Best Projector 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Projectors have become much more mainstream in both the home and workplace in the last few years. Directed at a large screen, they offer a full-size experience that TV screens just can’t match – perfect for movie nights, gaming, and giving business presentations and slideshows.

Choosing the right projector for you comes down to what you plan on using it for. If you want a premium home cinema experience, you will want a different model to one that you would use to give clear, professional presentations involving lots of spreadsheets or graphs – they simply have different qualities.

Therefore, most projectors are geared towards one or the other, and it’s important to choose one that has been optimised for the right activity.

Here is our guide to buying the best projectors for your needs, including our two favourite home cinema projectors, business projectors and one handy portable-projector.

The Best Projectors – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
NEBULA Capsule Cinema Smart Projector
  • Type: Portable
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • USB: Micro USB x 1
  • Screen Size Range: 40”- 100”
  • Start-up Time: Instant
Click for Best Price
Acer V7850 4K Ultra Home Cinema Projector
  • Type: Movie Home Projector
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • USB: USB Type A x 1
  • Start-up Time: Instant
  • Screen Size Range: 26”- 301”
Click for Best Price
Epson EB-S41 Office Projector
  • Type: Office Projector/Long Throw
  • Resolution: 800 x 600
  • USB: 2 x 2.0
  • Screen Size Range: 30”- 350”
  • Start-up Time: 6 Seconds
Click for Best Price

Best Portable Projectors

NEBULA Capsule Cinema Smart Projector

You can project anything you want on the go, from photos and spreadsheets to videos and films. Plus, you don’t need any extra speakers – they are all packed in.

360-degree portable speakers are quite the innovative gadget aren’t they? But they don’t help when you want to view things too. You can take the home cinema wherever you go, as this compact device can sync to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, AirPlay and Wi-Fi.

Say you’re off on a staycation somewhere remote and relaxing but you want to keep the kids entertained in the evenings. All you need to pack is this little appliance and they will be distracted and in awe. And will give you some peace.

Thanks to the Wi-Fi, you can easily connect to your phone/tablet and stream straight from Netflix, YouTube and catch-up services. It has a long life battery of up to 30 hours too, which gives plenty of viewing capability.

It is easy to set-up and can also be mounted onto a tripod for stability. Suited to a screen size up to 100″ and ideal for dark rooms, there is little chance it won’t fit in where you need. For the cost, you have an item which will last years of frequent use.

Specifications

  • Type: Portable
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • USB: Micro USB x 1
  • Screen Size Range: 40”- 100”
  • Start-up Time: Instant

+ Downloads

NEBULA Capsule Cinema Smart Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • Speaker built-in
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Portable

We dislike

  • The picture is only 854 x 480 but that is expected for this type of device

Final Verdict

This really is a one of a kind. An all-in-one, with no need for tons of extra gadgets. Wherever you are, you can sit and enjoy a film or video with sound for everyone.

LG PH450UG Smart HD Ready Mini Projector

This portable projector comes with numerous features despite being small in size. Perfect to take to work meetings and presentations, with the versatility to watch movies too.

It is probably one of the easiest projectors to set up and installation is tidy. You can move the lightweight product around and set it up via wireless connection. It boasts three connectivity features, able to connect by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi meaning there is no need for wires, or HDMI/USB for a bit more reliability.

Because it is ultra short-throw, you don’t need a huge long room for a good picture. Placing it just 33 cm from your wall will give you a huge 80″ screen. Place on a table, or mount on the wall, ceiling or a tripod for the perfect positioning.

Two and a half hours of battery life will see you through a film or a few episodes of your latest boxset. No more scrambling for plug sockets. The price is high, but it is completely portable and offers a great image. Not many other portable projectors can boast this.

Specifications

  • Type: HD Ready/ Short Throw
  • Resolution: HD 720p
  • USB: 2.0 x 1
  • Screen Size Range: 40”- 80”
  • Start-up Time: Instant

+ Downloads

LG PH450UG Smart HD Ready Mini Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • Dimensions
  • HD ready
  • Effortless installation
  • Wireless connectivity

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

You are paying for the fact that this projector is an all-rounder. It’s sleek, fits into any space and can be transported with ease. All without losing quality.

Asus Zen Beam E1 Mini Projector

Mini portable projectors usually cost much more than their fixed alternatives. But this one offers both affordability and quality in one.

If you need a portable projector which does the job and can go with you on work trips, holidays and be set up for those spontaneous nights in, then look no further. It won’t give you the absolute best imagery with films, but is still plenty sufficient.

It is small and light, and easy to fit in a case on the move. The screen size ranges up to 120”, and the short throw capability means you don’t need a huge room for a good picture. It is also ideal for dark rooms, so why not turn off all the lights so you can see the detail?

It has a five-hour battery life which is almost double what is offered with most rivals. You can also fit to a tripod for a sturdy base. There is no wireless connectivity unfortunately, but you can still connect to your smartphone with the HDMI/MHL connections. Great if you want to stream the latest Netflix show.

If you don’t want to pay extravagant costs on a projector then get your hands on this. It isn’t as flash as a lot of others but yet still offers huge value for money!

Specifications

  • Type: Portable Projector
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • USB: USB Type-A x 1
  • Screen Size Range: 16
  • Start-up Time: 6 seconds

+ Downloads

Asus Zen Beam E1 Mini Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • It’s mini, and easy to transport
  • Can connect with smartphones
  • Plays 1080p
  • The low price!

We dislike

  • It isn’t the best picture available on the market

Final Verdict

Although the picture is not state of the art for movies, it’s more than sufficient for presentations and is capable of streaming 1080p. Perfect for the price and is small, making it easy to take around in a carry case.

Philips PicoPix PPX3417W Portable-Projector

If portability and convenience are top features when searching for your new projector, consider this Philips PicoPix PPX3417W. If you’ve already done some research on mini projectors then you’ll have seen the name dotted about – a firm favourite with users.

It’s light enough to carry and ideal for displaying images when a small monitor screen just won’t do. It will show up to 12-120″ of screen size, which is plenty to get immersed in the action.

It’s worth saying that you aren’t going to get the same level of image quality as with bigger models. It is designed for portability first, and stunning visuals second. But the LED technology does allow you to experience pretty fair quality visuals with just enough detail. Not quite HD, but good enough.

It is recommended highly for big boardroom meetings. There is a two hour battery life, Bluetooth connectivity and it is pretty hardy and resistant to being knocked or scratched.

Specifications

  • Brightness: 170 lumens
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • Screen size range: 12-120″
  • Contrast ratio: 1000:1
  • Connectivity: Mini HDMI x 1, USB x 1, SD memory card reader

+ Downloads

Philips PicoPix PPX3417W user manual

Download

We like

  • Compact and small
  • Incredible A+ energy efficiency
  • The most portable by far
  • Internal battery for up to 2 hours run time
  • Excellent image quality

We dislike

  • Fan quite loud but for the size, this is expected

Final Verdict

This would be best for small gatherings where you simply want more oomph for your visuals – wherever you need to go. You can display content via USB, memory card or HDMI cable, so overall it is a very flexible, pop-it-in-your-pocket option for the frequent traveler.

Best 3d Home Cinema Projectors

Acer V7850 4K Ultra Home Cinema Projector

The ultimate movie projector sure to catapult your viewing experience to the next level provides an easy set-up and works as part of a home movie system.

Sometimes if you want the best, you have to be willing to pay the money. It’s well worth it though, and will bring the cinema to you. The Acer projector has Ultra 4K viewing and Ultra HD, it’s perfect if you are looking to set it up in a dark room. The brightness level is 2200 lumens but this is not its speciality and it doesn’t need to be – it has been made for you to create a home cinema.

From the moment you press the on button, your product will instantly turn on. It comes complete with the projector, a power cord, remote control, battery for the controls, a quick start guide, user guide CD and a carrying case.

 

Specifications

  • Type: Movie Home Projector
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • USB: USB Type A x 1
  • Start-up Time: Instant
  • Screen Size Range: 26”- 301”

+ Downloads

Acer V7850 4K Ultra Home Cinema Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • Provides the ultimate movie experience
  • Brings the cinema to you
  • 2200 Lumens

We dislike

  • It is expensive but worth it for a projector of this stature.

Final Verdict

A movie projector with amazing picture and an easy-setup, it turns on instantly and has a manufacturer guarantee of 2 years. Makes for the perfect movie projector!

Optoma HD144x Full HD Home Cinema Projector

Full HD resolution, 3D capability, an integrated speaker and dynamic black technology to offer amazing colours. This projector is for anybody who is serious about their viewing. It performs just as well under daylight conditions as it does a completely dark room, so you don’t have to limit your boxset binge-watching to the evenings.

There is a 10W speaker built in, so you don’t have to fork out even more money on extra sound systems to get the most out of your new setup. This also makes it great for taking away with you if you wish, whether it be to a holiday home or just to a friends house.

In all, it offers a great picture, good sound, is bright and easy to set up. The perfect investment to change your home for the better.

Specifications

  • Type: Long throw
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Connections: HDMI x 2, MHL x 1, USB 2.0 x 1
  • Size Range: 28
  • Start-up Time: 1 minute

+ Downloads

OPTOMA HD144x Full HD Home Cinema Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • Quick set up
  • Really clear picture

We dislike

  • No wifi or Bluetooth

Final Verdict

Great picture for the price, whatever style or lighting in your room

Best Presentation Projectors

EPSON LS100 Full HD Home Cinema Projector

EPSON LS100 Full HD Home Cinema Projector

You are a television addict. Whether it be football every weekend, a film every night or getting through your 20 current box sets in record time, the picture is important. And you know the difference between a good display and a bad one.

The best way to do the picture justice is to get a projector that will display every minute detail in full quality. You can place it just 6 cm away from the desired screen space and still get a brilliant picture, which is ideal if you are short on space. Should you have the luxury, move it back slightly to make the most of the full 130” screen possibility.

There are plenty of connection ports so you can connect up every device, such as your set-top box and gaming systems, without having to choose one over the other. The iProjection app lets you switch between them all without disturbing any wiring.

3LCD technology gives you a crisper, brighter picture than most projectors can offer, and the laser light source will keep this picture at it’s best for years to come, if not decades.

Specifications

  • Type: Ultra short throw
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • Connections: HDMI x 3, MHL x 1, VGA x 1, Composite x 1, USB 2.0 x 3
  • Size Range: Up to 130”
  • Start-up Time: Instant

+ Downloads

EPSON LS100 Full HD Home Cinema Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • Choice of connections
  • Laser light quality
  • Ultra-short throw

We dislike

  • Price - but it is for the serious viewers

Final Verdict

For work, for play, for trips away - Epson has your back and you cannot get much better. Which, for the price, you would expect really.

Epson EB-S41 Office Projector

This powerful projector can utilised for both business and pleasure with its 3300 lumens ensuring a perfect picture.

Visual aids have been stimulating professional minds for decades and that’s why projectors can be so integral, this office projector is a great all-rounder with its capability of hosting both movies, pictures and presentations. A bug bear of many- is having to stand and set-up a projector in-front of a number of new people, thankfully this product takes just six seconds to start and can be hooked up to a television, computer or laptop.

It comes with a carry case and can be easily transported from presentation to presentation, with that said; it can double up as your home movie system. It has been made to last with 15 years worth of playback and that’s if you watch a whole film every single day.

This SVGA projector can be embraced from big screens; it has a bright screen and can adjust to natural or bright lights accordingly. It can be connected via HDMI or VGA.

Specifications

  • Type: Office Projector/Long Throw
  • Resolution: 800 x 600
  • USB: 2 x 2.0
  • Screen Size Range: 30”- 350”
  • Start-up Time: 6 Seconds

+ Downloads

Epson EB-S41 Office Projector User Manual

Download

We like

  • Can be used for both work and home
  • Easy to transport
  • 3300 lumens
  • Great price

We dislike

  • The resolution is only 800 x 600

Final Verdict

Brilliant for the price, only we’d rather stick to office use for this projector, it adjusts great to natural light and is very bright. The resolution on the other hand means that it probably should stay for work and maybe the odd movie.

Projectors Buying Guide

Brightness

Projector brightness refers to how bright the overall image created by your projector will be, and is measured in lumens. This is where you should consider the location it will primarily be used in. The brighter the room, the higher you want the lumens count to be, in order to ensure the best image clarity.

Resolution

The resolution of your projector determines how many pixels there are in the projected image. The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution and the sharper the image. Pixels are measured both horizontally and vertically, for example, an HD model would be 1920 x 1080 pixels – that’s 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 vertically (the horizontal number comes first).

Choose your screen resolution based on what you’re mostly going to project. If it’s mostly for watching films or playing games, then you’re best off with Full HD. However, if you’re more likely to be displaying presentations and using it in a business context, you should opt for 800 x 600 instead. There are also variations in between, so do some research beforehand.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is what determines the shape of the picture it will play. This is important when it comes to selecting a model for the right context. A widescreen TV that plays movies will usually have an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 16:10, so if you’re getting a home cinema model, aim for this. However, if you’re using it for business, then bear in mind that most PC monitors are actually 4:3. For optimal viewing, try to find a projector that has the correct aspect ratio for the content you want to display.

Contrast Ratio

Unlike aspect ratio, contrast ratio refers instead to dark and light. An image with high contrast is one where the bright areas are very bright, and the dark areas very dark. The higher the contrast ratio, the better it will be at projecting dark and light images, which is ideal for movies and gaming.

Connectivity

When selecting your projector, give some thought to how you will transfer files across and connect to other devices. Some projectors have many connectivity options, where others are limited. HDMI ports, USB ports and SD card readers are all useful features that can save you hassle when trying to play or display your files.

Portability

Portability is a nice feature in projectors, but it’s not essential if you’re mostly going to be keeping your projector in one place. For carrying around, a projector that is compact and lightweight is going to save you a lot of hassle. However, the tradeoff is that usually the image quality suffers slightly as a result. If you’re going to be taking your projector to various different locations on a regular basis, a portable option is advised.

Hopefully this article has been helpful in providing you with some projector-buying tips. Which one will you go for and why?