June 10, 2023

$548 at Amazon

Anker Nebula Mars II Professional

Greatest mini moveable projector general

$300 at Amazon

Anker Nebula Capsule projector shining a green light

Anker Nebula Capsule

Greatest low-cost mini projector with a battery

I did not understand projectors may very well be superior outdoor till I attempted one. The perfect moveable projectors are simple to arrange in any room of your own home or within the nice outdoor (or at the very least your nice outdoor). Don’t be concerned about image high quality: Projectors have come a good distance.

Whether or not you venture onto a clean wall or a projector display screen, you may seize the image high quality you crave with out getting weighed down. In addition they provide a handful of connectivity choices, together with Wi-FiHDMI and Bluetooth, and sometimes run on batteries. Many mini projectors may give you entry to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu and different streaming providers with out you having to attach a streaming machine or laptop computer.

Transportable projectors do include some drawbacks, although. One is that many are comparatively dim, missing the brightness of a standard dwelling theater projector. That means they can not venture as massive a picture as the large guys. One other is that almost all moveable projectors, particularly the most affordable ones, typically have decrease decision than their bigger counterparts, particularly 4K projectors. Should you’re by no means going to be removed from an outlet, a typical projector will get you a a lot greater, brighter and higher picture for related cash. However if you’d like one thing compact, moveable and perhaps battery-powered, listed below are our prime picks for the perfect mini projector.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Mars II Professional is our favourite moveable projector right here as a consequence of its mild output, general picture high quality, ease of use and inexpensive value. This cell machine is a bit greater than most different moveable projectors right here, however nonetheless sufficiently small to cover fully beneath a six-pack of Coke.

The built-in 12,500-mAh battery is sweet for about three-and-a-half hours, longer when you simply run it as a Bluetooth speaker. There are apps inbuilt, a few of which contemplate the Mars II a transportable machine, that means you may obtain content material to its 8GB inner reminiscence for offline watching. The faux-leather strap additionally makes carrying the out of doors projector round tremendous simple.

Learn our Anker Nebula Mars II Professional evaluation.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I like the highest projector higher however the AAXA P6X is my decide when cash is tight. Not solely is it cheaper than the Anker above, it is also brighter with superior battery life. This mini projector matches in my hand, creates a 720p picture, and has an enormous 15,000-mAh battery. An HDMI enter and USB connection helps you to join and energy a streaming stick. The stick connection is vital as a result of the AAXA lacks built-in apps. 

Mild output is spectacular for its dimension and value, about 50% greater than the Anker Mars II Professional, although its distinction ratio is a bit much less. The interior battery ought to final round 90 minutes within the mini projector’s brightest mode, and a formidable 240 minutes in Eco mode — most likely rather less when you’re additionally powering a streaming stick. The interior speaker is not nice, however there is a headphone jack you may hook up with a transportable speaker.

Learn our AAXA P6X evaluation.

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Geoff Morrison/CNET

The Xgimi Halo Plus is somewhat massive to really be thought of “mini,” however it’s pretty small. “Simply moveable” might be a extra correct description. It tasks a 1080p image and has a two-and-a-half-hour battery. It has Android TV built-in, so streaming is way simpler than with many different portables. It performs much better than most mini projectors, however it’s additionally manner greater and prices much more.

Learn our Xgimi Halo Plus evaluation.

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Not like lots of the different projectors on this record the AAXA P8 cannot run on a battery — it’s good to plug in its energy adapter — however it’s so small, vibrant and low-cost it makes the record anyway. There are actually cheaper projectors on the market, however nothing we have seen at this value or decrease, apart from the Vimgo P10, is value recommending. 

The P8 is completely tiny, roughly the identical general quantity because the Anker Capsule (which does have a battery), although clearly rectangular as a substitute of cylindrical. It is considerably brighter than the Capsule. It even has a number of streaming apps inbuilt, plus an HDMI port for connecting an exterior supply. The picture high quality is OK however for the dimensions, value and comparatively excessive mild output, it is exhausting to knock it.

Learn our AAXA P8 evaluation.

Anker Nebula Capsule projector shining a green light
Geoff Morrison/CNET

The Anker Nebula Capsule is smaller than a can of soda, however can create an enormous picture. Effectively, perhaps not “huge,” however “TV-sized” actually. It isn’t significantly vibrant, nor loud, however for one thing that may slot in your pocket it is nice. The opposite choices right here provide a far brighter, higher picture, but when dimension is your most important concern, the Capsule appears higher than you’d count on for its value and stature.

Notice which you could save $30 proper now at Amazon by activating the prompt coupon on the product web page. 

Learn our Anker Nebula Capsule evaluation.

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vimgo p10 projector
Geoff Morrison/CNET

The Vimgo P10’s value fluctuates between $170 and $270, in the identical ballpark as our favourite low-cost projector, the AAXA P8. It is lots bigger than the P8, the most important low-cost projector we have examined truly, making it far much less moveable. It is nonetheless “small” in comparison with full-size and costlier projectors, nonetheless. 

Image high quality is healthier than the P8 in some methods, worse in others. The Vimgo P10 has a fantastic distinction ratio and first rate brightness, however the colour is remarkably horrible. The middle of the picture is noticeably sharper and brighter than the remainder of the picture. It isn’t nice.

However the value is. A wonderfully watchable picture, and proper now you may decide it up for $230 whenever you activate the prompt coupon on the product web page. Plus, it even has Netflix inbuilt. The principle draw back is that, just like the P8, it lacks a battery.

Learn our Vimgo P10 evaluation.

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Different merchandise we have examined

Anker Nebula Photo voltaic Transportable: We did not just like the Photo voltaic Transportable as a lot because the BenQ GS50, Xgimi Halo Plus and even its sibling, the Mars II Professional. Its most important drawback in comparison with others on this record is its comparatively dim picture, which suggests it could actually’t venture as massive an image and nonetheless look good. If you need a smooth, budget-friendly moveable with 1080p and plan on conserving the picture on the small facet, nonetheless, this can be a stable alternative. Learn our Anker Nebula Photo voltaic Transportable evaluation.

BenQ GS50: The GS50 is roughly the identical dimension because the Xgimi Halo Plus, and can be 1080p and has a built-in battery. You possibly can even use it as a Bluetooth speaker. Nonetheless, it is dimmer than the Xgimi Halo Plus for related cash. Learn our BenQ GS50 evaluation.

LG CineBeam PH30N: The LG PH30N is tiny even in comparison with different moveable projectors, even smaller than the AAXA. It isn’t significantly vibrant, nonetheless, nor does it have built-in apps. The battery does not final so long as the AAXA both though it’s a bit cheaper. Learn our LG CineBeam PH30N evaluation.

Samsung Freestyle: The small, cylindrical Freestyle is an fascinating thought, however it comes up brief. Concerning the dimension of a Bluetooth speaker, and in reality can double as one, the Freestyle can pivot on its stand to venture a picture at any peak on partitions and even the ceiling. Its built-in streaming is much better applied than most moveable projectors. Nonetheless, it lacks a battery and its efficiency is common, at finest. Worse, its value is an effective 50% increased than it needs to be based mostly on the way it appears and performs. Learn our Samsung Freestyle evaluation.

Xiaomi Mi Good Projector 2: One other comparatively costly small projector we did not love, the Xiaomi at the very least has a stunning, Apple-like design going for it. We appreciated the compact dimension, 1080p decision and built-in Android TV streaming, however the cons outweigh the professionals. It is comparatively dim, particularly for the worth, and it lacks each a built-in battery and compatibility with a USB energy supply, so it is not actually moveable. Learn our Xiaomi Mi Good Projector 2 evaluation.

Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K: Because it has a deal with and a compact dimension, the Cosmos Laser 4K is technically moveable, however it’s hardly mini at greater than 10 kilos. There’s additionally no battery so you may have to plug it in. It is good and vibrant, however the different downsides — lack of zoom, common general picture high quality and a steep value for what you get — preserve it off this record. Learn our Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector evaluation.

BenQ HT2050A: The HT2050 is not technically a transportable projector in any respect, however it’s compact and roughly the identical value as one of many costlier “moveable” choices. Its image can be significantly better in just about each manner, so when you’re in search of a projector to be used across the dwelling, or perhaps yard, and you do not want battery energy, it is value contemplating. Learn our BenQ HT2050A evaluation.

How we take a look at moveable projectors

Each projector we evaluation goes by means of elaborate goal and subjective testing. CNET editors decide the services we write about based mostly on editorial advantage. Once you purchase by means of our hyperlinks, we could get a fee.

Learn extraHow CNET Checks Projectors


What makes a mini projector totally different from a full-size projector?

The most important distinction is mild output. Conventional, full-size projectors can get a lot brighter than any moveable mini projector. Most moveable projectors use an LED lamp, whereas full-size projectors have both UHP lamps (that are principally high-powered mild bulbs) or laser mild sources. Projector mild output is measured in lumens. The brightest moveable projectors we have reviewed measure about 350 lumens, whereas a standard dwelling theater projector measures 1,500 lumens or extra. 

A vibrant projector can produce a bigger picture, and appears higher when there’s some ambient mild round. For that purpose dimmer moveable projectors are finest loved with smaller photographs and in as darkish an surroundings as potential.

Past brightness, mini projectors are a lot smaller (after all), can run on battery energy and often embody built-in streaming and first rate audio system. Conventional projectors have extra lens changes, together with focus, zoom and lens shift, and may run louder. 

Are all mini projectors moveable?

In which you could take them with you locations, certain, however some are more- or much less moveable than others. Mini-projectors vary in dimension from completely tiny pico projectors just like the AAXA P8 to fashions just like the Anker Nebula Cosmos 4K that does have a deal with, and is billed as “out of doors,” however is pricey, heavy (10.7 kilos) and would require an enormous backpack to lug round. Many moveable projectors have batteries however some, particularly low-cost fashions, don’t.

Does a mini projector need to be plugged in?

It relies upon. Many moveable projectors have built-in batteries that may run for 2 or three hours earlier than needing to be plugged in. Some can even connect to exterior USB battery packs that permit them to be run with out plug-in energy. Then again, many smaller moveable projectors, particularly cheaper ones, do not embody a built-in battery or work with battery packs. They’ll must be plugged in to work.

Are you able to watch Netflix on a transportable projector?

Sure. Many mini projectors have built-in streaming that permit them to point out Netflix and different streaming providers when related through Wi-Fi. For projectors that do not have built-in streaming, you may want to attach one other streaming machine, like a Roku or Fireplace TV Stick, to the projector’s HDMI enter to stream Netflix and different providers.

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