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The best portable projectors in 2022

Published May 5th, 2022 4:30AM EDT
Image: XGIMI

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Nowadays, there are endless ways to watch your favorite shows. You can stream them on your TV, computer, tablet, phone, and even more devices. But not all of those are great for multiple people. In fact, you can argue only one of them is. If you love hosting movie nights or spending quality time as a family, you need to seriously consider a projector. But we’re not talking about something that you’d see at a movie theater. Buying a portable projector makes the most sense if you want to go this route and it’s the most common option these days.

Having a portable projector allows you to set up your entertainment in the backyard, on the deck, on the porch, in almost any room in your house, and even at work. You can also stream directly from your portable projector. The visual technology is much different than the projectors you may have used in math class in grade school.

Of course, there are a number of things to consider before you buy a portable projector. You’ll want to think about the resolution of the image, along with the maximum and minimum display sizes. You’ll also want to consider the brightness of the image, especially if you plan on using the projector in brighter environments.

If you’re interested in finding a portable projector that you can move around your home and enjoy your shows and movies without needing a TV set up, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few of our picks for the best portable projector out there.

Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector

Rating: 4 Stars
Showing how small the projector is
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Best portable projector overall: XGIMI Mogo Pro

XGIMI Mogo ProImage source: XGIMI

Pros: Solid image, Android TV with Chromecast, solid port selection, solid battery life

Cons: Lower brightness, a little pricey

If you’re looking for a high-end portable projector that’s easy to carry and delivers a solid image, then the XGIMI Mogo Pro is probably the way to go. This projector is super smart, relatively bright, and pretty lightweight — ticking all the boxes for a portable projector.

It’s our favorite overall because of all that it can do. Like some of the other projectors on this list, the XGIMI Mogo Pro has Android TV built into it, allowing you to stream content from most of your favorite streaming services and platforms. Not only that, but the projector supports Google Chromecast and Google Assistant — so if you’re plugged into Google’s ecosystem, you’ll be able to take advantage of everything this projector has to offer. The battery life clocks in at up to 4 hours, which is pretty good.

The image quality is solid here too. The projector offers a 1,080p image with a brightness of 300 ANSI lumens, which should be bright enough for most basic situations. It’s probably not bright enough to use outside during the day. But at night, it should be bright enough and work well. The other thing to consider is the price — the projector comes in at $499 right now but only because of a 23% discount.

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Best portable projector for basic streaming: Anker NEBULA Capsule Max

A look at the NEBULA Capsule Max
The Anker NEBULA Capsule Max Image source: Anker

Pros: Keystoning and autofocus technology works well, controls through the Nebula Connect app

Cons: No casting support, can’t mirror copyrighted content

For something as small as the Anker NEBULA Capsule Max, it certainly packs a punch. This offers cutting edge DLP technology to deliver terrific picture quality in low-light environments. You will enjoy 720p, 200-ANSI lumen imaging up to 100 inches. Thanks to the keystoning and autofocus technology, this gives you a crisp rectangular image at almost any angle. It will autofocus itself in just one second.

This allows you to download and stream YouTube, Netflix, and more from the Nebula Manager store, thanks to the smart OS. You won’t be able to mirror copyrighted content though. The battery life lasts for up to four hours on a single charge. It’s small and easy to carry, weighing only 26 ounces. The lamp life lasts for up to 30,000 hours. You can even choose to project it forward, backward, and on the ceiling.

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Best for large screens: XGIMI Halo True

Seeing how to use it
The XGIMI Halo True projector being used at work. Image source: XGIMI/Amazon

Pros: Projects clearly up to 300″, 1080p image resolution

Cons: No obstacle avoidance or auto screen alignment, does not support Netflix

For those who have a large projection screen and want plenty of people to have the ability to see it, the XGIMI Halo True is your best bet. It’s the best for large screens because this can clearly project 1080p image resolution and it works on screens up to 300″. It boasts 800 ANSI lumens and will automatically focus. You can run for two hours on a single charge on screens as large as 150″. It offers access to over 5,000 apps via Google Play, as it runs on Android TV 9.0 OS. You can watch Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and more.

You won’t be able to watch Netflix through its native app, so that is a downside to this. But you will be able to enjoy great sound, thanks to the dual 5W Harman Kardon speakers. Sync with Bluetooth headphones or wirelessly connect to your favorite music streaming device. This offers automatic keystone correction to get you the best viewing angle. The native 1080p FHD resolution is 225% clearer than mainstream 720p options. It’s 15% off right now if you hurry.

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Best battery life: ViewSonic M1+ Portable LED Projector

Using the projector while cooking
The ViewSonic M1+ Portable LED Projector Image source: ViewSonic/Amazon

Pros: Six hours of battery life, shorter throw lens projects up to 100″ from closer

Cons: Dongle for streaming apps not included, Bluetooth connection only for audio

Need your projector to be on for a while? The ViewSonic M1+ Portable LED Projector is the best portable projector for your battery life purposes. This will last up to six hours in full power mode. It lasts less than that for other purposes, but that’s your best bet. This delivers 854x480p LED pictures and the shorter throw lens projects up to 100″ from just over eight feet away. There are built-in Harman Kardon speakers that can play your sound to the room. The Bluetooth connection is for audio only though, so you can use it as a speaker but the video only works for streaming shows or movies when it’s plugged in.

You’ll easily be able to set this up, thanks to the smart stand that doubles as a lens cover. The dongle for streaming live sporting events, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more are not included. You can download apps from the Aptoide menu. This supports iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome, and macOS. Gaming is great with it too, as it works with Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PS4. This is also the most cost-effective option for a full-size projector we have and it’s discounted right now too.

Amazon Logo Available on Amazon

Best 4K portable projector: XGIMI Horizon Pro

XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K home theater projector
The XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K home theater projector. Image source: XGIMI

Pros: True 4K technology, X-VUE 2.0 image engine

Cons: Very pricey

Looking for the best picture you can find? The XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K home theater projector delivers 3840 x 2160 (4K) standard resolution to blow you away. It boasts 8.29 million pixels and ultra-bright 2200 ANSI lumens. Don’t worry if you don’t set it up just right, as this can show you ±40 degrees and automatically correct it. Adjust it vertically or horizontally. Also, this will automatically focus the screen, align it, and avoid any objects.

It features an X-VUE 2.0 image engine with 60Hz MEMC motion compensation. This has Android TV 10.0 and gives you more than 5,000 apps to download and stream from. It has a Chromecast built-in and you can control it with voice controls and Google Assistant. The built-in Harman Kardon speakers are impressive as well. The price tag will blow you away. But if you have the money, it can be worth it.

Amazon Logo Available on Amazon

Best mini projector: Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector

Showing the size of the projector
The Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector Image source: Kodak/Amazon

Pros: Fits in your palm, tripod mountable

Cons: Doesn’t easily connect with Apple products

Toss the Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector in your pocket or bag and head out. This fits in the palm of your hand and has touch controls for easy usage. This is best to use in a dark or dimly lit room. The onboard media player includes built-in speakers that will fill the room with audio. The 3.5mm input and integrated HDMI make connecting simple. There is also a USB and MicroSD hookup. The HDMI connects you to Android tablets and devices.

You can connect it with Mac devices but there are some extra steps you’ll need to take. It is capable of displaying over 16 million colors. Perfect for slideshows and serviceable when it comes to gaming and streaming, this is great for work and home. It has 30 ANSI lumen brightness. It is slightly discounted as well. Regardless, it’s much more affordable than other options on this list.

Amazon Logo Available on Amazon

Best-sounding portable projector: BenQ GS50 projector

BenQ GS50 Main
BenQ GS50 Projector Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Pros: Well-designed remote, audio capabilities make it almost feel like a portable speaker

Cons: Not as bright as other options

The BenQ GS50 Projector is great for anybody on the go. This packs a punch when you look at the audio aspects. It can be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker. But it also gets loud enough for a majority of the times you use it. There is a midrange subwoofer and two midrange tweeters. The image is crisp enough for most times and it can be better to be used in darker lit places. It’s not as bright as other options though.

This has a 1080p resolution, a notable step up from its predecessor. The optimal image size is a screen size of 80″ and 100″. The adjustable stand tilts up to 15 degrees and it has four corner adjustments and autofocus. It’s even splashproof. Also, this has a dongle that allows you to stream Android TV and apps.

Read our review

BenQ GS50 Projector BenQ GS50 Projector $799.00 Available from a partner

More tech news: Check out our list of the best HDMI cables for streaming!

Chris Hachey Commerce Editor

Chris Hachey is Senior Commerce Editor for BGR. With over a decade of editing and journalism experience, plus thousands of hours of product testing and research, he has helped millions of consumers find the best products and deals to fit their lifestyles.

When he's not searching for top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his wife and his dog.

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