Best Mini Projectors in the UK 2021

Projector technology has come on leaps and bounds and today, there are many affordable projectors available on the market with seemingly excellent specs. 

Projectors enable images and video to be scaled up to massive sizes and any reasonably monochromatic flat surface can be used as the ‘screen’.

They enable you to watch videos, movies, or TV shows, or play games with varying screen sizes. What’s more is that even high-quality portable projectors cost less than a decent TV and they’re much more portable, too. 

This article will review the best mini projector brands in the UK and what to consider when buying a mini projector.

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Best Overall – ELEPHAS Projector Q9

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The competition is fierce but the ELEPHAS Project Q9 scrapes into first place owing to its superb 6800-lumen brightness and powerful dual subwoofer speakers.

It has a fully HD 1080p native resolution (1920×1080). The picture quality is excellent with a max effective distance of 360” (9.14m), which provides a mighty picture size of 300” (7.62m). It can also handle 2k videos. 

Owing to its powerful projector lamp, it can maintain a pretty bright picture at this size, though like all projectors on the list, the optimum viewing distance in daylight is more like 120” (3m) to 160” (4m), and that will also produce a very large 80” (2m) to 160” (4m) picture. The projector lamp is very long-lasting and is reported to last some 10 years of daily use at 2 – 3 hours per session.

At night or in a dark room, you can certainly use this projector at full viewing capacity, and 7.62m is colossal.

The feature that pushes this projector into 1st place is its awesome built-in speaker system. Most projectors here contain basic stereo speakers, but this one features dual 5w woofers for full HiFi audio quality, on par with some soundbars. 

The ELEPHAS Projector Q9 is well-equipped with dual HDMI and USB ports, allowing you to connect multiple devices. It also has older VGA and AV ports as well as a Micro-SD card slot and 3.5mm audio-out for connection to external speaker systems. The HDMI and USB ports are compatible with Miracast and AirPlay adapters for wireless use, but these are not included. 

Features

  • Full native 1920×1080 1080p resolution 
  • Excellent dual built-in speakers 
  • Dual HDMI and USB ports
  • Very bright lamp

Pros

  • Superb true-HD picture even at large picture sizes
  • Stereo speakers with quality bass reproduction 
  • Wide selection of ports
  • Handles 2K video playback 

Cons

  • No WiFi connection, so you’ll need to use dongles to connect wireless devices
  • Relatively heavy at 2.6kg

Bottom Line

The ELEPHAS Projector Q9 combines full HD picture quality with a professionally built projector with plenty of ports and quality speakers. Representing excellent value, it is hard to beat amongst other mini projectors.

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Runner Up – VANKYO Performance V600

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The VANKYO Performance V600 is a close runner up to the ELEPHAS Projector Q9 and only just loses out on the basis that it tends to be slightly more expensive. With a native resolution of 1920×1080, this projector provides a very detailed HD 1080p picture with excellent colour reproduction and contrast. 

This projector is capable of a max picture size of  300” (7.62m) and running it at that size is perfectly possible in low-light conditions. In daylight or lit rooms, it’s best to run it from around 120” (3m) to 160” (4m) from the screen to produce an 80” (2m) to 120” (3m) picture. 

Like the ELEPHAS Projector Q9, this projector also features a dual speaker system for detailed stereo sound. It’s also much louder than you might expect. 

The VANKYO Performance V600 features dual HDMI ports, a USB port, SD card slot and audio-out for connections to external seeker systems. The HDMI ports and USB port are compatible with a range of TV sticks and AirPlay and Miracast receivers for wireless use (not included).

Features

  • Full 1920×1080 1080P native resolution
  • Superb brightness and contrast
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual HDMI ports, one USB port

Pros

  • Superb native HD picture quality
  • Bright and clear images up to a max size of 7.62m (in the dark)
  • Stereo speakers for great audio playback

Cons 

  • No wireless connection, will need dongles to connect Miracast, AirPlay and other wireless devices
  • Not compatible with 2K videos

Bottom Line

The VANKYO Performance V600 is hard to split from the Elephas Q9. It too has full HD native resolution, ensuring excellent image quality even at very large sizes. Superb speakers complete this high-quality all-in-one portable projector.

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Best Budget – Paipu WIFI Mini Projector

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The Paipu WiFI Mini Projector represents excellent value as it has the highest native resolution of most cheaper projectors (1280×720 or 720p) with great brightness (5000 lumens) and an excellent contrast ratio (4000:1). 

As a 720p native resolution projector, this will provide superb image quality up to 170 inches (4M) in brighter conditions. In the day time, the optimum is more like 2 -3m which will produce a picture size up to around 2.5m. It can handle 1080p videos. 

This Paipu WiFI Mini Projector features built-in wireless which makes it compatible with Miracast and AirPlay devices without the need for an additional adapter. It also comes bundled free with a tripod. Stereo speakers complete this remarkable-value mini projector. 

The Paipu WiFi Mini Projector features HDMI, VGA, AV and USB ports with a Micro-SD card slot and 3.5mm audio-out. As mentioned, it can connect wirelessly to devices without the need for additional adapters. 

Features

  • 720P native resolution for HD videos 
  • Very bright for a small projector with an excellent contrast ratio 
  • Wireless connectivity
  • USB and HDMI connectivity
  • Can handle full 1080p video

Pros

  • Very small – just 21cm across weighing just 1kg
  • HD 720p videos
  • Full wireless connectivity for Miraplay, AirPlay, etc

Cons 

  • Built-in stereo speakers are quite small, but you can’t complain for such a cheap and portable unit

Bottom Line

This remarkable little projector is only 20cm wide weighing just 1kg! But it still has a great 720P resolution and built-in speakers. Wireless connectivity just adds to the Paipu Mini Projector’s superb credentials.

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Great Value – APEMAN Mini Video Projector

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The APEMAN Mini Video Projector is the cheapest projector in the list but it’s still great and goes to show how high the standards are.

First off, this projector is super-bright at 5500 lumens, making it highly usable in the daytime. The contrast ratio is 2000:1, and that’s what probably lets this projector drop to such a low price. It can handle 1080p videos. 

It has a native resolution of 800x480p, so don’t expect super-HD quality, but even so, this projector packs impressive pictures at 50 inches to 80 inches (1.2m to 2m). It even has built-in stereo speakers. Lastly, it comes bundled with a carry case which adds to its portable appeal. 

This projector features all your standard connections including VGA, USB, HDMI and AV. You’ll be able to connect USB or HDMI dongles to the ports to run the projector wirelessly (no built-in WiFi).

Features

  • Very decent 5500 lumen brightness
  • Stereo speakers
  • Comes with carry case
  • HDMI and USB ports

Pros

  • Very light (<1kg) 
  • Super-small (<20cm)
  • Decent brightness for a small projector 
  • 480p provides good picture quality for smaller projections

Cons

  • No WiFi connectivity 
  • 480p won’t cut it for larger projection sizes

Bottom Line

This budget projector is tiny and clearly designed for portability in mind. 480p won’t produce super-HD images at large sizes, but for a portable projector, the Apeman Mini represents super value. The carry case makes it even easier to transport and it weighs under 1kg!

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Honourable Mention – ELEPHAS WiFi Projector 2020

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With a built-in WiFi connection, the ELEPHAS WiFi Projector 2020 projector can connect wirelessly to devices supporting direct WiFI, e.g. AirPlay or Miracast.

For the price, it has an excellent 6000-lumen brightness which should make it highly usable even in decent light. The 3500:1 contrast ratio is also decent for the money. It can also handle 1080p videos. 

It has a native resolution of 800x480p, which means picture quality will be relatively confined to picture sizes of some 1 to 2m. It

will function up to a max picture size of 200”, or 5m, but this will likely only be decent in very dark rooms. The optimum viewing distance is listed as 6 to 10ft or 2m – 3m. 

The ELEPHAS WiFI Projector 2020 features USB, HDMI, VGA and AV inputs with an SD card slot. It has a standard 3.5mm audio-out for connection to external speakers.

As mentioned, this projector features WiFi meaning it can be connected wirelessly to devices for wireless streaming. 

Features

  • Superb 6000-lumen brightness and decent 3500:1 contrast ratio 
  • WiFi connectivity
  • USB and HDMI ports
  • 480p picture quality for smaller picture sizes
  • Can handle full 1080p video

Pros

  • 6000-lumen brightness is excellent for such a small projector
  • 480p decent for smaller projections
  • Built-in speaker

Cons

  • 480p doesn’t cut it for larger projections

Bottom Line

Elephas are clearly a reputable and popular projector brand and this smaller compact speaker combines value and functionality. It handles HD videos but only has a native resolution of 480p. Don’t let that entirely put you off, as a superb 6000 lumen brightness really helps pick up the picture quality.

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Honourable Mention – YABER 7000 Lumen Video Projector

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The YABER 7000 Lumen Projector at least matches the quality of the ELEPHAS Q9 and VANKYO V600.

It’s a powerful projector designed to handle HD video with a native resolution of 1920×1080, or true 1080p. It can even handle 4K videos. 

The impressive native resolution makes for a max picture size of 300” or 7.62m. This will look best in dark light, but even in bright light, it will output a very crisp and detailed picture up to sizes of 120” (3M).

With a mighty 10,000:1 contrast ratio and dual 3w speakers, this projector is probably the most technically powerful in the list.

Like the other top projectors on the list, the YABER 7000 Lumen Projector packs dual HDMI and dual USB as well as a VGA port and 3.5mm audio-out for connection to external speakers.

For wireless use, you will have to connect a Fire Stick, Roku Stick, Chromecast or similar, or use an AirPlay/Miracast adapter (not included). 

Features

  • Full native HD 1920×1080 for 1080p videos
  • Can handle 4K videos
  • Insane contrast ratio of 10,000:1
  • 7000 lumens

Pros

  • Full native HD combines with amazing contrast ratio and brightness
  • Works very well in brighter conditions
  • Will work with any HD video, including 4K 
  • Stereo speakers

Cons 

  • Fairly loud running volume
  • No WiFI

Bottom Line

This technically powerful projector isn’t as portable as other options but it provides an excellent picture quality. It will also handle any video input up to 4K. It doesn’t have wireless connectivity but has dual HDMI and USB ports.

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Honourable Mention – Vamvo L6200 Projector

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Another option with 1920×1080 true native 1080p HD resolution, the Vamvo L6200 is a worthy adversary to the Yaber 7000, VANKYO V600 and Elephas Q9. It just loses out with a slightly lesser 5000:1 contrast ratio, though it’s still very bright at 6000 lumens.

This projector runs a max image size of 300”, or 7.62m, though is best observed from more like 120” (3m) to 160” (4m), and this will produce an 80” (2m) to 120” (3m) picture. 

As you might expect, this also has dual HDMI and USB ports as well as VG and AV port, Micro-SD slot and 3.5mm audio out. It is compatible with all major USB and HDMI devices, e.g. Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, etc. Wireless connections will require Miracast/AirPlay adapters. 

Features

  • True native HD 1920×1080 resolution for HD video playback
  • High 6000 lumen brightness 
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual HDMI and USB ports

Pros

  • Superb picture quality with full HD native resolution 
  • High brightness for daytime use
  • Just 30cm wide

Cons

  • Lesser contrast ratio to some similar projectors (5000:1)
  • No wireless connectivity

Bottom Line

This excellent projector is lighter and smaller than its primary competition, but it does have a slightly lesser contrast ratio. The difference is small, though, and with superb brightness and stereo speakers, the Vamvo L6200 still rates as a very solid option.

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Honourable Mention – VANKYO Leisure 430 

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VANKYO has become a highly trusted projector provider and this is one of their cheaper options.

The Leisure 430 features a standard 800x480p resolution with 2000:1 contrast ratio and 3800 lumens. Technically, this projector may lack the top specs, but it’s tiny and comes with its own carry bag.

It really is designed to be a standard projector, but it will still provide a max picture size of 236 inches (6m), though something more like 120 inches (3m) is more recommended. It can handle 1080p videos and it also has a pretty decent stereo speaker system. 

The VANKYO Leisure 430 has HDMI, VGA, USB, Micro SD and AV ports. It has a standard 3.5mm audio-out for connection to external speakers. Wireless connection is possible with added Miracast or AirPlay adapters. 

Features

  • Very small at just 17cm wide
  • 480p provides a good picture for smaller projections
  • Stereo speakers 
  • HDMI and USB ports

Pros

  • Smallest projector on the list at just 17cm wide
  • Speakers are good for a small projector
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • 50,000 hour lamp life

Cons

  • 480p isn’t HD enough for many large projections 

Bottom Line

As a small projector (<20cm), this doesn’t pack top-level specs. However, it does provide very decent picture quality and is built by trusted brand Vanyko. It has a bundled carry case, adding to its portable credentials.

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Portable Projectors: Feature Guide

Home or mini projectors these days are very sophisticated, even at cheap prices. This is a type of technology that has come down in cost massively in the last 5 to 10 years. However, quite a lot of jargon and confusing terms are thrown about by brands when it comes to projectors and their features.

Resolution

Resolution is the main variable that affects a projector’s picture quality alongside contrast ratio and brightness. Resolution for projectors is a slightly tricky subject, as there are two ‘types’ of resolution referred to in most product descriptions.

Firstly, we have the ‘native resolution’. This is the most important measure of a projector’s resolution. Typically, most projectors will output a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, which is 1080p, the benchmark resolution for HD video. Some will extend to 2k or 4k, but these are (currently) rare and expensive. 

The native resolution is the max resolution that the projector can actually produce. So, playing a 1080p HD video on a projector with a native 1920×1080 resolution will create a true HD picture. 

The discrepancy is that many projectors are marketed as also having a ‘max resolution’ or ‘max supported resolution’. 

The ‘max resolution’ does not refer to the project’s native resolution, it just refers to the maximum resolution the projector can handle. 

A 1080p video played through a projector with a native resolution of 1280×720 (or 720p), will still be 720p, as this is the native resolution that the projector can output. 

In short, then, the native resolution is the figure to focus on. 

Contrast and Brightness

Some projectors are brighter (measured in lumens or lux) than others, and have higher contrast rates. A high contrast rate (e.g. 6000:1) will produce deeper, bolder and sharper colours as well as well-defined blacks and whites. 

Higher brightness means the picture will be easier to see in brighter light conditions. Low brightness projectors will likely only be usable in dimly lit rooms or at night. One thing is true with all or most projectors, the brighter the ambient light, the worse the picture will be, but that’s not to say that many don’t function very well in decent light. 

Connections

Most projectors come with the same types of connections. These include HDMI ports, USB ports, AV ports and VGA ports. Some also have card slots or WiFI connections. 

In 99% of cases, you’ll be using either HDMI, WiFi or USB to connect your devices. If you want to connect wirelessly to a projector that doesn’t support WiFi, you’ll need an HDMI or USB dongle like a Roku Stick, Amazon FireStick, or Chromecast/Miracast/AirPlay receiver adapter that plugs into either the HDMI port or USB port of the projector. 

This essentially ‘converts’ the projector into a wireless projector. These devices aren’t expensive but won’t be included. Overall, a wired HDMI connection still probably rates as the most reliable way to connect to a projector. 

Summary

Many of these projectors tie very closely with each other and are very hard to separate.

If you’re looking for full 1080p HD projection then look no further than the ELEPHAS Projector Q9, VANKYO Performance V600 or Yaber 7000 Lumen. They will all provide superb viewing experiences up to very large sizes. 

Of the budget options, the Paipu Mini Projector represents superb value given that it features a genuine native 1280x720p resolution as well as WiFi connectivity. 

Again, competition is very tight and truth be told, these projectors are largely built to similarly high standards, as you may be able to tell by their ratings.

Choosing the right projector for you hinges on what you’ll use it for. A top HD projector is best in big spaces with plenty of light. For smaller, darker spaces, lower resolutions will likely do the trick. 

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