What’s your reason for seeking a projector under 100 bucks? Are you gift shopping? New parent? Maybe you want to treat yourself to innovative technology that won’t require you lug around pounds of equipment to access your media. Mini projectors are clever, useful and getting “smarter” every day.
Best Mini Projector Under 100 Bucks Comparison TableInvalid table id.
Best Mini Projector Under 100 Dollars Reviews
The brand may not be a household name, but you may not care once you considered this upgraded version of the Vankyo Leisure 3. This 2400 Lux LED portable projector is compatible with just about every type of device via ports that run the gamut from the Fire TV stick to USB, HDMI, VGA and most other AV interfacing tools. Get a carry bag to tote your mini projector from place to place and enjoy such features as an MStar advanced color engine, 40-percent more brightness than ordinary projectors (as of 2018) and superior home entertainment quality thanks to the 2000-to-1 contrast ratio.
-Project videos, TV shows, share photos and sports matches.
-Connect this projector to a smartphone, Wii, X-Box One and several PS products.
-Features a state-of-the-art cooling system that disperses heat efficiently and suppresses noise, too.
-Manufacturer gives purchasers both a 3-year warranty and 100-percent money back guarantee if not satisfied.
-Projects particularly well in extremely dark environments.
-Not recommended for office or PowerPoint presentations.
-Vankyo suggests a viewing distance of only around 6.5-feet.
-Won’t support Dolby sound so you must turn it off or video won’t display.
-Don’t use for more than 3-4 hours at a time or overheating could occur.
Like the Vankyo, this 4-inch mini projector produced by Dr. J. was upgraded in 2018 to bring the technology up to speed so it competes on an even playing field with other brands. Get a 40,000-hour LED lamp and full HD video experience that also works with HDMI, USB, Fire TV Sticks, VGA, AV and SD for almost exactly the same price as the Vankyo. Interface this mini projector with just about every device on the market: SD cards, flash drives, laptops, media players plus iPads, iPhones and Androids.
-An ideal pick for home entertainment environments like movies and video games.
-Return this projector if it’s not exactly what you expected.
-Works great outside and inside, say owners.
-You don’t have to buy a separate HDMI cord because one’s included.
-Enjoy vibrant images, even with the lights on.
-Take a pass on this if you intend to use your projector for PowerPoint and business presentations.
-The unit’s sensor is on the side rather than the top so operating the remote requires a little finesse.
-1800 lumens claim may not be accurate, say dissatisfied shoppers.
-Chief complaint among owners has to do with grainy picture quality.
This little gem is the least expensive mini-projector on our review list and has a big fan base. Marketed as DBPower’s 2018 version, this mini is customized for home theater use, offers 50-percent more brightness when showing high def media and it works with HDMI and smartphones. The DBPower mini projector runs Xbox, USB connected media, DVD players, Fire TV Stick, tablets, smartphones and laptops. Recommended for use with screens sized between 32- and 176-inches, this low-noise, energy efficient product comes in a cabinet that’s more durable than previous iterations.
-Advanced LED bulb uses less energy and lasts around 50,000 hours.
-Unit owners say this projector delivers 50-percent more sharpness and brightness than competitors.
-Get a 3-year warranty on the projector; brand owners are impressed by the company’s tech support.
-Built-in stereo speakers offer a surround sound experience, even outdoors.
-As the most affordable mini projector, you may save enough to buy a screen for your presentations.
-Not appropriate for use as a PowerPoint or business presentation tool.
-Doesn’t come with an HDMI adapter (required) or a Wi-Fi display dongle.
-This product’s lumen count is only 1500 rather than the standard 1800.
-If you intend to project HD video, this projector’s 800 x 480 pixel resolution may not satisfy you.
You won’t be the first shopper to notice the fact that this mini projector is reminiscent of a lunar landing craft. It’s the tripod. For those of you who are sick of watching projected images that are continually jumping around, this could be the only cheap projector under 100 bucks you’ll consider. Of course, there’s a lot more to this product. You’ll like the 50,000 hour LED lamp life, upgraded technology touted by QKK–in its effort to keep up with competitors–and when it comes to media compatibility, this unit welcomes all comers: USB, SD Card, DHMI, TV, VGA, iPad and a long list of others.
-When shoppers complained about USB ports, engineers added an extra one to meet demand.
-Watch media inside or out; this projector outputs 1920- x 1080-pixel images.
-The long-life LED bulb lasts for 50,000 hours of viewing.
-Can be run continually for 24 hours if necessary without overheating.
-Comes with AV signal cable, HDMI cable, power cable, remote control and that useful tripod mount.
-Wireless HDMI dongle isn’t included with this projector.
-Designed explicitly for home theater entertainment, this QKK likely won’t suffice for business purposes.
-If your main purpose is gaming, this may not be the best product choice for you.
-2200 lumens may be overstated by the company; you could have problems in dim light.
Literally coming in one cent under our stated goal of describing best mini projector under 100 dollar candidates, this Crenova mini has also been upgraded by company engineers to meet 2018 standards and you can expect to enjoy many of the same benefits and features found in the other four products described here. Use this projector with just about everything under the sun: Roku, Fire Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and PlayStation. Crenova showcases this product’s 80-percent higher lumens and brightness, touting “square pixel technology” as the reason for superior picture delivery.
-This projector is said to be 50-percent quieter than previous models thanks to a new cooling fan.
-Get 50,000 lamp life hours via square pixel LED technology that also offers 80-percent improved resolution.
-Projects crisp 1080-pixel images at 2200 lumens and 220 luxe peak brightness.
-Comes bundled with HDMI cable, power adapter, AV cord, remote control and user manual.
-Built-in stereo speaker handles sound tracks accompanying the media you project.
-Are you willing to settle for a 1-year warranty when most competitors offer 3 years?
-Works best if you project media in a very dark environment.
-Complaints about sound quality could impact your listening experience.
-May not work with iPhones or Apple TV, despite company claims to the contrary.
What is a mini projector?
It’s the intelligent solution to a dilemma borne of today’s propensity to carry too much stuff to accomplish tasks. Mini projectors fit in handbags, pockets and some are so tiny, they are usually referred to as micros. Travel the world. Tuck one into a pocket. They weigh less than a pound and you won’t spend a penny on extra baggage charges because they’re so small and lightweight.
Usually driven by rechargeable batteries, you won’t find yourself scurrying around to find extension cords or outlets if you use your mini projector to put on a show for friends and relatives. Mini projectors usually come with long-lasting lamps that deliver 30,000 hours of illumination on average, and while there’s no denying that some of these come with impressive price tags. But things are changing. Recent price drops mean that your search for the best cheap projector under 100 dollars won’t push either your budget or frustration levels to the max!
2 Types of mini projectors on today’s market
Fans of best mini projector under 100 bucks like to joke that their decisions to convert to one of these units is like being in a sci-fi movie titled, The Incredible Shrinking Projector. Even a few years ago, one had a choice of styles and miniaturation was setting new standards for quality. Does that mean theater-quality presentations are now possible? Almost. Which is why you should understand the types of mini-projectors on today’s market.
Type 1: The Pico (pocket) mini projector.
Sized to approximate the dimensions of a smartphone (or less), Pico projectors are known for handling both video and slides, but their chief claim to fame are multimedia presentations. Because they are the smallest of the small, don’t look for lots of bells and whistles (where would engineers put those extra buttons?). Until scientists are capable of producing smaller bulbs, those manufactured to fit a Pico mini projector usually leave something to be desired.
Type 2: The palmtop projector.
Size matters when conducting a search for the best mini projector under 100 dollars and palmtop projectors are always bigger than Pico’s. As a result, users enjoy a brighter, sharper image when media is projected against a screen or wall. Given additional cabinet surface, designers may pile on more ports, sound, storage and extras. For folks who have used both and opt for the additional weight of the palmtop as a trade-off, they say they hardly notice a heft difference because the additional features are so outstanding with a palmtop.
Pros and Cons of Mini Projectors
- Either a palmtop or Pico can be tossed into a briefcase or handbag.
- Both types are lightweight and easy to pack for travel.
- Prices are coming down thanks to miniaturization innovations.
- Manufacturers of auxiliary products (cables, bulbs, batteries) are stepping up the quality of their products.
- Mini-projectors are getting easier learn and use.
- Pico projectors set up fastest because there are fewer adjustments to make, but palmtops are gaining ground.
- Battery operation means no searching for a power source to run the projector.
- The newest models of both come with functional sound and storage capacity.
- Lumens determine the quality of projected images. Despite improvements, brightness can be a problem if you choose a low lumen product.
- You may have to wait awhile to enjoy quality and features found on larger projectors.
- As of now, there is no such thing as a Pico projector capable of delivering full HD or high res images.
- With the inclusion of state-of-the-art features, prices can skyrocket so your search for the best cheap projector under 100 dollars could frustrate you.
- Some brands are struggling to keep up with 3D and wireless connectivity enhancements.
- Engineers are still working to resolve low contrast issues using LED technology without hiking prices.
6 steps to connect a mini projector to a laptop
Use your search engine to sleuth out a variety of YouTube presentations so you become familiar with the ways various units work or start here if time is limited: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwaYHdlkWCE. Even if you just note the ways a mini projector can be interfaced with various devices, you’ll be off to a good start. Alternately, do you prefer to read directions rather than watching videos? Every laptop and projector is unique but these five steps give you a general idea of how to hook your laptop up to a mini projector:
- Turn off your computer/laptop to start the process.
- Plug the video cable into the proper projector port (may or may not be marked VGA).
- Power on both units (projector first).
- Need sound to accompany your presentation? Connect the laptop’s “audio out” port to the projector.
- Synch everything up using the Function key and make adjustments via your laptop’s F4, F5, F7 or F8 keys.
10 things to know before choosing the best mini projector under 100 bucks
Making a list and checking it twice isn’t a task reserved for Santa Claus. You need a guide as you consider your options, so you get the most bang for your buck. Here are things to look for as you craft a shopping short list:
- If given a choice, LED technology beats laser and standard light every time.
- Standard lamps are the most affordable and deliver bright output up to 4,000 hours.
- Laser bulbs don’t have to be replaced for the life of most projectors.
- Always look for the highest lumen rating in both color and white brightness numbers.
- Assess your typical projection environment: The larger your room, the more lumens you need for brightness.
- Using your mini projector for business only? The most popular mini projectors are being made for home entertainment rather than PowerPoint presentations.
- Go for the highest pixel count for the best resolution. Low end? 480 pixels. High end? 4K pixels!
- “Throw ratio” has nothing to do with softball. It’s the projector-to-screen distance at which media is best viewed. Place your mini projector nine feet from the screen and you will cast a 5-foot wide image on the wall or screen.
- Need to zoom in more often than not? Pico projectors probably won’t work for you.
- Prepare to pay more for 3D, smart-enabled and wireless technology.
As a reviewer, sorting out differences in features, benefits and pricing is usually a walk in the park, but in the case of these five mini projectors, there are so few differences, the job of comparing and evaluating was no easy fete. Why so similar? Each of these represents the company’s 2018 upgrade and there’s plenty of reason to believe that each manufacturer delivered orders to engineers to meet the same standards.
That stated, we still identified the star of this batch of mini-projectors based on fan mail, features and benefits, and our top pick happens to be the QKK Mini Projector. Clearly, the manufacturer understands that small touches mean a lot to consumers because something as insignificant as adding a second USB port, at the request of folks who love their older QKK mini projectors, wasn’t ignored.
Further, this product matches features found on the other four minis: 50,000 hours of LED lamp life (Dr. J only lasts 40,000 hours), a higher-than-average pixel density (1920 x 1080 rather than the standard 800 x 1080), you can run this projector for 24 hours without overheating it (unlike the Vankyo) and the accessory package matches and surpasses that of the other four. Do we love the tripod? We do. It’s the extra touch QKK obviously thinks about when coming up with ways to satisfy their customers.
So there you have it the QKK is our winner but there is a lot of choice for you in the 2018 market and it can only get better as time goes on, technology moves at exponential growth so things will get smaller and more powerful very quickly. I hope you enjoyed the article and please if you have or purchase one of these top 5 then please leave a comment below 🙂