Projectors have come a long way since their initial release. They were originally introduced into the technological world as large and noisy machines, and were mostly used in businesses and universities, so the average consumer could not afford them. But, as they grew in popularity, they became less and less expensive and more available to the public. Eventually, they became so popular that mini projectors were developed and began their own new product category.
So, what are they? The best mini projectors for gaming are just that: tiny projectors that are able to connect to just about any source and create a giant image on a projection screen, wall, fence, or whatever it is pointed at.
They are portable, and ideal if you are always traveling or on the go because they do not take up much space. Also, they do not give up much in terms of the other full-size projector models.
Best Mini Projectors For Gaming
Before you buy your mini projector, you will need to begin by comparing certain specifications, looking at different brands/models, and identifying your needs. For example: how big of an image are you going to need to project? Remember – projection images are always measured diagonally, so keep that in mind when you are shopping for your ideal mini projector size. Mini projectors can produce images that are anywhere from 60-170 inches, leaving the options wide open.
Below are the five top picks for mini projectors for gaming:
1. VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Projector – Best Overall
This projector is one of the most affordable mini projectors on the market. It comes with a 1920×1080 resolution, which was crafted to give you a superior gaming projector experience. You can also connect this mini projector to multiple different devices including a Playstation (any type), X-Box (any type), or even your smartphone or tablet.
The other huge selling point about this particular model is that is comes equipped with a fan suppression system, so you as a consumer, do not have to worry about loud fan noises during your favorite movie, game, or even while entertaining your children. This fan suppression system was created and equipped in this model to cut the noises of the fan running in half, and it most certainly does.
2. DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector
This mini projector is much more compact than your average mini projector at first glance. This one is built around portability, and for the consumer that travels frequently. It also only weighs 3 pounds, making it portable, easy to pack, and easy to carry. It comes with the standard ports: VGA, HDMI, USB, and auxiliary ports.
It also has a power cord input as well, which makes it easy to connect to any device you would like to project from. It is worth noting, however, that if you want to hook it up to your smartphone or iPad, you will need to invest in an adapter.
DR. J Professional HI-04
Video resolution in this mini projector is 840 x 480. Immediately off the bat, it does not sound special or impressive whatsoever. However, it can support up to 1080p resolutions along with some downscaling (this means that it will automatically adjust the input resolution to display the projection seamlessly on the 840 x 480 screen)
This is handy because the watchers of the projection do not realize that the mini projector is not projecting in full HD mode. Movies and gaming will come across beautifully, but anything in PPT, Word, Excel, or office products may come across blurry, leaving the consumer disappointed.
Its cooling system is also something that consumers rave about. Projectors are known to heat up quickly, but this mini projector worked its way around that inconvenience. This mini projector is equipped with two small fans in the case that are absolutely essential – especially if this mini projector is going to be used for long periods of time. These fans are quiet and keep the air at an ideal level. It is also sound-free except for a small hum that can only be heard if you put your eat right next to it.
This mini projector is recommended in dark environments, which is what it excels at. It can easily become white-washed in rooms with a lot of natural light or light leakage. It will work seamlessly outside as long as it’s dusk or night. The only drawback is the integrated internal speaker, which is loud enough, but not clear enough for an immersive experience into whatever you’re projecting.
3. QKK Mini Projector – Budget Pick
This mini-projector is essentially three important things: portable, bright, and budget-friendly. It excels in moderately-dark lit rooms, and is small enough that you can carry, pack, or bring it wherever you desire. It is also very cost effective for the quality that you are getting when you purchase it. This mini projector also comes equipped with a LED bulb that will last for decades before it will ever need replaced.
However, it is worth noting that this mini projector does have a weakness in its build structure and that is how fragile it is. As though this almost goes without saying… the best mini projectors for gaming are not built to be as sturdy as regular projectors, so the quality is not as high. However, this projector does do its job when it comes to a comparison against bulker projectors.
This mini projector is also fairly versatile, offering a wide support for many common video formats. It supports MPEG, MOV, AVI, VOB, RM, and MKV. It is worth noting that for this particular projector, it does not support the .gif format. (if you’re looking for something that supports Office, then you will just need to convert your files to one of the supported formats)
4. APEMAN M4 Mini Portable Projector – Premium Pick
The Apeman mini portable projector is designed not only for indoor, but also for outdoor use. It can be powered by a rechargeable battery pack as well, which makes it comparable to many other mini projectors in the field. It is also equipped with a built-in stereo speakers along with a tripod mount that allows for 360 degree movement and placement.
It was crafted for use in home cinemas, parties, outside entertainment, etc. It is also equipped with advanced DLP technology, which provides this mini projector with 70% brighter and 50% sharper images, and supports full HD 1080P. This means that as long as it’s within a distance of 1-4 meters, it can create an image from 30 inches to 100 inches.
It also has a low noise ratio, and is equipped with the latest cooling technology and made from highly durable and high-quality materials. This makes the noise created by the mini projector almost unnoticeable.
It also has a lens lifetime of up to 45000 hours – this means you can use your mini projector for up to three times a day for forty years. It also boasts many forms of connectivity: laptops, DVD, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, or whatever you can hook up with an HDMI cable. The last and most foremost feature that makes this mini projector stand out is the 360 degree rotation on its tripod. It also comes with a 3-year and 60 day assurance.
5. Vamvo L4200 Mini Projector
The you are looking for a great balance between price and quality, the Vamvo L4200 is the perfect mini projector for you. This mini projector was crafted with 1500 lumens that make it 50% brighter than ordinary LED projectors, with a 800 x 400 native resolution screen.
A huge selling point for this mini projector is its capability to deliver bigger screen sizes – from 30 inches to 100 inches. The best distance of projection is approximately six to nine feet and the size of 70 to 90 inches away. This mini projector is also light and portable, as well as smart and affordable.
It also comes with a free HDMI cable, making it easy to connect and project to anything with an HDMI port. It also has Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities, making it easy to connect to whatever you need to project.
How To Select The Best Mini Projector For Gaming
Before choosing a mini projector for your gaming experience, there are many things that you need to consider from refresh rates to contrast ratios.
Here are some things to consider before buying the right mini projector for your ultimate gaming experience:
Native 1080p Resolutions
In your search for mini projectors, make sure to look for models that have a 1080p resolution. Only certain models display every pixel supported. Some of the models can be deceiving in this regard and boast a high resolution while leaving consumers disappointed and having to begin their search again.
Be sure to look for models that have a native resolution of 1920 x 1080. This means that the mini projector projects an image with that many pixels by ultimate default. Keep in mind that when a mini projector says it supports up to 1080p, but lists a lower native resolution (such as 1280 x 720 or even 720p), it means the mini projector can accept a 1080p resolution source, but will work to downgrade it to its native resolution of 720p or less when it is projecting.
Contrasts ratios are just as important, so be sure to consider those as well. The recommended ratio is a minimum of 10000:1, though the greater ratio the mini projector lists, the better it is. This is especially important in gaming because games have various color images. Remember – lower contrast ratios may lead to objects being unseen in dark and/or shadowy areas with little to no light omitting.
In the mini projector field, brightness is somewhat of a much more controversial subject than even screen resolution. It is easy to measure how bright a projector is very simply because every mini projector comes with a lumens rating. This tells you how bright it is projecting: 1500 lumens is low, where as 3000 is high. What most consumers do not understand is that the brightness of your screen doesn’t just depend on those lumens, but on a wide array of factors.
The largest of these factors is ambient light, but this is also one that is easy to overcome: instead of spending hundreds of extra dollars on a projector that is brighter, invest in window blinds or project the image somewhere with less natural light. However, do not go too low when it comes to the brightness factor of your mini projector. Go for something in the middle, and that is rated high.
This is huge when it comes to related points in the mini projector field. This could also be considered a shadow detail, but it is undeniable performance measure when it comes to gaming projectors. Not to mention, it actually ends up baffling most consumers.
Contrast ratios are formed from a simple idea: they measure the difference between the brightest spot a projector can display versus the darkest. When you are playing a video game, the difference between the two can be striking. If your contrast ratio while you are in the middle of a game is not high enough, recent HD games do not look good on your projector (or even your TV or desktop) at all. It could be because the shadows are too light, or the lighting is incredibly over-saturated. This in turn makes all the colors lose their power.
When it comes to contrast ratios, however, the numbers are huge, but are easily understandable. For example: a cheap projector will give you 5000:1, where as a really expensive mini projector will give you 100,000:1. Make sure to get a mini projector with a decent resolution package, and one that has plenty of brightness. The ones you will be searching for will be 40,000:1 in most situations.
Optimal Resolution For Gaming
When it comes to gaming, a lot of consumers discuss resolution like it’s a single thing that is the measure of how good a mini projector/monitor/cell phone is. While it is important, what really matters when it comes to resolution is how far you are away from the screen. This is why monitor resolutions are the exact same resolutions as your cell phone is.
So, it is not a good idea to sell yourself short when it comes to resolutions. Most games are made in HD so they look good in HD, but 1080p is only now becoming the most dominant resolution. This does not just go for gaming, but for home cinema systems as well.
Even if your game isn’t in 1080p yet, it is the better move to get a mini projector that can handle it, because there will be games coming out down the road that will be in 1080p. However, keep in mind that 1080p is still a compromise between high and low resolution.
Before you buy your first mini monitor, take in a few considerations. The first is: how big of an image do you need to project? Remember that these projections are measured diagonally, so it would be wise to use a tape measure to measure the surface of what you will be projecting on.
Also, keep in mind that mini projectors can produce images of 60 to 170 inches, so you will have many options to choose from. Keep in mind where you are planning on using your mini projector as well, and prioritize your image resolution, as previously talked about.
The last thing to keep in mind is if you will be traveling with your mini projector. If you will be, search for a mini projector that you can easily conceal, or bring with you on the go.
No matter what your need or requirement for a mini projector is, there are multiple to choose from.
If you are planning on purchasing the best mini projector for gaming, you can click on any of the hyperlinks underneath of the listed ones above.
Looking for free standing monitor stand? Check out the best standing monitor stand.