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Why a portable projector is the perfect gift this Christmas

OPINION: There’s nothing quite like watching on a truly huge screen. Whether you want to watch football, a TV show or a film, a cinema-sized screen delivers an experience that’s more fun and more immersive than any television can deliver.

Why be limited to watching in one place when you could have a portable projector? Being able to move your big screen action around, means you’re more likely to get the most out of your projector all through the year. That makes a portable projector a perfect gift for this Christmas.

Portable projectors are designed to be carried around, so you can set them up when and where you like to get that big-screen action anywhere. There are many different types of portable projectors, depending on your needs. Here are some of our favourites, with reasons why you might want them.

Battery-powered projectors

Starting at the most basic, you get projectors such as the Anker Nebula Capsule Max. This tiny projector is little bigger than a can of beans, and packs in a 720p resolution and a battery, so you can watch where there’s no power, say when you’re camping.

This model uses standard Android, so you get the mobile versions of all the apps you need, such as Netflix and Disney+. Because they’re mobile apps, you can download content to watch offline. 

Nebula Capsule Max

The downside of this model is that it’s not particularly bright and the audio quality isn’t particularly good. Plus, aside from autofocus, you need to configure the picture properly.

If you want something that’s more utilitarian and can work in a wider variety of situations, there’s the XGIMI Halo+. This projector also has a battery, but it ups brightness (you can watch during the day if you pull the curtains shut) and has a Full HD resolution for more detail.

As well as autofocus, this projector has XGIMI’s auto keystone correction, which means that you’ll get a square picture no matter how the Halo+ is angled. And, the projector can automatically resize the image to fit the space it’s pointed at, either filling a dedicated screen or avoiding objects on a wall. 

XGIMI Halo+ auto keystone

Thanks to its loud stereo speakers, you can hear everything without wishing you’d packed a Bluetooth speaker. This flexibility means that the Halo+ will work anywhere with the minimum amount of effort.

As with XGIMI’s other projectors, the Halo+ has Android TV built-in, so you can download apps directly to it. There’s also an HDMI input if you want to connect other devices.

Home cinema in a box

For many of us, we’d like to have all of the benefits of a true home cinema projector, only in a package that’s easy to move around. Say, setting up in the garden during summer for some outside cinema, in the kitchen for a movie night, and in the spare room for some large-screen gaming action.

With this kind of need, a battery isn’t required, as the projector will be near a power socket: high resolution, high brightness and quality speakers are what’s needed. For full quality, the XGIMI Horizon Pro is the model to get. A higher resolution version of the excellent Horizon that we reviewed, this model is the ultimate home cinema in a box.

This 4K HDR projector has the detail to make the most of games and films, plus it has a 2200 ANSI Lumens brightness: that’s enough to use it inside with the blinds open on a sunny day. It has dual 8W speakers, tuned by Harmon Kardon, delivering a room-filling audio experience without any external hardware.

XGIMI Horizon hero

With XGIMI’s intelligent setup, the Horizon Pro will automatically adjust the screen size and shape to avoid obstacles and get you a square, in-focus picture. There’s no faffing around trying to get a perfect picture every time you move this model.

Dual HDMI ports on the rear let you connect external devices, from games consoles to streaming sticks, plus there’s Android TV built-in.

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