Micro projectors, also known as pico or handheld projectors, are compact devices that are very popular among those who travel a lot. They also work well for people who like to move the projector from one room to another without much effort, like speakers or teachers.
Unfortunately, many of the models available on the market have a low native resolution, which makes them less appealing. But don’t worry – that’s not always the case. There are options that offer excellent resolution without breaking the bank, ensuring that you’ll be able to go through your presentation with no technical issues. And we’ve listed the best of the best below.
Not only have we provided some excellent micro projectors picks, but we also came up with a buyer’s guide designed to help you figure out exactly what to look for when shopping around. Read on for some useful info on what features to keep an eye out for.
Buying Guide for Budget Micro Projectors
There’s plenty of choice out there, so selecting a micro projector that actually works for you can seem like a daunting task. Choosing the right micro projector, however, is pretty straightforward as long as you understand the differences between the main models available.
What Is a Projector?
To keep things simple, a projector is an inverted camera that splits light out of a lens without covering it. For the sake of this particular buyer’s guide, we will only covert digital micro projectors. These projectors have video inputs that serve similar functions to a TV or a computer monitor, are easily portable, and boast the ability to produce large images. There are three main types of micro projectors out there:
• Pocket Projectors
• Multimedia Micro Projectors
• Short Throw Micro Projectors
These projectors are relatively new on the market. They can be easily held in your hands, although they might not always fit into all pockets. They are not very bright because they use lower light LED lamps. In comparison, multimedia micro projectors offer two times more light lumens. This makes them more useful when you don’t want to carry a monitor or screen around.
The micro pocket projectors have one other limitation – the lack of a zooming lens. This means that the only way the image size can be controlled is by physically moving the projector further or closer to the screen. If you favor brightness and zoom over the compact factor, a micro pocket projector may not be the best option for you.
Multimedia Micro Projectors
Multimedia micro projectors are widely available and fairly popular due to their versatility. They can be used for general purposes, ranging from PowerPoint presentation to screening slideshows at events. They are also considered to be portable and offer better brightness, with lumens as high as 4500.
Special care needs to be taken when choosing a screen size that is compatible with your particular needs. Some projectors of this kind have VGA or HDMI ports that can be connected to an inexpensive adapter.
The common resolutions for multimedia projectors are WUXGA (1920 X 1200), WXGGA (1280 X 8000), XGA (1024 X768), and the SVGA (800 X 600).
Projectors that support 4K quality are available as well, but are more on the expensive side.
Short Throw Micro Projectors
These projectors are typically designed to be installed close to a screen, wall-mounted, and are most often used in small classrooms paired with a digital whiteboard. Some place a shorter throw projector further back than the recommended distance, but this doesn’t really work, so always read the instructions carefully.
They are meant for small screen sizes and they normally produce up to 3000 lumens. If you have limited space but need a brighter projector, then you will probably want to look for a fixed installation with interchangeable lenses.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a quick look at some of the best micro projectors you can invest in without messing up your monthly budget. Here are some excellent pics to get you started.
Top 8 Best Budget Micro Projectors
1. AAXA LED Pico Projector (with 80 Minute Battery)
This AAXA model is a true portable micro projector with a long battery life. Out of all the options available on the market, the AAXA is one of the only ones that come with a battery, so you’re all set from the get-go.
The native resolution supported by the model is 960 x 540 pixels and the image size can go up to 60 inches before starting to lose picture quality. For best results, it is highly recommended to dim surrounding lights.
The led lamp is guaranteed to work fifteen hours. The unit comes with a tripod and a battery. This projector is compact and convenient for travel. All in all, this is an all-in-one solution that works well for business people always on the go.
2. AAXA P2 Jr Pico
AAXA’s P2 Pico Projector offers amazing resolution for such a compact model. It has a native resolution of 1280 by 720, which means that HD content can be rendered with high fidelity.
Moreover, the projector boasts 55 lumens luminosity and supports 16:9 ratio playback, which is ideal for movies. The unit does come with speakers but we recommend you use a separate sound system for a more seamless experience. It also has 2000:1 contrast and a powerful LED lamp, which will result in high quality colors.
3. HDMI Pocket Projector Mobile, 100-Lumen
The HDMI pocket projector is unique because there are very few other models out there that can project up to 100 lumens for up to two hours on a single charge. The pocket projector is a compact, yet reliable media viewing device that comes with 854 X 480 native resolution and supports 1080p video inputs.
True, this one is a bit more expensive, but the investment will pay off in the long run. You can charge it using a wall charger or mobile power banks and it has a built-in focus wheel lets you adjust the display for optimal resolution.
Because it has two built in speakers, this model best serves people who like to travel a lot, but still watch movies in style. Of course, this also works for business purposes – it only weights 4.85 lbs, so carrying it around is a breeze.
4. APEMAN Mini Portable 3500L Video Projector
This user-friendly mini projector comes packed with the latest 4.0 LCD display technology with advanced LED light sources, ensuring great brightness for an overall better image quality. This makes it a clever choice if you’re planning an outdoor movie night, for example. Add in the fact that it supports 1080P full HD with 800x480p native resolution and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Furthermore, the projector is equipped with an advanced built-in dual speakers system, meant to ensure clear sound and reduce noise. You can connect a sound bar if you’re having guests over, but if only one or two people are watching the sound is more than fair.
As for compatibility, it works with a wide range of multimedia connections with devices like laptops, game consoles, and smartphones. At under $100, the features are well worth the price.
5. Vamvo L4200 Portable Video Projector
Weighing only 2.75lb, this mini projector is easy to carry around. Don’t be fooled by its portable size, though, as the technology it packs is more than able to deliver a sharp and bright cinematic experience.
The device supports a 49-200 inches projection size with 4.9-15 feet projection distance. It features built-in dual stereo speakers with SRS, which translates to well-balanced sound quality, and it is compatible with Fire TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, AV, and USB.
Plus, Vamvo L4200 provides 3800 lux brightness, 720P native resolution, 2000:1 contrast ratio and 50000 hours LED lamp life. It also comes in an elegant case, so you can store it and move it around without minimal hassle.
6. ELEPHAS Mini Projector
One of the most affordable quality projectors currently available, this model from ELEPHAS features high-efficiency LED lamp light, which provides +80% brightness and up to 2000: 1 contrast ratio, ensuring a crisp image and great color accuracy.
Besides, it has built-in dual HI-FI level stereo speakers and is compatible with popular gadgets like Roku, Chromecast, laptops, game consoles, and more.
You can also connect it to your smartphone but you’ll need an HDMI adaptor, which is not provided. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the mini projector is truly an excellent budget buy.
7. RIF6 Cube Full LED Mini Projector
Have more money to spend? This ultra-portable mini projector is hard to beat. Not only does it basically fit in your pocket, but it ensures vibrant LED light projection with full 50 lumens that lasts up to 20,000 hours and displays a video screen size of up to 120 inches.
The device is also equipped with a built-in rechargeable internal battery that lasts up to 90 minutes, making it a great pick for business presentations when you don’t want to carry a lot of cables around.
As for accessories, it comes with a flexible mini tripod with bendable legs, a remote control charger, and USB and HDMI connectors. You can connect it to your smart phone, computer, laptop, gaming console, or TV screen, as well as play files directly from a USB flash drive or micro SD card. If you want the tiniest projector on the market, you’re in the right place.
8. AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector
The AAXA P300 models is one of the best on the market with its high native resolution of 1280 by 800 and high luminosity. At 500 lumens, this projector is just as powerful as a full size one. It has two built-in speakers and supports aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9.
The model supports a battery extension that gives it 75 minutes of playback without being connected to a wall charger. Compact and lightweight, this one will be able to cover all your projection needs, whether we’re talking about establishing a home theater or dazzling your supervisors with a quality presentation.
The projector also features a built-in sound system and an onboard media player – which means that it allows movie and image playback directly from a microSD card or USB flash drive. Plus, it comes with a remote and mini-tripod. In other words, it works just as well as a regular projector, but it’s considerably easier to carry around.