Comes with a carry bag. Supports 1080p image. Very lightweight at just 4 pounds. Small and portable with decent image quality. WiFi compatible. Easy to set up.
This is a nice portable unit, but it doesn't shine as brightly as you might need in an office environment.
Vibrant 1080p picture. Simple plug-and-play design. Quiet fan. Lightweight. Included storage bag. Especially affordable. Smartphone compatible. Easy to set up.
This projector doesn't include a smartphone adapter or internal battery.
Works well with a smartphone. Compatible with Apple or Android devices. Comes with a setup for tripod mounting. Arrives quickly. Easy to operate.
The speakers can be a little tricky to figure out depending on the device you are using.
1080p display. Compact design. Convenient digital zoom for finding the best picture. Extra-quiet fan. Screen share for streaming from other devices. Available in black and white.
Does not utilize an internal battery.
Comes with a rechargeable battery. Includes built-in speakers. Very good picture in a darkened room. Weighs less than half a pound. A surprisingly good projector for the size and price point.
You can only use the projector for a little more than 2 hours on a charge.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Sharing your favorite movies, TV shows, games, and memories with friends and family is a special experience, but TVs and computers have limits. When you can’t bring a TV with you, or you want to venture outside your house — even if it’s to the backyard — a portable LED projector can enable everyone to enjoy your favorite media.
Portable LED projectors are compact, easily transported devices that project content against a wall, screen, or other backdrop. They have multiple outlets and ports to connect to various devices, such as laptops, smartphones, or USB drives. They may also hook up to gaming consoles or connect via Bluetooth or WiFi to play media wirelessly.
Notably, these devices are easy to pack up and take with you to enjoy when camping, at a park, or on a patio. They can also be set up in a room to create a bigger image when necessary, up to 10, 12, or even 16 feet (measured diagonally). Portable LED projectors vary in device compatibility, size, price, and other features, and we can help you figure out which one is right for you. Check out our favorites, too.
Portable LED projectors list native resolution as well as maximum or compatible resolution.
Native resolution: This refers to the pixels in the image: more pixels means a sharper image. Most have a native resolution of 800 x 480 or 1280 x 720. These are common pixel ratios on TVs and monitors and denote the standard resolution each projector uses.
Maximum resolution: This is not what the device could project, which is a common misunderstanding; it’s the resolution the projector can accept as an input. The projector will scale down the resolution of your content to its native resolution, provided your content doesn’t exceed the maximum. Conversely, if you have low-quality content, the projector will scale it up.
Most portable projectors don’t have Full HD resolution (1980 x 1080) or 4K or Ultra HD (3840 x 2160). Some support HD (1280 x 720). There are very expensive projectors that support Full HD and even 4K, but they are meant to be stationary, likely installed in a conference room or home theater.
As a result of its relative limitations, portable LED projectors are best used for enjoying content more casually. You should be less focused on how the picture looks or the audio sounds and more about the experience. That’s in part because portable LED projectors work well outdoors, be it at a park, campground, backyard, or even the beach. If you have a flat, light-colored surface on which to project the image and the environment is dark enough, you have the perfect place to set up a portable LED projector.
If you intend to use the projector outside, you need some type of screen. Consider the monetary investment as well as the energy it takes to acquire and erect a portable outdoor screen. You need a screen of an appropriate size for the image your projector casts. Also, wind or mud may affect its setup and use. Some screens are exclusively for indoor use; some are designed for both indoor and outdoor setup.
Portable LED projectors can also cast the image on a wall, provided that wall is flat, light-colored, and unadorned. A projector is useful in rooms where there is no TV, or when the weather prohibits outdoor use.
Be sure to check the portable LED projector’s throw ratio, the distance between the lens and the screen. For example, a throw ratio of 1.2:1 means 1.2 feet between the lens and screen, and 1 foot of screen width. Most projectors work best between 4 and 8 feet from the screen, and cast an image that’s anywhere between 6 and 16 feet (measured diagonally), depending on its power. However, viewing from the maximum distance will likely diminish the quality of the image. Keep this in mind when thinking about the number of people who may be watching the screen at one time.
Note the ports available on the projector as well as those available on your devices. HDMI, AV, and USB are among the most common ports, and you should find them on most portable LED projectors. Some laptops may have only a micro HDMI output slot, for example, and some newer or less expensive speakers may not have a cable output at all, requiring Bluetooth for connection. Make sure you have all the necessary cables and connections to make everything work smoothly.
As the projector moves farther from the screen, the image becomes bigger and blurrier. Moving the projector closer to the screen produces a smaller, more focused image.
Some portable LED projectors come with a bag for carrying and to protect the equipment, useful if you plan to take the projector with you often. It’s also a handy and safe way to store the projector when it’s not in use and keep all the cords and accessories with it.
More expensive portable LED projectors enable you to connect wirelessly, either through WiFi or Bluetooth. This adds convenience, allowing you to cast from a smartphone or tablet and connect to a portable speaker without lots of cables. Look for this option if you plan to take your projector when camping.
Some portable LED projectors come with a remote control; however, batteries are likely not included.
Outdoor projector screen: Jaeil PLM Portable Outdoor Screen
You need a screen to go with your new portable LED projector, and we recommend this versatile option that comes with a stand and can also hang on the wall.
Bluetooth speaker: Bose Soundlink Resolve
For the best entertainment experience, you need a portable Bluetooth speaker that provides high-quality sound. This Bose option offers deep, immersive sound.
Inexpensive: For less than $100, you can find a very compact, quality portable LED projector with decent native resolution. Projectors in this price range emphasize convenience and portability and likely won’t have wireless capabilities or high-quality sound.
Mid-range: For between $100 and $200, you can find quality projectors with additional features, either battery operated or wireless. These may be slightly larger or more compact for easy transport. The native resolution varies with these models.
Expensive: For over $200, and even over $300, the portable LED projectors are likely wireless, with a large viewing screen and throw ratio. A higher native resolution allows you to cast more detailed content.
You need a portable projector and screen for outdoor viewing. However, a speaker, folding chairs, blankets, and popcorn can help make your outdoor movie night special.
There are plenty of portable LED projectors available, and we have a few more options for you. We recommend the compact yet powerful Meer Mini Projector, which comes at an inexpensive price point and connects to multiple devices, though it has a low native resolution. Another easily portable LED projector with a lower price tag is the APEMAN LC350 Video Projector, which is ideal for small gatherings and events. Finally, be sure to check out the QKK Mini Projector. It features two USB slots, includes a remote control and tripod, and has decent native resolution and Full HD support.
A. A lumen is the measure of the quantity of visible light per unit of time. LED projectors, among other electronics, include lumens in their specs. Most portable LED projectors have anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 lumens, though more expensive models have 6,000 lumens or more. The more lumens, the brighter the projected image. More than 5,000 should be bright enough in a room with some daylight, while roughly 3,000 is sufficiently bright for a room with some ambient light.
A. While portable LED projectors can be enjoyed outdoors, they are not made to withstand the elements. They aren’t waterproof, nor are they made to absorb shock or handle dirt, dust, or debris. Unless covered, the projector shouldn’t be used if it’s raining, and it should be protected from wind.
A. Connecting your projector to an HDMI cable, which can support HD and UHD content, will get you the highest-quality image. An AV cable will produce content of lesser quality. The quality of images cast wirelessly won’t be as good as through a cable because it relies on the speed and efficiency of the WiFi signal. However, while most projectors accept HD content, the content is downgraded to the projector’s native resolution.
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