Just a few years ago, portable business projectors were dim and their projected images muddy. New models are much brighter-- they clearly project videos, slide presentations, and even small-type budget reports. We tested three of them to get the big picture.
This 300-lumen projector was our top pick. At the 80-inch maximum image size, video was clear and colorful, and a budget report was razor sharp. The 4- by 4- by 1-inch MP410 weighs 1 pound and comes with a carry bag but no remote. It has 1GB of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot, a USB port, and VGA and HDMI inputs. The MP410 uses a DLP, or digital light processing, bulb that lasts 20,000 hours. cost: $599
Though far brighter than projectors of the past, the 200-lumen Asus P1 was the dimmest in our test. A budget report looked OK, but video lacked rich color. With a projected image up to 120 inches diagonally, the roughly 5- by 5- by 1-inch P1 weighs about 15 ounces and comes with a soft carrying case but no remote. There's a VGA input but no HDMI or USB port or internal storage. The P1 uses an LED bulb with a 30,000-hour life span. cost: $499
Velocity Micro Shine
This 9-ounce, 3- by 4- by 1-inch projector is the smallest and lightest we tested. The 300-lumen Shine projects a maximum 150-inch image. Video was colorful but slightly faint, and focus was a bit uneven for still images. The Shine has a USB port and a mini HDMI port, plus 2GB of internal memory. Adapter cables for VGA and RCA inputs, a soft carrying case, and a remote are included. The LED bulb lasts 20,000 hours. cost: $430