The Best Home and Portable Projectors at Every Price Point

Movie theaters are the definition of entertainment nostalgia: the smell of sticky spilled soda, strange (often dated) curtained interiors, suspiciously yellow popcorn, Big Gulp-style slushies—the ambiance is a fever dream. Do we love it? Sure, but sometimes the screaming kids, seats with mysterious stains, and the man coughing next to us spoil the experience. We’re not that hard to please, but sometimes we want to indulge in a bit of luxury.

Let’s be real: We want a home theater, dammit. Perhaps not an actual, real-deal setup, because many of us are still either living in a microscopic urban apartment or aren’t ready to commit to wall-to-wall abstract fluorescent carpeting. That’s why we found projectors where importing the movie theater experience into your home is as simple as setting one of these babies up and pointing it directly at a blank wall.

Step one is deciding whether or not you want a full-blown home projector or a portable model. Many offer similar specs, but it depends on the quality and model. Generally, the biggest differences are the power source, brightness, and—obviously—size. Indecisive? It’s all good because we did all the comparison work for you (you're welcome). Whether you want to screen reruns of Full House, immerse yourself in Elden Ring, test out your new Fleshlight while blasting PornHub on a big screen, or just, you know, watch Netflix, these projectors will make all your wildest dreams come true.

The best affordable portable projectors

TMY Portable Projector

If you like keeping things old school, this affordable, easy-to-use model by TMY includes a 100-inch projection screen for a legit theater setup. It has a whopping 7,500-lumen LED light source for bright, clear viewing; a quiet fan for minimal noise disruption; built-in dual speakers; and compatibility with various smart devices, laptops, and gaming consoles.

AuKing Mini Projector

Things are getting hot in here. Good thing this projector by AuKing has a cooling system that keeps the heat of the lamp at bay, which in turn extends the life of the bulb to 55,000 hours. That translates to more than 15 years—that’s a whole lot of screening sessions. It has a 32- to 170-inch projection display, is portable, has built-in speakers, and has simple connectivity to laptops, smartphones, tablets, USB drives, and Xbox One consoles.

CiBest Mini Projector

This one is a lil baby. It may be small at only 2.25 pounds, but it provides a watch size that ranges from 30 to 200 inches for all your drunken group viewings of Mean Girls. It’s compatible with Fire TV sticks, PC, laptops, tablets, PS4, and Xbox. You can also hook up your Android smartphone, iPhones, and iPads—although you need an extra HDMI adapter.

Kodak FLIKX10 Projector

This one is an absolute steal for under $200. Flip on a chick flick and bask in the 100 percent color saturation, 120-inch display, and included tripod and projection screen.

The best high-end portable projectors

Samsung’s Freestyle (2nd Generation)

We’re suckers for a clean aesthetic, and the cylinder shape of The Freestyle is the minimalist design we crave. Besides being a dime piece for the console table, its floor-to-ceiling rotation of 180 degrees and supreme audio allow streaming anywhere in your home. There’s even a Gaming Hub for streaming Xbox and Steam games. Plus, its OG model is an editor-fave.

Philips GoPix 1

Have you been streaming Netflix on your microscopic iPhone screen? It’s time for a change (and to save your eyes). The Philips GoPix 1 was made to stream from your smartphone and is ultra-slim, has a two-hour battery life, and can display a 75-inch picture.

BenQ Short Throw Projector

This is another gem from BenQ, an ideal pick for gaming. The short throw projection enables you to project 100 inches of screen from just three feet away for full gameplay immersion. Like its home theater sibling above, this model also provides low input lag, unique gaming modes, and 2,200 lumens for top-tier brightness. Want the IMAX vibe? The projector also features DLP, which is the leading technology used on those mega-screens for an ultra-crisp picture.

MoGo Pro Portable Projector

Perhaps you have an outdoor terrace because you have *money*. If that’s the case, this model by MoGo can be used out on the patio—or in the wilderness. It can even download apps from Google Play including YouTube, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max—giving your projector the same app access as the AppleTV or smart TV you have at home. For surround sound, its audio is powered by two built-in Harman Kardon speakers.

BenQ Home Theater Projector

While gaming, you deserve the utmost superior picture quality to fully immerse yourself whether you’re on your first or 15,246th game of Mario Kart. This projector by BenQ has low input lag so you don’t have to deal with unwanted glitches, 2,200 lumens for stellar brightness, and gaming modes for smooth gameplay. It supports most gaming consoles, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.

The best-of-the-best luxury home projectors

Sony Home Theater Laser Projector

Lucky enough to move into a house with room for a true home theater? Spot even the tiniest details in great contrast thanks to the high-dynamic range of this top-of-the-line laser projector from Sony, which can elevate the picture to an entirely new level. The 2,000 lumens for epic brightness don't hurt, either.

Samsung’s Premiere Smart Laser Projector

If you’re a high-baller, then treating yourself to this extremely fancy projector should be on your to-do list. Forget having a nice car to impress your date—that kind of power lies in this stunning device. It delivers 4K resolution for a cinema-like experience and 2,200 lumen brightness for impeccable IMAX-rivaling picture quality.

Epson Home Cinema Projector

If you’re seeking a bougie home theater experience, this Epson projector should be your best friend. Features include advanced 3LCD technology, RGB color signal on every frame (thankfully without “rainbow effect” or color brightness issues), 4K resolution, digital video processing for smooth transitions, built-in speakers, and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.

You’d better invite us over [wink].

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.


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