The only way to replicate a cinema-like experience at home is to get a projector. Sometimes, it can be a true joy to be able to take this experience on the go when visiting friends or even when traveling. Pico projectors had a rough start. At first it was difficult to incorporate the technology of a regular projector into a pocket-friendly form factor. As technology evolves, things tend to shrink and this is what helped develop the mini portable projectors that have now become so popular.
One of the known issues with pico projectors is their resolution. So far only a few models support true HD resolutions. Most models just downscale the resolution. Regardless, the image quality is fairly decent but the higher the resolution of the projector, the better the image quality will be.
The main concern with portable projectors is the price. They usually have the same pricing as the normal projectors but there are differences in terms of hardware and capabilities. What is certain is the fact that they were specifically designed to be used by regular home users in small to medium cameras. The distance between the projector and the wall is fairly limited.
Best Tiny Portable Projectors in 2023
With all these things in mind let’s have a quick glimpse at the most popular portable projectors. Here are the top 10 best tiny portable projectors in 2023.
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10. Magnasonic LED Pocket Pico Video Projector
The Magnasonic LED projector is a great device that was made specifically for portable devices such as smartphones and tablets. It has HDMI, Micro HDMI and MHL ports. This offers a wide range of connectivity options including with devices such as a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
In terms of hardware the model is mediocre. There is nothing too fancy about it. It has a resolution of 640 by 380 pixels which is decent when watching movies but it is not great. If it is projected far away from the wall, the image tens to become too big and the quality tends to suffer. The good things that it has for it is the built-in battery that can work as a power bank and the fact that it is very affordable.
9. Taotaole Multimedia Mini Portable Projector
Taotaole mini projector is one of the best products in its price range. The fact that it is so affordable and its decent resolution attracted many positive reviews. It has a compact form factor and lightweight built with a powerful brightness of 800 lumens. The native resolution is limited at 800 by 480 while its contrast is rated at 800:1.
The model is recommended to be used at about 2 meters from the projection surface. Its image size can be adjusted and ranges from 30 to 120 inches. The best results can be obtained by keeping the image size somewhere in the middle of the range.
8. DBPOWER Portable Mini LED Projector
The DBPOWER mini projector is a great option for the ones that need something relatively decent for little money. It is not the most compact model in the list but it is small enough.
The model offers a native resolution of 800 by 480 pixels and a supports full HD media playback. It downscales the resolution but the image quality is decent. The brightness of the device is modest as it offers only 120 lumens but its LED technology makes it suitable for a regular home user.
7. Ivation Portable Rechargeable Mini Projector
When it comes to ultimate mobility the Ivation mini projector takes a top spot. This premium little device comes with its own built-in rechargeable battery that makes it completely independent from an external power source for a certain amount of time.
The model can be used with most devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. It has a decent resolution of 854 by 480 and a screen ratio of 16:9. The model is ideal for watching a movie or streaming content as image quality will not disappoint.
6. Lumex Technologies LED Projector
The Lumex LED mini projector is a pocket-size device that is capable of playing full HD content at 60 frames per second. It is extremely small and surprisingly powerful due to the use of LED arrays that improve luminosity while requiring less power.
In terms of connectivity options, the model does not offer much. It has just an HDMI port. What it does have as extra is a MicroSD slot that allows playback directly from a memory card. The model offers a decent brightness and manages to preserve image quality even when the projection size is increased.
5. iDeaUSA Pico Projector
iDeaUSA pico projector is without a doubt one of the smallest models available. It is difficult to find anything smaller than the iDeaUSA. The model however has just a modest luminosity of just 80 lumens. However, its resolution is full 1080p meaning that image quality is crystal clear.
The model uses DLP technology offering a contrast of 1000:1. To get the most out of it, manufacturers recommend using it in rooms with as little light as possible. The model runs on a built-in rechargeable battery that offers anywhere between 3.5 and 5 hours of playback depending on the settings.
4. AAXA P2 Jr Pico Projector
AAXA P2 Jr Pico Projector is a great budget option for the ones that need a full HD model for a modest price. It has everything needed to be portable, lightweight, and quite reliable. The model comes with built-in speakers and a rechargeable internal battery that is capable of keeping the projector running for about 90 minutes.
The model uses LED technology that makes it much more durable in time and requires less power. It is also quite powerful as it offers excellent brightness and contrast.
3. RIF6 Cube Pico Projector
The RIF6 pico projector is so small that it can fit inside a pocket. It offers a decent native resolution of 854 by 480 and MHL and HDMI connectivity. Its input ports make it easy to use with almost any device ranging from computers to laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Unlike other portable projectors, it does not offer a charge while-playing feature. Its internal battery offers about 90 minutes of runtime after which it needs to be turned off and recharged which might sound inconvenient. On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to find a smaller model right now.
2. ASUS S1 Pocket Projector
ASUS recently released its own pocket projector. The S1 is a small and well-built model with a brushed aluminum enclosure and a powerful internal battery pack. On a full charge, the projector can run for up to 3 hours. It can also run while charging which is a great plus.
The native resolution of the model is just 854 by 480 pixels which is enough for movies or streaming but a bit undersized for anything else. It was mainly built to be used as part of an entertainment system and as a travel-friendly projector.
1. Sony Pico Mobile Projector
The Sony Pico Mobile Projector is one of the more expensive models on our list but for a good reason. It is quite difficult to match its performance when scaled to its form factor. The model has a native resolution of 1920 by 720 pixels which recommends for both media playback and even casual gaming.
It uses an internal battery pack to keep it running without an external power source. The model works with laptops, tablets, or even smartphones which makes it clear that it was built to be a travel companion.
Pocket or pico projectors have improved significantly over the past few years. In the beginning, they were more of a niche thing and all the big brands were not sure if they should get into it. Today, we see more brands such as Sony, Asus, Benq, and many more, The quality has improved significantly and as demand increased, more options became available.
The entry-level models that come with decent price tags offer modest image quality. This is closely related to their native resolution. The best performance can be obtained from models that support native resolutions of 720p and up. For just watching movies any model from our picklist should do but for anything else, it is better to pay a premium price for a more advanced model.