Until recently, the simple idea of being able to carry a projector with you and project images or films virtually anywhere was the stuff of science fiction.
Yet that vision has now become a concrete reality. Many electronics manufacturers now offer portable projectors.
But do these mini projectors offer the same performance and functionality as the "classic" models? That's the question this article will try to answer.
The native resolution of portable projectors
Many portable projectors "accept" HD content, but very few can actually project an HD image. In fact, many models rely on a technology called "downsampling", which means that they take a high-resolution image and reduce it to a lower quality.
If you're a purist and expect to enjoy 4K images with a portable projector, you may be slightly disappointed and would be better served by a high-end projector. However, if you're willing to make some concessions to the native resolution in order to be able to watch your favorite movie wherever you want, you're sure to find a portable projector model with an image quality that suits you.
The brightness of portable projectors
The image thrown up by a projector is very sensitive to light pollution. Consequently, the higher the brightness (expressed in lumens) of a projector, the better it can overcome light pollution.
However, emitting a large amount of light requires high energy consumption. Most manufacturers therefore limit the brightness of their portable models to a lower level than standard projectors to ensure that the battery life lasts as long as possible.
If you plan to use your projector at night, the brightness of your mini projector won't be as important a factor, but it is something to consider if you plan to use it in a well-lit environment.
The projection distance of portable projectors
Projection distance is the distance between a projector and the screen or wall on which it is projected. The further the projector is from the wall, the larger the image will be.
A majority of portable projectors are classified as "short-throw", which means they are calibrated to project a larger image at a shorter distance. If you move a portable projector too far away from the projection surface, you can significantly affect the image quality.
Video inputs for portable projectors
Video inputs (HDMI, USB, VGA, etc.) allow you to connect computers, game consoles, phones or tablets to the projector using a variety of cables. The more inputs, the better.
However, portable projectors are smaller than those used in home theater systems, which means they don't have as much room for ports and inputs.
Before buying a portable projector, make sure you'll be able to connect your favourite electronic devices to it.
Built-in speakers for portable projectors
Most portable projectors are equipped with built-in speakers. This means you don't need to carry a portable speaker with you to hear the soundtrack to the images you'll be projecting.
That said, the speakers in mini projectors are generally smaller and less powerful due to space constraints. As a result, they offer limited performance, especially at low frequencies.
There's a price to pay for portability
In conclusion, it is undeniable that portable projectors, due to their small size and the limitations of battery operation, are unable to offer performance on par with standard projectors.
However, if you find it a small price to pay to be able to project video footage wherever you want, you will certainly find a product that fits the bill.
For all your electronics needs and more information on audio and video, don't hesitate to consult the experts at Fillion Électronique. We're always on the lookout for the latest innovations and can offer you personalized advice and information. Contact us today!