What are the main features of Best Mini Projectors?
Best mini projectors come with a variety of features. They include: 1) Size; 2) Price; 3) Features; 4) Weight. Some of these feature may vary depending upon the model.
The size of the projector determines its overall portability. Smaller models are easier to carry around, while larger ones tend to be heavier and bulkier.
Most models range from 10 inches up to 25 inches wide.
These small devices cost less than most other items, making them ideal for those on tight budgets or simply wanting something inexpensive that will do their job well. Prices start at $25 and go all the way up to $500+.
Most models offer some sort of video output, but they are usually limited to just one source such as VGA (640×480 pixels), DVI (720p), or HDMI (1080i). Other features include picture presets, auto brightness/contrast control, and more.
These devices generally have a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
The smaller the better, as these devices are meant to be portable. They generally range from 2 pounds up to 7 pounds.
What are the essential things you should consider before buying Best Mini Projectors?
When buying a mini projector, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration before making a final decision. While some of these factors are related to your personal preferences and needs, it is essential that you find a good balance between all of them. Here are some of the most important factors that you should keep in mind before making a choice:
1) Size: This is probably the most important factor when it comes to mini projectors, especially if you intend to travel with it on a regular basis.
The smaller it is, the better. You should take into consideration its height, width, and thickness in order to get an idea of how portable it actually is.
2) Price: The price of mini projectors can range from as little as $50 to as much as $600, depending upon the brand, features, and overall quality.
While it is usually a good idea to choose a model that best fits your needs and preferences in terms of features and quality, keeping your budget in mind can prevent you from overspending.
3) Lumen: This is a measurement of brightness, and it describes the intensity of light that is produced by your mini projector.
The higher the lumens, the brighter the image will appear. Most mini projectors range from 50 all the way up to 3000 lumens.
Most high-quality mini projectors tend to produce an image that is comparable to a 70-100 inch television at 8 feet away. This is usually the best range of lumens for most users, so keep this in mind while searching for your own perfect model.
4) Throw Ratio: This is the width of the projector’s lens (measured in inches) divided by its height.
This tells you how wide the picture will be when you are projecting it at a certain distance.
For example, if you have a projector with a lens that is four inches wide and a height of five inches, and you are projecting the image onto a wall that is eight feet away, then the width of the image will be two feet (4/5 x 8).
If you want your image to be wider, then all you have to do is move the projector closer to the screen. The wider the throw ratio, the farther you will have to move it in order to keep the image at the same size.
Whether you want a wide or narrow image is entirely up to your own personal preference, although most users usually prefer to have images that are wider rather than taller due to the fact that most people tend to sit within a few feet of the screen rather than right up against it.
5) Connectivity: This refers to all of the methods available for connecting your mini projector to a source of video or photo content, as well as your own devices for playback.
The more inputs and outputs a model has, the more versatile it will be.
Most modern projectors come with several different kinds of connectivity in order to accommodate a wide range of user preferences and needs. For example, most of them have an HDMI input in order to accept high definition video from gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and DVD players.
They usually also have an SD Card slot so that you can display photos straight from your digital camera. A VGA input is also fairly common, allowing you to connect your PC without needing to fiddle around with adapters.
Most mini projectors also have USB ports so that you can display images and videos straight from your flash drive. This is an excellent feature if you want to use your projector for a fancy presentation, as it allows you to add some flair to your show by incorporating multimedia content in addition to your usual powerpoint presentation or video clips.
Other kinds of connectivity include Composite and Component Video (usually for older devices like DVD players); RCA Audio/Video inputs (for things like Camcorders or your favorite old music disc player); and last but not least, a standard 3.5mm Audio Jack so that you can connect virtually any kind of device with a headphone output.
Remember, the more kinds of inputs you have available, the more versatile your projector will be, and the more content you’ll be able to display. Just keep in mind that having too many inputs can also clutter up the design of the projector itself, and this may have a negative effect on image quality.
6) Lens and Throw Ratio: If you want to display a large image, you’ll want to make sure that your projector has a long throw ratio.
This basically refers to the width of the lens compared to its height. So for example, if you have a model with a three inch wide lens that is six inches tall, then it has a 3:6 ratio, which is also known as 1.5 to 1.
This is fairly narrow and wouldn’t be suitable for throwing a large image onto a screen that is farther away. On the other hand, a projector with an 18 inch wide lens that is 36 inches tall has a ratio of 6 to 1, which is much wider and appropriate for larger screens.
The width of the lens also directly affects the clarity of the image. In fact, one of the main limitations of small portable projectors is the fact that they tend to have a narrow lens.
While this doesn’t matter so much for displaying images on your ceiling or a wall, it can sometimes be problematic when attempting to use them for a large presentation with a lot of people. The reason why is because a narrow lens simply cannot fit as much image information into each frame, and the image will gradually appear more blurry from far away. This is especially true with high definition images and larger screens.
Aspect Ratio: In addition to all of this, you’ll also want to consider the aspect ratio of your projector. This just refers to the shape of the image, and there are three main types that you’ll need to be familiar with:
4:3 (Square Pixel): This is the standard screen resolution for older television sets and computer monitors. Most old movies on VHS are also in the 4:3 aspect ratio.
3:2 (Rectangle Pixel): This is the aspect ratio of most newer high definition televisions and computer monitors. It’s fairly close to the 4:3 ratio, but slightly taller.
16:9 (Widescreen): This is the aspect ratio of most modern day televisions, laptops, and tablet screens. It’s also increasingly becoming the standard for movie screeners as well.
Personally, I use a Casio XJ-A142, and I can tell you from personal experience that it has a very narrow lens. This is great for me since I mainly use it for personal entertainment and presentations in my room, but if you need something a little more versatile with a wider lens, you might want to look into something with a larger lens assembly.
7) Brand: Like any other product on the market, some brands are better than others. While you are free to choose any brand you wish, I personally recommend either Epson or Optima.
I’ve had very good experience with both of these companies, and the projectors I’ve gotten from them have served me very faithfully for several years now with no maintenance issues.
8) Miscellaneous Projector Accessories:
As I mentioned before, most projectors come bundled with the basics in terms of cables. Most common is the VGA cable, but most of them also come with RCA audio cables and some even come with HDMI cables as well.
You MIGHT need to buy an adapter if you plan on hooking up your laptop via a proprietary port. For instance, some laptops have a mini DVI port rather than a standard DVI port.
In this case, you will need a dongle that converts from mini-DVI to whatever your hookup cable is.
To my knowledge, most projectors DO have the capability to be hooked up to an HDMI input. However, as with most electronic devices, they do not come with this cable by default.
You will need to buy one separately if you want to take advantage of this feature.
Most projectors also come bundled with a set of external speakers, though these are generally very low quality. If you want better audio quality, I would recommend purchasing a set of external speakers that connect to your device either wirelessly or through an auxiliary cable.
If you plan on taking your projector outdoors on a regular basis or it will be subject to large fluctuations in temperature, I would highly recommend investing in a protective carrying case as well. These can generally be bought separately for most models of projector from the manufacturer’s website.
These are by no means the only accessories you can buy for your projector. You can buy specialty cables, lens filters, and other things if you find that you need them.
If you think that you will need any of these things, I recommend looking into getting them as soon as possible so you don’t end up trying to play your game and finding out that you can’t progress any further because you don’t have the right hookup cable.
Well, that should about cover everything you need to know about buying and setting up a home video game projector. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Good luck on your purchase, and remember: the key to a hassle-free experience is proper preparation!
~Sincerely, Your Friendly Neighborhood Blind Gamer~
(1) If you were to project a 720p image on a screen that is between 4 and 6 feet wide, the pixels would be large enough to see with the naked eye. The larger the screen, the smaller the pixels.
This is why movie theaters use a much larger screen compared to the home televisions, and why using a projector at home is not ideal. At the time of this writing, I can buy a 76″ TV for around $600 or a 94″ DLP Projector for under $1,000.
Sources & references used in this article:
LED-based mini-projectors by MPCM Krijn, BA Salters… – Photonics in …, 2006 – spiedigitallibrary.org
Omnidirectional-view three-dimensional display based on rotating selective-diffusing screen and multiple mini-projectors by W Song, Q Zhu, Y Liu, Y Wang – Applied Optics, 2015 – osapublishing.org
Large-sized light field three-dimensional display using multi-projectors and directional diffuser by Y Peng, H Li, Q Zhong, X Xia, X Liu – Optical Engineering, 2013 – spiedigitallibrary.org
Optimization of freeform lightpipes for light-emitting-diode projectors by F Fournier, J Rolland – Applied optics, 2008 – osapublishing.org