Capable of projecting images with an incredibly high-quality and brightness of 500 ANSI lumen, this model also boasts Dual 10W audio drivers that won't let you miss anything. Thanks to the Nebula Connect app, you can control it with your smartphone.
The software needs to be upgraded.
Compatible with Android 7.1 devices, this projector can become a real entertainment centre since it offers access to the most popular sources such as Netflix, YouTube and more. A powerful battery with 12,500 mAh capacity provides up to 3 hours of the delightful non-stop cinematic experience.
Up to 150"
1280 x 720
Built-in rechargeable battery
HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Screen Mirroring
Built-in control panel, Built-in dual speakers (2 x 10 W), Horizontal and vertical keystoning, Extensive connectivity, Android 7.1, Nebula Connect app, Top handle
17.8 x 12.2 x 13.8 cm
The stunning image quality is complemented by a 5-watt omnidirectional speaker to deliver you high-quality sound wherever you sit. Also, the projector can be used with other speakers or used in a speaker-only mode.
The housing gets pretty hot during prolonged use.
The Nebula Capsule is one of the most portable options you can find on the market. Actually, it's not bigger than a can of Cola and can easily fit in an average pocket. The image will be bright and vibrant owing to the advanced DLP technology that utilises IntelliBright algorithms.
Up to 100"
854 x 480
Built-in rechargeable battery
HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (Screen Mirroring)
Built-in control panel, Compatible with Capsule Control app, Built-in speaker (5 W), Android 7.1 OS
6.8 x 6.8 x 12 cm
This projector has an incredibly long lifespan - the lamp works for up to 50,000 hours. So even with daily use (6 - 8 hours), it will last you for many years to come. A practical bag for transportation is included.
The speakers are quiet.
The Vamvo L4200 is great for occasional neighbourhood movie nights. Its display can range from 49" to 200" in size, depending on how far away it is. The projector features a lot of interfaces, including a VGA input for legacy devices.
Up to 200"
1280 x 720
HDMI, 2 x USB, AV-out, VGA-out, 3.5-mm audio out
Built-in control panel, Built-in dual speakers (2 x 3 W), Remote control and carry bag included
24.5 x 16.6 x 8.1 cm
Pushing the light output 350 lumens, this device is able to project an alright-looking picture without making the room completely dark beforehand. The upgraded noise reduction tech keeps the noise levels below 28 decibels.
The initial setup takes quite some time.
The ELEPHAS W13 is a little more capable than what we have come to expect from low-end mobile projectors. Its peak brightness and native contrast are pretty great, so you can even watch movies on this thing without feeling like the colours look muted.
Up to 200"
854 x 480
HDMI, 2 x USB, AV-in, VGA-in, 3.5-mm audio out, Wi-Fi (Screen Mirroring), Slot for MicroSD cards
Built-in control panel, Built-in dual speakers (2 x 3 W), Remote control and HDMI cable included
20 x 14 x 7 cm
The lamps do not last.
Assuming you're fine with this device not being the best at projecting movies, the Vamvo YG300 is a pretty good budget option. With its help, you can conduct presentations, watch old cartoons, and more. Plus, the model weighs just 360 grammes.
Up to 152"
640 x 360
AC or USB port
HDMI, 1 x USB, 1 x MicroUSB, AV-in, 3.5-mm audio out, Slot for MicroSD cards
Built-in control panel, Built-in speaker (3 W), Remote control included
14.2 x 9.4 x 5.2 cm
Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Sharp Image and Dimensional Sound
Do you want to get a full-on cinema experience without leaving your house? If so, the Anker Nebula Mars Projector may come to your rescue. Boasting top-notch performance, this mighty portable tool has all the chances to quickly become the main source of entertainment in your household.
First and foremost, the major selling point of this device is that it can project a high-resolution video (1280 x 720 PPI). Add to that the light output of 500 lumens and you'll be able to enjoy a bright and sharp image regardless of the ambient light in the room. The lamp lifespan makes 30,000 hours, meaning you will be able to play videos with the projector for long years to come, even if you use it daily.
To make watching films and videos even more enjoyable, the manufacturer has equipped this projector with a pair of 10-watt audio drivers. Capable of providing dimensional high-quality sound, they ensure that you won’t miss even the quietest sounds, letting you enjoy the film you’re watching to the fullest.
Moving on to the interface, the unit features HDMI and USB ports, and a screen mirroring feature is available as well. The model is also suitable for wireless connectivity thanks to built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. Speaking of which, thanks to the Bluetooth module, you will be able to connect this portable projector to your smartphone and control it via the Nebula Connect app. Yet, if you don’t want to use your phone as a remote, a built-in control panel is situated on top of the unit.
Stream Your Favourite Content
Tired of watching videos on small screens of your tablet or smartphone? Well, since this unit is compatible with all the devices that work on Android 7.1 (and later versions), you can stream your favourite content from such apps as YouTube and Netflix, and enjoy high-resolution videos on a bigger screen.
In terms of autonomous work, the projector offers very nice results. With the capacious 12,500 mAh battery, it is able to provide up to 3 hours of non-stop watch-time. This should be enough to finish a lengthy film or a few episodes of your favourite show. And since you don’t have to stay close to the power socket, you can enjoy films even outdoors. The other convenient thing that adds to the unit’s portability is a carry handle on top of the machine.
Lastly, the great advantage of this model is that it comes with a horizontal and vertical keystone. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy a stable picture at pretty much any angle.
Overall, if you want to watch some films, educational programs, music videos or any other type of content with sharp resolution and HD sound, consider getting the Anker Nebula Mars Projector. Hands down, it is one of the best models for home entertainment.
|Last updated price||£449.99|
Anker Nebula Capsule
Anker is one of those rare Chinese brands that are praised all across the globe for innovations, affordable prices, and high-quality computer and mobile peripherals. And its NEBULA lineup represents a new class of smart, portable entertainment devices. The Nebula Capsule is one of them. It's the world’s first portable cinema that deftly combines smart capabilities and extra compact dimensions with immersive audio and visuals.
For sure, it's the tiny size that grabs your attention at once. Actually, the Capsule is no bigger than a soda can. For this reason, it's extremely portable and can be carried just anywhere you go (a pouch is included for safe transportation).
Thanks to exceptional portability, this gadget is easy to just place on any tabletop and start watching your favorite movies. And despite its tiny size, the throw range of this projector is great. You'll get an 80-100 inch screen from a coffee table. In a relatively dark room, you can back up to about 10-11 feet away and get a large screen with good clarity and brightness ( a radiant 100 ANSI lm picture).
And if the sun hasn’t gone down yet, you can get a pretty bright picture from about 3-8 feet from the wall. The image will be bright and vibrant owing to the advanced DLP technology that utilises IntelliBright algorithms. The fabulous image quality is complemented by a 5W 360° speaker to deliver high-quality sound wherever you sit. Also, it's worth emphasizing that ht projector can be used in speaker-only mode.
The unit offers two video settings: standard and battery. We assume the latter will make it dimmer but work for longer. The battery life is amazing - the Nebula Capsule delivers up to 4 hours of continuous video playback on a single charge. And the Quick Charge 3.0. technology enables it to recharge faster. As a nice touch, you can use the projector while charging (as long as you're not watching a video from USB flash drive).
Speaking about compatibility, the projector runs Android 7.1 and therefore works as a portable smart TV on its own. It can house lots of native apps, ridding you of the need to always lug another device around with the projector.
You can operate Capsule directly from your phone after downloading the Capsule Control app available on both Google Play and the App Store. Your phone will literally become a touchpad for the projector control, though the remote is also included with the purchase.
All these things make the Nebula Capsule a very usable portable projector. And because of the fact it's no bigger than a can of Cola, it's surely one of the most portable options you can find on the market.
|Last updated price||£339.99|
For Movie Nights
The Vamvo L4200 mini projector is currently one of the best-rated devices on the market since it offers plenty of interesting features at a very reasonable price. So, if you’re looking for a low-cost model for weekend movie nights, keep on reading and discover more.
Firstly, we would like to put emphasis on the fact that even though this home-use projector is advertised as Full HD 1080p, it can only accept a 1080p input. The projector itself has 720p resolution and is able to provide a quite impressive 3800 lux brightness and 2000:1 contrast ratio. Surprisingly enough for such a budget-friendly option, the LED lamp here works for 50,000 hours, giving you a worry-free experience. It’s enough to last for many years without a need for replacements.
Next, the display of the L4200 projector can range from 49 inches to 200 inches in size, depending on how far away it is. The recommended distance is between 4.9 - 15 feet. Do note that the unit has a fixed zoom, so you'll need to move it to a correct position so as to make it fill your screen. On the upside, it lets you flip and mirror the picture, meaning you can either ceiling-mount it or use it in a behind-screen configuration.
Good Connectivity Options
All inputs are located on the back of the projector - an HDMI input, 2 USB inputs, VGA input, AV input, and a 3.5mm audio jack for speakers. It’s worth mentioning that the built-in speakers aren’t very loud, so we think you’ll find the audio jack useful for connecting additional ones.
An important thing you should be aware of is the fact that the projector has no WiFi support. Yet, since it includes a USB port, you can always insert an Amazon Fire TV, Hulu, Chromecast, or Roku stick to watch your favourite shows.
The initial setup of this little box is a breeze and can be completed within a few minutes. The menus and the controls are very intuitive and the on-screen menus are easy to navigate.
All things considered, if you want an inexpensive projector for home use, the Vamvo L4200 can be the right option to go with. It’s surprisingly good for the price and offers a very large display. Add some robust speakers to it and you’ll get the perfect entertainment system for a great movie night.
|Last updated price||£129.99|
50,000 Lamp Hours
The ELEPHAS W13 hangs with mini projectors but, reviewing its specs, the model might as well be grouped with standard, full-sized projectors. Of course, we're being a little facetious here, to some extent. On the one hand, the fact that this device can stretch the screen up to 200 inches is nothing short of impressive. Likewise, the lamps that last somewhere around 45,000 - 50,000 hours are also in the same impressive category.
At the same time, full-scale projectors usually support a more sizable maximum resolution than the model's 854 x 480p. Sure, you can view movies on this thing as this is even above DVD-Video resolution, which is not bad, but also not great, at least not from the current year's perspective. Though the model can display Full HD (1920 x 1080p) video, the picture will look stretched out and blurry.
On the bright side (speaking both figuratively and literally), the projector's light output reaches impressive 350 lumens. With output like that, this device can project a decent-looking image even with some ambient light present in the room. Plus, supporting 24-bit colours, the model will make that image look pretty vibrant and not as washed-out as the visuals that cheap projectors usually present.
A Quiet One
Cooling and noise is almost always an issue with budget mobile projectors. The good news is that this issue has been (re)solved here. With its upgraded noise reduction tech, this device sits around 25-28 decibels, making the model virtually silent. In the same vein, the cutouts on the bottom/sides ensure sufficient heat dissipation, meaning that this mobile unit might get a little warm but overheating will not be a concern.
What will also not be a concern is compatibility/connectivity. With an HDMI interface, this device can work with most screens. Working alongside this interface is two USB ports, making the model compatible with USB-enabled devices (which is 9/10 devices these days). Then, the projector's equipped with the usual AV input and 3.5-mm audio input so that it can be paired with soundbars, loudspeakers, headphones, and different audio systems. Rounding these interfaces up is a Wi-Fi module, supporting Screen Mirroring, and a MicroSD slot. Oh, also, the model features a VGA input, so it can even work with legacy displays.
Provided you don't mind the initial setup being a little tiresome, the ELEPHAS W13 might be the best mobile option in its price window.
|Last updated price||£99.99|
A Little More Mobile
The Vamvo YG300 is a funny-looking device, which is appropriate considering that its specs are also not that serious. They're alright relative to the price tag but, without making that 'relation', this is not the most fantastic package we've reviewed yet.
As always (as far as projectors are concerned), everything starts with the unit's specs, which are middling. Its native resolution, peaking at 640 x 360p, covers presentations without breaking a proverbial sweat but even less visual-intensive movies will look pretty bad on a resolution like that (unless you make the screen as small as possible but, even at 25 inches, the distance between separate pixels will be noticeable).
On the upside, this model can push the screen size 152 inches, something that its weight class buddies can seldom do. The issue here is that, even within that modest weight class, most mobile projectors can give you more than 100 lumens. Needless to say, 100 lumens is not a lot. Unless you make the room pitch-black, the projected image will look subdued and even the brightest colours will not pop.
But, aside from the price, what justifies these below-average specs is the unit's size. At 14.2 x 9.4 x 5.2 centimetres, the model puts 'mobile' in 'mobile projectors', letting you carry this device in a backpack without emptying it beforehand. To add more, weighing 360 grammes, the unit will sit inside that backpack without putting a noticeable strain on the carrier's back.
The biggest problem we have with this device is its lamp life. Normally dying out at ~25,000 hours, the lamps are not durable at all. On the opposite side, the model's biggest win is its controls. First, you have the control panel, integrated on the top. Using this panel, you can switch between settings or manage playback without reaching or turning this device around, which is not something that you can say about most projectors.
What you also cannot say about these projectors is that they come with an equally convenient remote. Despite its compact form factor, the remote has an ergonomic layout and well-thought-out button distribution, so you can adjust volume, switch between multiple image sources, or fiddle with the projector's settings with one hand and without studying the instructions.
Bottom line, as long as you're not looking for a mobile projector to watch films with, the Vamvo YG300 should prove more or less up your alley.
|Last updated price||£64.99|
What Is a Mobile Projector?
Most well-known application of projectors is at the cinemas. Those are huge, industrial-like stationary machines that cast an image projection on a flat surface, such as a large screen or a wall. Modern technologies render it possible to make them so small, you can even put them in your pocket. Such mini projectors can be mounted on a tripod or a simple table in school classrooms, lecture halls, or sleeping rooms. And lately, pocket projector became an essential companion of teachers and lecturers. They can be used almost anywhere, have different ports to connect them to a laptop or other digital devices. However, these micro-projectors, also called pico projectors, can display a crisp picture on the screen with a diagonal up to 120 inches and lighting lux at up to 100 lm. This is enough to get a distinct picture in a darkened room with closed drapes.
Note that you will need some kind of white wall or screen to throw the image onto with your projector. If you don't have any, take a quick glance at the best-selling projector screens of this year. If you are a lecturer or a speaker, you will also appreciate our review of the best presentation remotes. They come with a built-in laser pointer and other useful features to make your job easier. Just check them out and see for yourself.
What Features to Compare
As we've mentioned above, it may project an image at a diagonal of up to 120 inches without losing its crispness. Such width may be necessary for university auditoriums so that even from the back rows people could see a presentation. The image quality is affected by many factors.
- Resolution directly influences the quality of the picture. It shows a number of pixels in a projector matrix. Resolution is given as a value, that looks like 1280x720, where 1280 is the number of pixels horizontally, and 720 – vertically. It’s not the width of the picture, however, the bigger this value is, the more detailed image you get.
- Brightness is also important. As it comes from the name, it’s how bright your projection will be. The brightness value is given in Lumens (lm) and similar to light bulbs - the bigger it is, the lighter your image will be. Go for bigger value if you are going to do presentations in light rooms.
- Contrast defines the ratio between light and dark parts of a picture. You can use a pocket projector with high contrast in lighter rooms to get a more distinct picture. Please note, that the main parameter for lighting is still the brightness.
Another few things worth mentioning are aspect ratio and projector technology. The former shows a ratio between horizontal and vertical lines. In simple words, photos usually have a 4:3 aspect ratio, while most movies and videos are 16:9 nowadays. Projector technology is the type of mechanism that’s used for producing a projection. For instance, DLP has a high contrast while LED has great brightness.
The USB port is used to connect a projector to a notebook, memory stick, or even to a mobile phone. With HDMI you can transfer a video of high quality from a PC or Blu-ray player. 3.5mm audio output allows you to enhance the sound by adding external speakers or plugging headphones in. That’s an essential feature for large rooms, where built-in speakers are just not enough. Some models can work with Wi-Fi hotspots. You can connect them to the same network as your laptop or mobile phone and transfer a video directly from them. Neat, isn’t it?
Dimensions and Extra Features
Your mobile projector should be lightweight and compact. Most of them can be carried in a pocket of a jacket or in a case. Tripod stand is great for adjusting the projector at the right angle to get the best view. Some mini projectors will not only receive a signal via USB but even charge other devices, like mobile phones or portable speakers. As for power efficiency, mini projectors are powered with batteries, that are usually enough for at least one hour of work. That means that you can even take them on a trip to show your kids a movie in the evening. Projectors are recharged via cable and most of them can work and be recharged at the same time Overall, pocket projectors are great for indoors and outdoors activities. So let’s take a closer look at some of them.
1. LARRY GEISZ Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Video Projector (PP60) review, The Gadgeteer. April 16, 2016.
2. TechGuru Best Pico Projector Reviews 2016, Nerd Techy. February 7, 2016.
3. Kate Kliner How to Choose a Projector for Business Travel, B&H Photo Video. 2015.
4. Michael Antonoff Pico Projectors, B&H Photo Video. 2013.
5. Ionut Nedelcu The 9 Best Pico Projectors and How to Choose Them [Guide], TechPP. April 3, 2013.
6. Rob Cote Contrast Ratio of TVs, Rtings.com. February 25, 2016.
7. Geoffrey Morrison DLP vs LCD vs LCoS, CNET. May 6, 2016.
8. Projector Buying Guide, Epson.
9. Handheld Projectors, Wikipedia. February 16, 2016.