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2024 Outdoor & Portable Projector Buyer’s Guide - Ultra-Portable Projectors: Smart Features and a Battery

Posted on November 8, 2022 by Zachary Zanger

The last section of our Buyer’s Guide celebrates the best in ultra-portable projectors, combining built-in sound, smart features, and durability AND the convenience of a built-in battery. The very best in ultraportable projectors don’t need an external video source, a power cord, or external sound.

Nebula Capsule 3 Laser

The Nebula Capsule 3 Laser is a portable compact projector with an integrated battery and retails for $799.99. It can reproduce Full HD (1920x1280) resolution and project images up to 120”. While most portable projectors rely on LED light sources, the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser utilizes a laser light source rated to deliver 300 ANSI lumens which is impressive for its compact size.

The projector is nearly the same size as your typical canned beverage. Due to its compact size, the Capsule 3 Laser can be quickly moved from place to place. In addition, the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser will automatically focus and apply keystone correction when the unit is pointed at an angle or bumped out of alignment if you enable the setting.

Nebula Capsule 3 Laser Specs

Brightness300 ANSI lumens
Resolution1920 x 1080
Light SourceLED
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours (ECO mode)
InputsHDMI x 2, ARC
Portability – size2.1 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 2.5 hours
Portability – smartAndroid TV 11
Portability - durabilityIPX2, drop-resistant
Sound8 watt Speaker


BenQ GS50 Portable LED Smart Projector

The BenQ GS50 portable projector is at home outdoors

The big brother GS50 shares many features with its smaller sibling the GV30. Both projectors offer a built-in battery with up to 2.5 hours of battery life. The GS50 and GV30 both come with BenQ’s QS01 Android TV (ATV) Dongle for HDMI media streaming. The QS0I Android TV Dongle is easily installed into the second HDMI input port, which is concealed under a dongle cover. The BenQ GS50 and GV30 both come with an attractive Heather Grey padded carrying case.

The brighter 500 ANSI lumen GS50 also steps up to Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. The GS50 also offers a powerful 2.1 channel audio system with dual 5-watt midrange tweeters and a 10-watt woofer. The cabinet is specially designed to deliver 270 degrees of sound, no matter where your friends sit in the backyard, they’re going to hear cinematic sound effects, booming music, and even whispered conversations. And of course, like the GV30, the GS50 can be used as a handy portable Bluetooth speaker.

Realistic audio is combined with a realistic picture. Optimized picture modes powered by BenQ’s CinematicColor and 98% Rec. 709 offers a wide color range for more saturated and realistic color. The GS50 supports HDR10 and HLG so you’re going to get brighter highlights and not only deeper black details but more details in those dark areas.

The GS50 also has a worry-free durable design that is ergonomically designed for a rugged and active lifestyle. The GS50 is IPX2 splash-resistant, with light splashes being channeled out of the projector and splash-resistant film protecting the speakers. An IPX2 rating means the GS50 can resist water that hits the projector at a 15° angle or less. The testing for an IPX2 rating includes a test duration of 10 minutes and a water equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute. The projector is also 2.3-foot drop-resistant thanks to its double protection of a 1mm-thick water-resistant TPU inner layer and a drop-resistant outer resin.

BenQ GS50 Specs

Brightness500 ANSI lumens
Resolution1080 x 1920
Light SourceLED
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours (ECO mode)
InputsHDMI x 2, ARC
Portability – size5.7 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 2.5 hours
Portability – smartAndroid TV dongle
Portability - durabilityIPX2, drop-resistant
Sound2.1 channel with “Extra Bass” Can function as a Bluetooth speaker


BenQ GV30 Portable LED Smart Projector

BenQ GV30
The BenQ GV30 portable projector with extra bass

The GV30 is a smart all-in-one High Definition (HD) 1280 x 720p portable LED projector. The GV30’s brightness is rated at 300 ANSI lumens. The LED light source is rated to last up to 20,000 hours on Normal Mode and 30,000 hours on ECO Mode. A power outlet is not needed to enjoy the GB30 it has a built-in battery that is rated to last up to 2.5 hours.

The GV30 is more compact than its larger, heavier, more rugged GS50 big brother. Weighing less than 4 lbs and including a convenient carry strap, the portability of the GV30 makes it an excellent choice for neighborhood block parties, outdoor gyms, or office retreats.

With the Android TV Operating System with 5000+ native apps, the BenQ GV30 is ready to entertain. Smart features are seamlessly integrated. The on-screen menus are well laid out and easy to navigate. In addition, the GV30 has popular streaming apps like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube. You can also instantly cast any content from your handy smartphone, tablet, or PC.

The BenQ GV30 flexes its ultraportable chops by adding a 2.1 channel sound system to its battery powered, light, and compact form factor. BenQ claims the GV30 is the world’s first portable 720p HD 2.1 channel projector and says that it will deliver resonant bass, solid mid-range, and crisp treble. The built-in 2.1 channel features dual 4-watt midrange tweeters AND a powerful 8-watt woofer. If you’re camping under the stars or watching flicks in the backyard, it’s going to feel more like a real movie experience. Bass adds real power and a sense of realism – sure, you’ll appreciate the power of explosions, but you will also get enhanced dialog, music, and other subtle effects. You can even use the GV30 as a portable Bluetooth speaker.

In addition to this powerful onboard sound system, you’ll also find optimized sound modes to improve the sound quality in movies, shows, sports, games, and music.

BenQ GV30 Specs

Brightness300 ANSI lumens
Resolution1280 x 720
Light SourceLamp
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours (ECO mode)
InputsHDMI x 2
Portability – size3.53 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 2.5 hours
Portability – smartAndroid TV dongle
Sound2.1 channel with “Extra Bass” Can function as a Bluetooth speaker


XGIMI Halo Portable LED Projector

XGIMI Halo Best in Class Award Winner
XGIMI Halo Best in Class Award Winner

The XGIMI Halo is a smart 1080P DLP projector that offers exceptional brightness for a portable unit. The Halo has a rated brightness of 600-800 lumens. You will enjoy 600 lumens when the Halo runs off its internal battery and the full 800 lumens with the Halo plugged into an AC outlet.

The Halo has a small rectangular shape. It weighs only 3.52 lbs and is 4.47 inches x 5.71 inches by 6.75 inches. It utilizes a highly efficient LED light source, which allows the Halo to project bright and clear images for its entire LED lifespan of 30,000 hours. Halo is a DLP projector that can deliver a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The XGIMI Halo also supports video formats of up to 4K Ultra HD.

The Halo is powered by Android TV, you have apps and capabilities that are also found in a Smart flat panel TV. Halo includes Google Assistant, which allows you to control the projector with your voice. Simply press and hold the only colored button on the remote, the Google Assistant mic button, and you are ready to operate the Halo. Some of the things you are able to use voice control for would be to ask the projector to “Go to my projector settings” or “Play music.”

With Android TV built in, the Halo provides seamless access to popular streaming services, including Hulu, HBO Max, and YouTube, right out of the box. The Halo with the Android TV OS makes it easy to access the streaming entertainment you enjoy.

The Halo also has a built-in media player and that can access files via its USB inputs. The USB input can be used to play back many different types of media (videos, MP3, photos, etc.). The USB input on the Halo can also be used to connect other tools, such as a keyboard, game controller, or mouse.

The Halo has two 5-watt Harman Kardon built-in speakers, located on the sides of the unit. The speakers provide good sound for a portable projector and are loud enough for an average-sized room. When you use the included remote to change the volume, the level is conveniently displayed on-screen.

For maximum portability, the Halo is equipped with a built-in battery which, according to XGIMI, allows up to eight hours of music playback or up to four hours of video playback time. This really enhances the unit’s portability and makes it a great option for a backyard theater or watching a movie at a campsite.

XGIMI Halo Specs

Brightness600 – 800 ANSI lumens
Resolution1920 X 1080
Light SourceLED
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours
InputsHDMI 1.4/2.0 input, 1 USB 2.0
Portability – sizeWeighs less than 4 lbs
Portability – power8 hours of music, 4 hours of video playback
Portability – smartAndroid TV
SoundTwo 5-watt Harman Kardon built-in speakers


Wemax Go Advanced

Wemax Go Advanced featured image

The Wemax Go Advanced is a smart all-in-one Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) portable Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector that uses a Texas Instruments 0.23″ Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). Wemax rates the brightness of the Go Advanced at 600 ANSI lumens. The laser-light source is rated to last over 25,000 hours. In addition, the Go Advanced has a built-in battery that is rated to last up to 1.5 hours.

In addition to measuring about an inch thick, the Wemax Go Advanced weighs only 1.7 lbs, making this projector potentially valuable to users that are always on the go! The Go Advanced is useful at an office, a conference, offsite event, or even in your car. 

The Wemax Go Advanced uses an integrated smart operating system, designed to allow access to almost any content such as YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Disney+, and many more with the Aptoide third-party app store. I’ve had inconsistent experiences with Aptoide so I’ll be looking at how apps from this market perform on this projector. If there are any issues the Wemax Go Advanced casting capabilities are built-in, so content can be viewed from your phone or tablet.

WemaX Go Advanced Specs

Price$1,198 MSRP
Brightness600 ANSI lumens
Resolution1080 x 1920
Light SourceDLP Laser
Light Source Lifespan25,000 hours
Portability – size1.7 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 1.5 hours of battery life
Portability – smartAndroid TV OS
SoundMono 2-watt speaker


Philips PicoPix Max Projector

Functionality of a Smart TV with the portability of a paperback novel

The PicoPix Max is a Full HD (1,920 x1,080) DLP projector with a rated lamp life of over 30,000 hours. The PicoPix Max delivered a surprisingly clear and pleasing image in an impressively small package. It is incredibly versatile thanks to the integrated WiFi, battery, and various apps that come pre-installed. The Android-based OS is easy to learn and has an intuitive interface for the many features.

Philips says the PicoPix Max battery is good for up to 3 hours of use on a full charge. I was able to watch 1 hour and 20 minutes of a movie in “Presentation mode”, which is the brightest of the 3 modes. 

It has the potential to be a powerful tool for both business and pleasure thanks to its numerous options for projecting content. Users can wirelessly cast their content to the projector via Screencast and Miracast, load up to 16GB of content directly onto the machine, or connect a separate device such as an external hard drive or gaming platform via USB, or HDMI connections. The PicoPix Max also has a built-in media player, so almost any popular format of content can be played.

Automatic image correction (focus, zoom, keystone) makes the PicoPix Max user friendly for even the most technologically challenged individuals. 

Philip PicoPix Max Specs

Brightness850 ANSI lumens
Resolution1080 x 1920
Light SourceLamp
Light Source LifespanOver 30,000 hours (ECO mode)
InputsWireless display and mirroring
Portability – size1.87 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 3 hours of battery life
Portability – smartBuilt-in Android OS and
Android App Support
Portability - memory16Gb internal memory
SoundDual 4-watt speakers, Bluetooth audio


Wemax Dice

Wemax_Dice right angle with remote

The Wemax Dice is a 1080p Full HD 4LED projector rated at 700 ANSI lumens. The 4LED-light source is rated to last up to 30,000 hours of light source life, providing years of maintenance-free operation.

This remarkably sized mobile projector is powered by Android TV OS and supports the Google Play app store, unlike other Wemax projectors I’ve reviewed. The Dice is loaded with popular streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video, HULU, HBO Max, AppleTV+, Paramount+, Peacock, and YouTube, provided through the Google Play application store. I experienced no issues getting any applications I downloaded to run on the projector. 

The Wemax Dice has decent out-of-the-box color accuracy compared to other portable projectors I’ve reviewed. The Dice is not a home theater projector but offers some useful, out-of-the-box picture preset modes. I especially like the Movie and Standard presets. The Dice can reproduce 100% of the Rec.709 color gamut displaying over 16.7M distinct colors.

The projector’s brightness is more than enough when using it in a darker space, which lets it shine. However, the image will dim if you introduce even a small amount of light into the room.

Wemax Dice Specs

Price$699 MSRP
Brightness700 ANSI lumens
Resolution1080 x 1920
Light SourceDLP
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours
Portability – size4.9 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 3 hours of battery life
Portability – smartAndroid TV OS
Sound10W Dolby Audio


ASUS ZenBeam L2

ASUS ZenBeam L2 Smart Projector - Projector Reviews - Image

The ASUS ZenBeam L2 is a portable smart LED projector that offers a battery-powered big-screen movie experience in a surprisingly small package. With 960 lumens and a 1080p resolution, this small projector is another entry in this growing marketplace for miniature portable projectors. ASUS has created a compact and aesthetically pleasing product that will look good sitting on a nightstand, and be easy to bring with you for movie nights away from home. However, despite the impressive brightness, colors, and portability, this projector has as many oddities as it does features.

With the primary goal of being portable, this projector’s strongest features are its small size and simple design. Like other projectors in this category, the ASUS ZenBeam L2 is a smart projector. However, the smart features are powered by an included Android TV Box from HAKO mini which creates a conflicting user experience that is far from seamless.

Project an image of up to 120” with a battery life of up to 3.5 hours. For sound, you’ll be listening to the built-in harmon/kardon 10w speaker. The included ports give you all of the basic connectivity options, including USB and HDMI inputs. Use the included carrying handle to bring the ASUS ZenBeam L2 with you wherever you go, with no need for any additional accessories. If you do have accessories to take along, the carrying case is a nice touch that has room for the projector, along with some extra space for a few other things.

ASUS ZenBeam Specs

Price$699 MSRP
Brightness960 LED Lumens
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p)
Light SourceRGB LED
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours
Portability – size1.57 lbs
Portability – powerUp to 3.5 hours of playtime
Portability – smartWireless Casting, Bundle Android TV Box
SoundSingle 10-watt speaker 


Nebula Mars 3

Nebula Mars 3 Award - Projector Reviews - Image

The Nebula Mars 3 is a portable smart projector that retails for $1099.00. It can deliver 1080P resolution and has a rated brightness of 1000 ANSI lumens. It is equipped with a high-capacity battery power bank large enough to deliver up to 5 hours of viewing and it can be used to charge mobile smart devices. 

In the world of projectors, there is an emerging new subcategory: battery-powered portable projectors. While there have been a few attempts at getting this right, these products often come with the drawback of low resolution, poor battery life, or a lamp that struggles with brightness. The Nebula Mars 3 is the first product I’ve seen that can produce a decent portable movie-watching experience. In terms of brightness, battery life, and speakers, this projector is one of the best solutions in this niche category. This Nebula projector is made by Anker, which has had a strong focus on Laser projectors in the last few years.

While producing a 1080p image, the Nebula Mars 3 is able to give you 1,000 lumens of brightness for the entire duration of a standard-length movie, using the built-in battery. This projector is ultimately designed for convenient outdoor use, in situations where you might be camping, going on a road trip, or just having a casual backyard movie night. By including a large battery, really good speakers, and Android TV 11, this is a complete all-in-one solution that will let you bring the home theater experience with you.

Nebula Mars 3 Specs

Price$1099 MSRP
Brightness1000 ANSI lumens
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p)
Light SourceLED
Light Source Lifespan25,000 hours
Portability – size9.9 lb
Portability – powerLong 5-hour battery life on eco mode
Portability – smartAndroid TV 11 OS
SoundGreat built-in 40w speakers with Bluetooth speaker mode


LG CineBeam PF510Q

The LG CineBeam PF510Q is a Full HD, $599.99 portable, 4Ch (RGBB) LED smart projector with 450 ANSI lumens. In addition, the PF510Q is an HDR-compatible projector, and the 4-channel (RGBB) LED light source is rated to last up to 30,000 hours. The LG PF510Q portable projector utilizes a single DLP chip to deliver its Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080). 

LG sent Projector Reviews a pre-production demo sample of the PF510Q for this review. To test the PF510Q, I connected my Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB movie server, Kaleidescape Strato C 4K movie player, Apple TV 4K, PlayStation 5, and Razer Blade 17 4K – GeForce RTX™ 3080 Ti laptop to the projector via certified 48Gbps HDMI cables.

For this review, I projected the LG PF510Q onto a 100-inch (16:9) Elite Screens Aeon fixed frame projection screen with Elite's Edge Free® technology and Elite's CineWhite® UHD-B screen material. Following LG's recommendation of keeping the image size between 30 and 120 inches, I projected a 100-inch image for this review.

LG CineBeam PF510Q Specs

Price$599.99 MSRP
Brightness450 ANSI lumens
Light SourceDLP
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours
Portability – size2.2 lbs.
Portability – powerN/A
Portability – smartLG Smart TV
SoundBuilt-in 5W speaker


Epson EpiqVision Mini EF-11

Epson-EF11-Front-Angle-2-with-Award - Projector-Reviews-Image

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF11 is a compact and portable laser projector, which retails for $699 and delivers stunning image quality in a variety of settings. With its 1000 ANSI lumens of brightness and Full HD resolution, the EF11 is a good portable solution for both home entertainment use, as well as for business presentations and classrooms. Despite the lack of 4K or HDR features, this projector manages to deliver impressive brightness and image quality.

The EF11 features a sleek, modern compact design that makes it easy to transport and set up. It also has a built-in speaker system, so you can take advantage of an all-in-one setup without having to connect to external speakers. A simple Chromecast device is the only thing you need to begin streaming.

One of the best things about the EF11 is its throw ratio. You can get up to a 150” screen at only 14 feet away. The projector is much smaller than you’d think it would be, with the length and height being smaller than many smartphones. It’s an all-around lightweight and versatile projector that punches far above its size.

EpiqVision Mini EF-11 Specs

Price$699.00 MSRP
Brightness1000 ANSI Lumens
Resolution1920 x 1080
Light SourceLaser
Light Source Lifespan20,000 hours
Portability – size2.7 lb.
Portability – powerN/A
Portability – smartN/A
Sound1.5-watt mono


Samsung The Freestyle

Samsung-Freestyle-Award-2- Projector Reviews image

The Samsung Freestyle is a portable smart LED projector that retails for $799. At first glance, the projector seems expensive based on its basic specs. However, the freestyle is one of the best thought-out portable projectors that we have ever reviewed. It is now also on our list of best projectors under $1000!

Samsung is one of the world’s leading flat-panel TV manufacturers, but there are some applications where a projector is a better display solution. But, the Freestyle is not targeted at the traditional projector customer. Its unique combination of features and optional accessories are designed to make the benefits of projection attractive to more customers. 

“The Freestyle is a one-of-a-kind projector geared towards ultimate versatility and flexibility to meet the consumers’ changing lifestyles,” said Simon Sung, Executive Vice President and Head of the Sales & Marketing Team of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Without the limitation in space and form factor, The Freestyle is a fun and versatile device that can be used in any way consumers prefer.”

Samsung The Freestyle Specs

Price$799 MSRP
BrightnessNot Listed
Resolution1920 x 1080
Light SourceLED
Light Source Lifespan20,000 hours
Portability – size1.60 (no stand)
Portability – powerThe optional battery base can power the unit for up to 3 hours
Portability – smartSame smart functionality as many Samsung televisions
SoundBuilt-in 5-watt speaker



JMGO N1_FeaturedImage#2 - Projector-Reviews-Images

The JMGO N1 is one of two new Full HD additions to the company N1 projector lineup, offering 800 CVIA lumens, a triple laser light source, and JMGO gimbal-like design. The N1 is available from Amazon or purchased directly from JMGO for an MSRP of $999.

JMGO is a projector manufacturer fast becoming known for building high-quality, feature-rich video projectors that give consumers compelling alternatives to the products provided by today's mainstream manufacturers. I was very impressed with the video quality of the JMGO N1 Ultra so I'm very intrigued to see how this projector performs compared to its bigger 4K brother. If you are interested in reading my full review of the JMGO N1 Ultra, click on the model number link. Let's get into the details of the new JMGO N1 to find out if this projector is worth your purchase consideration.

JMGO N1 Specs

Price$999 MSRP
Brightness800 CVIA lumens
Resolution1920 X 1080 pixels
Light SourceRGB LASER
Light Source Lifespan30,000 hours (ECO)
Portability – size4.41 lbs
Portability – powerN/A
Portability – smartAndroid TV 11 fully integrated OS
Sound JMGO/Dynaudio Sound System


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