What is a mini projector (pico, portable, mobile), how to choose a portable projector model for a smartphone or laptop, connection features. A mini projector is a somewhat simplified version of a stationary multimedia
projector .. Due to their size and modest weight, they can be carried anywhere, displaying the image anywhere on a suitable flat surface. Despite the modesty of external parameters, these gadgets are almost in no way inferior to full-size models in their functionality. The source of the image in mini-projectors is an electronically controlled modulator, it receives a video signal from a computer. Projection devices allow you to display an image not only from a laptop or smartphone monitor, but can also have built-in memory and connect to the Internet. Mini projectors are primarily used for presentation purposes, gaining more and more popularity in various areas of business, education and science. They are also gaining popularity as home and mobile video projectors to watch videos in a convenient location.
- Varieties of portable mini projectors
- Connecting a portable projector to a laptop, tablet or smartphone
- How to choose a mini projector – what to look for, specifications
- Screen size
- Light source and light output
- Matrix type
- Focal length
- Noise level
- Connection options
- Mini projectors for home: features of choice
- Top 10 Best Mini Projectors for 2022 – Xiaomi, ViewSonic, Everycom and more
- Anker Nebula Capsule II
- Optoma LV130
- ViewSonic M1
- Apeman Mini M4
- Vankyo Leisure 3
- Optoma ML750ST
- Anker Nebula Apollo
- Lumicube MK1
- Everycom S6 plus
- Xiaomi Mijia Mini Projector MJJGTYDS02FM
- 1 Varieties of portable mini projectors
- 2 Connecting a portable projector to a laptop, tablet or smartphone
- 3 How to choose a mini projector – what to look for, specifications
- 4 Mini projectors for home: features of choice
- 5 Top 10 Best Mini Projectors for 2022 – Xiaomi, ViewSonic, Everycom and more
Varieties of portable mini projectors
The easiest way is to divide the projectors into three groups, combined according to the features of use, size and properties:
- The smallest are pico projectors . The area of their use is rather narrow, since the maximum area of the projected image is about 50 cm. They can be used in small darkened rooms. In most cases, this is a good toy.
- Pocket projectors are slightly larger than the average smartphone. They are ideal for use with small groups (10-15 people). They use LED-lamps with a power of 100-300 lumens. The diagonal of the projected image rarely exceeds 100 cm. The image quality in such projectors is 1024×768 pixels.
- Portable or mobile projectors are a smaller version of a conventional projector. Their size rarely exceeds 30 centimeters, and their weight is 3 kg. Its design almost does not differ from the full-size version, although it may be slightly inferior in quality to the displayed image. They are equipped with conventional lamps, the resource of which is 2000-6000 hours, with a power of 3000-3500 lumens.
Standalone projectors can be singled out as a separate group, as they can “read” information directly from a flash drive or memory card.
Connecting a portable projector to a laptop, tablet or smartphone
Almost all projectors are equipped with special interface cables for connecting to a data source. Almost all models of modern laptops have a standard HDMI connector, mini-HDMI and micro-HDMI are less common. Usually this connector is located on the laptop on the left.
How to choose a mini projector – what to look for, specifications
There are many different models of mini-projectors on the technology market. And in order to choose exactly the one that is able to solve the tasks for which it is purchased, you have to go through a large number of options. A good technique should perform the assigned tasks in accordance with the user’s requests. The choice of mini-projectors has to be approached more thoroughly, since their average cost is quite high.
It is this parameter that most often pays attention to, because. The size of the projected image is important when dealing with an audience. But it’s also not worth striving for some unthinkable diagonals, because. Stretching an image often has a negative effect on image quality.
Calculate the optimal screen area: S=M/500, where M is the projector power (lm) and S is the screen area. You can also use the inverse formula, choosing the power of the projector according to the desired screen area (M=500xS). The result will, of course, be approximate, but quite reliable.
Light source and light output
The light source is mercury, xenon, LED lamps and lasers. In mini projectors, the use of lasers and LEDs is optimal, as they are more economical and have a small size. It is important to know and take into account the indicator of useful illumination. The higher it is, the brighter the projected image will be. For a darkened room, a projector with a low power (at least 100 lux) is also suitable, and if a presentation is planned in good daylight, then the desired power is already increased several times (400-500 lux).
This parameter is not paid much attention to. But it is the matrix that determines the quality of the image on the screen. Mini projectors use the following types of matrices:
- mirror (DLP) , the pluses of which include compactness and good contrast, and the minuses are average brightness, the possibility of iridescent streaks on the screen;
- liquid crystal (3LCD) , they are slightly worse than the first option in terms of contrast, but they produce a brighter image and are not subject to the rainbow effect;
- combined (LCoS) , combining the advantages of DLP and 3LCD matrices in their design, this combination allows you to provide the maximum picture quality, but the price of such projectors will be quite high.
Most mini-projectors are single-matrix. But there are also three-matrix models among compact models, which can combine various types.
This is the distance between the screen and the projector. An indicator that in some cases becomes very important. For example, if during the presentation there is a need to interact with the picture and the speaker should not cover the flow of light. Or if the projector is purchased to work in a small room (children’s projectors are often used in a car, mini-house, etc.). In these cases, preference should be given to short-focus models.
The clarity of the picture, which directly depends on the resolution of the projector, is one of the most important points for choosing a projector. Of course, 4K (3840×2160 pc) is great, but FullHD (1920×1080 pc) or HD (1280×720 pc) is more common. Lower resolution is also found, especially if the picture must be projected onto a small screen. For business presentations, watching video content, you need a high-quality picture, so it’s best to choose Full HD (1920×1080). In this case, the quality of the original image can be reduced during projection, but it can no longer be increased.
Silent models do not exist. When you need a projector for quiet work (for example, to use it as a cinema). In such cases, you should choose models with a noise level of about 40 decibels (normal calm speech, a working computer).
Since mobile projectors are usually connected to a laptop, it is optimal for most to have HDMI or VGA inputs for connecting to a signal source. With other outputs (video and audio), the capabilities of the projectors are expanded. If the projector has the ability to connect media via USB, then you can start the projection without an “intermediary”, which is very convenient when the owner is highly mobile. The presence of Wi-Fi allows you to provide access to the Internet (watch videos on YouTube or in an online cinema, for example), and using Bluetooth, you can synchronize the gadget with any smartphone or tablet. [caption id="attachment_13072" align="aligncenter" width="470"]
Some mini projectors can also be connected via wi-fi
Mini-projectors are interesting for their mobility and independence from the source of electricity. Accordingly, battery life is often a critical parameter to choose from. Most often, Li-ion batteries are used, which differ in capacity (A * h – ampere hours). The higher the capacity value, the longer the projector will be able to work on a single charge. But it also increases the cost of technology. Therefore, if you need to buy a mini-projector for watching movies or long conferences, then you need to choose a device with a large battery. In the event that the projector is intended for short cartoons and presentations, then the issue of the duration of autonomy fades into the background.
Mini projectors for home: features of choice
A home projector is an opportunity to organize a home theater, watch and play computer games with the least damage to your health. Before buying a projector, you should consider where and for what purposes it will be used. To choose the perfect home projector, it is advisable to pay special attention to the brightness (DLP – at least 5000, 3LCD – 2500 lumens). For computer games, an important parameter is the frame rate (input lag), with a maximum value of 20 ms. The power of the projector for organizing a full-fledged movie viewing or gaming should be at least 200-250 watts.
Top 10 Best Mini Projectors for 2022 – Xiaomi, ViewSonic, Everycom and more
The variety of mini-projector models further complicates their choice, especially for a beginner. Each of them has its own pros and cons, so choosing the “best of the best” is pretty relative. But you can consider a dozen of the most popular models that can satisfy most of the requests.
Anker Nebula Capsule II
The main advantage of this model is the presence of a built-in Google Assistant and an application store, so to start using it, you just need to connect it to the Internet via Wi-Fi. You can control the mini projector from your smartphone (via a special application) or remote control (included). With it, you can easily project the image on the screen for 100 inches. The only negative is its decent cost (57,000-58,000 rubles).
This projector has a 6700 mAh battery that provides 4.5 hours of continuous use. It charges via a standard USB port. The 300 lumens lamp allows you to use it even in daylight, allowing you to get a high quality image. You can connect a laptop or game console to it via the HDMI input. Price – 23500 rubles.
The advantage of this model is the built-in stand, which also serves as a lens cover. It allows you to rotate the projector in all planes by 360 degrees. It also has built-in speakers that provide high-quality sound. You can connect MicroSD memory cards to it, there are USB Type-A and Type-C inputs. Price – 40500 rubles.
Apeman Mini M4
This mini projector from Aliexpress is about the size of three CD boxes, has good sound and a modest 3400 mAh battery. But at the same time, it produces a not very bright picture, so it works well only in a dark room. Works as from a laptop (HDMI) or USB-drive. Price – 9000 rubles.
Vankyo Leisure 3
It has many input options – HMDI, VGA, microSD, USB and RCA. Unlike previous models, it is not equipped with a tripod, the beam direction can only be adjusted in the vertical position. In a darkened room, the projector is able to produce a high-quality image with excellent color reproduction. All the shortcomings are offset by its low cost – 9200 rubles.
The owner of a modest size (can easily fit in the palm of your hand) and a short focus. Thanks to this, it can be placed very close to the screen and get an excellent image on a screen up to 100 inches. At the same time, it is equipped with a lamp of 700 lumens, so it is ideal for working in a bright conference room. The downside is the lack of a wireless connection, but this is solved by purchasing an additional dongle. Price – 62600 rubles.
Anker Nebula Apollo
This mini projector offers a wide range of multimedia options. It runs on the Android 7.1 operating system, which means you can access video services when connected to a Wi-Fi network. And through the Nebula Capture app, you can control it through any smartphone. The excellent sound quality is also a huge advantage. Price – 34800 rubles.
Ideal as a children’s cinema. It can work without recharging more than 4 hours. The projector is capable of displaying a high-quality picture on a screen up to 120 inches. The cubic shape and bright colors make it very attractive to children. Ability to upload your own files and playback from external media. A protective cover is included: it will protect the projector not only from unexpected falls, but also from other children’s experiments. Price – 15500 rubles.
Everycom S6 plus
The modest dimensions (81x18x147 mm) do not lower the quality of its work. The most important advantage of the projector is the use of DLP technology with a Laser-LED light source. Separately, it is worth mentioning the ability of the projector to correct keystone distortion. This function is not available in all modifications of Everycom S6 plus. The amount of RAM can serve as a guideline. There are modifications with 8, 16 or 32 GB of RAM. The youngest with 8 GB does not know how to correct trapezoid distortions, the other two do it automatically. A separate explanation on the HDMI interface. In modifications with 8/16 GB RAM, HDMI works as a TV set-top box. On models with 32 GB of RAM, HDMI can be used to connect the projector to a PC or laptop, game console, and other compatible devices.
Xiaomi Mijia Mini Projector MJJGTYDS02FM
A very successful experiment from Xiaomi. Despite its dependence on the power supply, it can be roughly classified as a mini-projector. Its dimensions are 150x150x115 mm, weight – 1.3 kg. Equipped with only one speaker and not very powerful lamp (500 lm). But at the same time, it has quite a decent contrast ratio (1200: 1) if you use it in a dark room. The maximum size of the projected image is 5.08 m, the quality is FullHD (1920×1080). Available HDMI and USB connectors, mini jack audio connector. Supports wireless connection. Works on Android. The main drawback is the lack of a Russian-language interface, besides, many services are in Chinese by default. This problem can only be solved with the help of specialists.