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How to choose a portable projector
So, what should you look out for when buying the best portable projector for your needs?
For a start, you should make sure the portable projector has all the connectivity options you require. Most should have HDMI, which will let you plug in almost any device into it, though some will have a mini HDMI port, so you’ll need a special cable.
Meanwhile, other portable projectors have a simple USB output, which allows you to connect laptops and other compatible devices to it. Some of the best portable projectors also offer wireless connectivity, which makes broadcasting from your smartphone or tablet easy.
The best portable projectors also have batteries, which makes them easy to place for optimum image quality. However, there are some that still need to be plugged into a power supply, so bear that in mind when choosing the best portable projector for your needs.
You should also check to see if a portable projector has built-in speakers. If it does, it means that’s one less thing to carry around with you, but don’t go expecting cinema-like sound quality from those small speakers.
As well as listing the best portable projectors, we also have our very own price comparison tool that will help you find the best prices as well.
What to look for when buying a portable projector?
It’s important to know what to look for when buying a smart projector. By considering how you’re going to use it, you’ll get the right mix of features. We asked Luke Chen, senior business line manager at Viewsonic Europe, a display and projector specialist for his point of view (no pun intended).
First off, you need to think about the situations you’re going to be using your projector and find one that fits your requirements. Taking your smart projector on-the-go? Consider how well the projector achieves a portable design. Does it come with a carry handle? Or can it fold into a travel-ready container? If your projector is going to sit on your coffee table, make sure it says it’s a “short throw.”
Think about durability, LED technology avoids dimming projector issues, allowing smart projectors to shine brightly for up to 30,000 hours. LED light sources run much cooler than bulb-based light sources (meaning less fan noise). “Lamp-Free” is what to look for. It means you no longer have to rely on bulbs, which need to be replaced over time. They’re eco-friendly, too. Lamp Free means no glass bulb is needed, which means no mercury.
Something else to consider is resolution. Smart projectors are much smaller than standard projectors, this makes resolution the first thing to go. For those who enjoy camping, and just want some form of entertainment next to the campfire, a lower resolution works. Mini projectors have the hardest time with resolution. But, not all smart projectors suffer from poor resolution. 4K Smart LED projectors are now on the market. If home entertainment is your preferred use, opt for 4K resolution. The highest-end smart projectors will call themselves “True 4K” projectors.
Apps – your projector is only as smart as the apps running on it. So, it makes sense to have an app store enabled on your projector. Does the projector you’re looking at come with app store integration? To work with apps, enable voice commands, and stream movies (all at the same time) look for a smart projector with ample processors, memory, and storage.
Most smart projectors have to compromise on sound. This is the only way to fit all the components into such a small size. If you don’t already have a premium sound system integrated into your home theatre, opt for premium speakers. In short, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all projector.
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