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  5. 10 Best Portable Projectors 2023 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed
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10 Best Portable Projectors 2023 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed

Pocket-sized, iPhone compatible and 1080p resolutions, a portable projector allows you to bring the magic of the cinema into your living room, back garden, or even camping in the great outdoors. Not only that, but they're also perfect for children’s sleepovers and making memorable business presentations at work.


Here, we've compiled a list of the best portable projectors from brands like Acer, Nebula and LG, all available from Amazon and Argos. We've also provided all the handy info you need in a buying guide to help you choose the best product for your budget and gotten expert advice from filmmaker Jani Ahonen.
Last updated 30/01/2023
Expert
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen

Jani is a professional photographer and filmmaker from Finland with over 15 years of experience in both fields. He has studied at some of the best schools and universities across the globe, leading him to become an expert in creative industries. Today he is the creative director and the owner of JP Harrow Portraits that specialises in portraiture for same-sex couples and families in London, UK.

Jani Ahonen's Profile
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mybest UK
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Buying guides reviewed by featured experts.
Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide as of 16-01-2023. Experts featured in this article did not participate in the selection and ranking process.

With Specialist Consultation From Filmmaker Jani Ahonen

With Specialist Consultation From Filmmaker Jani Ahonen

Jani is a professional photographer and filmmaker from Finland with over 15 years of experience in both fields. He has studied at some of the best schools and universities across the globe, leading him to become an expert in creative industries. Today he is the creative director and the owner of JP Harrow Portraits that specialises in portraiture for same-sex couples and families in London, UK.


If you're looking for an expert in portrait photography, filmmaking, drone flying or anything else technical, make sure to visit Jani's website JP Harrow Portraits for quotes and direct contact, or follow him on Instagram.

How to Choose a Portable Projector in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Who Will Use the Projector and the Level of Sound and Image Quality Required
  2. Look For Features Like High Resolution and Lumens for the Best Image Projection
  3. Check for a Good Level of Sound Output for Dynamic Audio
  4. Whether You Want a Reliable Wired Connection or the Freedom of Wireless
  5. For Your Viewing Needs, How Much Battery Life Is Sufficient

① Size Can Affect Sound and Image Quality, so Think About Who and Where You’ll Be Using It

Size Can Affect Sound and Image Quality, so Think About Who and Where You’ll Be Using It

For Meetings and Movie Nights Go For a Projector With a Stable Wired Connection

If you intend to use your projector for business or at-home movie nights in the house or garden, then you can afford to opt for the heavier and more robust models. More often than not these models have an incredibly stable viewing experience and higher-quality sound output, not to mention a longer 'throw ratio' for a truly cinematic experience.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

It is worth keeping in mind that when travelling with your portable projector, you might have to also carry additional equipment from a portable white screen to extra cables. These combined can mean you carry over ten kilos of weight, so keep this in mind when choosing the projector. While the projector itself might be lightweight, the gear and equipment it requires always isn't!

If You’re Holding a Kid’s Party or Viewing on the Go, Choose a Palmtop or ‘Pico’ Projector

When compactness is a priority, a pocket or palmtop projector will be ideal. However, you will find that the brightness and definition suffer slightly with smaller models. Palmtops are slightly larger but still compact enough to slip into a bag - they also have a better quality projection and more connectivity options.


Although they won't be as light, larger palmtop LED models have a superior image and sound quality and can often stand up sturdily by themselves. The 'throw ratio' will be much shorter in these models, however, keep an eye out for short-throw projectors which will be capable of bigger images at a shorter distance of a couple of metres.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

Generally speaking, the image quality does decrease the smaller the projector gets. This is all due to limitations in technology. While kids might not care about the image quality and are okay films shown lower resolution, adults might not. 


For this reason, it might be worth investing a bit more money in higher quality projector if the image quality matters to you a lot.

② High Resolution, Lumens and Keystone Correction Will Give You the Best Image Projection

High Resolution, Lumens and Keystone Correction Will Give You the Best Image Projection

A Resolution of 1080p and Over Will Give You a Clearer Image

The higher the resolution your projector provides, the crisper and clearer the image will be. You can also check the resolution by looking at the number of pixels it uses. So if you're projecting a DVD or BluRay, pick one with a resolution high enough, for example, 1080 pixels. However, avoid dipping below 720 pixels.


That said, as technology advances over the years, a better investment may be one that is compatible with higher resolutions since it is likely to outlive laptops, BluRay, and other technology - meaning it should last you for years to come! 


Immerse yourself in the home theatre experience with a 4K TV for Under £500! 

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

While it might sound like a 4K projector is always better than a 1080p projector, that isn’t always the case. Just because a projector has FullHD 1080p resolution doesn’t mean it will make movies look good


Many 720p projectors can produce a much better image and colours than a 1080p projector, and hence you should always read the reviews of that projector before purchase.

Keystone Correction Is Great for Angled Surfaces

Keystone correction is great if your projector is placed on an angle or the surface you are projecting on is angled, as it allows you to project clearly, whilst still keeping a neat and rectangular image. This can also be done vertically or horizontally, although the latter is usually found in higher-priced projectors. 

However, it does reduce the overall image quality in the process. So if you refuse to sacrifice a crisp, vibrant image, use one with no keystone correction. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a flat surface for your projector at just the right height, keystone projection won’t be necessary anyway.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

Keystone corrections are more prevalent in proper home theatre projectors, but they can sometimes be found in portable projectors too. Just bear in mind that the ideal place for the projector is always right in front of the screen. This allows it to project the image without any distortions, and no digital image corrections are required.

Projectors With 1000-1500 Lumen Will Give Higher-Quality Projections

A higher number of lumen equals better quality projections in daylight. If you're looking for crisp, clear images that stand out in even the brightest of boardrooms, opt for a projector with 2000 lumen or more.

 

Projectors with between 1000-1500 lumen don’t require quite as much darkness to produce a clear image, so if you can’t guarantee a total blackout, choose a device with this number or higher. However, if you’re setting up a garden home cinema or you’re able to watch in complete darkness, fewer than 500 lumens will be perfectly sufficient. 


Struggling to make the room dark enough? Check out our best blackout blinds.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

If you plan to use your portable projector in a bright room during the day, you need a projector with a high Lumen number. Ideally, aim for a projector with Lumen numbers over 1000 or more. 


However, if you can always control the light and make sure the presentation room is dark, you don’t need to worry about the projector brightness numbers. A lower Lumen number will produce darker blacks in those situations, making your movie experience a lot better.

Greater Contrast Makes for More Detailed Images

Contrast is simply the difference between the lightest and darkest parts of an image and is usually expressed in a ratio, so a 2000:1 contrast ratio means the white in an image is 2000 times brighter than the black part. Meaning that the higher the contrast ratio, the richer and more detailed the image will be.

The contrast ratio does not account for the way your projector will display shades of grey in between black and white. Thus, a projector with a ratio of 40,000:1 doesn’t guarantee a ten times better contrast than one with a ratio of 4000:1. Nevertheless, for a rich image, try to find a contrast ratio of at least 1000:1.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

The contrast ratio is one of those things that doesn’t instantly tell you how good the projector is. Each manufacturer uses its own measurements, and hence there can be a big difference between two different projects having the same contrast ratio. 


My suggestion is to check the reviews of that particular projector and see what people say about the image quality. If people praise the image and its colours, that projector might be good for you.

③ Check That the Sound Output of the Projector Is Around 4 Watts for More Dynamic Audio

Check That the Sound Output of the Projector Is Around 4 Watts for More Dynamic Audio

By definition, anything portable means that all you should require will be built into the unit. However, not all portable projectors are built the same and will come with the same sound quality or any speakers at all, so you must check this detail. Though, there's a higher chance that the higher quality projectors will give you high-quality sound output.

Higher power means the speaker can produce a more dynamic sound so you will want to look for built-in speaks with anything between 3 - 6 watts of power, with 4 watts of output being the middle ground for the average user.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

While some portable projectors can have built-in speakers, they are usually quite awful. If you genuinely care about the presentation quality, you should consider having a set of separate speakers to produce the sound. 


If you are using the projector for Powerpoint slideshows only, then this feature might not matter, but any movie will sound a million times better if you have separate speakers to use.

④ Cabled Is Best for Static Viewers, but Choose WiFi or Bluetooth if You Prefer the Freedom

Cabled Is Best for Static Viewers, but Choose WiFi or Bluetooth if You Prefer the Freedom
Whether you prefer the freedom of wireless or the reliability of physical cables, the choice is yours. USB or HDMI may feel like a more trustworthy option, especially if you’re using the projector for work. Whereas WiFi allows you to be wire-free but the connection can sometimes be unreliable. 


To combat poor connectivity, an SD card slot means you can load your media straight onto the projector, whilst still being wire-less. Also, nowadays most projectors have an MHL port that allows you to connect it to your smartphone or tablet, or the ability to cast or 'mirror' your phone screen via technologies such as Miracast or Chromecast.


If you don't have the correct connections, here are some HDMI cables and MacBook adapters

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

The biggest drawback with portable projectors is that they aren’t as advanced in wireless connectivity as you might think. While you can get away with making a simple one-slide Powerpoint presentation over WiFi or even Bluetooth, a cabled connection is almost in every other situation a better option. 


If you don’t want to experience delays, dropped frames, or video being out of sync, always use a regular HDMI connector port instead.

⑤ A Long Battery Life of More Than 4000mah Will Give You Care-Free Viewing on the Go

A Long Battery Life of More Than 4000mah Will Give You Care-Free Viewing on the Go

Make sure that the battery life suits the kind of usage you have planned and for mini or portable projectors, we suggest to go for at least 4000 mAh for normal use or one that has 2.5 to 5 hours estimated run time. However, remember that the brightness and quality of the image are usually much better when plugged in.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen's Comment

Many portable projectors have a built-in battery that allows you to use them without plugging them into the mains. This makes them very convenient to use in places where you might not find a power socket. 


If you choose to buy a battery-powered projector, please ensure it has an advertised battery life of at least 3 hours. This way you can even watch longer movies while travelling.

10 Best Portable Projectors in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used. 
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Points
1

ViewSonic

Ultra-Portable Projector

ViewSonic Ultra-Portable Projector 1枚目

The Foldaway Projector for Movie Marathons Anywhere

2

Nebula by Anker

Capsule HD Ready Smart Mini Projector

Nebula by Anker Capsule HD Ready Smart Mini Projector 1枚目

Lightweight, Functional and the Size of a Drinks Can

3

Acer

LED Projector

Acer LED Projector 1枚目

Top Pick for Those Who Want to Project From Their Phone

4

YABER

Mini Portable Projector

YABER Mini Portable Projector 1枚目

For Fantastic Contrast Ratio on a Budget

5

Optoma

LH200 Portable Projector,

Optoma LH200 Portable Projector, 1枚目

Unbeatable Performance for Professional Use

6

LG

CineBeam Portable LED Projector

LG  CineBeam Portable LED Projector 1枚目

A Smart Palmtop Projector With Quality Images

7

Kodak

Luma 150 Pocket Projector

Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector 1枚目

A Sturdy Hand-Size Projector for the Casual User

8

Nebula by Anker

Mars II Pro Portable Projector

Nebula by Anker Mars II Pro Portable Projector 1枚目

Aesthetics and Function in One Portable Projector

9

EZCast

Portable Projector

EZCast Portable Projector 1枚目

A Projector With Tripod to Help Position it Perfectly

10

PVO

Mini Projector

PVO Mini Projector 1枚目

The Small but Mighty Projector Ideal for Kids’ Parties

Product details
Close
No.1

ViewSonicUltra-Portable ProjectorM1 WVGA

£259.72

The Foldaway Projector for Movie Marathons Anywhere

That's right, ViewSonic's palm-sized M1 can provide up to 6 hours of juice per charge! And with the cleverly designed foldaway built-in stand and carry case, it's the perfect travel companion whether camping or working away. 

The keystone correction and dual Harman/Kardon speakers make all the difference sound-wise, providing a fully immersive experience whether you're projecting via the USBC, loading up the micro SD slot, or utilising its incredible 16GB of internal storage. A real winner that won't break the bank! 

No.2

Nebula by AnkerCapsule HD Ready Smart Mini Projector

£339.99

Lightweight, Functional and the Size of a Drinks Can

This cylindrical-shaped projector is at once functional and extremely portable – it actually is the same size as a can of pop! Looks and size aside, the 360° speaker design makes for incredible sound, reaching even the farthest corners of your living room. 

As well as a built-in battery that will provide you with up to 4 hours of mains-free movie magic on any flat surface, there's advanced DLP technology with Intellibright algorithms for rich, clear and bright imagery with stunning contrast. Compatibility with many devices including Apple's Airplay tops off the package. 

No.3

AcerLED ProjectorC250i

£399.99

Top Pick for Those Who Want to Project From Their Phone

Sturdy and stable, but light enough to move outdoors or fit in a travel bag if necessary, this free-standing projector works in perfect harmony with your smartphone, using wireless technology to project videos, images, live streams and more in full HD.

With a clear 300 lumen brightness and able to project onto screens of 100 inches, this projector provides some top-quality experiences whether home or away and gaming or streaming. 5 watt built-in speakers also guarantee fine, crisp sound via Bluetooth, and 5-hour battery life means no interruptions. 

No.4

YABERMini Portable Projector

£89.99

For Fantastic Contrast Ratio on a Budget

This may be one of the heaviest models on our list but for its affordable price, it still packs a punch. Its 6500 lumens and a great contrast ratio create a nice and bright display, which rivals some of the more expensive models.

It's also HD-ready with dual speakers and is compatible with any multimedia device you can think of, from laptops and phones to Xboxes and PlayStations. As it works best in no- or low-light environments and has a large screen size of 200", it's perfect for home movie and TV marathons. 

No.5

OptomaLH200 Portable Projector,

£1,118.85

Unbeatable Performance for Professional Use

If you're looking to invest in a top-of-the-line projector for business use, this is about as good as it gets. Though larger than some it's still considered portable, and the payoff is worth it: superior sharpness, brightness, richness, and quality with keystone correction for flawless displays. 

As you would expect, there's a fully-kitted-out remote included, as well as plentiful connectivity options. Connect via HDMI, USB or Bluetooth, or even with the HDCastPro app to present straight from your smartphone. 

No.6

LG CineBeam Portable LED ProjectorPH510PG

£299.00

A Smart Palmtop Projector With Quality Images

One of the sleekest looking palmtop projectors, LG's PH510PG is a great mid-range choice. It's small enough to fit into its own camera-sized case and sits neatly beside your laptop taking up minimal space. 

Though the resolution of 720p is lower than some, it does make up for it with good data and image quality and great connectivity including Bluetooth, USB, and even a coaxial port to link straight to a TV cable box
No.7

KodakLuma 150 Pocket Projector

£269.99

A Sturdy Hand-Size Projector for the Casual User

The projections from this palm-sized machine reach over three metres – not bad for something so portable! It can be used easily with smartphones or other devices via the screen mirroring or HDMI ports and has its own 1.5 W speaker.

Another draw is the one-touch operation – eliminating the need for remotes, the controls appear atop the projector with a tap. Perfect for seamless presentations! Plus, it's easily charged after 2.5 hours with a USB plug. 150 lumens is lower than some, but for simple TV or work-related projections, we think it's a good pick. 

No.8

Nebula by AnkerMars II Pro Portable Projector

£499.99

Aesthetics and Function in One Portable Projector

The 'Pro' upgrade of Nebula's Mars II gives out a high definition image with a brighter lumen (500 when running on mains, 200 on battery) and reduced weight for better portability. It can connect wirelessly or be mirrored, meaning you can project easily from your smartphone or laptop wherever you are.

As well as dual speakers providing sharp, immersive audio, the Mars II Pro boasts Android 7.1, so you can download YouTube, Netflix, and other apps to stream straight through. It’s an investment, but a great pick for top-quality projections both at home and away. 
No.9

EZCastPortable ProjectorBeam J2

£179.99

A Projector With Tripod to Help Position it Perfectly

This projector may not be pocket-sized but it is definitely big enough to slot into your bag for safety. It also has a built-in speaker and a large screen size for a fully immersive experience

There's an included tripod too, to help you position the projector sturdily at any angle. Even with such a minimal size, the specs aren't too bad – 1080 pixels and five-hour battery life from each charge, for example – although the lumen count is low so you'll need a fairly dark room for the best visuals. 
No.10

PVOMini ProjectorYG300 Pro

£69.99

The Small but Mighty Projector Ideal for Kids’ Parties

The best option for keeping the children entertained on busy bank holidays or for a way to calm down a hectic kids sleepover, the PVO portable projector is cheap and cheerful but still offers a 1080p resolution and plenty of connection capabilities.

It also has the ability to run from its own power bank or the mains, so it can be set up either indoors for gaming or TV or outside for a fun outdoor activity. On the downside, whilst it does have HDMI and USB ports, you will need to buy the adapter cables separately.

Properly Store and Maintain Your Projector for Years of Quality Viewing

Properly Store and Maintain Your Projector for Years of Quality Viewing

One of the best things you can do for your projector is buying a sealed case for it if it doesn't already come with one. By storing it away you're protecting the goods from any dust, moisture and potential bumps and scrapes that may compromise the quality of your viewing experience and longevity of the machine.

Projectors also have a tendency to overheat from the use of an LED bulb, so while keeping it well ventilated in use is a must, it's also important that you allow the projector to cool down after you finish using it before you store it away again.

Written and researched by Annie Hopkins

When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.

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