How Do I Choose the Best Portable Digital Projector?

One option for both business presentations and home theaters is a portable digital projector, which is a lightweight machine that can project videos onto a screen or wall. A good way to start narrowing down your selection is to consider the brightness of the display, measured in lumens. Another aspect to think about is the technology used, because the two most common types of digital projectors are liquid crystal display (LCD) and digital light processing (DLP). You also may want to consider some small details, such as the size of the projector, the life of the lamp, and whether speakers are included.

The brightness of portable digital projectors is measured in lumens, with a higher number of lumens indicating a higher level of brightness. In general, brighter is better when it comes to displays, though there are exceptions. If you plan to use your portable digital projector is a small, dark room, then you typically do not need a particularly bright product. If you want to use the projector in a room that is large or brightly lit, you should try to get the brightest display possible. Low to average brightness usually encompasses anywhere from 300 to 1,500 lumens, while projectors that will be used in a well-lighted or large room typically need to have from 1,500 to 3,000 lumens.

Among the most important considerations is the type of digital technology you will use. An LCD projector is usually best for still images and may be your best option if you plan to use your portable digital projector for business presentations with few videos. On the other hand, movies tend to look best on DLP displays. This type of technology also is known for its ability to present sharp images, because it can display the color black better than LCD projectors can. If you are determined to use an LCD projector, though, you can improve the sharpness of the images by paying extra for a high contrast ratio.

There are other details that determine the best portable digital projector for your needs. For example, some projectors come with speakers, but they are usually only appropriate for use in small rooms, so you may need a separate sound system for use in larger areas. You also should make sure the lamp is long-lasting and affordable, because you will typically need to replace it at least once during the portable digital projector’s life span.

Finally, but not least, among your considerations is the size of the portable projector itself. Some portable projectors, known as pico projectors, are small enough to fit in your pocket, making them extremely portable, even when you have several other items to carry. The slightly larger microportable projectors are often about the size of a book. Standard portable digital projectors can be as large as a standard laptop computer and may range in weight from about 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms) up, though anything above 10 pounds (4.5 kg) begins to push the definition of “portable” projector.