Best Mini Projector Reviews 2018

Projectors are a staple piece of equipment in classrooms, lecture halls, movie theatres and offices around the world, but they’re often large and stationary. That’s where mini projectors come in; they allow you to share your video, pictures or other files with large groups of people practically anywhere. Some of these devices can be costly, but we’ve reviewed five mini projectors from five of the best mini projector brands that won’t wreck your wallet and that still offer great features.
Video Format
File Formats
Our Top Choice
Vivitek Qumi Q5 Mini Projector with 4GB of Internal Memory
Vivitek is a leading manufacturer of projectors; their Qumi Q5 mini projector is impressive, beautifully designed and lightweight.
Sharp pictures. Good connection and port selection. 4GB of internal memory. Solid text quality. Multiple color options.
Less than impressive video projection. Runs noisily.
Table Top, Tripod or Ceiling
6.3" x 1.3" x 4.0"/ 1.1 lbs
PC and Mac
480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i/p
Doc, PDF, WMV, JPG, MP3, H.264
Best Value
Sony MP-CL1 Micro Projector with Focus Free
Sony manufactures high grade electronics and the MP-CL1 is no exception. It’s an impressive mini projector you can use anywhere.
Connects wirelessly to your PC/mobile device. No focusing required. MHL-compatible HDMI port. Extremely portable. HD resolution.
Lacks internal memory. Weak audio.
Table top
0.5 x 3.0 x 5.9”/ .5 lbs
PC, USB, Laptops, Mobile Device
480p, 720p, 1080p
Doc, PDF, WMV, JPG, MP3, H.264
Optoma ML550 Portable Projector with Wireless Presentation
Optoma is leader in visual technology and it’s no surprise that their ML550 portable projector is one of the best on the market.
Highly-portable. LED light source with 20,000 hour lifespan. Reads files from internal memory, microSD cards and flash drives. 3D Ready.
Pricey, but a sound investment due to its incredible features.
Table Top or Tripod
4.1 x 4.2 x 1.5"/ 14.1 oz
Mobile devices, PCs, USB, MicroSD
480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i
Doc, PDF, WMV, JPG, MP3, H.264
AAXA P300 Pico Projector with up to 120” HD image
AAXA specializes in developing micro and pico projectors. The P300 is an award winning Pico projector that outshines the rest.
Very portable. HDMI port. Can read files from flash drives and memory cards. Attractive design. Bright imagery.
Relatively short battery life. Pricey but a smart investment.
Table Top, Tripod, Ceiling
5.9 x 3.8 x 1.5”/ 0.97 lbs
PCs, laptops, Mobile Devices
VGA & Composite A/V
MP3, WMA, WAV, AVI, JPG and more
ASUS S1 Pocket Projector with Best-in-class 1:1 Throw Ratio
Asus is renowned for their high quality electronics and their S1 Pocket Projector is no exception with best-in-class throw ratio and long-lasting LED light source.
Good price. Works as a power bank. Built-in rechargeable battery. Mobile High-Definition Link for Android connectivity. HDMI Connectivity. Good battery life.
Limited connection choices. Brightness and resolution is low when compared to similar sized projectors.
Table Top
4.35 x 1.2 x 4.01”/ 0.75 lbs
PC, Mobile Devices
480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p
Doc, PDF, JPEG, AVI, H.264, WMV

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Mini Projector?

Going to the movies is wonderful. It’s about more than seeing the latest film; it’s about sharing an experience with your friends or date, as well as those in the cinema with you. It’s something special. That being said, we don’t always have the chance to go to the movies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t recreate the movies at home. Microwaved popcorn, nachos and all. The dog can be the usher.

A great way to do that is to show the movie using a projector. It allows you to create a larger picture wherever you want and gives you that authentic cinema experience. Or as authentic as possible. The problem is that standard home theatre projectors are large and, honestly, expensive. They don’t allow the same flexibility as a mini projector and are best to keep at home, not take on the road. Mini projectors, on the other hand, are great for use at a friend’s house, the office, or even school. You don’t need a projection screen or home theatre system, simply a suitable surface to show what you want to share, and probably a couple speakers, and you’re good.

We know that mini projectors aren’t impulse buys. While they aren’t as expensive as standard projectors, they aren’t cheap either. They’re an investment. That’s why we’ve put together a buying guide to help you choose the right mini projector for your needs, whether for entertainment or otherwise.
Mini projectors are relatively affordable when compared to standard projectors, and they offer users a host of benefits. When it comes to price, there are mini projectors to be found for as low as $250 and as high as $800.

These prices aren’t cheap, but you can consider them affordable. Sure, there are cheap mini projectors, but we advise you to stay away from these models, because sadly, in most cases, you get what you pay for. We can understand wanting to save money by going the cheap route, but it usually results in you having to pay more in the end, either through repairs or buying a new projector.

The resolution, lifespan of the LED, brightness, and brand are the factors that typically affect a mini projector’s price. For example, a more widely known brand’s mini projector would cost more than an unknown brand’s model. Another example is, a projector with 400 lumens would cost less than one with 800 lumens, which means the latter would be brighter.
Features are what makes a mini projector shine. Anyways, let’s turn the lights off on the horrible puns for a moment and talk about the features that you need to consider when shopping for a portable projector:
  • Screen Resolution – This determines how many pixels your mini projector is capable of displaying, which translates into image quality.
  • Lumens – This dictates the brightness of your projector.
  • Power Source – If you plan to travel and use your projector on the road, opt for a model with rechargeable batteries, but if you’re going to be stationary, then go for one that uses an outlet.
  • Connection – Be sure to check your device’s connection, as well as that of your projector, to make sure you’ve got the right model for your system so you don’t have to buy extra cables.
  • Audio – The sound capabilities of mini projectors vary, so if audio is important to you, take it into account when making your choice.
  • Technology Type – Mini projectors use DLP, LCOS, and laser for display, however, because there are mostly DLP models, there is no definitive data to suggest one over the other…as yet.
Construction and Design
Mini projectors fall into two categories: palm-top and pico projectors. Palm-top projectors are compact, while the pico projectors are usually the size of cell phones and can easily fit into your pocket. The main selling point of these mini projectors is their size, but another great feature found in many compact projectors is that they can read information directly from a flash drive. This gives them an edge over other projectors because you can use them without a computer.

Connection is another important design feature to consider when shopping for a mini projector. Most models use an SVGA connector, the ones typically used with standard projectors, but as mobility increases and people use their tablets and even phones for work as well as entertainment, things are changing. Manufacturers are now creating projectors that work with phones, tablets, and even iPods. If you see a projector that you like that doesn’t support either of these, you can also shop for a specialized connector, but make sure to confirm that the projector you’re eyeing will work with your device.
Performance and Ease of Use
The setup and installation of a mini projector is now easier than ever. Some are plug-and-play, while others require a quick and easy installation. Either way, once you have installed the software once, you won’t have to do so again. Simply connect and go. This makes for easy setup, whether at a friend’s house, in the classroom or conference room. Having a mini projector also gives control over your own presentation equipment, which makes it easier to avoid technical difficulties. Because honestly, we can all agree that when you are nervous in a presentation, technical difficulties don’t help the situation.

The overall performance of your mini projector will depend on the resolution and brightness. These, as well as the environment, play a role in picture quality. One thing that usually plays a role with regular projectors but not with mini projectors is contrast ratio. This tells you the ratio between the darkest and brightest areas that the projector can produce. Due to the limited light capabilities of mini projectors, this is not as essential to image quality as it would be for larger projectors.

Mini projectors are great investments that give you new ways of sharing your favorite images and videos. They also work great in the workplace and classroom and can allow you to deliver when the regular projector decides it wants a day off.

What is the Best Mini Projector?

We’ve covered all you need to know about choosing a great mini projector in our buying guide. Check out the five top mini projectors we reviewed to see how they compare and what they have to offer.
Our Top Choice
The Qumi Q5 by Vivitek is more than meets the eye. Not only is it lightweight with a gorgeous design and 4GB internal but it also has a number of other nice features as well. If you have a flexible budget and want a brighter mini projector with 800 lumens and more features then check out the Qumi Q6.
Vivitek Qumi Q5 Micro Projector – 500 Lumens, Memory Expansion and Wi-Fi Capability

Vivitek Portable Projector #DP274-G13VVUC - Red

A brand of Delta, Vivitek is a highly respected manufacturer of visual display and presentation products. Their line-up contains award winning projectors along with other products which utilize the latest technologies to produce high-grade products. One of these is the Vivitek Qumi Q5 which comes in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, blue, black and white. These mini projectors currently retail for $691.86, they are compact, lightweight and come with a host of impressive features.

Here are some of Qumi Q5’s features:
  • Up to 500 lumens
  • 10,000:1 contrast
  • LED light with estimated 30,000 hours lifespan
  • 3D ready with DLP link
  • Wi-Fi capability via option Wi-Fi USB dongle
  • 4GB built-in memory
  • USB port for memory expansion to display content without a PC
  • Connectivity includes: HDMI, Universal I/O, AV mini-jack, mini-jack audio-out
The Qumi Q5 is a part of Vivitek’s mobile projectors line which contains other models with more lumens which will give you brighter images and a number of other attractive features.
Best Value
The Sony MP-CL1 mobile projector is affordable, offers a great value with auto focusing capabilities and screen size up to 120”. However if you have a large budget and want something even more sophisticated then we strongly recommend Sony’s Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector which comes with smart control and built-in speakers with XLOUD for terrific sound.
Sony Mobile Projector – Auto focus and Speckle Reducing Technology

Sony Portable Projector MPCL1 – Black

Highly regarded for their design and production of gaming consoles such as Playstation and electronics such as TVs, laptops, cell phones and more, Sony is renowned global brand. Their products vary in price but one thing that stays consistent is quality which evident in their MP-CL1 mobile projector. This projector is priced at $349.99 and offers a good deal of features for its affordable price. It’s lightweight, no larger than a paperback book, but provides that good things come in small packages with its bright and vivid display among other features.

Here are the MP-CL1’s features:
  • Focus free allows media to appear in focus even when projected or uneven or curved surfaces
  • 1920x720 HD resolution
  • Auto focus no matter the throw distance
  • Works as a portable charger – no special cable needed
  • Connect to Android devices via Wi-Fi using screen mirroring
  • Up to 2 hours of battery life
  • Doubles as a power bank
  • Screen size up to 120”
  • 80,000:1 sequential contrast
  • Connect via HDMI, MHL or Wi-Fi
  • Compatible with Apple devices using an HDMI and Digital AV adapter
  • Can connect to gaming system or laptop via HDMI
  • Speckle reducing technology for sharper visuals
The MP-CL1 is a part of Sony’s line up of portable projectors. They have different models with different prices for different budgets and each model comes with different features so there is something for everyone.
The ML550 is a high end portable projector that’s not only lightweight, but can also be used without a PC to give impressive presentations. If your budget is flexible and you want something with even better features, then you can also check out Optoma’s ML750ST which is sure to impress.
Optoma Ultra-Compact LED Projector – 3D Ready & PC-free Viewing, 10,000:1 contrast Ratio

Optoma Micro Projector ML550 - Black

Considered a world leading designer and manufacturer of projection and audio products for education, business, professional A/V and home entertainment, Optoma stands as a leader in the field. Their products use DLP technology which allows them to produce stunning imagery of the utmost quality that is sure to last over time. One of their high end and high performing products is the Optoma ML550 which retails for a price of $539.80 at the moment of this writing.

While the price may be high, this projector is worth every penny and is definitely a sound investment. It’s not only lightweight and ultra compact, making it easy to travel with, but despite its size, it produces clear, bright and stunning imagery. It also provides 3D viewing which is not something many projectors can do. Take a look at the ML550’s amazing features:
  • Multi Language On Screen Display
  • Remote Controlled
  • Built-in Digital Signage
  • PC-free viewing – Built in office viewer and media player
  • Built-in speaker
  • 3D read for immersive 3D viewing experience
  • HDMI and MHL support
  • Wireless presentation capability
  • Powerful LED light source with 20,000 hour lifespan
  • 500 lumens
  • Native resolution of 1280x800
The ML550 is a part of Optoma’s line up of Ultra mobile LED projectors which are geared towards traveling business execs and consumers. They use the latest LED technology which allows having near zero start up and shutting down time. Each model has its own set of features but what stays consistent across the board is assurance of performance along with consistent brightness and color performance.
The P300 Pico Projector is lightweight, produces HD imagery and can be used whether at home or in the office. However if you want a less expensive projector then take a look at AAXA’s LED PICO Pocket Projector which still offers impressive features and it is highly portable.
AAXA Technologies P300 Mini Projector – High Powered ARM Processor

AAXA Pocket Projector # KP-600-01 – Black and White

Started in 2008, AAXA is a leader in mini-projector technology. They were founded as a developer and manufacturer of “micro” and “pico” projectors and hold several patents in optical and Liquid Crystal on Silicone (LCoS) technologies which make the manufacturing of micro and pico projectors possible. They have manufactured a number of high performing micro and pico projectors and one of their products is the P300 Pico Projector which may appear pricey but is actually a solid investment and a projector that will not only perform but will also last a long period of time. It can be used with mobile devices without any hassle. It’s light weight and produces HD imagery. The P300 is currently at a retail price of $419.00 and is a great gadget to have for both business and pleasure.

Take a look at the P300’s features -
  • Next generation400 Lumen optical engine
  • Native 1280x800 HD Resolution
  • High Powered ARM Processor for Video, Pics
  • Up to 120” image (in low light conditions)
  • 15,000 hour LEDs with Vibrant Color Technology
  • Apple Mac and PC Compatible
  • HDMI, VGA, Composite A/V connections
The ASUS S1 Mini Projector is terrific portable projector that also doubles as power bank and has up to 3 hours of projection time. If you’re looking for something higher end with considerably more features then you can check out ASUS’ B1MR Ultra-bright Wireless LED Projector.
ASUS S1 LED Portable Projector – 30,000 hour LED and Built-in Rechargeable Battery

ASUS Mini Projector S1 – Silver

Asus is a global known for designing and manufacturing sleek and high performing tech such as laptops, PCs, computer parts such as motherboards and graphics cards and more. So it’s no surprise that Asus has produced yet another impressive device, this time being the Asus S1 LED Pocket Projector. Lightweight and featuring an attractive and simple design, the S1 LED mini projector is not only a great way to project movies, TV shows or slideshows and enjoy with friends and family but it can also double as power bank and can be used to charge your mobile device as well.

The S1 portable projector currently retails for $357.04 and stands at a great price for a projector and will give you more than expected. Check out the S1’s features -
  • Advanced DLP Technology with 30,000 hour LED lifespan
  • 200 lumens brightness
  • 654x489 resolution and screen size up to 100” (in low light conditions)
  • Built-in rechargeable battery with 6,000 mAh
  • Battery life of up to 3-hours
  • Doubles as a power bank for mobile devices
  • Best in class 1:1 throw ratio
  • HDMI/MHL ports
  • USB port for charging
  • Comes with built-in ASUS Sonic Master enhanced-speaker
The S1 is a part of Asus’ line of projectors which currently features four mini projectors including the S1. Each comes with its own attractive features and price, so if the S1 isn’t to your liking then don’t worry because Asus has many more high quality projectors that could be right for you.

Get the Best Mini Projector of 2018!

We hope that, after reading our review, you’ve either made your choice or are much closer to finding a mobile projector to purchase. No matter your budget or your needs, and whether you will use them for work or entertainment, we believe there is a mini projector on this list that you will love.

Our Top Choice
Vivitek Qumi Q5 Mini Projector with 4GB of Internal Memory
Best Value
Sony MP-CL1 Micro Projector with Focus Free
Optoma ML550 Portable Projector with Wireless Presentation
AAXA P300 Pico Projector with up to 120” HD image
ASUS S1 Pocket Projector with Best-in-class 1:1 Throw Ratio