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Buying the Best Mini Projectors: What to Look For

A projector beam showing a movie.

Movies have long been a great way to bring people together, whether as a family curling up to a Christmas film, friends having a horror movie and popcorn night, or two people heading to the cinema on a date. The one thing that ruins it? A tiny screen. Projectors have solved this problem at home, making everyone’s sitting room a cinema. But what about the outdoors? What about movie night at that friend’s house that doesn’t have a projector? That’s where the mini projector has revolutionized the market.

Table of Contents
How to choose a good mini projector
Why stock mini projectors?

How to choose a good mini projector

Although leaps and bounds have been made to create the best mini projectors, not all portable projectors are made equal. For that reason, it is important to check the features of even the best portable projectors before committing to buy.

Image quality

Image resolution will often degrade as the image is made larger — as is the case with a projector. So, when choosing portable movie projectors, ensure they have a high resolution of at least Full HD 1080p. An image resolution of 720p, which is often found with entry-level mini projectors, can still offer a good viewing experience but must be used with a smaller screen and in low light.

The contrast ratio helps create a more vivid experience, as the definition of the image will be clearer and the contrasts stronger. This can usually be adjusted in the mini projector settings but should be checked on the mini projector specifications.

Brightness

Lumens are another aspect that must be considered when stocking small portable projectors. If the projector will only be used in low-light environments, such as in a dark room or for late nights during camping trips, then under 300 lumens can be suitable. However, if the pocket projector will be used in an environment with more light, such as in the garden during the day or in an office or classroom with windows, then a mini projector with 500 lumens or more will be necessary.

For larger projection distances, consider a higher number of lumens. Some of the best mini projectors for long-distance projectors are portable laser projectors since these can have the highest number of lumens.

A projector next to an old Olympus camera

In addition to considering image resolution when thinking about image size and where a mini projector can be used, one must also check the projection distance of the mini projector.

There are two types of projectors when it comes to projection distance.

  • Short-throw projectors produce a large, full image when used with a minimum projection distance of 3 feet (0.91 meters) and a maximum of 6 feet (1.83 meters). This makes them ideal for use in sitting rooms or other small environments.
  • Long-throw projectors produce a large, full image when used with a minimum projection distance of 8 feet (2.44 meters), making them ideal for longer meeting rooms, classrooms, or outdoor use.

Sound quality

One common downside of the portable projector is its sound quality. Mini projectors usually have built-in speakers, however, these are often low quality and low volume. For the best mini projectors, test the sound quality and how it carries in larger areas.

Additionally, ensure the mini projector has an audio output jack so that it can be connected to a sound system for different environments — the internal speakers may make it the best small-size projector for bedrooms but home surround sound will take the viewing experience to another level on movie nights.

A speaker that could be connected to a mini projector

Weight and portability

The best mini projectors are those with the best portability since they are ideal for storage in small places when not being used or to take on trips — two of their intended usages. To pick the best portable projectors, check that they are lightweight, have a compact design, and are easy to store away (having a carry case is a plus).

Another element to check in this regard is the battery power. Check whether the mini projector has rechargeable batteries or whether it will need a constant power source, and if so, are the cables slim and easy to carry with the projector.

A mini projector for sale.

Battery Life

If the chosen mini projector does utilize batteries then their lifespan is important. Check how many hours the batteries will last once fully charged. This is important as some built-in mini projector batteries last as little as 90 minutes, meaning some films will be too long for the battery.

To avoid this, check if the mini projector offers an Eco Mode to increase battery life. This can often double the battery life or more. Another option is to check if the mini projector supports power banks, as this can extend viewing time further.

Connectivity

Movie viewers today often require an Internet connection to access their favorite entertainment (through the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus, or Amazon Prime). For this reason, checking that connectivity via Wi-Fi or hotspot is supported is a must.

If Wi-Fi is not supported then Bluetooth connectivity is essential since users can wirelessly connect their phones and relay their entertainment directly from their phones to the projector while using their phone data. A Bluetooth connection is also important as many users will want to connect the mini projector to their portable Bluetooth speakers for louder or better audio.

HDMI connection ports for mini projector compatibility

Compatibility

Mini projectors should be compatible with the devices running the movie or presentation to be projected. These devices could be PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, iPads, or others. To ensure compatibility, check the description as well as the cable ports on the projector.

An HDMI port will be necessary for most older televisions or PCs; USB and micro ports can be used for some recent devices; and USB-C ports are best for the latest devices. Bluetooth will be the best option for all wireless connections. In addition, check that it is a portable projector for both iPhone and Android, since these are the two dominant phone technologies on the market.

Replacement parts, durability, warranty, and support

Mini projectors are designed to be carried about and taken on adventures, whether just next door or to the top of a mountain. To that end, these pocket-sized projectors must be durable, robust, and fixable in case of issues.

Check online reviews for the best mini projectors, with special attention to their durability. In addition, be sure to check whether the manufacturer offers a warranty and online support.

Cost

Cost is another factor to consider when stocking mini projectors, as it can determine how long a mini projector lasts and how enjoyable it will be for the user. Although mini projectors have decreased in cost overall, the cheapest mini projector will often have a weak battery, meaning movies can be cut short; a low number of lumens, meaning the picture may not be bright enough to see; low picture resolution, giving bad picture quality; and quiet or bad sound quality.  

When buying or stocking mini projectors, the lowest cost should not be the driver. Some of the best projectors can be found at very affordable rates, so instead of purchasing the cheapest mini projector, compare the features and quality. The best option for mini projector resellers is to stock a variety of price points that offer reasonable to great quality, as nothing makes sales plummet as much as unhappy customers.

A mini projector shining its beam into the darkness

Why stock mini projectors?

Mini projectors have come a long way, with improvements in picture and sound quality, as well as battery life, connectivity, and robustness. They are also much more affordable, making them accessible to a much wider market. Mini projector buyers include educational institutions, who use them to teach classes; businesses of all kinds, who use them during meetings and for presentations; and individual users, who use them to create cinemas in their homes, gardens, and on camping or outdoor trips.

Mini projectors have seen a surge in popularity and demand thanks to their affordability, compact size, and ease of use, as well as their prominence on social media. Their variety in price and style also means it’s easy to have a broad offering for many different client types.

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