There’s something magical about movie theatres that flood us with a feeling of comfort and nostalgia every time we go. Whether it’s the aroma of buttered popcorn, the cushy seats or the bright light of a flickering projector overhead, it goes without saying that most of us would install a full-blown home theatre in our households if we had the money. Little did you know that you can come close with a portable mini projector.
While we’ve all made do holding our phones overhead when watching videos in bed, we’re also guilty of dropping it on our faces maybe once or twice (perhaps more). That’s where the beauty of a mini projector comes in.
By getting one with an adjustable stand, you can pair it to your phone and crane it up at the ceiling, so you can lay back and relax while watching your favourite shows from the comfort of your bed. Hoyts cinemas doesn’t allow that now, does it? And who doesn’t want to ditch the crowds, too?
The added bonus of a mini projector is that you can set one up anywhere, at any time and enjoy some high-quality streaming. Whether it’s on your apartment building’s rooftop or on the side of your backyard shed, the possibilities are endless.
However, there are a few factors you consider when choosing the best portable projector for you. Things like resolution, throw distance, brightness, weight, ports, speakers and battery life are factors to consider when purchasing the right mini projector for you, especially if you’re on a budget.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the best portable projectors you can buy online in Australia.
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The best portable projectors in Australia
Best overall — Nebula Capsule Smart mini Projector
Aside from its fire colour, the Nebula Capsule is a mid-range portable projector that kind of resembles an Ultimate Ears speaker. Sitting at about the size of a can of Coke, it comes built-in with a 360-degree speaker, which is ideal for large gatherings. With its advanced IntelliBright algorithms, you’ll be able to enjoy a remarkably bright and clear picture up to 100-inches big.
For such an expensive speaker, you might be concerned that it could be easily damaged but thankfully it’s built from aluminium, which ensures better protection against bumps and accidental drops.
Native resolution: 1920 x 1080 Throw distance: 3.9 Meters Weight: 862 g Ports: Bluetooth, USB, Wi-Fi Speakers: Built-in 360 speaker Battery life: 4 hours run time Additional selling point: Remote control included
Where to buy
Best for outdoor screenings — ELEPHAS Mini Projector
This budget-friendly portable projector is perfect if you want a good quality one but don’t want to spend $500+. It’s compatible with a range of streaming devices, including the Fire TV Stick, Roku, Chromecast, PS4 and more.
If you’re interested in hosting a few casual movie nights outside, this projector is a great choice. It’s 80% brighter than most mini projectors and comes with built-in hi-fi speakers. This means you won’t have to lug a bunch of equipment outside and it’ll be plenty bright enough for outside screenings.
And the best thing about this particular portable projector? It’s often on sale.
Native resolution: 800 x 480 Throw distance: 70cms Weight: 1.25 kg Ports: MHL, VGA, SD, AV, USB, HDMI Speakers: Built-in Hi-Fi speakers
Where to buy
Best budget-friendly choice — Clokowe Wi-Fi Projector Mini Portable Projector
This very affordable projector is a good pick if you want to show off precious memories at the next milestone birthday party, or run through a presentation in the office.
You can wirelessly screen share videos, photos or music to this mini projector via your smartphone or tablet.
It’s also very easy to set-up, since all you need to do is turn it on, connect it to Wi-Fi and either select “Screen Mirroring” on your device if you’re casting wirelessly or select “Trust” when a pop-up window appears when you connect your the lightning cable.
A major bonus is that it also comes with a huge 100-inch projector screen.
Native resolution: 1920 x 1080 Throw distance: 3ft Weight: 1.72kg Ports: USB, HDMI Speakers: 2.0 Additional selling point: 100-inch projector screen included
Where to buy
Best for at-home watching parties — Anker Nebula Apollo
Anker is among the best brands to turn to if you’re in the market for a portable projector. The Anker Nebula Apollo is among its most popular projector choices, thanks to its Nebula Connect app. This app allows to you wirelessly cast your shows onto the big screen for an elevated movie experience.
But its most unique feature are the touch controls that allow you to adjust volume or pause what you’re watching with a swipe of your finger. You can even switch into “mouse mode” for pixel-precise control.
Native resolution: 1920 x 1080 Weight: 1.6kg Connection: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI Speakers: 6W speaker Battery life: 4 hours run time Additional selling point: Touch controls
Where to buy
Best for travelling — ViewSonic M1 Mini Plus Smart LED Pocket Projector
This mini projector is the epitome of portability. Not only is it the lightest projector on this list, but at 4×4 inches it also happens to fit perfectly into your back pocket, so you can take it with you anywhere.
It features an integrated smart TV interface, so you can turn on Netflix, YouTube or your streaming platform of choice. This portable projector will mirror what’s on your phone through Wi-Fi screen monitoring and its built-in stand is handy if you’re the type who prefers to watch TV in bed. Simply adjust its 180-degree stand so you can aim it at your ceiling and fall asleep on your back.
Native resolution: 1920 x 1080 Weight: 280g Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, HDMI Speakers: Built-in JBL speaker Battery life: 2.5 hours run time Additional selling point: Comes with a stand so you can project at the ceiling
Where to buy
Best for young children — Anker Nebula Astro Mini Portable Projector
The perfect choice for the little ones, this Astro portable projector is fitted with eye guard tech that will protect the eyes of the most inquisitive of children from the projector’s bright light. If anyone gets too close to its internal bulb, it will switch itself off automatically.
It even comes with parental controls that allows you to easily manage what your kids are watching so they don’t stumble across anything they shouldn’t. All adult-only movies and TV shows can be secured with a password of your choosing.
Native resolution: 854 x 480 Throw distance: Weight: 369g Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI, USB-C Speakers: 3W speaker Battery life: 2.5 hours run time Additional selling point: Parental controls
Where to buy
Best for console gaming — BenQ GV1 Mini Portable LED Projector
With no bright lamp to distract you from missions, an easy set-up for quick battle royale drop-ins and HDMI to USB-C compatibility, this BenQ portable projector is perfect for gaming if you don’t want a TV to take up space in your room, or so you can play anytime on the go.
With its Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi compatibility, you can enlarge any mobile game you’re playing so you don’t have to squint down at your phone and increase your risk of neck strain.
Native resolution: 854 x 480 Weight: 708g Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI Speakers: Yes Battery life: 3 hours run time Additional selling point: Compatible with most gaming consoles
Where to buy