further.

  • The Vankyo Leisure 3 has the highest quality under $100 . You get a portable projector with great resolution, and a user friendly interface. Everything you want from a mini projector at an affordable price.
  • The KODAK Luma steals the show if you’re looking for the ultimate portability. A mini projector the size of your wallet is pretty great when you’re looking to take it with you wherever you go.
  • The Optoma’s HD146X offers the best picture if money is no object. You lose some flexibility with the added throw distance and slightly larger size, but the vivid screen quality makes up for it. It’s great for home, outdoor, or office work.

Best Mini Projectors: Conclusion

Mini projectors can give you something close to that immersive experience a trip to the movies gives you. You can step up your events, watch TV on your ceiling, never miss a foul ball or a goal, and so much more. Now all you have to do is pick the one that’s right for you.

What do you plan on using your mini projector for? Tell us your reasons for wanting a projector in the comments!

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