Looking for the ultimate portable LCD projector?
While the thought of owning a projector, especially one that is portable, powerful and highly versatile is a long-nurtured “want” for many people, not many are willing to put in the required effort to select the one that is right for them.
Between the need to understand the techie stuff, the effort of having to compare LCD projectors pros and cons, and making the actual decision to pick one over the other, there’s just too many things one needs to do in order to score a projector that you can be proud of.
So let’s skip all that hoopla and move ahead with what we will now call The Lazy Person’s Guide to Portable LCD Projectors. We’ll still go through some of the technical stuff that ultimately defines and characterizes projectors but I promise to be lenient and gloss over the boring details!
Instead, we give you three portable projector examples that condense the process to one that is more appropriate for somebody who doesn’t want to spend time trying to understand portable LCD projectors and who would rather use that time with an actual product.
Our 3 Portable LCD Projector Recommendations
Here are the three examples that we talked about and a brief explanation as to why each of these deserve a spot in your pocket, depending on your exact projector needs, of course:
1. AAXA M2 Micro Projector with LED (110 Lumens)
This portable projector retails for around $303, has a 3.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and is backed up by the strength of 30 consumer reviews. What sets this product apart is that it suitably caters to the mid-market segment of LCD projector users with its 1024 x 768 resolution.
The AAXA M2 boasts the following specifications as highlighted on Amazon:
- Ultra-bright 110 lumen LED light engine
- Sleek and Ultra-portable with an onboard keypad
- Built-in media player plays movies, photos and music so there is no need to hook it up to a laptop or any other computer
- Wide selection of interface cables such as HDMI, composite A/V, VGA inputs
- 1GB onboard memory and provision for SD Card expansion slot
- Built-in speaker and headphone mini jack
- Infrared remote control
What the manufacturer says:
The AAXA M2 Micro Projector is the world’s first XGA micro projector. Weighing just 1 pound yet producing a vivid 110 lumen image with Vibrant Color technology (produces high brightness and deep colors for a rich viewing experience), the AAXA M2 Micro Projector is the next generation ultra-portable multimedia projector. With power to produce 100″ images, a versatile media player, built-in storage and an array of input options, the M2 redefines what is capable in mobile projection technology.
The M2 mini projector feature a new high-speed video and image processor that supports up to 1280 x 720 resolution resolution video at 30 frames per second and a wide array of image and music formats. Content can be accessed through 1GB of onboard memory, an SD card slot accepting up to 16GB SD-HC cards and the USB Host (On-the-Go) function for reading USB storage devices.
The AXA M2 weighs a lightweight 1-pound (0.4 kg) but delivers performance like any big-boy projector would. The 110-lumens rating is top of the line for a projector of this dimension.
Combined with all the other features mentioned, it is hard to overlook the M2 as a great addition to your collection of functional multimedia devices. (See video below for more details on the AAXA M2).
Footnote: The M2′s LED light source consumes less power. The LED is also 100% free of mercury and as the bulb never needs to be replaced, there are no discarded bulbs.
2. FAVI RioHD LED 2 Mini Projector
The FAVI Rio mini projector caters to those who are on a tight budget. Retailing on Amazon for an affordable $199.95 and rated 3.5 stars out of 127 customer reviews, the FAVI Rio is a picture of mainstream popularity coupled with an average performance.
If you want to buy the FAVI Rio, you can get it cheapest on Amazon through this link.
Not to sugarcoat the FAVI Rio, there are better portable LCD projectors on the market but not many can compare to the Rio’s package of price and performance.
Suffice to say that with the Rio, you do not need to spend more than what is necessary to own a projector that meets the most basic necessities of projector ownership.
On Amazon, this micro projector boasts the following specifications:
- Supports 1080p/1080i/720p resolutions with a native resolution of 640 x 480
- Weighs less than 3 lbs and fits nicely in a laptop case
- Over 5 times as bright as standard LED projectors
- LED lamp rated to last up to 20,000 hours
- Multiple connections supported including HDMI, VGA, composite A/V, component, S-Video, and headphone/stereo jack
What the manufacturer says:
The RioHD-LED-2 by FAVI Entertainment offers the perfect balance in performance and affordability for business professionals, educators, gamers and home theater enthusiasts alike. Its revolutionary LED2 technology provides 20,000 hours or 14 years of lamp life (average of 4 hours per day), while boasting 4 times the brightness of a standard pico projectors. The quick connect VGA and portable design make it ideal for laptop presentations. At less than 3 lbs it easily travels with you to work. Bring your projector home for a family movie night or host the entire neighborhood for a drive-in movie by connecting it to your vehicle’s 19V power source. Recommend a FAVI floor stand projection screen for outdoor use.
As you can see, the FAVI Rio lags the M2 in terms of base resolution and is considerably heavier. But at only 60% of the price, the trade-off might just be well worth it depending on your specific needs.
If you are on a tight budget but don’t want to give up on the idea of owning a portable LCD projector, go with the FAVI Rio.
3. Epson EX5210 XGA 3LCD Business Projector (2800 Lumens)
Right off the bat, the Epson EX5210 boasts 2,800 lumens rating which is uncommon with portable LCD projectors. In fact, most standard projector packages offer up to 2,000 lumens handing the Epson EX5210 a definite leg up over the competition.
Other important specifications as listed on Amazon include:
- 2800 lumens color/white light output
- Rich, true-to-life colour and reliable performance – 3LCD, 3-chip technology
- Amazing image quality – native XGA (1024 x 768) resolution; up to 3000:1 contrast ratio
- PC-free slideshows – via a USB thumb drive
- Ultimate portability – compact, lightweight design; carrying case and remote control included
- Filters to protect your investment – with easy side access for hassle-free maintenance
- Dimensions (W x D x H) approx 11.6″ x 9.0″ x 3.0″ – weight 5.1 lb
- Delivers both audio and brilliant video content with just one cable
- Compatible with the latest laptops, Blu-ray and media players
What the manufacturer says:
The EPSON EX5210 breaks the mold for portable business projectors, delivering spectacular image quality and ease of use. The ultra-bright 2800 lumens of colour/white light output, sharp XGA resolution and 3LCD, 3-chip technology transform presentations into brilliant masterpieces with precise detail and true-to-life colour. Breakthrough horizontal image correction with easy-slide technology and USB Plug ‘n Play instant connectivity make setup fast and easy, while HDMI connectivity delivers stunning HD entertainment and media. The PC-free slideshow function lets you project JPEG files, without a computer from any USB thumb drive. Whether in the conference room or on the road, the EX5210 delivers the performance and functionality you need for success at every level.
If you’re not into second guessing your choice for a projector, go with the Epson EX5210 with confidence that it will deliver big-boy performance in a portable package.
Footnote: At 11 inches (28cm) wide, the Epson EX5210 is not really as “portable” as the other micro projectors on this page. Use it as a measuring-stick for comparison with the others mentioned.
As you can see, selecting a portable projector is not difficult if you know what you are looking for.
Still, this short list should provide more than enough reference for those who are feeling a bit lazy when it comes to learning the intricacies of the portable LCD projector trade. Pick your choice of low, medium or high-end projectors on this page and enjoy mobility and performance in one go.
Quick Portable Projectors Review
A current owner raves about the AAXA M2 Micro Projector…
“I am in MOB station in Ft. Hood Tx. On the way to Iraq. Space is the most valuable commodity we have. After shopping for about 2 weeks I finally decided on this little projector for gaming and movie night on deployment. After opening the box this afternoon at about 1800 with the Tx afternoon sun shining through the windows at us I and about 5 other guys started watching 300 on the barracks wall. It wasn’t perfect but we could see pretty good on a well lit room. The projector was about 4 or 5 feet from the wall making a picture about the same diagonal size. It was good enough for a bunch of army aviators to enjoy. As the sun crept down the size of our group grew to about 10 and Happy Gilmore was next. The picture was great. I can think of no downside to this purchase. It’s convenient to carry and store, great picture and brighter than I expected. It’s a lot to offer in a small package. I bought a good set of computer speakers and now have a portable theater. This little thing reads the movies off my 1TB USB hard drive. Divx, MP4, VOB, AVI files all worked fine. If you are looking for a balance of video quality and expense with a huge emphasis on compact, portability, buy this thing. My next planned purchases are the AAXA cables to let me connect to my iPad and PSP.”
– Tony_gr8house, Fort Hood, Texas, USA
Review Paraphrased for size – view original review here
So Why Go With A Portable Projector?
A portable projector is for you if you:
- Travel a lot and need an easy-to-carry projector you can do presentations, exhibits, show off your new home business, recent world travels, mountain bikes adventures etc.
- Want to watch movies or TV in vivid & vibrant detail & colour
- Are the type of person who likes impressing your friends without paying thousands of dollars to do so!
Related Portable LCD Projectors Videos
What’s your thoughts on the whole portability thing?