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Best projector 2021: Movies at the speed of light

The best portable projectors on the market offer outstanding features like high picture quality, connectivity, and more. They come in a wide range of price points, meaning everyone can find one that fits their needs.

Throughout the pandemic, families sought out more ways to enjoy at-home entertainment, including by streaming their favorite movies and TV shows with portable projectors. And while the winter months are storming in, these portable devices make for just as immersive entertainment indoors as out.

There are hundreds of portable projectors on the market, hitting every price and every feature you might need. When you're deciding which is right for you, consider features such as the price, picture quality, connectivity, and more.

Keep reading to find the best portable projectors in 2021.


Epson EpiqVision Mini EF11 laser projector

Best premium portable projector

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If budget isn't an issue, then consider the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF11 Laser Projector which, despite its price tag, is one of the more affordable of Epson's EpiqVision projectors. With 1080p resolution and 3LCD projection technology, this Epson device boasts stunning picture quality for movies, gaming, sporting events, and more. Its brightness and viewing angles should be the last of your worries with up to 1,000 lumens and a projection size of 30-150 inches.

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF11 has impressive connectivity to streaming solutions such as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. It has a built-in HDMI port to make streaming content easy. The device has a dual-speaker audio system -- one specifically designed for high frequencies, while the other is for bass-reflex and low frequencies.

The Epson projector has excellent reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like its brightness, picture quality, and remote control.

Pros:

  • Up to 150" projection with 1080p resolution
  • Integrated dual-speaker audio system
  • Connectivity with streaming devices

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Only 1 HDMI port

Anker Nebula Capsule

Best 720p projector with 360-degree sound

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While the Anker Nebula Capsule doesn't have 1080p resolution like many other portable projectors on the market, it's still a customer favorite for good reasons. Thanks to its cylindrical design, the device is smooth on the edges, generates a 360-degree audio experience, and projects up to 100 inches.

The Anker Nebula Capsule has compatibility with HDMI and USB devices for connectivity with laptops, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and others. The feature that really stands out is the built-in Android operating system, allowing you to download your favorite streaming and media apps like YouTube and Netflix right from the projector.

The Nebula Capsule has excellent reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars among 4,914 users.

Pros:

  • Excellent color quality
  • 360-degree sound system
  • 4+ hours of battery life

Cons:

  • Only 720p resolution
  • Can be brighter for outdoor use
  • Outdated software

ViewSonic M2 portable smart mini projector

Best smart portable projector

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The ViewSonic M2 Portable Smart Mini Projector has excellent video quality, with 1080p resolution and screen projection from up to 100 inches. It also has excellent color accuracy and built-in premium Bluetooth audio.

The ViewSonic device is known for its smart device capabilities. It includes a Wi-Fi connection to the app store, allowing you to use various streaming services. You can also utilize voice control for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It also has connectivity via HDMI and USB Type C to media players, PCs, Macs, and other mobile devices.

The ViewSonic projector has good reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the quality of material, value for the money, and the sound quality.

Pros:

  • 1080p resolution
  • Bluetooth speaker system
  • Smart connectivity

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Battery not included

BenQ GV2 Wireless Mini portable projector

Best portable projector for outdoor use

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The BenQ GV2 projector is perfect for anyone who enjoys spending their free time outdoors. This device is splash and drop resistant, meaning you can safely use it on your outdoor adventures. It has 1080p for HD images and 4-watt chambered audio with a Bluetooth speaker.

The BenQ project connects to various streaming services using Aptoide. It provides Wi-Fi and hotspot mode for various forms of entertainment. You can also connect devices such as a FireStick, Roku, and Apple TV via HDMI.

The BenQ projector has decent reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the brightness, picture quality, and sound quality.

Pros:

  • Designed for outdoor use
  • Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Compatible with streaming services

Cons:

  • Speaker quality
  • Compact size doesn't pack the biggest battery

Yaber V2 Wi-Fi Mini projector

Best budget projector

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Many portable projectors come with a high price tag, but the Yaber V2 projector is perfect for those who want excellent quality on a budget. It includes full-screen 1080p and up to 200 inches of projection, twice the range of some more expensive alternatives. You also get built-in dual stereo speakers which are essential for any viewing experience.

The Yaber's Wi-Fi capabilities make it easy to connect to both iOS and Android devices for mirroring movies, videos, photos, and games. It can also connect to your other devices including a TV box, Fire Stick TV, Chromecast, PC, laptop, tablet, and more. One of the few trade-offs that we see with this projector is that certain streaming services, like Netflix and Prime Video, cannot be broadcasted through your mobile device apps.

Though priced significantly lower than traditional portable projectors, the Yaber V2 promises a satisfactory entertainment experience, garnering an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Affordable price tag
  • Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Up to 200" projection

Cons:

  • 720p resolution not the sharpest when projected at max size
  • Streaming not supported for many mobile apps

How did we choose these portable projectors?

There are many portable projectors on the market, and it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. To choose the best portable projectors for 2021, we considered a variety of factors, including the price, resolution, connectivity, picture quality, and more.

Our goal with this list was to find a projector to fit every need and price point. As a result, we chose both premium and budget projectors, as well as one designed for outdoor use, and one with outstanding smart capabilities. As a result, every shopper can find one on the list that fits their needs.

Which is the right projector for you?

Now that we've covered our favorite projectors, how do you decide which is best for you? First, consider your budget. The projectors on this list fall under a wide range of price points, from less than $100 to $700. Narrowing down your budget can help identify the best options for you.

Next, consider the situations in which you expect to use your portable projector. Will you be using it during your next backyard barbecue, or do you hope to take it on your next outdoor adventure?

It's also important to consider your connectivity needs. First, do you want a smart device that you can connect to other devices wirelessly? Or do you want to be able to connect other devices via HDMI or USB input?

Finally, we recommend spending some time reading the reviews and feedback left by customers, as they offer insight beyond the marketing and spec sheets.

Do portable projectors need to be plugged in?

Many portable projectors come with batteries, meaning you can use them for several hours at a time without needing to plug them in. If you'd like to connect a laptop or computer with your projector, most should have an HDMI or USB port for mirroring.

Can you watch Netflix on a portable projector?

Many portable projectors allow you to stream Netflix and other streaming services. But some limit your ability to mirror and stream subscription-based content.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

The five projectors on our list are some of the most popular on the market, but they certainly aren't the only ones. There are plenty of other projectors that may fit your needs. A few other popular options include: