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I have over a decade of experience reviewing TVs, projectors, and other video devices. I was formerly the video editor and primary TV tester for, and previously contributed TV coverage to Home Theater Magazine, Electronic House, and other publications. I am an Imaging Science Foundation Level II Certified Video Calibrator, and I have the full complement of objective testing gear to measure and evaluate the performance of these projectors.

Portability: We give strong preference to projectors that can run on battery power, although we are willing to consider models that omit this feature if they seem particularly strong in other areas. Some portable models lack a battery but can run on a portable USB-C power bank, which is almost as good. We require all the projectors we consider to be at least small and light enough to carry between rooms and to put in a backpack or suitcase. A carrying handle or included travel case is a big plus.

After these measurements are complete, we spend several hours using each projector, evaluating the picture quality of both the internal apps (if they exist) and connected sources. We primarily project the image onto an Elite Screens matte-white screen, as opposed to a wall, because that provides the best viewing experience.

Kodak Luma 450: This especially petite 1080p projector costs about the same as our top pick. It has Wi-Fi and Android 9.0 (but not Android TV) built in to stream content from apps such as Hulu and Netflix, as well as autofocus and keystone adjustments and a built-in battery rated for up to three hours of playback time. Unfortunately, its claimed light output is only 200 ANSI lumens, below the minimum we set for consideration in this guide, so we did not test it.

Not too long ago, the concept of having a projector small enough to take with you in your bag, let alone in your pocket, was just wishful thinking. But as projectors have come down in size, portable models have come into their own, making it possible for you to project your data and video anywhere you go. (Even if "anywhere" these days just means around the house.)

Portable projectors come in various size classes: Some are small compared to others. Pico or pocket projectors are a little larger than smartphones. Because most of them can accommodate videos and photos for on-the-go entertainment (in addition to slides and charts for business or classroom presentations), these models can be thought of as multimedia display systems. Though convenient and snazzy, they tend to be of low brightness and relatively expensive for their performance.

So-called palmtop projectors are larger (and generally brighter) than pico projectors, typically a bit too large to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, even with your fingers outstretched. Still, they are lightweight enough that you wouldn't think twice about packing one in a bag or a backpack. Most are brighter than pico models, and have more connection options.

Most pico and palmtop projectors can run files from a USB thumb drive and/or SD card, so you don't need to lug your laptop with them. (If you do want to bring a laptop with you, though, check out our roundup of the best ultraportable laptops.) Some even have up to 8GB of internal memory for storing media files. Many can project content from a smartphone or tablet, either wirelessly or via an HDMI port that supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL). A growing number offer USB-C connectivity. Many models come with built-in rechargeable batteries so you can use them away from a power outlet.

Many manufacturers have introduced mini projectors that are generally a bit larger than palmtops, but considerably brighter. They pack a relatively high resolution, and their larger frames let them include more physical ports than their smaller brethren.

The next step up from these, thin-and-light projectors, are as wide, deep, and bright as standard models but barely an inch thick, and they weigh in at about 4 p


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