All about pico projectors


What is a pico projector?

A pico projector, also known as a handheld projector, pocket projector, mobile projector or mini beamer, is simply a compact video projector that’s small enough to be held in one hand.
Because they’re miniaturised, they are much lighter than their big brothers, and so compact that you can take them anywhere!

Operating with LED technology, they allow you to project pictures in HD or Full HD quality, on a screen with a diagonal measurement of 3 metres or even more.

The origins of the pico projector

Pico projection comes from the word pico, a prefix from the international SI system of units, representing 10-12 times one unit (a millionth of a millionth).

From 1980 onwards, a lot of work was done on the miniaturisation of video projectors. No real progress could be made until the arrival of technologies that worked well with digital technology (DLP, DMD or LCD).
Also, the use of halogen bulbs was initially a barrier to progress, because they needed a cooling system.

With the arrival of the first high-power light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the time had come for the first prototypes of pico projectors.

The 2009 CES expo marked the launch of new applications for pico projectors, with a number of manufacturers offering various technological choices. Pico projectors were becoming a commercial reality!


After powering up with either mains electricity or battery power, all you need do is connect the projector to a device containing the files you want to project. This could be a computer, a video games console, a Blu-Ray player, a TV receiver, etc.
Once the projector is powered up, you simply adjust the image focus using a knob which is usually located on the side or the top of the device.

Depending on the model of pico projector, various methods of connection may be available:

  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • USB or mini-USB
  • Memory card reader

Some devices allow wireless image transfer (Bluetooth, WiFi) from a smartphone, tablet or PC.

Often supporting mobile applications, they can read photo formats (JPG, BMP), video formats (WMV, AVI, MOV, etc) and audio formats (MP3, WMA, etc).
More and more models also include a viewer to display office files (TXT, PowerPoint, PDF, etc).

The pico projector, for all your mobile projections!

Weighing only a few grammes in the case of the lightest models, they have an internal or external battery that gives 2 to 4 hours of autonomous operation for high mobility. Some models also have a built-in memory.

They can be used for leisure (projecting a film or playing video games) or professional use (such as viewing a presentation).
To complete the list of mobile features, you can add other equipment such as loudspeakers or a suitable projection screen!

The MINISCREEN projection screen, a portable screen that’s perfect for pico projectors!

Choose a screen that will make all the difference to your professional presentations, or any other group viewing.
The MINISCREEN portable projection screen was developed at our factory specifically to give you optimal mobile projection using a pico projector.
Very light and simple to use, it can go with you anywhere, and will provide you with ideal image quality.

Choosing the right pico projector

There are two essential criteria:

  • Luminosity:
    For optimum projection, go for the projector with the most lumens (at least 800, or 1000 if a room light will be needed so that people can take notes).
    In complete darkness, as little as 100 lumens may be acceptable but that means a smaller projected image.
  • Contrast:
    A contrast of 1000:1 will provide a good image.

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