The 5 Best Pico Projectors 2020 [Buying Guide]

If you’re looking for the best pico projectors, there are many factors to consider. How bright is it? What about the resolution? How long can the battery last? Researching each one of these questions is a boring long task that we’re saving you from.

We’ve gathered a list of the best pico projectors on the market that you need to consider immediately. So, without any further delay, here’s the full list.

List of The Best Pico Projectors 2020

  • Anker Nebula Capsule Max – Best Overall
  • Optoma ML750ST – Runner Up
  • LG PH550 – Great For Big Areas
  • KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector – Affordable
  • Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector – Suitable For Outdoor-Use

Pico Projectors – Comparison Table:

Pico Projector Anker Nebula Capsule Max

Optoma ML750ST

LG PH550

KODAK Luma 150

Vamvo Ultra Mini

Native Resolution1280×7201280×8001280×720845×480800×480
Brightness(ANSI-lumens)200 700550601800
Battery Life4 hoursCorded AC source 2.5 hours2.5 hoursOver 2 hours

The 5 Best Pico Projectors in 2020

1. Anker Nebula Capsule Max – Best Overall

Anker Nebula Capsule Max

The Anker Nebula Capsule Max deservingly takes the first place with how much it offers at such a small size. It has the longest battery life on the list with up to 4 hours of video playtime. The extended battery life combined with its lightweight of 26 oz makes the Capsule Max the ideal pico projector for when you’re on the go.

The Capsule Max uses DLP display technology for a sharp and vivid image. Also, it offers a native resolution of 1280×720 and can accept up to 1080p. However, the Capsule Max is not ideal for larger rooms as it has a brightness of only 200 ANSI lumens.

Moreover, the Capsule Max has a significant advantage with its built-in 8W 270 degrees speakers. Its LEDs have a long lifespan of 30,000 hours. As for set-up, it is easy to set-up and uses, especially with its auto-focus that only takes one second to adjust, and it provides a keystone correction technology as well.

The Capsule Max offers a 16:9 aspect ratio and a screen size range of 20-100”. Lastly, it provides universal connectivity as it accepts HDMI and USB devices as well as a wireless connection with both IOS and Android devices.

Lastly, multiple users reported issues when it comes to screen mirroring, as it sometimes glitches, but it’s not a huge deal.

What we like:

  • Extended battery life
  • Auto-focus and keystone technology

What we don’t like

  • Limited brightness of only 200 ANSI-lumens
  • Maximum 100” of screen size

Final Verdict

The Anker Nebula Capsule Max has taken the top spot on our list with its impressive battery-life, autofocus, keystone system, and built-in speaker. It is the best pico projector you could find. However, it’s best used in dim rooms as it is not bright enough for larger or lighted rooms.

2. Optoma ML750ST – Runner Up

Optoma ML750ST

With Optoma ML750ST, you can expect a sharp vivid image at such a small size thanks to its DLP display technology and 20,000:1 contrast ratio. The ML750ST has a feature that distinguishes it from any other projector on the list, which is being a short throw projector.

The short-throw feature allows you to place the projector less than 6’ from the screen and still display a 100” screen size, which makes the ML750ST optimum for tighter spaces and smaller rooms. In addition, it has a brightness of 700 lumens, which is ideal for small groups.

The ML750ST has a native resolution of 120×800, with an aspect ratio of 16:10. Note, though, that you need to be careful when it comes to aspect ratios and make sure that your screen fits that ratio. Its screen size ranges between 24.8 and 200”, making it an ideal pico projector for presentations.

The ML750ST is easy to set-up with its auto keystone technology and provides longevity with 20,000 LEDs lifespan.

Even though the ML750ST doesn’t offer Bluetooth or WiFi connection, it does allow for screen mirroring through its mobile application, as well as HDMI and MHL. Also, you’d probably need external speakers. Keep in mind that the ML750ST doesn’t provide Bluetooth connectivity.

However, its biggest downside is that it is corded, which dramatically takes away from its portability despite its ultra-lightweight. You can’t use it on the go as you’d need a power outlet.

What we like:

  • Short throw distance
  • Good screen size range

What we don’t like

  • Corded
  • No Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity

Final Verdict

The ML750ST is a good pico projector for tight places as it provides a decent display and a good screen size with a short throw distance. It will also please you if you don’t intend to move a lot. It is corded, which can be restraining when it comes to placing it.

3. LG PH550 – Great For Big Areas

LG PH550 CineBeam LED Projector

Coming in third place is the LG PH550. The PH550 has an average brightness of 550 ANSI-lumens, making it usable in bigger rooms than the Capsule Max. However, that is the only point where the PH550 is better than the Capsule Max.

The PH550 also has a native resolution of 1280×720 and an aspect ratio of 16:9. Moreover, its screen size ranges from 25 to 100”. It also has the same 30,000 hours of LED lifespan. In addition, the PH550 offers a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. However, it doesn’t allow for a short throw distance.

Even though the PH550 only offers manual focus and 2.5 hours of battery life, it is still considered a portable projector with decent battery life and 22.8 oz of weight.

When it comes to sound, the PH550 does not have a built-in speaker. Nevertheless, it can connect via Bluetooth to an external speaker, and it can wirelessly connect to an Android or a Windows device, but not IOS. It can also connect via HDMI and USB ports.

What we like:

  • A significant contrast ratio of 100,000:1
  • Wireless connection with android and windows devices

What we don’t like

  • No built-in speaker
  • Can’t wirelessly connect to IOS devices
  • No auto-focus

Final Verdict

The LG PH550 is the right pico projector if you don’t mind having to buy external speakers or having to manually focus it every time you use it. Aside from these points, it’s a great projector to buy.

4. KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector – Affordable

KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector

The KODAK Luma 150 is a great value pico projector. It is one of the most affordable pico projectors you could find on the market while still offering a decent display. The Luma 150 provides a maximum screen size of 150” that no other projector on the list can match.

Its native resolution is quite low at just 845×480 with an aspect ratio of 16:9, but it supports up to 4K input. Its contrast ratio is also not the best out there at just 1000:1, but it is still good enough.

In addition, it has a brightness of only 60 ANSI-lumens. All these factors add up to make the Luma 150 pico projector an excellent option for small rooms with dim light.

Its battery can last up to 2.5 hours, which is considered a good battery life. However, it doesn’t offer the best lifespan with just 3,000 hours. Compared to its competitors, that number is really low, so the Luma 150 is not recommended for frequent use.

It includes a built-in speaker, and a headphones jack if you’d rather attach your external speaker. Besides, it provides HDMI, Micro USB, and screen mirroring via Airplay and Miracast. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have auto-focus, so you’d have to manually refocus it every time you use it.

What we like:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight at just 7.75 oz
  • The maximum screen size of 150”

What we don’t like

  • A low brightness of only 60 ANSI-lumens
  • The low native resolution of only 854×480
  • No auto-focus
  • Short LEDs lifespan of just 3,000 hours

Final Verdict

With a maximum screen size of 150”, and 60 ANSI-lumens brightness, this baby is one of the best portable projectors for small rooms and light usage, especially at such a price point.

5. Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector – Suitable For Outdoor-Use

Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector

The Vamvo Ultra Mini is yet another excellent pico projector. With its DLP display technology and 1800 ANSI-lumens, it is the best pico projector for bigger rooms. However, it contradicts itself with its low native resolution of just 800×480. Even though it supports up to 1080p, it scales that down to 800×480, which will not look good in bigger rooms as the quality will be too low.

Moreover, it provides a short throw distance of just 1.6’ and up to 10’ and a screen size of 15-130”. Also, its contrast ratio is 1,000:1.

Combining these factors together, the Vamvo Ultra Mini is a great pico projector for outdoor use, especially with its battery life of over 2 hours and its fast-charging features. Think of it as a good pico projector for a camping trip where the resolution is not the top priority.

In addition, it provides a built-in stereo speaker with SRS technology for a clear sound and a functional lifespan of 20,000 hours.

Lastly, it provides connectivity via USB or USB-C ports, as well as AirPlay and Miracast. Sadly, though, it doesn’t offer auto-focus.

What we like:

  • 1800 lumens are great for outdoors
  • 2+ hours of battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Good screen size up to 130”

What we don’t like

  • Low native resolution of 800×480
  • No auto-focus
  • No Bluetooth connectivity

Final Verdict

With high brightness of 1,800 lumens, an okay contrast ratio, a resolution, a good screen that can go up to 130”,  good battery life of over 2 hours, and a short-throw distance, Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector is the ideal projector for outdoors.

What to Look for When Buying a Pico Projector?

Portability

This is probably the main reason you’re considering getting a pico projector in the first place, right? They’re small and lightweight. Look for pico projectors that have a built-in speaker as well, so you wouldn’t have to carry speakers along with the projector itself.

Battery Life

The battery life is one of the most critical factors to look for in a pico projector. You wouldn’t want your projector to run out of power halfway through a movie or a presentation. Anywhere higher than 2 hours of usage is excellent battery life. Also, fast charging is a plus.

Brightness

Brightness is subjective to where and how you’ll be using your projector. Generally, in meetings and presentations, you should look for higher brightness than home theaters due to the difference in settings. A home theater would usually be more dimmed and with a smaller number of people than a meeting room with the lights on. Anywhere less than 500 lumens would require a dark room and a small number of people. Going higher into the 800s should be sufficient for bigger (but still small) groups and medium sized-rooms. Lastly, 1000s or higher is sufficient for slightly-lit areas and a medium-sized sized group.

Resolution

You can’t have too high a resolution. The higher resolution results in a clearer image and more details, and that is useful in all contexts. A 720p projector is an HD quality that is good enough in most cases. On the other hand, a 480p projector is a little low, especially on bigger screens.

Screen Size

Try looking for a bigger maximum screen size of over 100” because you can always set the projector to display a smaller screen, but you can’t set it to display bigger.

Connectivities

You cannot go without a USB port because whether you need to connect your projector to a laptop, a flash drive, or a camera, it is the most reliable connection that you know will work with most devices. For an added bonus, a Bluetooth or WiFi connection would be useful if you’re planning to display via your phone, or simply to connect your projector to external speakers.

Auto-Focus

If you’ll be moving your projector a lot, auto-focus is a useful feature that can save you a lot of time and effort. You’d just need to turn your projector on, and within seconds, it’ll be focused and ready to use.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What Are The Available Connections?

A: Most connections are available, from manuals like USB to Bluetooth, and AirPlay. However, what you’d mostly need is the USB port, whether to connect your pico projector to a laptop or a flash drive. Also, if you’re planning to display via your phone, then you should look for WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.

Q: How Loud Is The Audio?

A: That depends on how big the room is. Generally speaking, though, a pico projector’s built-in speaker is usually loud enough for small groups. However, you can’t expect a projector’s built-in speaker to act as efficiently as an actual speaker.

Q: What Can You Use Pico Projectors For?

A: Anything, really. You can use them at meetings, presentations, a home theater, and, most importantly, outdoors. Most pico projectors run on batteries, which makes them ideal for a camping trip. Moreover, you can use them if you want the experience of the movie theater in your pocket (literally) when you are travelling.

Final Words

Pico projectors are lightweight, small, and can be used in most situations, from presentations to home theaters. However, choosing the best pico projector that fits what you’re looking for is not an easy task.

Our top recommended pico projector is the Anker Nebula Capsule Max. With an HD resolution of 1280×720, 200 lumens of brightness, and a 270-degrees built-in speaker, it deserves the top spot. In addition, it has auto-focus and keystone features and an impressive 4-hours of battery life.

Following in second place is the Optoma ML750ST. It has a higher brightness of 700 lumens and an impressive contrast ratio of 100,000:1 with the same resolution of the Capsule Max. The ML750ST is your best bet for a home theater with its sharp vivid image.

Leave a Comment