Projector Reviews

Best in Class – Smartest Pocket Projector: LG MiniBeam PF1000U

lg-pf1000u

The LG MiniBeam PF1000U is more of a special interest “pocket” projector. It’s much larger than any of the others (4.5” tall, 5.2” wide, and 12.1” long), yet it is still quite portable and can be found in our Pocket Projectors Category Page on ProjectorReviews.com. It is one of the first projectors I ever saw fired up, back when I first started working with Art in 2016. This projector would’ve been a clear winner in the Over $500 Class due to its feature set, but I didn’t feel right about pitting it against the other pocket projectors that are priced around $599, when the PF1000U goes for $1,399. Still, I believe this projector deserves some recognition, so the LG MiniBeam PF1000U gets the award for Best in Class – Smartest Pocket Projector.

Overview

The LG MiniBeam PF1000U is a $1,399.99 projector with 1080p resolution – 1920 x 1080 pixels – and could easily be described as a portable smart TV. LG is well known for having smart TVs, with built-in apps for streaming video, and other such smart features – their projectors generally follow suit. The PF1000U has online apps and a browser, enabling you to watch your favorite content on YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. This is one of the first projectors to have these built-in apps when it hit the market.

Best Pico and Pocket Projectors Report - Best in Class: Pico Projector LG MiniBeam PF1000U

This LG has a TV tuner that can scan local channels in your area via an antenna (not included) that hooks up to the coaxial input. Art said in his review of the PF1000U that it didn’t pick up that many channels, but could be used as a free alternative to watching TV. Personally, I don’t care much about this, as I don’t think I want to see anything on local channels, but it is definitely a nice touch. The projector also has Bluetooth audio in addition to its 3-watt speakers (which sound good), so if you want to send the sound to a superior sound system, you can. The LG MiniBeam PF1000U has built-in Wi-Fi and Miracast capabilities.

That’s just the projector’s capabilities. Now, let’s talk color. According to Art’s review, the PF1000U has one truly usable mode – the projector’s brightest mode – called Standard. Standard had the best color and brightness measurement, coming in at 1,021 lumens. That is the brightest measurement of all projectors included in this report, but none of these, this LG included, are suited for your bright room. Still, 1,021 lumens is bright enough to handle some mild ambient light, so you’ll easily be able to use it with the shades drawn. (If you’ve got a bright room with little control over ambient light, see our 2018 Best Home Theater Projectors Report.)

This LG has the bare minimum of inputs and connectors. There are two HDMI inputs, with one that can also work with MHL devices like a Roku Stick, Amazon Fire TV, or Chromecast. There is the coaxial connector for the TV tuner’s 75-ohm antenna (not included), Component and Composite Video ports, as well as outputs for wired and optical audio, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. The projector’s remote control is fast and easy to use, which is a major plus when searching for content using the built-in apps or web browser. Like the others, the LG MiniBeam PF1000U has an LED light engine, rated at up to 30,000 hours. It is an ultra short throw, so its placement is only a foot or so back from the screen or wall surface to project a large image.

The Bottom Line on the LG MiniBeam PF1000U

Bottom Line: Good color balance in Standard Mode, with enough brightness for home entertainment use in rooms with good lighting control. Though on the larger side of pocket projectors, it is extremely portable and has the highest lumen count of any of the projectors included in this report. Can you find a brighter, more affordable home entertainment projector (possibly even 4K if you’re willing to stretch your budget by $100)? Absolutely. But, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything as smart as this LG. If you do need something with more brightness, check out our already-mentioned 2018 Best Home Theater Projectors Report.

LG MiniBeam PF1000U Review