Top 7 Lightweight Projectors

If you need to lug your LED/DLP/LCD projector around to make presentations in a variety of locations, you know there's a huge difference between a projector that weighs eight pounds and one that weighs four. But can a lightweight portable projector still provide the presentation quality needed for boardrooms, classrooms and home theaters?

Yes! These units all have XGA (1024x768) resolution or (even better) WXGA (1280x800) which makes them a perfect match for today's high resolution laptop displays. (Lower-priced models do not support high enough resolutions for business presentations.) For more information on projector resolution, terms and technologies see Before You Buy a Projector for Your Business.

Note that some of the units in the list quote brightness in ANSI lumens. ANSI lumen values are much lower than the lumens quoted by manufacturers and there is no easy conversion formula - the only way to tell is by direct comparison.

Here are the best portable LCD, LED and DLP projectors. All are lightweight (some less than two pounds), but are still packed with features to make any presentation shine.

Epson VS315W 3LCD Projector

Epson VS315W WXGA Projector
Image (c) Amazon

With its simple USB Plug 'n Play setup, 3LCD 3-chip technology, Mac compatibility, low price and light weight (5.1 pounds) the Epson VS315W is a great choice for a portable projector.  Image quality is excellent at 1280 x 800 resolution (WXGA). Brightness is 2600 lumens in both color and white and lamp life is up to 5000 hours. Buy from Amazon

BenQ MX525 DLP Projector

BenQ MX525 DLP Projector. Image (c) Amazon

At 4.2 pounds, this DLP projector is very lightweight and portable, but it still has an excellent combination of features and price. XGA resolution (1024 x 768) and 3200 lumens brightness provide images clear and bright enough to be seen in a normally lit conference room. It is also capable of displaying 3D content, although this would require all viewers to have 3D glasses. Add in a 10,000 hour lamp life, 13000:1 contrast ratio, and you have a portable projector that's a true road warrior for mobile presenters. Buy from Amazon

Optoma ML750 DLP LED Portable Projector

Optoma ML750 Portable DLP/LED Projector. Image (c) Amazon

This ultra-compact LED projector has amazing performance in a small package. Weighing 14 ounces and measuring 4" x 4" x 1.5" it has 700 ANSI lumens of brightness. With microSD and USB ports, connecting a PC to the Optoma is not required as it has a built-in media player and office viewer for presentations.

The Optoma supports WXGA resolution as well as HD video (1920x1080) via HDMI. It is also 3D-capable. The LED technology delivers beautiful, crisp images and vivid colors.  With very low power consumption and a super long LED lifetime (20,000+ hours) the Optoma is a great choice for a portable projector. Buy from Amazon

ViewSonic PLED-W800 Portable LED Projector

ViewSonic PLED-W800 Ultra Portable LED Projector. Image (c) Amazon

At 4 pounds the ViewSonic PLED-W800 is a solid choice for a portable projector. The LED light source provides 800 ANSI lumens at WXGA and HD resolutions. It comes with HDMI and USB connectors and an SD card slot. Media Player support means it can play video files and display PDF and MS Office documents without connecting the unit to a PC. An optional (but expensive) USB dongle provides wireless connectivity to a PC or Mac.

While the W800 is not the cheapest of portable projectors, the 30,000+ hour LED life and minimal power consumption ensure a low cost of ownership. Buy from Amazon

Epson PowerLite 1761W Wireless 3LCD Projector

Epson PowerLite 1761W Wireless 3LCD Projector. Image (c) Amazon

Two things make this portable projector stand out – its versatility and its size (1.7 " tall and 3.7 pounds). It has WXGA resolution and an HDMI connector for HD video content, and offers wireless connectivity to Macs, PCs, iPhone/iPads, or Android devices. With 2600 lumens of color/B&W brightness powered by 3LCD technology, image quality is crisp and clear. Buy from Amazon

Dell M115HD Mobile LED Projector

Dell M115HD Mobile LED Projector. Image (c) Amazon

A less expensive choice suitable for presentations to small group meetings, the Dell M115HD is truly tiny at 13 ounces and 4"x4"x1.4" in size, making it perfect for travel.

It has 450 ANSI lumens of brightness at WXGA resolution and with DLP technology delivers excellent image clarity. There are USB, VGA, and HDMI inputs and an optional (though hideously expensive) dongle for wireless connectivity.

If you are a business "road warrior" and looking for an excellent projector in a small, lightweight package, the Dell M115HD fits the bill. Buy from Amazon

Vivitek Qumi Q5 LED/DLP Portable Projector

Vivitek Qumi Q5 DLP Projector. Image (c) Amazon

The Vivitek Qumi Q5 projector is another inexpensive choice that is perfectly adequate for many business presentations. It's tiny footprint (6.3" x 1.3" x 4.0") and light weight (1.1 lbs.) makes it ideal for travel.

It supports WXGA and HD resolutions and has 500 lumens of brightness via DLP technology. The 30,000+ hour LED life means no expensive bulb replacements. Inputs include HDMI and USB, and Office Viewer allows playback of a variety of image formats, documents, and video files without connection to a PC. 3D capable, it also has wireless connectivity via the optional USB dongle.  For those who like vibrant colors it comes in blue, yellow and red models.

With this many features at a modest price, the Vivitek Qumi Q5 is an excellent choice for a portable projector. Buy from Amazon