Best Mini Projector for MacBook Pro

Best Mini Projector for MacBook Pro : Top 7 Picks for 2021

Buying just about any projectors and hoping it works perfectly with your MacBook Pro is not the right way to go. There are a few projectors that work explicitly with android or windows OS that will not give you the optimal results when you want to hook it up with your mac.

That is why it is essential to know which units will give you flawless connectivity before you start shopping. Like most Mac users, if you want to enjoy a good movie from time to time and want to have a cinematic feel, you will need the best mini projector for MacBook Pro.

These are tiny projectors that you could actually hold on your palm and set it up with a MacBook Pro. And the quality they deliver is quite impressive for a unit of this size. Like most third-party devices for Mac OS, compatibility is the main factor. So, we have selected the best compatible projectors on the market.

This Table Will Help You For Take A Quick Decision

Image

Name

Editor's Rating

Price

AuKing Mini Projector 2021

5 out of 5

ViewSonic M1 Mini Portable LED Projector

5 out of 5

ELEPHAS 2021 Mini Movie Projector

4.5 out of 5

ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

4 out of 5

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector

4.5 out of 5

Top 7 Best Mini Projector for MacBook Pro Reviews

In this section, we will give you our recommendations for some of the finest apple compatible projectors so that you do not have any connectivity issues.

1. AuKing Small Projector for Mac 2021

We will start things off with an excellent mac compatible projector if you are on a tight budget. The AuKing Mini Projector by Vankyo comes in a compact size and includes a portable carry case to help you move it around. It also offers excellent cooling and has little to no noise when running.

At first glance, the unit looks and feels like a cheap toy. However, after setting it up and running it for the first time, you will be surprised by the excellent picture quality. But you can still view up to 1080p resolution downscaled to 480p without any issues.

The speaker, as expected with such a small unit, is not loud enough to use on their own. In addition, because of the lack of large woofers, it sounds a bit harsh. But it allows for 3.5-inch audio output meaning you can hook it up with a home stereo system while watching movies for better sound quality.

In terms of connectivity options, you get a VGA and HDMI port. In addition, the unit gives you a headphone output port, an AV port, an SD card reader, and a USB port for direct connection to your mac. If you are on a tight budget and want something reliable and cheap, this is one of the better options out there.

Highlighted Features

  • Compact design
  • Compatible with up to 1080p images and videos
  • A lot of different connectivity options
  • 3.5-inch speaker output jack

2. ViewSonic M1 Mini Portable LED Projector

The brand ViewSonic is mostly known for its high-quality monitors, and it is no wonder that they have their fair share of impact on the projector market too. The M1 mini projector by the brand is one of the best choices for people who are looking for the best pocket projector for mac.

This unit comes with a rated brightness of 50 ANSI lumens, so it should be bright enough to view in any dark room. In well-lit environments, it does struggle a bit to give you clear images. The output resolution of the projector is 480p with an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is pretty standard for palmtop projectors.

The sound output of the unit is 2watt but to be fair; audio output is not always the concern of this type of device. What sets it apart is the unique yet simple stand design that helps you direct the bulb easily at the projector screen. You just pull down the front part of the projector to reveal the bulb, which also acts as a stand for the projector.

The unit comes with an HDMI and a USB-C port for direct connection to your pc or mac. You also get a DC output to plug in the power cable. However, it even has a built-in rechargeable battery that gives you around 1.5 hours of backup if the power runs out or you do not have access to a power socket.

Highlighted Features

  • Resolution of up to 480p
  • Palmtop design
  • Smart stand design
  • Built-in battery for power backup

3. ELEPHAS 2021 Mini Movie Projector for Mac

Elephas is not a brand widely known for its quality. That is why we were a bit skeptical when trying out the W90 by the brand. However, after trying it out for the first time, we were quite amazed at the output quality and performance of the unit. If you are looking to buy a projector for apple laptop on the cheap, this is a great option.

It features an innovative LCD 2.0 technology which greatly enhances the image quality and light utilization of the unit. The device is capable of outputting a 1080p FHD resolution at a 2000-inch screen with a contrast ratio of 3000:1. At this price tag, this level of quality and image clarity is exceptional.

Furthermore, the speaker quality in the unit is above-average, delivering clear audio output. So, if you enjoy watching movies, this projector is a great choice. It also comes with a high-quality cooling fan that generates zero noise. The lamp life in the unit is around 50000 hours which is enough to outlast the projector itself.

Thanks to the excellent design of the unit, you will have no trouble setting it up with your mac or even other gaming consoles like XBOX or PlayStation. The unit comes with an HDMI port, a USB port, a TF card port, a VGA port, and an AV port giving you all the connectivity options you would ever need.

Highlighted Features

  • Excellent value for the price
  • High-quality audio output
  • Full HD resolution support
  • 3000:1 contrast ratio

4. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector for Mac with Dual Harman Kardon Speakers

If you liked the ViewSonic M1 mini that we reviewed before, you would definitely love the M1 portable. Often counted as the best small projector for mac, this portable unit comes with everything you need to make you fall in love with it. Understandably, the price for this unit is also a bit higher.

It shares many similarities with the M1 mini, such as the resolution and the inclusion of a battery. However, the screen projection length of the unit is larger. It can project up to 100 inches without any issues. The image, despite being only 480p resolution, looks clear and crisps in a dark environment.

One noticeable improvement with the unit is the speakers. Since the unit comes at a larger size than the mini, the manufacturers had the option to put in larger speakers. This unit comes loaded with dual Harman Kardon speakers that are loud enough to fill up your room with sound whether you are watching movies or gaming.

Connectivity options in the unit include HDM and USB. As we said, it also includes a built-in backup battery. The lifetime of the battery is, however, slightly longer, giving you around 2.5 hours of backup. Safe to say, you can enjoy a full movie without any power source with this little unit.

Highlighted Features

  • Delivers 480p resolution
  • 2.5 hours of battery backup
  • Includes dual Harman Kardon speakers
  • Flexible connectivity options

5. DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector for MacBook Pro

For people who like the idea and form-factor of a palmtop projector, The DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector another viable option. Sure, it has a few flaws here and there, but for casual multimedia and entertainment, this unit is definitely a fantastic choice. Also 100 Inch Projector Screen Included.

Despite having a native resolution of 480p, the unit can project up to 1080p images and videos by downscaling it. It can support a screen size of up to 100 inches Supported resolution:1920*1080, Aspect Ratio: 4:3/16:9, Contrast Ratio: 2000:1, Lamp lifetime: 40000 hours, Watching Size: 32”-176” with projector distance 1.5m-5m. So if you want to enjoy some games or watch movies with it, it will not let you down.

As expected, the tiny speaker in the unit is surely not enough, especially if you are an audiophile. But you can connect your stereo set using the 3.5-inch headphone output jack. It also has an HDMI port, a mini-USB port, and a USB port for power. You can also use the USB port with a Firestick or similar streaming devices.

The best thing about the unit is the performance it delivers at such a low price. If your budget is higher, you can definitely find better units. But for those who are looking to buy an entry-level projector compatible with MacBook Pro, this will do the job just fine.

Highlighted Features

  • Compact, palmtop design
  • Excellent value for the price
  • 2 hours of battery backup
  • Supports up to 1080p resolution
  • 100Inch Projector Screen Included.

6. AKASO Pocket Projector for Mac

The Akaso Mini Projector is another alternative to the Apeman M4, delivering a similar level of performance at a similar price point. However, the Akaso unit is slimmer and has a stylish look to it that might appeal more to certain people. In the end, it is up to you which one you go with.

This unit, like the previous one, natively displays 480p resolution but can downscale 1080p videos and images easily. The lamp brightness is 50 ANSI lumens which means you might have difficulty viewing in bright environments. But in a dark room, the image is crisp and clear.

The speaker system in the unit is better than the Apeman model but is still lacking. Sure, it will not give hi-fi level audio but can certainly do the job if you do not have other options available. You can, however, plug in a headphone or stereo system in the unit if you want better audio.

The connectivity options in the unit are also better, giving you not only USB and HDMI but also the option to use AV and Micro SD port that comes with it. It is an excellent choice as an entertainment unit, but for professional presentations, it might not be the best choice.

Highlighted Features

  • Can support up to 1080p resolution
  • Good connectivity options
  • Slim and portable design
  • Excellent entertainment unit

7. Nebula Capsule II Smart Macbook Mini Projector

If you are not one for compromise and want the absolute best portable projector for mac, then this final unit is exactly what you need. The Nebula Capsule II by Anker is a stylish little unit with many smart features, which makes it one of our top choices.

This compact unit has a brightness of 200 ANSI lumens. So you do not need a completely dark room to view the image. It can deliver images of up to 720p, giving you a much better resolution and image clarity than any of the other products we reviewed on this list. Whether you use it for presentation or entertainment, you will face no issues with it.

Some people even go as far as to call it a portable smart tv because of its ability to install apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime Videos. You can pair it up with your phone and control the Netflix app from your smartphone to view videos using your mini projector. The steps are a bit tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to use.

The unit comes with an 8w speaker, but you can use any Bluetooth speaker if you want better audio. In addition, it comes with an HDMI port and a USB port. It also supports Wi-Fi and Chromecast, making it a highly versatile unit. If style and quality are what you are after, this is the best choice.

Highlighted Features

  • Android operating system
  • 720p resolution output
  • 200 ANSI lumens brightness
  • Excellent connectivity options

What To Look Before Purchase a Mini Projector for MacBook Pro?

Our list of reviews should give you some pretty fantastic options, which can help to make your choice a lot easier. However, simply knowing about the top products on the market is not always enough to make sure you pick the right unit.

Everybody has different requirements, and unless you know what you need to look for, you might end up with the wrong product.

That is why you need to know about the key aspects that determine the overall quality of a mac mini projector. Factors such as compatibility, brightness, or even the form factor contribute to your overall satisfaction with a specific unit.

In the following section of the article, we will give you a quick rundown of some of these features to help you make an informed choice when buying a portable projector for mac.

Native Resolution

The first thing that you want to check when buying the best projector for MacBook pro is the native resolution of the unit. With a higher resolution, you will be able to enjoy a sharper image with better clarity. A low-resolution image, on the other hand, might be blurry and unpleasing to the eye.

You will notice that most of the units on our list only have a resolution of 480p. In an era of 4k or 8k displays, this number might seem too low to enjoy using a projector. However, most projectors use Down Sampling technology to scrunch high-resolution images to a lower resolution.

This technology keeps a lot of the image clarity intact, giving you a clear image without too much compromise. An inexperienced eye might not even notice the difference. So strictly looking at the resolution of the projector might not be enough in making the right choice.

For the best experience, you should go with a unit that has a minimum resolution of 480 pixels but can support a minimum of 1080p resolution through Down Sampling. That way, you will be able to enjoy Full HD movies and images with the projector without any issues.

Throw Distance

The throw distance in a projector refers to the distance it can project the image. To put it simply, a unit with a short throw distance will be able to project a larger image even from a short distance. A long throw projector on the other hand will require a longer distance to project the right size of image.

This factor mostly depends on the preference of the user. If you can keep the projector close to the projector screen, a short throw projector is not a bad choice. However, if there is a decent amount of space between the projector and the screen, you need to go with a long throw projector for the best performance.

Brightness

Brightness is another critical factor that can determine your overall experience with the projector. If you are planning on using the projector in bright light, for example, outdoors or in a room with open windows, you need to go with a projector with high brightness output.

How Many Lumens need in a Projector For A Bright Room? Its calculated by using ANSI lumens. With a greater ANSI lumens value, the projector will be able to give you a brighter image that will not look dim even in a bright room. However, most projectors are meant to be viewed in dim environments, so it should not be an issue for most people.

Typically, if you are using it in a dimly lit room for movies and gaming, a 50 ANSI lumens projector should be enough. But if you want to use it for professional use, such as presentations, you might need to go with a brighter unit. We recommend going with a unit with above 150 ANSI lumens of brightness in that case.

Form factor

A portable projector comes in a few different shapes and sizes. You can find palmtop models that you can simply put inside your pockets as you go somewhere or even units that come with a weird capsule-like shape. Some portable projector also looks like a small laptop.

Since it is mostly a personal preference, you might want to check out the different designs available on the market before you make a choice. It also affects the portability of the unit to some extent. So, if you want a truly portable experience, a pocket projector might give you a better experience.

Weight

Another factor that directly affects the portability of a projector is its weight. Obviously, a mini pocket projector will be lighter than a portable laptop-sized model. However, that is not always the case. Some high-quality projectors are known to be heavier than larger models, which can negatively affect their portability.

gain, this comes down to your personal preference since not everyone needs to move around with their projectors. If you want to take your projector with you for work or enjoying a movie night with your friends, a lightweight projector will be a better choice. That way, you will not have to worry about the weight of the unit.

Connectivity Options

The more connectivity options you get with the projector, the more flexibility it offers when you use it. Basic connections such as USB and HDMI are essential. But some models give you a better range of connectivity options to make your experience more satisfying.

For instance, some projectors come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections to make direct connections to your smartphone or laptop. You can also connect Bluetooth speakers with the projector for better audio quality if you need it. Another essential port you may want is the inclusion of a 3.5-inch audio jack output for stereo or headphones.

Speakers

Mini projectors typically do not come with very good speakers. Considering the size of these units, it is impossible to fit a full-sized speaker with high-bass woofers in a small portable projector. So, you should manage your expectations when it comes to audio quality.

Still, some units give you better speakers than others, and if you are an audiophile, you should give this factor some consideration. For example, the portable M1 projector by ViewSonic comes with a pretty decent pair of speakers that are quite loud and clear for the size.

Battery life

Most portable projectors, at least all of the units we listed, come with rechargeable batteries that give you backup power if you do not use the DC cord to power the unit. If you like using the projector without connecting it to the wall socket, your unit must have decent battery life.

You want to get at least an hour or two of battery uptime with the unit so that you can enjoy one movie without running out of battery. Some devices come with even better power management and give you different options to conserve battery powers.

Those are good choices if you frequently use the projector without wall power. Remember, the brightness, speaker size, and resolution are three critical factors that affect the battery life.

The brighter the image, the more power the projector has to pull from the battery. It is the same for sound and resolution. If you can lower these settings, you can get a longer uptime from the battery.

The good thing about portable projectors is that you can use a portable power bank to feed power to the battery while you use it. That way, you will be able to extend the battery time much longer if you want to enjoy watching movies or playing games for a longer period.

Durability

Another critical factor to consider when buying a mini projector is its durability. Since these units are small, dropping them is not that uncommon. Thankfully, most of the units on our list can survive a few drops in their lifetime. However, that does not mean you should drop it just to test it out.

You might come across a term called lamp life when checking out different models on the market. A portable projector uses a small lens to project the image. Lamp life refers to the lifespan of the lens, and typically you should settle for nothing under 50000 hours of lamp life.

Price

A projector can run you anywhere from 50 dollars to even thousands depending on the quality and brand. Thankfully, most mini projectors are in a low-price range and should not cost more than a couple of hundreds at best. If you are on a tight budget, you can certainly find some excellent models that offer good value.

In our list of reviews, we covered a few affordable models that give you a very good performance for the price. If you have a fixed budget in mind, going through our list will give you a lot of excellent choices. So, there is no reason to go over your budget and end up with regret for overspending.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are few questions that people may have when buying a mini projector for mac:

1. How do I connect my mini projector to MacBook?

There are a few different ways to hook up your Mac with a mini projector. Most projectors come with HDMI or USB ports for connectivity. You can use an HDMI to thunderbolt adapter and connect it to the thunderbolt port of your Mac. Or, you can simply connect it using the USB Type-C cable if the projector allows it.

Some units also come with a Wi-Fi connectivity option, which you can use to wirelessly connect it to your Mac. That way, you will be able to stream directly from your Mac to the projector without requiring any physical cable connection.

2. Can I use any apps with my mini projector?

It depends on the model that you have. Some mini projectors come with an android operating system that lets you download and install apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, etc., to your projector. The Nebula Capsule II that we reviewed on our list is a good example of a projector that supports different apps.

However, not all projectors give you this option. Another way to get different streaming apps in your mini projector is to use a USB android device such as Firestick or Chromecast.

Again, not all projectors support USB connections to these devices. If this feature is important for you, you need to be careful about choosing a unit that supports this type of function.

3. What does contrast ratio mean for projectors?

The term contrast ratio determines how bright the whites will appear compared to the blacks. For example, if your projector has a contrast ratio of 1000:1, the white images produced by the unit will be a thousand times brighter than the blacks.

Typically, the greater the difference between the whites and blacks, the better the range of colors you get from the projector.

Final Thoughts

Whether you use it professionally or for entertainment, a portable mini projector is definitely a useful device. It can make your movie nights a lot more spectacular than watching it on TV. And since the prices of these units have come down by a lot, this is the best time to get one for yourself.

Our article on the best mini projector for MacBook Pro should give you a lot of excellent options to consider. Remember, these units are quite versatile, and you can use them with your smartphones or gaming consoles too, without any issues.

If you want to know: Steps For Setting Up Projector in Living Room

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