Whether a dorm room or an efficient studio at the heart of a large city, many of us go home to spaces that are on the small size. And that’s perfectly fine considering the cost of modern living. But a side effect of this is that if you want big screen movie and TV show entertainment in a small space, an inflexible flat screen TV isn’t the best option. Large TVs come at a hefty price tag and have a fixed form factor that takes up a lot of room. You may think that a monitor might work, but really, do you want to watch your favorite movies on a sub-32” display? That just feels wrong.
Portable projectors beam into the fray with a golden medium, especially since most these days offer wireless connectivity for ease of placement and the elimination of cable messes. Portable projectors are compact and lightweight, but they work great with massive screens (80” and up) that easily fold or roll out of the way when not in use, unlike big TVs that just stand there looking weird in your cozy studio.
So basically, portable projectors deliver a great way for working professionals and students who live in smaller residential units to get a proper cinematic experience on a big screen without having to sleep in the hallway while a massive TV takes up the whole place.
As we mentioned above, pretty much anyone who lives in a small space or wants big entertainment in a room-sized environment. While we mostly have college students, people who live in premium downtown areas, and single professionals in mind, the mini-max nature of portable projectors applies very well to scenarios like parents who want a big screen for the kids’ room.
By mini-max we mean portable projectors ship in mini form factors but easily transform to max-sized entertainment, unlike their TV and monitor brethren and their completely fixed, take it or leave it designs.
Portable projectors also add a definite cinematic flair to big screen viewing, and have a different feel from oh-so-familiar TVs. They’re perfect for movie buffs, binge watchers, and anyone who wants to occasionally host friends or family for movie night. In short, if you crave something different and have space constraints to think about, mini portable projectors offer an excellent choice.
We touched on this earlier, but let’s recap. Big screen TVs cost a hefty sum and obviously don’t change size or form factor, we’re decades away from that technology leaving the realm of science fiction into reality. Certainly, if you live in a larger place or don’t mind a TV taking up a lot of space we won’t tell you to avoid TVs at all costs, that would be silly. Just be aware that a large and heavy TV may become a liability if your lifestyle involves moving more often than once every two years, or if you prefer a more open plan living space. A large TV in a small space can become almost like a wall, so keep that in mind. But sure, today’s TVs have superb image quality, 4K, HDR, smart features and a lot more. We’re not going to lie to you, portable projectors can’t compete in terms of image quality.
As for monitors, those really don’t represent much of a choice. The large ones are so expensive you’re better off with a TV. Small ones just ruin viewing experiences. For sure in a pinch it’s OK to watch movies or Netflix or whatever on even a 13” laptop or your phone, but let’s be serious. When you want to kick back and dive into a cinematic session, a tiny screen will make you feel miserable. You’re not on the bus, you’re home.
Portable projectors these days fold many great technologies into compact products you can move in your backpack without even noticing, let alone move around your studio. They have good image quality and built-in sound, and most importantly, good portable projectors now have full wireless capabilities. They work with your Wi-Fi and many have Bluetooth, so streaming content from apps and other sources like your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is a breeze. In this regard, portable projectors have smart features very much on the same level as TVs.
We’re not going to claim portable projectors are super cheap, at least not the good ones. But they cost less than TVs and allow you to showcase content on everything from an available wall to a foldable 200” screen. That kind of flexibility cannot be beat by any other technology right now, and pairs beautifully with the lifestyles of people who live in small spaces.
Since small residential units usually imply efficiency, it bears mentioning that portable projectors offer great energy efficiency. The good ones use LED projection and require very little power to perform at peak quality. That’s unlike giant TVs with their reliance on heaps of wattage.
When shopping for a portable projector, make sure supported resolutions include 720p. Sure, from the viewing distances for a large screen resolution doesn’t make as much difference as it does on a 65” TV, but still, HD goes hand in hand with other image quality factors. Besides, a 480p portable projector just won’t do very well with content providers like Netflix, resulting in blurry images. Caution: if you see a portable LED projector for a really low price it’s probably 480p only, as in non-HD. As in like from 25 years ago.
Importantly, look at product dimensions and weight, and don’t compromise on connectivity. In addition to HDMI and USB, you want to have wireless for sure: Wi-Fi and if possible Bluetooth. And don’t forget to choose a model that blends in with your space. Did we mention portable projectors are extremely stylish?