11 Best Portable Projector UK for 2021

Small projectors are becoming all the rage in 2021. You can take them anywhere!

Looking for the best portable projector UK consumers can buy? We reviewed 10 of the leading products, focusing on:

  • Price
  • Image Quality
  • Connectivity
  • Design and Look
  • Features

With our quick specs table and in-depth reviews, you’ll soon know which mini projector in the UK is the right one for you.

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Top 11 Portable Projector UK for 2021

1. Anker Nebula Mars II Pro

Perfect for home or on-the-go entertainment, the Mars II Pro is one of the few personal projectors with a native HD resolution. It also supports Wi-Fi and runs on Android, allowing you access to all your favorite streaming apps. It’s easily in contention for the best portable projector in the UK right now. Full Review

  • Native HD resolution
  • Good colour accuracy
  • Wi-Fi and multiple inputs

Perfect for home or on-the-go entertainment, the Mars II Pro is one of the few personal projectors with a native HD resolution. It also supports Wi-Fi and runs on Android, allowing you access to all your favorite streaming apps. It’s easily in contention for the best portable projector in the UK right now. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

1280 x 720 (720p)

Brightness

500 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI, USB

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Yes

Weight

3.9 pounds

Battery life

3 hours

Lamp life

30,000 hours

2. DBPOWER L23 9000L

In the small projector world, HD is an ambiguous term. Not for the L23 9000L. This powerful WiFi-enabled device is one of the few with native 1080p. It connects to almost any video source wirelessly but has great wired inputs as well. Easily the best portable projector on the market for full HD at this price point. Full Review

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Native 1080p
  • Carry case included
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In the small projector world, HD is an ambiguous term. Not for the L23 9000L. This powerful WiFi-enabled device is one of the few with native 1080p. It connects to almost any video source wirelessly but has great wired inputs as well. Easily the best portable projector on the market for full HD at this price point. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

Native 1080p

Brightness

9,000 lumens

Video Inputs

USB, HDMI, VGA

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Yes

Weight

4.4 pounds

Battery Life

Mains

Throw Ratio

35 / 300" at 25ft

3. Viewsonic M1

This portable projector from Viewsonic has a slide-out angled stand and lets you access all your video, music, and image files via HDMI or USB. You can connect it to your home PC or use a USB thumb drive when you’re on the go. It’s among the best budget projector UK customers can buy. Full Review

  • Fits in your palm
  • Clever stand
  • Plays music files
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This portable projector from Viewsonic has a slide-out angled stand and lets you access all your video, music, and image files via HDMI or USB. You can connect it to your home PC or use a USB thumb drive when you’re on the go. It’s among the best budget projector UK customers can buy. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

854 x 480 (480p)

Brightness

50 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI, USB

Wi-Fi Connectivity

No

Weight

0.7 pounds

Battery life

2 hours

Throw ratio

1.20

4. Optoma ML750e

Weighing less than a pound, this small projector has excellent brightness and color accuracy, while supporting a native HD resolution. It is perfect for watching movies and TV shows. It also supports everything from microSD cards to HDMI and Mobile High Definition Link (MHL). This small HD projector looks great at home or in the office – a true all-rounder. Full Review

  • Native HD resolution
  • Lots of inputs
  • Short throw distance
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Weighing less than a pound, this small projector has excellent brightness and color accuracy, while supporting a native HD resolution. It is perfect for watching movies and TV shows. It also supports everything from microSD cards to HDMI and Mobile High Definition Link (MHL). This small HD projector looks great at home or in the office – a true all-rounder. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

1280 x 800 (16:10)

Brightness

700 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI/MHL, USB, microSD

Wi-Fi Connectivity

No

Weight

0.83 pounds

Battery life

Mains only

Throw ratio

1.50

5. LG Minibeam PH550G

If you want to be able to watch live TV on an HD projector, the LG Minibeam is the best mini projector for the job. It has a port for your digital TV aerial allowing you to access all the Freeview channels you would on your regular television. It can also screen share with your smartphone to use apps like Netflix and YouTube and has all the required ports to connect your external sources. This includes VGA, making it the ideal projector for laptop or older PCs. Full Review

  • Live digital TV
  • Native 720p HD
  • Supports VGA PCs
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If you want to be able to watch live TV on an HD projector, the LG Minibeam is the best mini projector for the job. It has a port for your digital TV aerial allowing you to access all the Freeview channels you would on your regular television. It can also screen share with your smartphone to use apps like Netflix and YouTube and has all the required ports to connect your external sources. This includes VGA, making it the ideal projector for laptop or older PCs. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

1280 x 720 (720p)

Brightness

550 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI, VGA, USB, Coaxial TV

Wi-Fi Connectivity

No

Weight

1.4 pounds

Battery life

2.5 hours

Throw ratio

1.40

6. VANKYO Leisure 3W Mini Projector

As a mini Wi-Fi projector, the 3W from Vankyo can stream from other devices on your network and directly with apps for sites like YouTube. Its HDMI port also supports everything from streaming sticks like Roku and Apple TV, to PCs and games consoles. It’s also one of the best portable projectors for audio, thanks to its dual 2-watt embedded speakers. Full Review

  • Large projection surface
  • Lots of ports
  • Wi-Fi streaming

As a mini Wi-Fi projector, the 3W from Vankyo can stream from other devices on your network and directly with apps for sites like YouTube. Its HDMI port also supports everything from streaming sticks like Roku and Apple TV, to PCs and games consoles. It’s also one of the best portable projectors for audio, thanks to its dual 2-watt embedded speakers. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

800 x 480 (WVGA)

Brightness

1,000 lumens*

Video Inputs

Wi-Fi streaming, HDMI, USB, VGA, AV

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Yes

Weight

2.6 pounds

Battery life

3 hours

Throw ratio

1.96

7. LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater

As a leading wireless mini projector, the LG PF50KA lets you watch live digital TV via your home coaxial aerial. It also uses LG’s smart TV interface to allow access to the leading streaming apps as well. You can have a wired LAN or Wi-Fi connection and it’s one of the few mini projectors UK consumers can buy that has a full 1080p HD resolution. Because of all this, it’s our pick for the overall best UK portable projector for 2021. Full Review

  • Full HD
  • Digital & Smart TV
  • User-friendly

As a leading wireless mini projector, the LG PF50KA lets you watch live digital TV via your home coaxial aerial. It also uses LG’s smart TV interface to allow access to the leading streaming apps as well. You can have a wired LAN or Wi-Fi connection and it’s one of the few mini projectors UK consumers can buy that has a full 1080p HD resolution. Because of all this, it’s our pick for the overall best UK portable projector for 2021. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Brightness

600 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI/MHL, USB-A, USB-C, Coaxial TV

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Yes

Weight

2.2 pounds

Battery life

2.5 hours

Throw ratio

1.44

8. Asus ZenBeam E1

Asus has managed to make a modern portable LED projector with a retro look, and it’s fantastic. It handles projection via HDMI/MHL, so you can connect your smart devices without USB or Wi-Fi. It also has a 5-hour battery life! Full Review

  • Great retro look
  • Long battery life
  • Well-priced
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Asus has managed to make a modern portable LED projector with a retro look, and it’s fantastic. It handles projection via HDMI/MHL, so you can connect your smart devices without USB or Wi-Fi. It also has a 5-hour battery life! Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

800 x 480 (480p)

Brightness

150 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI/MHL

Wi-Fi Connectivity

No

Weight

0.67 pounds

Battery life

5 hours

Throw ratio

1.40

9. Optoma ML750ST

Optoma’s ML750ST has one of the best images of all our portable projector reviews, thanks to its impressive 800-lumen brightness. It’s also suitable for small rooms, as you only need 3.3 feet to get an image as large as 100 inches. It has all the ports you need and the MHL support means you don’t need Wi-Fi to stream from your smartphone and devices. One of the best portable HDMI projector models for 2021. Full Review

  • Very bright image
  • Lots of ports
  • Short throw distance
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Optoma’s ML750ST has one of the best images of all our portable projector reviews, thanks to its impressive 800-lumen brightness. It’s also suitable for small rooms, as you only need 3.3 feet to get an image as large as 100 inches. It has all the ports you need and the MHL support means you don’t need Wi-Fi to stream from your smartphone and devices. One of the best portable HDMI projector models for 2021. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

1280 x 800

Brightness

800 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI/MHL, USB, SD Card

Wi-Fi Connectivity

No

Weight

0.9 pounds

Battery life

Mains only

Throw ratio

0.80

10. Epson EB-S41

The EB-S41 by Epson is one of the few portable mini projector options with a superior LCD lens, instead of DLP. This is immediately reflected in the high image quality, despite having a resolution of 800 x 600. It’s also the best small projector for brightness on our list, measuring a huge 3,300 lumens. It will still look great in lighter rooms. These are most commonly used as slide projectors or for presentations. Full Review

  • Super bright
  • Supports older PCs
  • Quality LCD lens
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The EB-S41 by Epson is one of the few portable mini projector options with a superior LCD lens, instead of DLP. This is immediately reflected in the high image quality, despite having a resolution of 800 x 600. It’s also the best small projector for brightness on our list, measuring a huge 3,300 lumens. It will still look great in lighter rooms. These are most commonly used as slide projectors or for presentations. Full Review

Type

LCD

Resolution

800 x 600

Brightness

3,300 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI, VGA, USB, Video RCA

Wi-Fi Connectivity

No

Weight

5.5 pounds

Battery life

Mains only

Throw ratio

1.45

11. Anker Nebula Capsule

The 360 drinks design by Anker for their Nebula brings two experiences together. Bluetooth speaker sharing and the portable HDMI projector. It operates on an Android base, allowing you to easily navigate the leading streaming apps and find your other media and devices on your Wi-Fi network. You can even screen share your iOS devices, making it one of the best iPhone projector options out there as well. Full Review

  • Impressive 360-degree speaker
  • Android-based
  • Good battery life

The 360 drinks design by Anker for their Nebula brings two experiences together. Bluetooth speaker sharing and the portable HDMI projector. It operates on an Android base, allowing you to easily navigate the leading streaming apps and find your other media and devices on your Wi-Fi network. You can even screen share your iOS devices, making it one of the best iPhone projector options out there as well. Full Review

Type

DLP

Resolution

854 x 480

Brightness

100 lumens

Video Inputs

HDMI, USB

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Yes

Weight

1 pound

Battery life

4 hours

Throw ratio

1.30 / 100” at 9.5ft

The Best Portable Projector in the UK for 2021

Here’s the list of our top choices. 

Detailed Reviews

Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Anker Nebula Mars II Pro

BEST FOR

Mini projector in 2021 for speakers

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  • Native HD resolution
  • Good colour accuracy
  • Wi-Fi and multiple inputs
  • Excellent Android interface

It’s all about entertainment with the second-generation Mars Pro from Anker Nebula. For a mini LED projector, it carries itself well – excellent overall picture quality, the right amount of brightness, and a high resolution. It can also be used as a Bluetooth sound system thanks to its respectable speaker quality. 

The device is great at home or on the go and runs on Android for a user-friendly experience. It’s particularly popular and useful as a camping projector.

Prices vary depending on the retailer and stock, but you can find it as low as £399.99 and up to about £550. Research carefully.

Design

The Mars II comes in a stylish grey design with in-built speakers on both sides and a useful carry handle on the top. It’s basically a small cube mini projector that UK customers will love. It’s just 5.4 by 4.8 by 7 inches and weighs just 3.9lbs. Although it’s basically a home entertainment system, it’s still easy to take with you. 

A good projector always needs a well looked after lens, which is why you can pull up the shutter when not in use. This can also operate as a power switch. Pull the shutter down and the LED projector light starts to operate.

For the techies, it runs on a digital light processing (DLP) engine and delivers 500 ANSI lumens, which is average. It’s guaranteed for 30,000 hours of use, though not necessarily playback. 

The simple design puts all the needed ports on the back, including: 

  • an HDMI for your video source (i.e. a computer or game console laptop) 
  • an audio jack for headphones or better speakers 
  • a jack for the AC adapter

It also takes USB-A devices like thumb drives you might have movies stored on, making it a good movie projector.

On the bottom is a tripod screw hole, but you must buy that separately. What it does come with is a remote – a great addition for us lazy people.

Other Features

Battery life from the in-built 12,500mAh rechargeable can take about 3 hours of constant playback. And, as is now increasingly common, the device doubles as a Bluetooth sound system. You can pair your smartphone running Spotify or any direct file and hear it through the larger and more powerful speakers of the Mars II. 

It runs in stereo, with a speaker on either side. There’s simply a Bluetooth button you need to hold in, and then it will become available to connect with via your other device. This is on the top along with the d-pad, ok, back, and plus/minus volume control.

At 10-watts and good quality, these are the best portable projector speakers we’ve found.

On the video end, because it has an Android OS you have easy access to all the streaming video apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. You can also transfer files from your USB stick to the projector itself, which holds 8GB of data.

Image quality

The image quality is very impressive, giving you the lower end of HD at 720p or 1280 by 720 pixels. You’ll be able to experience this on a projector display screen or wall space of up to 80 inches or 48 inches if there’s ambient light. Any larger and it will become blurry.

The autofocus works very well, and although it takes a few seconds to kick into gear, the end result is almost always a crisp and clear image. You’ll rarely need to fine-tune it yourself.

Verdict

Overall, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro has all the features you could need from a projector. It also looks very stylish. It’s easily in contention for a best mini portable projector in the UK and the only thing it lacks is 1080p picture quality.

DBPOWER L23 9000L
DBPOWER L23 9000L
DBPOWER L23 9000L

BEST FOR

Value native 1080p

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  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Native 1080p
  • Carry case included
  • Great compatibility

When looking for small portable projectors, 1080p resolution is quite the unicorn. Most products ‘support’ 1080p but aren’t full HD natively. DBPower’s L23 9000L bucks the trend and gives us what we want – native 1080p at a reasonable £160 price range

Furthermore, it can use both Android or iOS devices as a video source wirelessly. Bluetooth delivers audio by itself if you just want to listen to music. 

It also has class-leading brightness, a massive display size, and the required wired video inputs. All this is provided with a handy carry case.

Design

The L23 9000L is clean and simple. Its design, however, doesn’t particularly stand out compared to some of the other best portable projectors. It’s essentially a white box with self-explanatory control buttons at the back and a manual focus slider at the front. You can change the incline with a small foot at the bottom.

You can also accomplish a lot with its remote control, which you’ll find in the box.

You’ll find all the video inputs to the rear of the projector, including:

  • an old school VGA for computers
  • two HDMIs
  • two USBs
  • a VA for other electronics 

Moreover, it’s compatible with tripods and has mounts for the wall and ceiling.

Its numerous vents dish out some surprisingly high-quality stereo sound.  

Image Quality

This mini WiFi projector stands out in terms of image quality. Others certainly produce native 1080p, but not at this price point. It also projects an extremely impressive 9,000 lumens of brightness with 10000:1 high contrast.

Again, the quality in terms of color accuracy and performance in rooms with lots of light will not be the same as your television or the highest-end projectors. For the minis, however, it doesn’t get much better.

More impressive still, is its ability to produce 300 inches of display at 25ft, down to 35 inches at 4 feet. This makes it a versatile solution regardless of room size. 

Most people will obviously opt for widescreen, but it also supports the 4:3 aspect ratio if you’re projecting older media. Then there’s the anti-zoom function, which can shrink the image size from 100% to 75% (or back again) using the remote.

Other Features

There isn’t an exhaustive list of compatibility for this portable HD projector. However, everything you expect to work by USB, HDMI, VGA, or VA does so. This includes: 

  • computers and laptops 
  • DVD players 
  • game consoles 
  • cameras
  •  TV sticks
  • the likes of Google Chromecast. 

The WiFi conveniently does away with all the wired headaches, letting you mirror video and other content from your mobile device. This includes both Android and iOS.

If you wonder why Bluetooth accompanies WiFi, it’s because the projector has an in-built surround sound stereo speaker set. Bluetooth by itself can only transmit audio, but you can pair it with Bluetooth headsets, other speakers, and Airpods.

Verdict

The DBPower L23 9000L has a lot going for it, especially full native HD and exceptional brightness. It can project big and small and is as portable as any other small HD projector. It only falters when using a TV stick. Copyright blocks prevent Netflix, Disney, and Amazon apps from working.

Viewsonic M1
Viewsonic M1
Viewsonic M1

BEST FOR

Mini projector stand

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  • Fits in your palm
  • Clever stand
  • Plays music files
  • Very affordable

Aptly referred to as a mini, the Viewsonic M1 is one of the best cheap projectors that you can pick up for around £115. It has good image quality, a built-in stand, and is very easy to carry around.

Design

The design is really quite clever. The makers describe it as a palmtop or handheld projector, and it is only 1.1 by 4.3 by 4.1 inches. Essentially, a panel at the front lowers to reveal the lens and then also acts as a table-top stand so you can project at the right height and angle.

This is something even the most expensive 1080p portable projector models overlook.

The perimeter of the device remains white, but you can remove the top plate and change its color. Or, depending on the retailer, you can just go with the one you want right away. This includes aqua blue, gold (more like mustard), and standard white.

You get a trusty remote control to handle things from afar, while the only controls on the projector itself are the power button and focus dial. 

On the right side, you get an HDMI port and LED indicators. On the left, you get a USB-A port for playing external media and a micro-USB port for charging. The battery can last about 2 hours.

Image quality

We were a bit disappointed to find that the device cannot accommodate HD, though the image quality is still good. You get 480p resolution at 854 by 480 pixels. This is spread across a surface area of 48 inches or 24 inches with ambient light

It also has quite low brightness of just 50 ANSI lumens, while many of the competitors are in the hundreds. Of course, this is more of a budget model, so sacrifices had to be made somewhere. 

With a 30,000-hour guaranteed life, you can at least rest assured that it’s not going to conk out on you.

Other Features

One good thing about the M1’s stand is that it’s not fixed in one position. You can angle it from 10 degrees to 60 degrees, depending on your needs.

There’s no auto-focus, but the focus wheel should become familiar within a few minutes.

The projector uses its own custom firmware that lets you choose from photos, music or movies you’ve transferred by USB to the device. Or you can use HDMI for an external source of media to project. 

It comes with stereo 2-watt speakers, which obviously aren’t going to please audiophiles but are acceptable for casual song playback. This is especially useful if you’re traveling because the device is so easy to carry around.

It’s also one of the best video projector choices because it supports an endless amount of file types. This includes everything from MKV and VOB. It’s unlikely you’ll have a video it cannot play unless you still have some random QuickTime from the early 2000s kicking about.

Verdict

For the price, the Viewsonic M1 is great for those on a lower budget who want a portable projector with good image quality. Although it lacks HD, it has most of the other features you’d expect in terms of ports and media playback. It’s certainly in contention for the best cheap projector in our list.

Optoma ML750e
Optoma ML750e
Optoma ML750e

BEST FOR

Combination of input sources

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  • Native HD resolution
  • Lots of inputs
  • Short throw distance
  • Very bright

One of the best UK portable projector solutions, this compact DLP LED model from Optoma is portable without sacrificing quality or features. For around £480 to £530 you get 720p HD, a great 700 Lumens of light, and a native resolution of 1280 x 800. Whether home, traveling, or between the office, it is a versatile choice.

Design

The matte black ML740e has a more traditional look than most modern handheld projectors, but it still looks good. At just 0.38kg and 1.5 x 1.6 x 0.39cm, it is easy to slip into your bag. The projector comes with its own soft carry bag.

At the front is the lens and lamp, which is guaranteed for 20,000 hours of use. At the back you get a Mobile High Definition (MHL) link, turning it into a pico smartphone projector. MHL is basically a micro USB/HDMI adapter that allows you to plug in a smartphone or tablet and use the projector as a display device. Regular HDMI also applies to games consoles and computers, so you can use the projection as a display for pretty much anything. We found it to be one of the few UK gaming projector models that didn’t look too washed out.

You get a DCI in for power, a USB-A slot for playing for transferring media from a memory stick, and a micro SD card slot for the same reason. 

Image quality

720p at 700 ANSI lumens is not bad at all for a compact projector and you can get about 1.4 metres of projection before the image starts to go faint. In order to experience the best playback of modern video, you can use widescreen mode without any issues of stretching or warping to fit its natural resolution.

Other Features

The device uses simple on and off LEDs, making it essentially plug and play. While there’s no autofocus, it’s easy with the remote to get a nice sharp image.

If you don’t want to play your media or view photos from an external source, you can transfer them to the projector’s internal memory of 1.5GB. That being said, that’s one HD movie at best, so you’ll still need an external source at some point.

There’s also a built-in mono speaker that reaches 30dB, which is quite loud and adequate for casual use, much like a TV. Those who want something more can hook up external speakers through their HDMI device.

The ML750e runs on the EZ View app, which allows you to use a Wi-Fi dongle to wirelessly connect to a computer (PC or MAC) or mobile devices for streaming. This includes Android and iOS devices, making it ideal if you’ve been looking for projectors for iPad or iPhone devices. The dongle, however, is sold separately. You can also pay extra for accessories like the Optoma ZD301 DLP Link active 3D shutter glasses.

In the bag, you also get a power cord, remote control and battery, and a quick-start card. 

Verdict

Overall, the Optoma ML750e is a worthy contender in the compact projector category, with all of the features you need and a crisp 720p projection. The price, however, might be a bit steep for some customers and we think other devices perform just as well at a lower cost.

LG Minibeam PH550G
LG Minibeam PH550G
LG Minibeam PH550G

BEST FOR

Affordable Live TV pocket projector in the UK

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  • Live digital TV
  • Native 720p HD
  • Supports VGA PCs
  • Screen Share your smartphone

Lightweight and compact, you can take the stylish Minibeam LED projector from LG anywhere with ease. It can play TV thanks to an in-built aerial tuner, and it has endless ports for different media sources. It manages it all at 720p HD and you can pick it up online at around the £400 range.

Design

At just 1.4lbs and 1.7 by 6.9 by 4.3 inches (HWD), the Minibeam really is mini and will fit easily into your bag if you’re travelling. It comes in a simple rounded box and clinical white-looking design. It certainly doesn’t look out of place alongside other white tech.

On either side it has a 1-watt speaker, to double up as a 2-watt stereo. It’s not the loudest or the best quality, but perfectly acceptable for a small room. External options can give you a better sound.

Above the copper coloured lens ring is your focus dial, which works well to get a sharp image. There is also a D-pad for controlling the device and a central OK/Enter button. The power-on or off switch is at the back and you need to press the ok button to then get out of standby.

If you’ve been looking for a mini projector for iPad, iPhone, or other smaller devices, at the rear you get HDMI and MHL. There is also a USB-A for memory stick media access. An AV-in port works for DVD players, while an audio jack allows for headphones or external speakers. Plus, there’s even a VGA port for those old computers. 

Image quality

Image quality is good, giving you 720p HD, which is actually natively displayed in 16:9, with 1,280-by-720 resolution. Its 550 lumens aren’t the best on the market, but it certainly beats others in our pico projector reviews.

For an LED DLP projector the colours were vibrant and well balanced. The rainbow effect you get from the contrast or light projection on a dark source is next to none.

It can project about 80 inches before getting dim and out of focus, while something closer to 60 is the most optimum.

Other Features

The PH550Gs standout feature is its television capabilities. It has an in-built TV tuner and coaxial connector to plug into a mains aerial, TV box, or portable aerial. In layman’s terms, this means you should be able to get your digital TV signal to come through the projector and play any channels it can already receive. In that sense, it’s one of the best home projector solutions.

As well as its own speakers and external ones, you can also connect to a Bluetooth enabled option. You also get the remote, which allows you to easily control all the settings and change channels like a TV.

The projector comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts about 2.5 hours if it remains unplugged. 

Verdict

Slightly more reasonably priced than similar competitors, the LG Minibeam PH550G is a modern looking compact projector that can handle 720p well. It has every port and connection ability imaginable and is fairly unique in its ability to project TV channels. One of the leading portable projectors on the market.

VANKYO Leisure 3W Mini Projector
VANKYO Leisure 3W Mini Projector
VANKYO Leisure 3W Mini Projector

BEST FOR

Mini projector under £100 in the UK

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  • Large projection surface
  • Lots of ports
  • Wi-Fi streaming
  • Supports streaming sticks

The 3W brings Wi-Fi connectivity to the standard Vankyo Leisure 3 mini projector. This LED device is therefore not only compact and portable but now even more versatile when it comes to the sources it can connect to. It also supports 1080p input, though this does not necessarily mean a better picture. We’ll explain why soon. Perhaps the best thing about the 3W is its price. You can pick it up for less than £100, making it our pick for the best budget projector for 2021.

Design

Its design is modern, coming in white with a black grille that surrounds it for airflow and ports. It’s reminiscent of a small games console, which just happens to be one of the devices you can project.

There are inputs galore at the back of the projector, including HDMI with firmware that support all the popular streaming sticks. That means you can project your Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV sticks directly. The HDMI also does all the regular functions, like projecting from your laptop, PC, or PlayStation/Xbox.

You also get a USB port for memory sticks, an SD card reader, an AV port for DVD players, and the like. Plus, a VGA port. It’s the perfect mini laptop projector or for PCs that still use VGA.

There are two 2-watt speakers; one on each side. This provides excellent quality stereo sound for a projector, but you can improve this further with an auxiliary jack to connect even better external speakers.

Above the lens are manual focus rings but you can also use an autofocus feature which works well in most instances.

Image quality

So, about that 1080p.

While it accepts 1080p input, technically it can only output at a resolution of 800×480 pixels, so the image can actually be blurry. In that case, it’s better to downgrade to 720p or even standard definition, depending on the source and the results you get.

That’s not to say the image quality is bad. Far from it. It can project between 33 and 170 inches without much degradation of the quality and it supports 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios at the click of a button. The manufacturer gives the LED brightness in Lux, which is 3,600, though this is around 1,000 lumens. This is particularly bright for this type of projector and we believe the manufacturers may be overestimating this spec.

Nonetheless, it works fine in the dark and can handle sunlight as long as it isn’t glaring. 

Other Features

Perhaps the 3W’s most standout feature is Wi-Fi, which allows you to wirelessly connect to sources via your home network. This is a screen share, so you can project anything, including any videos you might happen to play on the device. This makes it one of the best projector options for iPad, smartphones, or even a projector for your tablet.

We found this particularly useful for watching YouTube quickly and directly from a separate device rather than using the app within the projector’s user interface.

Verdict

For less than £100 for a wireless HD mini projector, you cannot get better than the Vankyo Leisure 3W. It has both modern and old inputs, and its Wi-Fi makes it one of the most versatile budget products on the market.

LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater
LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater
LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater

BEST FOR

Overall 1080p mini projector

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  • Full HD
  • Digital & Smart TV
  • User-friendly
  • Wi-Fi streaming support

Calling itself home theatre is not a stretch. The LG PF50KA is a formidable compact projector and one of the few to support full 1080p HD as intended. It has high brightness, lots of ports, and uses the LG smart TV interface. Its in-built battery will last 2.5 hours but can also remain plugged in during use. Meanwhile, the LED lamp can work for 30,000 hours. You can pick it up for prices between £400 and £500, depending on the online retailer. For 2021, it’s our pick for the best portable HD projector in the UK.

Design

LG has gone for a familiar but still stylish curved white box design, with 1-watt speakers on both sides. On the top, you get your directional and ok menu buttons, and all the ports are to the back.

Here you’ll get two HDMIs and USBs, allowing for external media sources and simultaneous charging, which we think is a great little addition. 

There is also a 3.5mm jack for headphones or external speakers, AC power, and even a LAN port to have a wired internet connection.  

Image quality

At full 1080p, LG beats many of its competitors instantly in the image quality department. It can project this in proper native resolution in 16:9 and things don’t get blurry until about 100 inches. So, you can get a very large viewing area. Alternatively, if you want something more akin to a computer monitor it can go as low as 25 inches, delivering a really clear and sharp image.

For a small projector, its colours are also very strong and accurate, which isn’t a surprise since LG do well in that department with their televisions.

Its 600 lumens is on the higher-end, preventing room or window light from significantly affecting the image quality. 

Other Features

So, what does Smart TV-ready mean? Essentially, it replicates what your LG smart TV would do but in projector form, which is where the LAN port comes in handy. It also has integrated Wi-Fi so you can connect to your home network, and it supports webOS for easy web navigation and online searching.

It can also easily stream media from your network via Wi-Fi. For example, if you have your PC or games console setup as a media server this can be found by the projector and used to watch the content you have stored.

The PF50KA is Bluetooth enabled, which lets you pair with a separate smart speaker rather than using the in-built ones. 

For most functions, you get the same interface with all the apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime. There is even a coaxial connector on the back for your digital TV aerial so you can watch live digital TV over the projector

Furthermore, as well as playing files from your USB sticks and devices, it also supports Microsoft Office files directly without having to be connected to a PC. That makes it very convenient for presentations.

Verdict

For 1080p, the excellent LG TV interface, and high-definition television, the PF50KA Portable is one of the best all-rounders on the market. It is also competitively priced, considering other products only offer 720p. It’s our pick for the overall best UK portable projector.

Asus ZenBeam E1
Asus ZenBeam E1
Asus ZenBeam E1

BEST FOR

Best looking pocket projector

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  • Great retro look
  • Long battery life
  • Well-priced
  • MHL support

Described as pocket cinema, the Asus ZenBeam E1 is a powerful little device that fits in the palm of your hand. It supports full HD signals but like other mini projectors, it can only output this at a resolution of 854 x 480. To call it HD is therefore a bit of a misnomer. Nonetheless, with HDMI, a good 5-hour battery life, and selling for as low as £225, it’s certainly worth your consideration.

Design

The E1 has a very unique look about it. The all-shiny silver device is reminiscent of an old high-end Walkman. It has large buttons on one side for opening the menu, volume up and down, which double as menu left and right buttons, and power. 

There is also a focus wheel that is embedded just above the lens. On the same side is a single 2-watt mono speaker. 

At the other end are the ports, which include HDMI and MHL support. This lets you project from an HDMI source like a PC or games console. Or, most importantly, turns it into a projector for phone screen sharing

Oddly, there is no regular USB port or SD Card slot, so you cannot play files from this type of external storage unless they are within your other devices. I.e. you have an SD card with media on your phone or content on your PC.

Image quality

The image quality of the ZenBeam is good but is let down by its lack of brightness, pulling in only 150 lumens. Other devices can manage 3 times that. 

The lack of brightness means you’ll only get a good experience in a dark room. Any other light source will make it difficult to see and if you blow the image up too much it will be dim and experience pixelization.

Nonetheless, we’ve seen worse. It can take full 1080p input, so there is a level of downgrading that makes it look a bit better than a lower native source. The Image size itself can reach 120 inches, which is actually quite impressive, while the resolution cannot go higher than 854 x 480.

This means you’ll see a widescreen 16:9 image that is about the same as 480p.

Other Features

The E1 has one of the stronger batteries on the market, allowing continual use for about 5 hours. 

Meanwhile, although the speaker is singular, the 2-watt is surprisingly loud and more than acceptable for a portable projector. The downside is there is no easy way to add external speakers unless you connect to a PC that has such and allow them to playback at the same time.

The product itself comes in a nice aluminum carry case, which has a special sliding cover to protect the lens. 

Verdict

Something about the look and design of the Asus ZenBeam E1 is endearing. Although it doesn’t have all the features or performance of other portable projectors, it’s also not the most expensive. If you’re traveling by yourself and need something better than a laptop or smartphone, this is a good option for a battery-powered projector. It’s also our pick for the best pocket projector in terms of look and style.

Optoma ML750ST
Optoma ML750ST
Optoma ML750ST

BEST FOR

Brightness quality

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  • Very bright image
  • Lots of ports
  • Short throw distance
  • 720p

Described as ultra-portable, it’s hard to argue when this mini projector is just 11.25 x 12.3 x 0.57cm. For around £550 you get wireless connectivity, slightly wonky 720p resolution (really 1280 x 800), and one of the brightest projections currently on the market. 

Design

It’s a sturdy design that sits on four small non-slip feet for a tabletop, but not the most appealing visually. It has that white non-gloss printer/router vibe on the top with vented grey plastic sides for airflow and the sound. 

There’s also a lot of physical buttons that may not be necessary, including: 

  • power 
  • menu directionals
  • an ok/menu button 
  • autofocus
  • an extra startup button even after powering on 

There is, however, a remote control so you don’t have to use these. It just makes them more redundant.

On one side is a single 1.5-watt speaker, while all of the ports are at the back. You get a headphone jack that can also accommodate separate speakers that take 3.5mm. There’s a USB port for your portable media sticks, an all-in-one HDMI/ MHL port to connect HDMI sources, and micro USB/USB sources if you have the adapter. Then there’s a Universal I/O, DC IN for power, and a micro SD card reader for external media.

In other words, you’ll be able to play your videos wherever they may be located and in whatever form.

Image quality

The quality of the image is sharp and colour-rich. It’s also one of the brightest, measuring 800 lumens. That means you shouldn’t have much trouble even in the daylight with seeing the projection screens. This makes it our top pick for UK outdoor projector

The quality itself is not certified HD because it has a little clunky resolution. Instead of 1280 x 720, for 720p, you get 1280 x 800 WXGA. Technically, this is slightly more pixels but ends up with a 16:10 instead of a 16:9 image, so you’ll get the equivalent of a slight bit of letterboxing, though on a projector this is almost unnoticeable.

In terms of surface area, before things get blurry, you can reach about 100 inches – more than acceptable. 

Other Features

Wireless connectivity comes via a USB adapter which isn’t always included in every pack, so make sure you choose the right one if you want this feature. This gives you wireless streaming support, allowing you to stream media via Wi-Fi on your network, whether that be a games console, PC, or Android device. It can even work as an iPhone projector in this manner.

The ML750ST doesn’t have an internal battery, so it must be plugged in at all times. That reduces its portability somewhat, as you must be in reach of a wall socket. However, the lamp is rated for 20,000 hours of use, so at least the projector itself will last many years. If it somehow does stop working within a year, you’ll be happy to know that you’re covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Verdict

If you can overlook that it needs a constant power supply and you might have to pay extra for Wi-Fi, the Optoma ML750ST is one of the best mini projectors when it comes to screen quality. You get what amounts to 720p and one of the brightest lamps going. That gives it superior viewing quality. It’s a bit pricey though.

Epson EB-S41
Epson EB-S41
Epson EB-S41

BEST FOR

PowerPoint presentations

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  • Super bright
  • Supports older PCs
  • Quality LCD lens
  • Can project 350-inches

A little bit behind the times and aimed more at traditional projector use in offices, education, and conferences, the Epson EB-S41 is small, portable, and can project to a massive display. If you’re looking for an HD projector to watch movies in high quality, this isn’t for you. It still has a lot going for it as our pick for the top presentation projector. Price-wise, you can find it online for around £360/370.

Design

Epson is known for its no-nonsense designs, and the EB-S41 follows suit. It’s a tabletop projector with nonslip feet and is mostly white with black grating where the fan and airflow are embedded. 

All the required buttons to control the device are on the top, including: 

  • power
  • menu
  • directionals 
  • enter/ok 
  • escape
  • home

You’ll find both a manual focus slider and two autofocus buttons as well. There’s a volume slider and the source search button will find all the connected sources to choose from

At the back of the projector, these sources are connected by a USB-A port for devices like sticks, and a USB-B port for connecting to larger devices. There are HDMI and old-school audio and video RCA (yellow, red, and white). You’ll also find VGA, making it a perfect mini projector for laptop and computers of older generations. 

Power is supplied through a large socket and traditional plug that must remain in for the projector to operate. Of course, the PC PSU-like cable is included in the box.

Oddly, the speaker is embedded at the back of the projector and is a single mono variety, so you might want to opt for some external USBs.

Image quality

The EB-S41 has an excellent picture quality and a staggering 3300 lumens of brightness, which is the most powerful on our list. It’s also a liquid-crystal display lens (LCD) rather than the more common DLP/LED. It, however, only supports SVGA 800 x 600 resolution and is not high definition in the true sense.

Yet, for giving presentations and looking at still images and slides, the quality is as good as it gets and can be seen clearly in almost all lighting conditions. You’ll see rich colours, deep blacks, and well-defined shadows.

It can also project a really large display of 350 inches, where most video-focussed projectors are lucky to reach half of that without going dim or blurry.

Other Features

Although it is essentially plug-and-play via all the supported sources, you can also use Wi-Fi via the separately sold ELPAP10 adapter. Using the iProjection app you can screen share or stream content from other devices on the network, such as your smartphone.

The lamp life is 10,000 hours. We’d like to again stress this isn’t really the device for watching videos in high quality.

The 2-watt speaker is loud and good for meetings and conferences. If you want something a little higher quality, you can accomplish this with external speakers 

Verdict

The Epson EB-S41 has everything you need from a compact projector and some features more expensive devices do not. However, it is only worth the price if your intention is giving presentations or projecting content in a work or educational setting. The lack of HD and low resolution doesn’t suit home cinema, but for everything else, it’s one of the best portable projectors in the UK.

Anker Nebula Capsule
Anker Nebula Capsule
Anker Nebula Capsule

BEST FOR

Gatherings or parties

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  • Impressive 360-degree speaker
  • Android-based
  • Good battery life
  • User-friendly

Hands down the coolest looking projector we’ve reviewed, the 2019-released Nebula Capsule runs on Android, has Wi-Fi connectivity, and provides 360-degree audio. It does all this from a ‘capsule’ the size of a can of coke. But although it can project in 16:9 it doesn’t support HD like some of Anker’s other models. You can buy the Nebula Capsule for £369

Design

We immediately fell in love with the Nebula Capsule design. Anker is the first company to break the mould and make a mini projector that looks truly unique and benefits from that design. In effect, it is a complete cylinder with the lens towards the top

The rest of the body acts as a 360-degree speaker, which is great if you have a packed room and there are people sitting in front, behind, and to the side of the projector. This makes it one of the best projectors for home or conference uses.

On the very top are touch-screen style buttons for volume, power, and pairing. The remote control does all the menu scrolling and selecting.

At the bottom, you’ll find USB and HDMI ports for connecting sources. The battery is also charged via USB. On a full charge, you get about 4 hours of video playback and longer for images and slides.   

Image quality

For a company that markets its devices as video projectors, the image quality is a bit of a let-down. It does not output HD, only 854 x 480 in 16:9, which is essentially 480p in widescreen. More or less, standard definition. 

It’s also only certified for 100 ANSI lumens, so the image can look quite dim and you’ll need to be in a darker room to get the best experience.

What we do like is that it can project up to 100 inches, which is part of the fun with projection. Getting a larger display than you would with a TV or monitor. However, that also means you need a couple of meters of space between the device and the surface you’re projecting on. Small rooms cannot benefit from this.

Other Features

The 360-degree speaker is not only unique but can also get much louder than most mini projectors thanks to its 5-watt output. That doesn’t mean the quality is amazing, but it’s comparable to others on the market. Thanks to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the various ports, there are plenty of options for using better external speakers if you’re an audiophile. 

The Capsule uses a customized Android-based operating system aptly called Nebula. Because it has Wi-Fi, it’s like having a Roku or Amazon TV stick. You simply download your streaming apps or browse any connected storage devices for media.

The only thing to watch out for is that despite being Android, you aren’t using the Google Play Store. You’re restricted to the major streaming apps and a few other tools that benefit projection. 

Verdict

The Anker Nebula is great for beginners or as a kids projector thanks to the cool look that might appeal more to a younger market. While its resolution is lacklustre, it’s our top mini Bluetooth projector for gatherings or parties because of the 360 sound.

How To Choose the Best Portable Projector in the UK

There are a number of factors to think about when choosing the best mobile projector to suit your needs. And, while our list covers virtually everything, there are still other similar models to consider. The Neat Projector and more expensive options that allow for ultra HD come to mind.

Price

Most portable projectors use DLP/LED display technology, and these vary from just less than £100 to over £500. The most expensive are laser-based.

Usually the cheaper the projector, the lower the resolution and dimmer the image. In most cases, it is image quality that you are paying for, so it’s hard to find a cheap HD projector. Features like Wi-Fi and the variety of sources it can connect to, also add to the price.

Projector Screens

Unless you buy a more expensive package, most portable projectors do not come with a projection screen. A clean white wall can work well, but if you want the best possible image, you will need to buy a separate screen. Fortunately, these are not that expensive. A 100-inch screen can be bought for as low as £20.

Connectivity

Before buying a pico projector in the UK, you need to decide the sources you will be using and whether it supports them. For example, do you want to stream from Netflix and similar? Or are you content using a USB storage device with your videos and other content on it already? 

Most good projectors have many source options, from HDMI and USB to Wi-Fi and smart apps. Double-check what ports your chosen product has in the back, what they support, and whether it has any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. 

A portable wifi projector will cost more than one that just has HDMI and/or Bluetooth.

HD, Resolution, and Display Size

Projectors are not fixed monitors so the concepts of resolution and high definition can be confusing. If you want to project in 720p or full 1080p HD, then double-check that the projector supports this rather than just supporting the signal.

E.g. some UK mini projector options can accept HD content but will, in effect, downgrade it to a lower definition. Look at the listed resolution in the specs. Anything lower than 1280 x 720 (720p), or 1920 x 1080 (1080p) is not high definition. 

Sometimes you’ll get odd resolutions that are still HD but arrange their pixels differently, like 1280 x 800. This shows the projection in a slightly off widescreen format known as 16:10 instead of 16:9, which leaves empty space on either side. If it was a monitor or TV there would be clear black bars, but projections can get away with it a bit better.

Display size, e.g. the surface area the projection can cover is also worth considering. People don’t tend to buy TVs or monitors bigger than 50 inches, but a key benefit of the best UK portable projector models is that they can provide much larger displays for less money.

The trade-off is color accuracy and brightness issues, plus you need an actual projector screen for a clean image rather than just using a wall or other surface. 

Finally, remember that the larger the projection, the less clear the image can look because of pixel density. All resolutions look crisper on a smaller display because the pixels are closer together. 

Space

Projectors, even mini ones, need space to work properly. They need to be able to have enough room to actually light up a surface at the size you desire.

This is commonly known as the throw distance. For example, to display 100 inches the projector may need to be over 2.5 meters away from the display surface or screen. 

And, of course, anything in front of the projector will mess with the image and leave a shadow on the display.

Wrap Up

That was all from the creme-de-la-creme in the land of best portable projectors. You have quite a few options.

You can get HD for watching films and bringing the movie theaters to your home. There are large surface areas for presentations in big halls. Then there’s the ability to connect to your PC or games console via HDMI. 

That’s without mentioning projectors that come with streaming apps like Netflix or the ability to ‘mirror share’ or connect directly to your mobile phones and other smart devices via MHL or Wi-Fi.

We hope you found each mini projector review informative.

So.

Which one did you choose?

If you’re still unsure we’ve responded to your most often asked queries below:

FAQ

Are small projectors any good?

Yes, there are many good portable projectors in the UK thanks to emerging technologies and ‘smart’ features. These are typically aimed at people that want to watch or stream video, listen to music, and have lots of connectivity options. They’re also good for those who cannot afford to spend thousands on laser projectors.

Their portability allows you to take them with you in your bag anywhere. It also means you don’t need a monitor because projectors can work well on plain walls or surfaces like tents or banners.

Furthermore, just because a projector is small doesn’t mean it can’t deliver a high-quality image. Many support 720p or even 1080p resolutions. They can also project in 16:9 widescreen, at a surface area much bigger than a TV or monitor

Like all products, some small projectors aren’t that good and suffer from low brightness and resolution, but we made sure each mini LED projector we review was worthy of a top 10 list.

Can you watch Netflix on a mini projector?

Yes, although it depends on the projector and the method of doing so. Some smart projectors run on Android or have decent firmware and interfaces that allow apps like Netflix to be loaded natively on the projector itself. 

Others require you to pair with a Netflix supported device like a smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and then screen share to the projector. This is basically streaming via your home (or work) network. 

Other mini projectors support HDMI and MHL, and you may be able to watch Netflix on the projector via its connection to a smart TV, games console, PC, smartphone, or tablet.

Which is the best mini projector?

From a pure performance perspective, our pocket projector reviews proved that the LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater is the top mini projector in 2021 in the UK.

What is the best cheap mini projector?

If you need a cheap portable projector, the VANKYO Leisure 3W Mini can be purchased for less than £100. It has Wi-Fi, HDMI connectivity, and HD input. The internal resolution, however, is lower at 854 x 480.

Another cheap mini projector option is the Viewsonic M1, at around £115. It has a similar resolution but is not as bright. It does, however, support a very wide variety of video files which would suit someone with a large external hard drive or USB stick of content.

Which is the best portable projector?

As per our UK mini projector reviews, we have to give the best mini projector in the UK for 2021 to the LG PF50KA. It provides full HD, good brightness, Wi-Fi connectivity, and live television. 

The best portable Projector UK consumers can buy on a budget is a tossup between the £115 Viewsonic M1 or less than £100 Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini.