Planning to buy a new projector? Whether you want one for your home or work, choosing the right size projector is important. Otherwise, you might have to deal with issues like poor-quality images. Speaking about size, you will probably have to decide between getting a mini projector or a full-size projector.
But how do you tell whether you need a mini or full-size projector? It’s not as easy as it might seem, especially if you don’t know their differences very well.
Nothing to worry about, though, because we will help you figure out which one is the best for your needs. Below, you can find some of the key mini projector vs full size projector differences.
Don’t have the time to go through our detailed mini projector vs. full-size projector guide? This comparison table will help you decide which type of projector is the best for your needs.
|Features||Mini Projector||Full Size Projector|
|Size||Small (pocket size)||Large|
|Resolution & Image quality||Lower resolution & dimmer images||HD/4K resolution and highest image quality|
|Inputs & Control settings||A High number of modern inputs & fewer settings||A High number of traditional inputs and more control settings|
|Mounting options||Tabletop stand, wall, and floor mount or indoor display||Ceiling, shelf, and wall mount or outdoor display|
|Wireless connectivity||Available for most models||Available for some models|
|Portability||Highly portable||Less portable|
|Easy use & Cable management||Easier to use and with better cable management||A little hard to use and cable management is not easy|
|Lifespans||Average life||Longer life|
|Cost||More affordable||A bit expensive|
Mini Projector vs. Full Size Projector – What are the Key Differences?
Whether you choose to invest in a mini or full-size projector, it all depends on your needs. This is because they are not built the same. Now let’s look at some of the features that set them apart.
The first notable difference is their size. As the name suggests, a mini-projector is small in size or pocket size. Generally, most mini devices measure around 8 x 8 x 4 inches. Therefore, you will find it more convenient to travel. A full-size projector, on the other hand, is large in size because it comes with many internal parts.
Resolution & Image quality
Mini projectors have different resolutions. Some have 480p or lower but most have a 720p resolution. However, you can still find a few with 1080p resolution, although a bit more expensive. Therefore, you can expect them to offer sharp and crisp images but not the same quality as that of full-size projectors.
When it comes to full-size projectors, they are available in high definition, full high definition, and ultra-high-definition resolutions. Simply, you can find them in 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolutions. As such, they will provide you with the highest image quality and the largest size pictures.
Inputs & Control settings
Among the strengths of a mini projector are the many modern inputs it comes with. You can play content from a USB input, built-in apps, bluetooth-connected devices, HDMI inputs, and more. However, when it comes to control settings, it offers just a few, which is why it is easy to use.
As for full-size projectors, they offer a range of traditional inputs. These include HDMI, DVI, RCA, VGA, USB, and optical cable. And in terms of control settings, this type of projector has many controls and sensors to ensure you get the best quality images.
You can mount your mini projector on a wall or even the floor. Also, you can use a projector screen stand or tabletop stand. However, when it comes to a full-size projector, the best place to mount it is on the wall or the ceiling. Wall and ceiling mounting options ensure your projector is secure.
Most mini-projectors feature built-in wireless connectivity. Therefore, you can wirelessly connect them to your mobile device. Some models even provide you with wireless headphone connectivity.
When it comes to full-size projectors, most of the models out there only support wired connections. Therefore, if you want a wireless connection, you would have to buy a wireless adapter. However, some higher-end models do provide you with wireless connections. This allows you to connect them to a smartphone.
A mini projector is arguably the most portable of them all. And not just because of its compact size but also for its lightweight design. Therefore, you can carry it with you everywhere you go.
A full-size projector, on the other hand, is not the best when it comes to portability. It is quite bulky with an average weight of around 20 pounds. More so, it’s large in size.
Another thing that makes a mini projector different from a full-size device is its built-in rechargeable battery. Therefore, you can use it on the go without the need to connect to a power source. However, these batteries will only provide you with power for a couple of hours.
As for full-size projectors, they don’t have a built-in rechargeable battery. So, you have to connect them to a power outlet to run your presentation. You will also need an extension cord.
Easy use & Cable management
Mini projectors are quite simple in design. They have fewer control settings and allow for quick connection and disconnection. As such, you will find them very easy to use.
In terms of cable management, mini projectors come with very few cables for connection because of their simple design. Some models even feature cable management holes to provide you with a clean look.
Full-size projectors are also easy to use but not as mini projectors. This is because they come with several image control settings that you must learn how to operate. You might also have a difficult time managing their cables because they are quite a number. So, you will need to buy a cable management sleeve or hood.
A mini projector lamp can last between 2,000 to 4,000 hours. However, new designs featuring LED bulbs have a lifespan of 20,000 to 30,000 hours.
Meanwhile, full-size devices using LED lamps have a projected lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. So, they are more long-lasting than their mini counterparts. In addition, they also boast long-lasting brightness.
Pocket-size projectors cost less than their full-size counterparts. They can cost you anywhere between $50 to $120 or even more. However, higher-end models can cost you between $200 and $500. This is still on the lower side compared to the cost of a full-size device. For full-size projectors, a good quality unit will cost you between $1,000 and $6,000 or even more.
Why do you need a mini projector?
First, it is an incredibly versatile device. Therefore, it will allow you to enjoy movies, games, and videos whether you are at home, traveling, camping, or any other location. Simply, you will need a mini projector if you are looking for an affordable and portable projector for use on the go.
Are mini projectors worth it?
Definitely yes. They allow you to make presentations or watch a movie from anywhere and at any time, even during power outages. Besides, some of them can provide you with high-definition images. The best part is that they are compatible with mobile devices, HDMI, USB, AV interfaces, and even TV boxes.
When should I Buy a Full-Size Projector?
First and foremost, when you want to project larger images with amazing quality and high resolution. Secondly, when you want a cinematic feel without having to put up with the hazards of a movie theater. In addition, you will want to buy a full-size device if you’re always having to make professional presentations.
What size projector screen do I need?
It depends on the number of your audience and the shape or aspect ratio of your screen. The aspect ratio simply means that for every 16 feet of width, there will be 9 feet of height.
For instance, if your audience size is 100 and the aspect ratio is 16:9, you will need a 5.5 tall x 10” wide projector screen. Meanwhile, if your aspect ratio is 4:3 and the viewing audience is 100, you should get a 6” tall x 8” wide projector screen.
While the key difference between a mini projector vs full size projector is their size, there are more differences to watch out for. For instance, a mini projector is lightweight, comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, and is easy to use. Therefore, you can use it to make presentations and watch movies since it’s compatible with laptops, HDMI inputs, and TV sticks.
A full-size projector, on the other hand, projects high-detailed and crisp-quality pictures compared to a mini device. This makes it ideal for making more professional presentations. That said, whether you choose to invest in a mini or full-size projector, you must use the right projector screen for the best viewing experience.