Best mini projector for home cinema or office use (buyer guide)2020
How to choose a mini projector
When you are in search of the best mini projector you will find a lot of measures, numbers, and features that you have to take into account. Remember to measure the space where you will install it, the place where it will be screened in addition to the following factors:
It is not the same to buy a mini projector to use indoors than to install it outdoors. You should also consider if you want to use it to project movies, videos or video games or if you will use it in the office to project graphics and presentations.
In or out?
If you require a projector to use it outdoors you should look for one that offers greater brightness and contrast, higher resolution in addition to a good screen and a sound system. If it is for indoor use, you can use a simpler one, without so much resolution or contrast as you can better control the light conditions.
There are 2 types of projectors, DLP (digital light processing) and LCD (Liquid crystal display).
The DLP is lighter, produces a good projection of videos in DVD, Blu-Ray and HDTV formats. It offers smooth movement even in fast scenes. Blacks are deeper and have greater color contrast.
LCD projectors are better for outdoor use, offer bright colors, crisp and 3D images, are quieter and consume less energy.
There are 3 types of light sources. Projectors with laser light sources do not require lamp replacement, it is much brighter, offers greater contrast and better colors, although it is usually more expensive. LED projectors have a duration of about 20 thousand hours, offer greater control, silent operation and consume less energy.
The brightness produced by a projector is measured in lumens. The higher the brightness, the better the projection will be seen at a certain distance. A mini projector that offers about 1000 lumens is enough to be used indoors. For exteriors, especially if there is some light, you need at least one of 5000 lumens.
This refers to the number of pixels that a projector can display. The higher the resolution, the sharper and more detailed the image will be. The resolution is important for projectors that will be used for home theater movies, as they are usually seen within walking distance. It must be chosen to take into account the type of material you will project.
- If you use HD or Blu-Ray videos, then choose one as tall as you can (about 1920 × 1080 pixels).
- For DVD, then 1024 × 768 will be enough.
- If you are going to use it as an office projector, 800 × 600 pixels is more than enough.
It is the radius between the blacks and whites of the image. The higher the contrast, the sharper. If it has low contrast, the image will be washed out. For interiors, look for a projector that offers at least 1500: 1 but if it is 2000: 1 much better.
- Indicates how large the image will look if you place the projector at a certain distance from the screen.
- For example, a 1.8: 1 radius will produce a 1.5-meter image if you place the projector 3 meters away.
- This is very important if you plan to leave it fixed on one site. If you have between the screen and the projector, you need one with a short radius.
Check that the mini projector can connect to what you need. The vast majority of modern projectors include an HDMI input, but they can also be connected via VGA, DVI, and even S-video.
Are you one of those who plan to take your projector everywhere? Then you may want to find a mini projector that is light, easy to connect and transport. Check the size and weight.
What mini projector to buy
VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector
- Supporting 1920×1080 resolution
- It can be easily connected with your smartphone, PS3, PS4, X-Box ONE or Wii to enjoy BIG games.
- It provides a watching size from 32” to 170” with the projection distance between 4.9ft to 16.4ft.
- Cooling system with heat dispersion, as well as a noise suppression technology that cuts fan sound in half. Power input: 100V-240V 50/60Hz
- No need to install any app, you can enjoy convenient smartphone connection.
QKK [2020 Upgrade 4200Lux] Portable Mini Projector
- Full HD 1080P Supported
- Supports 1920*1080 resolution with 50,000 hours long term lamp life, 2000:1 contrast ratio, 16::9 aspect ratio, 32-176” big screen display at the distance of 1.5M-5M. (Ideal distance is 3.5M with 120” display.)
- use 2 USB flash drives at the same time
- Also has HDMI, AV, VGA, SD Card port
- PROJECTOR TRIPOD INCLUDED
TOPVISION Mini Projector
- Connect projector to smartphone, or laptop by USB cable directly, without HDMI adapter or Wi-Fi
- 2800lux, brighter than other 2400lux led projectors. With the environmental lamp, lamp life is more than 50000hour
- Contrast ratio of 2000:1 and 16:10 aspect ratio. In the projector distance is 1.5-5.2 meters, the projection size can be applied to 50-176 inches.
- LIFETIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
DBPOWER RD820 Mini Projector
- 3500lux, which is 70% brighter and 50% sharper
- Displays images between 32 – 170 inches, support 1920*1080 resolution with 50, 000 hours long term lamp life, 2000: 1 contrast ratio, 16:9 aspect ratio.
- HDMI, USB, AV, VGA, SD Card port
- adopts advanced pure copper tube cooling technology and the turbo fan is more powerful yet quieter. The built-in speakers provide stunning sound effects.
- 3-YEAR Worry-free support
APEMAN 3800L Mini Projector
- Bright 3800 lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio, 70% brighter
- Support 1080P Full HD with 800*480P native resolution. Max 180 inches display size with an aspect ratio of 16:9/4:3.
- Incredible Mute Fan with built-in dual speakers
- HDMI, VGA, USB, Micro SD, RCA AV interfaces
How to connect a mini projector to the TV
The way to connect your mini projector will depend on the model of your TV. Most modern TVs have HDMI ports, so it can be as simple as taking a cable that goes from this port to the mini projector, but if your TV is a little older then you will have to take other measures.
If you use a cable encoder you can connect this to the mini projector using the RCA cables (triple red, white and yellow). Take the yellow cable, which is the video cable and connect it to the “video in” input of the projector. There are televisions that have video outputs (identified with “video out”), in this case, you can use the RCA cable, connecting the yellow end to the projector. If all these options fail, you can purchase an RCA to HDMI converter.
How a mini led projector works
Mini LED projectors can use DLP or LCD technology, what changes is the type of light source used to make the image projection. Instead of using a lamp consisting of a bulb filled with high-pressure gas, a group of red, blue and green LED lights is used.
When mixed, these colors can produce a very precise white light that when reflected will shine through the element that produces the image.LED lights create light using a process called electroluminescence, in which a semiconductor material is used that allows only a certain type of energy to pass through it.
When electricity passes through this material, it rejects electrons that are too large. In order to pass, they give up a photon, which is a particle of light that passes to the other side. This consumes little energy and does not produce much heat.
The LED lights do not heat up, so they do not require an extra fan to keep the temperature of the appliance low. For this reason, they are much quieter, consume less energy and are therefore greener.
Conclusion: What mini projector do you recommend?
After making an exhaustive comparison of the most prominent models and the best mini projector reviews on Amazon, I decided to buy the VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector.
VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector
It is a bit more expensive, but I was attracted to the image quality, in addition to the possibility of using it without having to connect an external speaker to watch movies. It offers me excellent sharpness and even its design has been formidable in my small home theater. I can also use it to listen to music.
However, if I had to choose a slightly cheaper model, I would buy TOPVISION Mini Projector without thinking twice.
TOPVISION Mini Projector
This mini projector offers the same features as other more expensive models for half the price, including a pretty decent speaker, as this is one of the weakest points of most mini projectors for sale on the market. It is perfect for those who want to use it at home for movies and video games.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is the ideal distance to place a mini projector on the screen?
The distance will always depend on the amount of lighting of the place and the size in which you want to display the image.
From 0.8 to 1 meter, it is recommended for devices with 800: 1 to 1500: 1 contrasts to obtain a clear image of at least 24 to 40 inches.
Other projectors of contrasts 2000: 1 or higher, will offer an image with great quality when placed up to 2 meters away, to obtain an image between 50 and 170 inches.
Is an adapter or Chromecast necessary to project from the mobile?
It will be necessary only on projectors that do not include the WIFI or Bluetooth function. At present, the projectors include these wireless functions, to facilitate a quick connection with any device.
What happens if I see the image but the sound is not heard when I connect the PC to the projector via HDMI?
- You should check the following:
- PC audio level: Verify that silence is not activated or the audio level is zero.
- Connect the HDMI cable well: This connection reconfigures the HDMI port and can correct the problem.
- Test with another cable or PC: You can test with other cables or ports, to rule out a possible cable failure or on the PC port.
Is it necessary to update the software in a mini projector?
No, these devices only play images or videos remotely. Its operating system is basic to fulfill playback functions, so it is not necessary to update or modify the original software.
What should I do if the USB doesn’t read me?
Mini projectors have multiple playback options. If you do not play a USB device, you can try using one of the SD memory slots or place the USB on your PC to play from there.
How do you configure if I want to hang the mini projector on the ceiling?
Once the base is placed and the place defined, you can make the configuration from the panel of the same projector. However, if you are connected to your mobile, PC or other devices, you can configure the option to rotate or flip images from the main menu.