The pocket projectors category includes the latest technology in ultra-portable projectors, micro projectors, and pico projectors for laptops and device integration. See below for a list of pocket projector reviews and information pages.
Pocket projectors earn their name from being small enough to fit in your pants pocket, and weigh above 0.75 lbs. (but rarely over a pound). These projectors are extremely convenient and are ideal for portable use.
However, when compared with the smallest size class, pico projectors, bulk is the real difference as opposed to weight. Though a bit larger in size than their tiny competition, pocket projectors pack more punch.
Today’s pocket projectors typically offer between 200 and 800 lumens, most have resolutions of WXGA or lower but in 2014 we saw the first of the 1080p resolution pocket projectors.
Broadly speaking, pocket projectors are under 2 lbs., use a solid state light source (LED or laser), and have a small physical footprint. Most use DLP technology, a few have laser rather than LED light engines.
Pocket Projector Reviews
AAXA M6 Pocket LED Projector Review
The AAXA M6 is a bright, single chip DLP pocket-class projector with LED technology. Instead of a lamp, the 1,200 lumen M6 features three LED lights - >>
Check out our 2016 Holiday Projector Shopping Guides
This year, give a gift that your favorite family member, best friend, or - even yourself - one anyone will be elated to receive. Amp up your stocking >>
The Optoma ML750ST LED Projector Review – Part 1
The Optoma ML750ST, reviewed here, is a tiny, portable, short throw LED projector. The question we're asking: Is the ML750ST suitable for cord cutting >>
LG MiniBeam PF1000U Projector Review
Small, but packed with features, LG's MiniBeam PF1000U is an ultra-short throw projector that includes a TV tuner, wireless networking and one of the >>
Millennials and Projectors: Optoma ML750 LED Projector Review: Part 2
This is part two of my 'life experience' review of the Optoma ML750 LED Projector. It differs from our typical review in that I'll rely heavily on personal >>
AAXA P700 HD Pocket LED Projector Review
AAXA P700 - An affordable WXGA resolution, 650 lumen Pocket LED Projector - With built in battery!
Check out our 2015 Holiday Projector Shopping Guides
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Sony MP-CL1 Pico Laser Projector Review
Over the past couple of years, I’ve generally skipped bringing in pico projectors for review, choosing, instead to focus on the larger, brighter, heavier >>
Millennials and Projectors: The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 730HD
For those of you who don't know me, I'm Lisa, Art's 23-year-old daughter living in New York City. In this short review, I'm actually writing about >>
The Optoma ML750 LED Projector – Review Part 1
I'm Lisa, Art's 23-year-old daughter living in New York City. I'm living with the Optoma ML750, which I will write about and review throughout a four >>
LG Minibeam PW800 Projector Review
The LG Minibeam PW800 is a LED powered single chip DLP pocket-class projector. It is one of several models of pico and pocket class LED projectors >>
LG Minibeam PH300 Projector Review
It claims at a respectable 300 lumens of brightness and includes a built-in rechargeable battery that is rated to operate the projector for up to 2.5 >>
ViewSonic PLED-W800 LED Projector Review
The PLED-W800 is an LED projector from Viewsonic. Claiming 800 lumens, this larger pocket projector is one of the brightest projectors in this class. >>
NEC NP-L102W Projector Review
The NEC NP-L102W is a nicely compact LED projector with WXGA resolution (1280x800) primarily suitable as a lightweight portable business and education >>
Pocket Projector Reviews Reviews
About Pocket Projectors
Recently, pocket projectors and pico projectors have been sort of lumped together, but pocket projectors are a distinct breed of their own. Pocket projectors (also known as mini projectors) earn their name because they can fit into a shirt or pants pocket. To put size perspective, a pocket projector is typically about the size of a thick paperback book, though the proportions vary depending on the model. Pocket projectors typically use an LED light source and are smaller than conventional projectors.
If you’re tired of fiddling with a heavy and cumbersome projector for your presentations, pocket projectors and pico projectors are excellent options. Neither can provide the same brightness or image quality as a standard projector, but they’re suitable alternatives.
Compared to the smaller pico projectors, pocket projectors are the more capable choice. They are far brighter than pico projectors, offering 100-300 lumens compared to the current pico maximum of 50 lumens. A pico, therefore, is not bright enough to handle a typical office space, but a pocket project can. Pocket projectors are also higher resolution than pico projectors. These factors make them better suited for presentations.
Pocket projectors normally have a separate power brick with some real weight. One thing to consider about the larger pocket projector is that, while the projectors themselves are always under 2 lbs., the power bricks can approach one pound in weight depending on how large or bright the pocket projector is. Therefore, the required power bricks should be factored into the total weight.
Originally, pocket projectors such as the Mistubishi PK20, which is now several years old, were battery powered like the modern pico projector. Because of their convenience, pocket projectors were very popular with missionaries abroad. They made presentations easy when traveling, for example, across Africa from village to village. Recently, though, we have seen a resurface of the original battery powered pocket projector in addition to the current power brick.
We have seen some big changes in pocket projectors in the second half of 2010. Pocket projectors are moving up to the same resolution as many portable business projectors, including SVGA, XGA and WXGA (with the last two seen in 90% of business projectors). Also, pocket projectors are now as bright as the early portable projectors of 15 years ago, and are definitely capable of projecting a 4-5 ft. diagonal image in a conference room with moderate lighting.
The capabilities of pocket and pico projectors are constantly expanding. Recently, we have seen the emergence of HDMI and mini-HDMI jacks. All but the least expensive models now seem to have computer inputs as well, and even the ones lacking those have media players that allow for presentations.
We are also now seeing card slots, USB inputs, S-video inputs, and VGA in addition to the standard composite video source. Let’s examine the differences in input panels between a pico and pocket projector.
First image is the LG HX300G pocket projector, which accepts HDMI, VGA, composite video, DC, audio input, and USB input.
Second image is the Optoma PK301 pico projector, one of the better-equipped pico projectors. It includes VGA, mini-HDMI, DC, micro USB, audio input/output and a MicroSD card slot.
Pocket projectors typically run from $350-800, but the smaller pico projectors are usually around $200-400, with the least expensive starting at $100.
- Smaller and more portable than conventional projectors
- Brighter than pico projectors and therefore better suited for presentations
- 100-300 lumens that, while not as bright as “full-sized” projectors, are competent
- LED light source with no replacement cost
- Higher resolution than pico projectors, from VGA (640×480) to wide XVGA in its most common form (1280×800)
For information on pocket projectors and their competitors, pico projectors, check out The 2010 Pico Projector and Pocket Projector Guide and Reviews