If you’re searching for a best mini projector (opens in new tab), and you don’t want to spend a fortune, then the Apeman M4 is a cheap option that you should consider. It’s small, lightweight and has a solid, durable design that makes it ideal for taking with you on the go, whether it's to host a backyard movie screening or to watch some scary movies on a camping trip. It makes our list of the best mini projectors because of its decent video quality and cheaper price.
The Apeman M4 measures 3.9 x 3.9 x 0.85 inches and weighs just over a pound, making it easy to store or move around. One thing omitted from this package, unlike nearly all of the other projectors we tested, is a remote control. Remotes allow you to sift through videos or adjust certain settings without having to get up from your seat, but with the M4 you’ll have to do so manually.
Connectivity options are good, with plenty of ways to get it paired up with loads of devices. There is a HDMI port which will plug it into your laptop (opens in new tab), TV (opens in new tab), or Blu-ray player (opens in new tab) with no trouble. It can also sync up to mobile devices though you’ll need a wireless display dongle which isn’t included.
Apeman M4 review: Video and audio quality
The Apeman M4 has a 100 lumen LED lamp, which is bright enough for you to get a good quality picture in a dark or dimly lit room, but it will struggle in brightly lit rooms or during the daytime.
When viewed in appropriate light conditions though, the Apeman M4 has good video quality. It supports full 1080p HD video (though the actual display resolution is 854 x 480) and offers a 1000:1 contrast ratio - this is OK, but there are much more powerful projectors available today. The recommended display distance for the Apeman M4 is between one and four meters. At these distances, the image display can be anywhere from 30-100 inches in size, which is plenty big enough for a budget portable projector like this.
The Apeman M4 has decent video quality for a mini projector in this price range, but it has some issues. It handles motion on screen fine, but the display isn’t as bright or sharp as some other projectors that we’ve tested. Colors don’t always seem to be displayed as intended, with many warm color tones looking a bit off, though cool colors seemed to fare better. Reds often looked oversaturated, and oranges had a strong yellow hue to them during vibrant scenes like explosions.
We were pleasantly surprised by the sound quality though. This is often lacking in portable projectors, but the Apeman M4’s dual one-watt stereo speakers kicked out decent sound quality and volume, even better than some projectors with two-watt speaker setups.
Apeman M4 review: Battery life
The Apeman M4 has an internal battery that will last between 90 and 120 minutes of video content - that’s enough for shorter movies, but that upcoming you’re going to struggle to make it through the runtime of most major movies on a single charge, which is a shame for a portable projector.
Assuming you’re not leaving the house though, the Apeman M4 can be plugged into a wall socket (and you could use a portable power bank if you wanted to run it for longer outdoors). It recharges quickly too.
Should you buy the Apeman M4?
If you’re looking for a lightweight, portable mini projector that you can take to your friends house for movie night, or maybe setup in the garden for a private midnight cinema, then the Apeman M4 is a great choice. The image quality is decent, it runs quietly, and has a surprisingly good sound system.
The lackluster battery life means that you’ll need an external power source or a wall socket connection to make it through longer movies in one go. It’s also not amazing during the daylight due to its mediocre brightness and contrast, but for the price, this is a decent little mini projector.