So you’re on the market for a portable projector with the right specs and features that will bring life to your outdoor movie nights? Well, this page will help make the right decision in a shorter amount of time than if you were doing it on your own.
Projectors have always been considered the masters of entertainment. With them, you can get the whole family watching your favorite movies in the outdoors with the best picture quality for the most entertaining movie night experience. However, projectors have always been bulky which made moving them from place to place more like a chore.
With improvements in technology, you can actually buy a projector and fit it right into your bag or even better into your pocket. Portable projectors are just as good if not even better than their bigger counterparts offering a wide range of features and specs that make them a must-have.
Best Portable Projectors for Outdoor Movies: Our Top Picks
With the tons of options available on the market, choosing the right portable projector for outdoor use can be really hard if you don’t know exactly what to look out for.
But you’re in luck! We’ve scoured the market and compared the bestselling options by reputable brands in a bid to figure out ones that are really worth buying. And after analyzing our selected “candidates” in terms of portability and design, performance, features, durability, brand trust, and buyer opinions, we put together this list of our top recommendations that shouldn’t go wrong with.
1. Anker Nebula Capsule
Weighing just 1.04lbs and measuring 2.68 x 2.68 x 4.72 inches, the Anker Nebula Capsule might just fit right into your pocket or handbag.
It is a solid projector that would bring more thrills to your movie night without taking up too much space. Whether you’re packing the entire family or you’re out with your friends, this projector brings true cinema to you with a projection size of up to 100 inches.
This projector features a soda can-sized design which goes again the usual structure of traditional projectors. This design makes it quite easy to set up and also you can easily plug your external devices into the ports. You will find an HDMI and USB ports at the rear but you won’t always have to rely on wired connections. This device allows you to stream content via Airplay, Miracast, or Bluetooth.
The Anker Nebula Capsule also comes equipped with Android 7 to allow you to connect your streaming and media apps. This means you can stream directly from Netflix, Youtube, and many more streaming sites and services through the portable projector.
Flaunting DLP’s advanced IntelliBright algorithms, this projector will deliver remarkable clarity and contrast though you’d only get the best picture quality in dimmer environments. The specs do go well for the prize, you get1100 ANSI lumen brightness which won’t make for much when watching in areas with proper lightning but will you should get the best view in dimmer areas.
The resolution is set at 854 x 480 (16:9) so you aren’t really getting HD or FHD view quality which is okay for the prize. The video playtime is pegged at 4 hours, which is surprisingly better than even more pricey options.
It also comes equipped with a powerful omnidirectional speaker. This means it would pump sound all around so you’d get the best experience regardless of where you’re sitting.
This portable projector also comes connected to an App. While it has its own remote control that should help you control just about everything, you can also do so straight from the App. You can download the Nebula Connect app straight from Google Play or the App Store and control your capsule to do just whatever you want.
- Compact and portable
- Focus can be adjusted
- Can be charged while in use
- A bit pricey
2. Epson VS250
The Epson VS250 is another superb portable projector that you can never go wrong with. It might not fit right into your pocket but it comes packed with all the right features and a sweet affordable price that makes it a perfect choice for outdoor movie lovers.
A nice feature here is that this is a 3LCD projector designed to deliver remarkable color accuracy with 3x higher color brightness and 3x wider color gamut than you would get in DLP projectors. It actually comes with SVGA resolution (800 x 600) which might not make for the best high-quality display, however, you get 3,200 ANSI lumens of brightness which ensures that the pictures are always sharp and crisp.
This high lumen rating makes it one of the best picks for users looking to watch moves during the day or just before the sun sets.
For connecting your external devices, you will find the connection options at the back. The Epson VS250 offers HDMI and USB connectivity ports. It will connect and is compatible with many external devices including your tablet and smartphone so if you’d want to watch your favorite movies on a bigger screen straight off your smartphone, all you would need to do is plug it into the USB port.
This portable projector is also designed to work with streaming players. It is compatible with Roku and Apple TV. There is nothing said about it being able to connect you to streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube so it is possible that it won’t happen.
Some features like the Digital Zoom and Focus are manually operated which makes sense considering this is a tight-budget option.
- Bright colors even in well-lit rooms
- Supports HDMI
- Supports wireless projection from your mobile devices
- No external speaker hookup
3. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector
If affordability is high on your radar when searching for a portable projector, then you should look to the ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector. This projector actually offers a lesser price for even better features.
Getting started is the built-in battery that provides up to 6 hours of non-stop entertainment. Also, you will find 16GB of internal storage which is just enough to handle about 4,000 songs and up to 4 hours of movies.
The ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector might take the trophy as the truly portable projector due to its compact size that would fit right into your hands. It also weighs less than 2 pounds making it easy to pack or put in your suitcase.
Resolution is one of the strong points of this mini projector. You actually get 640×480 resolution off VGA but this is expandable to Full HD 1920x1080p resolution which is quite a number for an affordable option.
Brightness is just as good as it offers a projection of up to 250 LED lumens so you won’t have to use it in an almost darkened room to get the clearest pictures.
The ViewSonic M1 comes with integrated smart stands that make for a 360-degree setup, so you can balance the projector at just about any angle. Distorted images shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the auto keystone feature that will ensure all images are projected perfectly at every angle. This projector is designed to deliver projections of up to 100 inches.
The only drawback of this option comes from its connectivity. You won’t be able to connect via Wi-Fi or stream through your Smart TV with this projector. Another issue but not as significant is the inability to connect Bluetooth Speakers. Considering the price of this offer, these two misses shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
There is actually an HDMI and several USB ports in case you want to connect any of your external devices via wired connections. The ViewSonic M1 also makes up for the lack of Bluetooth speakers with its own speakers. You get dual Harman Kardon speakers which deliver a balanced mix of treble, mids, and bass for an all-around immersive experience.
- 360° projection with smart stand
- Dual Harman Kardon speakers
- 6-hour battery life
- 3-year limited warranty on parts and labor coverage.
- Picture quality could be better
4. Optoma ML750 WXGA
Measuring 4.1 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches and weighing just 0.80 lbs, the Optoma ML750 WXGA is an incredibly small pick that won’t take up much space in your suitcase. This tiny projector comes with the right feature to rival other options on the list though its price range is somewhat on the high side.
The best thing about the Optoma ML750 WXGA is its size which makes it a truly portable projector. Even though it is so small to fit in a briefcase or suitcase, it comes with incredible picture quality that will outmatch other larger and costlier options.
You get to experience razor-sharp images and videos with WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution and a 20,000:1 contrast ratio. Its brilliant LED lamp can deliver up to 20,000 hours of life averaging 5 hours a day for up to 10 years.
The Optoma ML750 WXGA is able to deliver ultra-bright images for users that prefer cinema movies in the day thanks to its 70 ANSI lumens. It packs the power performance of a full-sized projector.
For connectivity, the ML750 is MHL compatible and you can also connect to your laptop, games console, or PC via the HDMI port. The MHL compatibility allows you to mirror your device screen for a better viewing experience.
If you have a bit more to spare and you need a quality option, then this easily makes for the best buy.
- Up to 20, 000 hours of life
- 1280 x 800 resolution
- Compact size and design
- 700 ANSI lumens
- The remote control isn’t reliable
5. KODAK Luma 350
Another option that won’t poke a hole in your pocket but will still deliver the same high-quality video and picture quality is the KODAK Luma 350. This portable smart projector features DLP projection. It will render HD video and images with stunning colors up to a projection size of 200 inches.
One of its most outstanding features is its compatibility across all smart devices. You can control the device straight off your phone or boost your experience using onboard Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Thanks to the Wi-Fi compatibility and Android-powered interface, you can download your favorite streaming apps and watch your favorite shows on a huge screen.
You won’t have to worry about picture quality as this projector has you covered. You can expect crystal clear images with a resolution of 854 x 480 resolution and a brightness rating of 200 ANSI lumens.
Wirelessly mirror your screen via Miracast or DLNA for a much more cinematic movie experience. You can also expect a longer life span than with other projectors. The KODAK Luma 350 offers a LED life of 30,000 hours and is powered by a 7500 mAh.
- Ultra-portable palm-sized projector
- Android OS for streaming videos
- Plug and play setup
- Massive display up to 200 inches
- The fan tends to be loud
6. Epson PowerLite 1781W WXGA
The Epson PowerLite 1781W WXGA is another wireless 3LCD portable projector that, though racking up a pretty hefty price, comes with one of the best quality features you can get from any projector.
The Epson PowerLite 1781W WXGA won’t take the trophy as the most portable projector but it is just close. It is actually lightweight and travel-friendly weighing just 4 lbs. You can slide it right into your suitcase without worry.
Clear and sharp picture quality is brought by 3200 lumens color brightness that brings fun to your outdoor movies even in well-lit environments. Thanks to the WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution, you won’t have to worry about declining image quality at any distance.
This projector also comes with Auto horizontal and vertical keystone correction, plus Screen Fit that adjusts the image to fit the screen regardless of where the projector is placed.
You also get wireless connectivity which allows you to project straight off your phone, tablet, or laptop. If you’re up for sharing videos, this projector supports Chromecast via HDMI and MHL-enabled devices.
Though a bit pricey, the Epson PowerLite 1781W is just the right pick for individuals who place quality about everything else.
- Fast, easy image adjustment using keystone feature
- Wireless setup for mobile devices
- Top-notch display quality
- Compatible with most laptops and media players
- Quite bulky for a portable projector
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