Mini-Beamer review - 08/2019

Thanks to their compact design, mini beamers can be carried in any backpack or bag at any time and anywhere. So your beamer is always at your disposal - whether you're watching a movie with friends or presenting it at university or at work. Good picture quality and further functions are given despite the manageable size. We have tested 2 mobile beamers for you, paying special attention to brightness and image quality. Our test winner is the Acer C200: The small beamer has a good color representation and image quality. It's also very quiet. Our favourite with a test score of 8.0/10!

last modified: 14.09.2019, 21:33
Winner
Best price winner
Our winner: Acer C200 Optoma LV130

Acer

C200

Optoma

LV130
  • Good image quality
  • Good colour reproduction
  • Very quiet
  • Low heating
  • Very quiet
  • Integrated loudspeaker
  • Ceiling projection
  • Focus wheel somewhat stiff
  • Colour artifacts at the transition between light and dark surfaces
  • No integrated loudspeaker
  • No ceiling projection
  • Green cast in the picture
  • Focusing
  • Colour artifacts at the transition between light and dark surfaces

Quiet beamer with good image quality. Unfortunately, without integrated loudspeaker.

Solid mini beamer with an integrated loudspeaker. Unfortunately, the picture is greenish.

Image quality
Brightness
Range of functions
Handling
Workmanship
Scope of delivery Beamer, power supply, HDMI cable, user manual, warranty booklet Beamer, power supply, HDMI cable, manual
Image size 25-200 inch 25-80 inch
Ports 1x HDMI, 1x Line Out, 1x USB 1x HDMI, 1x Line Out, 1x USB
Projection technology LED LED
Camera resolution 854 x 480 854 x 480
Contrast 2.000 : 1 100.000 : 1
Image brightness 200 ANSI lumen 300 lumen
Projection distance 0,6-2,4 m 0,6-1,96 m
Battery life 4,5 hours 4,5 hours
Weight 350 g 400 g
Height 3 cm 3,6 cm
Width 11 cm 10,8 cm
Depth 12 cm 12,6 cm
Speaker No Yes, 1 x 1,5 Watt
Quality impression Very good Very good
Packaging Good Good
Quality of instructions Good Satisfactory (detailed instructions online)
Manual language GB, GER, ID, CS, DA, ES, EL, FR, HR, IT, HU, NL, NO, PL, PT, RU, RO, SL, SK, SR, SM, SV, TR, ZH, JP, KO, AR GER, GB, DA, IT, FI, CZ, NL, ES, FR, HU, PL, EL, RO, TR, ID, PT, NO, RU, SV, VI, TC, JA, TH, SC, KO, AR, FA
Additional Warranty 2 years Limited manufacturer's warranty
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
6 reviews
-
Test seal: Acer C200, Rating 2
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Test seal: Optoma LV130, Rating 2.2
read review
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.

Acer

C200

Test seal: Acer C200, Rating good

The Acer C200 does exactly what you would expect from a battery-powered projector of this size. Only an integrated loudspeaker is missing. The picture quality is fine and the brightness is also sufficient for darkened rooms. Due to the resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, you shouldn't expect a miracle in the sharpness of the picture. That's why the beamer is only suitable for presentations to a limited extent.

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  • Make sure that the beamer has the projection mode you need for your installation situation.
  • Try to avoid using keystone correction if possible, as it has a negative effect on the quality of the image.
  • Some mini beamers can also be used as power banks to load other devices.
  • Battery-powered beamers are very compact, but the brightness is usually lower.
 

Test procedure

In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:

  • Image quality
  • Brightness
  • Functional scope
  • Processing and
  • Operation

In order to be able to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for the mini beamers.
First, the scope of delivery, functions, and connection options are checked. As soon as the beamers are put into operation, the operation is assessed. This includes menu navigation as well as the focusing of pictures. The image quality of the devices is checked using a test image. This image can be used to evaluate brightness, contrast and colour representation. While the beamers are in use, the room is darkened.

Furthermore, the fan volume is measured from a distance of 1 m and 20 cm. If the devices are equipped with loudspeakers, their volume is also measured and the quality assessed. To check the brightness, the devices are set to maximum brightness and project a white image onto a wall. A lux meter measures illuminance at nine points so that luminous flux can be calculated. After 30 minutes in operation, a thermal imaging camera is used to check how much the devices heat up.

In order to rule out errors and to ensure the stress of everyday use, each test takes place in several runs.

The test criteria are given percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.

Product selection
Our product selection is based on an observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).

The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.

As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.

The term 'beamer' comes from English and is used as a synonym for a video projector. Literally translated beaming means "to illuminate". In technical usage, a beamer is always called a projector. There is, therefore, no difference between a projector and a beamer.

You can also find a mini beamer under the name mobile beamer, pocket beamer, portable beamer or pico beamer. The small beamers are characterized by their compact dimensions and low weight. You can easily stow a mini beamer in your trouser pocket, jacket, backpack or handbag. Mini beamers work on the same principle as the larger models, so you can use them to project a picture onto a wall. The small devices have a manual adjustment to allow horizontal and vertical alignment of images. This allows the output images to always be displayed in the right proportions on a wall or screen. Most mini projectors are equipped with a 230-volt power supply and are powered by it. Other models have an integrated rechargeable battery so that they can be used independently of an electrical outlet. Modern mini beamers usually produce HD resolution. On top models, full HD resolutions of 1,920 pixels can be achieved. Now even 4K models with up to 4,096 pixels resolution are available. In order to guarantee sufficient brightness, mini beamers are equipped with high-quality LEDs as projection light.

Many mini beamers are also equipped with practical rubber or plastic feet for a secure stand. On some models, it is possible to adjust the height individually so that the image height can be better adjusted. In their functions, the mini beamers do not differ from the conventional beamers. Instead of the large projector lamps, the mini beamers are equipped with LED lighting. Due to technical progress, LEDs offer a very high brightness even with microscopic dimensions. As with the large beamer, an image is projected onto a specific surface by the mini beamer. Depending on the model, different sizes are possible. If you need a small beamer for mobile use, a mini beamer with battery is best suited for you. Compared to large beamers, the light output of mini beamers is slightly lower due to the lower lumen value. However, the LEDs achieve an average mileage of over 20,000 hours. Although the mini beamers are often inferior to normal beamers in terms of quality, they offer some advantages due to their small dimensions and portability.

In the case of officials, a basic distinction is made between five types. There are:

  • LED projectors
  • LCD projectors
  • LCoS projectors
  • Laser projectors
  • DLP projectors


Depending on the personal preference and the intended use the suitable beamer can be selected. Mini beamers are characterised by their compact design. The small devices are easy to transport and therefore excellently suitable for on the way. Most mini beamers are equipped with modern LED technology so that a longer lamp life can be expected with low energy consumption. However, mini beamers with LED lamps produce only low brightness. These beamers are often used for presentations in schools, universities and at work, as they are only a minor strain on the eyes. The type of lamp is the main differentiating criterion when selecting a suitable mini projector. Almost all mini projectors use LED or DLP technology.

LED mini projectors use LED projectors (LEDs) as light sources instead of conventional light bulbs. The light generated is either guided through different display layers of liquid crystals or reflected by tiny mirrors. The LEDs have virtually no maintenance costs, deliver clear colors and have low power consumption. Furthermore, because LED projectors generate less heat, this type of mini projector is more durable and environmentally friendly.

DLP mini beamers use Digital Light Processing (DLP) to reflect light on the screen using tiny mirrors. Most DLP mini beamers are equipped with a color wheel that produces a sequential color. DLP projectors are generally a bit more expensive. On the other hand, they have the advantage that high contrast values are generated and the devices have only a low dust sensitivity.

An LCD mini beamer works with the help of liquid crystal projection. With this technique, a small mirror system is used so that a complete image with all color values can be displayed and projected on a screen. However, there is a certain risk of a so-called LCD memory effect. In addition, the optics of LCD beamers are very sensitive to dust or dirt particles. The advantages of LCD mini beamers are good color reproduction and compact design.

The LCoS mini projector also works with liquid crystal projection. In contrast to the LCD mini beamers, these devices allow a denser arrangement and a better display of the picture elements. The image thus appears more natural and sharper. However, an LCD memory effect can also occur with these mini beamers. With increasing operating time the picture quality can decrease strongly. The laser mini beamer works with laser projection so that an absolute black can also be displayed.

Laser projectors are characterized by the fact that they are extremely low-maintenance and can display the complete RGB colour space.

Before you decide on a particular mini projector, you should first compare different devices. You can use important purchase criteria to objectively evaluate the beamers and find the right device to meet your requirements. The most important criteria for mini beamers are light intensity and resolution, contrast, keystone correction, WiFi, port, weight and battery life. Luminous intensity is one of the most important factors when choosing a suitable mini beamer. Because brightness is measured in lumens, you should pay attention to the two-lumen specifications, white brightness, and color brightness. Resolution is the number of pixels in an image. The higher the number of pixels, the better the resolution and the more detailed and sharp the images appear on the wall. The difference between light and darkness is called contrast. With a mini beamer, this difference is expressed on the screen by a number. In addition, the contrast ratio indicates how clear the projected image will appear.

To reduce the keystone effect, many mini projectors are equipped with vertical and/or horizontal keystone correction. Keystone correction is an important function as it helps to display images correctly and in proportion. WiFi support is one of the great advantages of mini projectors, as it allows you to connect your mini projector to other devices via the Internet. Since no cable connection is required, this option is very useful for streaming. When choosing a mini-projector, you should also consider the connections, as the picture quality depends greatly on the connection types. The low weight is another advantage of mobile devices. If you're often on the road for business or pleasure, a mini projector is perfect for you. You can also connect a miniature battery-powered projector to your smartphone, for example, when giving a presentation to a small group. However, the lighter the mini projector, the higher the price. Since the majority of the mini beamers are battery-powered, battery life is also important when making a purchase decision. You should take a closer look when choosing your device, because some mini beamers still need power, even though they are portable.

There are different types of image correction. The two most important methods are Lense Shift and Keystone Correction.

Lens Shift Correction allows you to move a representation projected by the mini projector onto a screen. Shifting is possible both horizontally and vertically using a manual or motor setting. Most mini projectors have an integrated lens shift, so there's no loss of image quality or keystone distortion. This function is activated whenever the mini projector is not centered and perpendicular to the screen and prevents the image from being distorted. Keystone distortion distorts the projected image. Such a distortion can also occur if the projection axis is not at right angles to the screen. If the offset value is not maintained or if the projector is set up in an unsuitable location, distortions in the lower or upper area of the projection will occur more frequently. If the mini-beamer is not at a 90-degree angle to the screen, a laterally distorted image will be displayed.
is projected. The Lens Shift prevents such keystone distortion without you having to correct the location of your mini projector. If you want to adjust the lens shift manually, use the joystick located directly on the beamer. A motorized or automatic adjustment of the lens shift is usually possible with newer and expensive mini beamers. However, you should avoid moving the lens as far as it will go, otherwise, there will be a slight loss of sharpness.

Keystone correction is another way to prevent or correct keystone distortion. Keystone correction compensates for the original keystone distortion by creating artificial distortion in the image. After the Keystone Correction is applied, the device displays a normal image on the screen. With the keystone correction, a considerable loss of quality must be expected. On the one hand, parts of the image surface, as well as the light output, get lost, on the other hand, a part of the image information disappears. Nevertheless, the keystone correction is a simple solution to prevent keystone distortion. This is why this function is also found in inexpensive models.

The lens shift, which prevents distortion in advance and makes the display appear correct, is mainly a component of somewhat more expensive devices. However, both the lens shift and the keystone correction have certain advantages and disadvantages. A mini beamer with keystone correction is usually offered at a reasonable price. If you set a high value on high and constant image quality, a mini beamer with integrated lens shift is the right option.

The mini beamer was developed primarily for mobile use and is suitable as a compact device for travel and business trips. In the private sector, for example, the mini beamer is used on holiday to watch an exciting film in a hotel room, holiday apartment or caravan. Conventional projectors are often used for gaming and home cinema. A mini projector can also be worthwhile in your own home. You can easily use a small projector in any room. The device's light weight makes it easy to move from one room to another. Basically, a mini beamer is intended for everyday use. The mini projector is mainly used by sales representatives who use the device during their customer visits. In addition, a mini projector is suitable for presentations in class, kindergarten, school and other educational institutions. You can also use a mini beamer for presentations and training. Mini projectors are typically used for office presentations, seminars, and employee training.

The handy device fits in your handbag, jacket pocket or trouser pocket and is quickly ready for use. In addition to their small size, mini beamers are also characterised by their versatility. Although the picture quality of the small devices is not comparable with HD-TV, Android or Apple smartphones can also be connected to a mini beamer. Other advantages of mini projectors include low power consumption, sufficiently good image quality and integrated long-life LED light sources. The mini device, which has been specially designed for mobile use, is suitable for both videos and still images, and also relatively inexpensive. Most mini beamers convince with low maintenance requirements. With a classic beamer, a considerably higher effort is required for regular maintenance. In terms of power consumption, mobile beamers are also superior to conventional projectors because they are considerably more economical.

Due to their comparatively simple technology, mini beamers are very low-maintenance. In order to maintain the high image quality and the device always has good brightness values, the mini projector must be cleaned regularly. Since the LED lamps last extremely long without losing their luminosity, they do not need to be replaced. Modern devices are better protected against dust and other dirt than before and therefore do not have to be cleaned as often as a conventional beamer. However, regular care and cleaning make sense in order not to neglect the device. The lens of the mini beamer should be cleaned before each use. This will ensure that the image is displayed as sharply as possible without grease stains or other impurities preventing correct display. To clean your mini projector, use a slightly moistened microfiber cloth or compressed air spray. An ordinary cloth, however, is not suitable for cleaning a mini projector. If the lens is damaged or scratched during cleaning, the beamer may no longer be usable.

You can also clean the housing of your mini beamer with a microfiber cloth. Heavy soiling can be removed with a pH-neutral cleaning agent without damaging the material. To ensure that the device always functions smoothly, it should be regularly cleaned of dust. This will prevent the ventilation slots from clogging up and heat accumulation. With compressed air spray, you can easily remove the dust from the housing. It is recommended to open the housing of a mini beamer regularly and to clean the inside of the device carefully from deposits. If you do not wish to clean your mini-projector yourself, you can have a professional cleaning service carried out at a repair shop. The correct transport of the mini projector plays a crucial role in avoiding heavy contamination. The mini projector should always be transported in a lockable bag and not simply taken without a cover. This is the best way to protect the unit from dust and other contaminants.

Certain accessories are available for mini beamers. These include projector lamps, screens, audio systems, cables, and loudspeakers. For many mini beamers, certain accessories are already included in the scope of delivery. Before you order additional accessories, you should, therefore, check which accessories are included with your mini beamer. A beamer lamp is used to project images. Most lamps must be replaced after one or two years, especially if the mini beamer is in daily use. The light bulbs are a real investment because they can cost several hundred euros. Not every mini projector is equipped with good loudspeakers. Such systems are often not sufficient for optimal sound. The purchase of an audio system makes sense if you want to use the mini beamer for watching videos. A separate audio system, preferably a surround sound system, is usually required for a home cinema. A screen is also a sensible purchase because the quality of images or video material often does not really come into its own on semi-glossy, plain walls. Buying a screen is the best way to get the most out of your new mini projector.

When choosing accessories, make sure that some mini projectors only work with original accessories of your own brand. Whether you need additional cables depends on what you want to use your mini projector for and what devices you connect. Special HDMI cables and USB cables are available for mini projectors. Usually, a power cord is already included. Mini beamers are also often offered with other cables such as an AV cable. Remote control is also often included in the price. With the remote control, you can operate the mini beamer comfortably from the sofa. If you compare offers, you will notice that the batteries for the remote control are often already included. A carrying bag is handy and protects the mini projector from dirt and damage. Sometimes a carrying case is included with a mini projector accessory. You can then use the bag to transport your mini projector. It is often necessary to mount a mini projector on a tripod. If the tripod is not included, you can purchase it as an accessory from most retailers.

How do we test at askgeorge.com?

Live and authentic: We get the devices into our Hamburg test laboratory. Here we take a close look at everything.

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  • Which suppliers are on the market?
  • What current products are there?
  • What are the comparison criteria?
  • What tests are we going to run?
  • What is the test procedure?

When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.

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