It's fair to say that mobile projectors fall into a very niche product category — not substantial enough to anchor your home theatre setup, but still a compelling option for a number of scenarios.
Whether you're an entrepreneur or college student working on business pitches or presentations, or simply love the idea of enjoying a pop-up theatre in your own backyard — a mobile projector can offer a convenient and fun way for educating or entertaining your audience.
I was sent the Sony MP-CD1 Mobile Projector to test and review, and while I'm not planning to go back to school or make any impromptu business pitches anytime soon, I do love to stream content and play video games, so that's exactly how I tested it. And this pocket-sized projector really impressed me with how versatile and portable it is.
- Ultra compact size
- Projects up to 120" screen
- Whisper-quiet fan
- Includes Leather carrying case
- Easy to set up and use with most devices
- Not inexpensive
- Built-in speaker is not very good
- Requires additional accessories to connect your phone
- Battery life lasts two hours
Sony MP-CD1 Mobile Projector What I like
Right out of the box, I was blown away at the incredibly compact size of this projector. This projector is pocket-friendly and comes with a nice leather carrying case that looks great and also helps protect the projector lens. The package also included an HDMI cable and a USB-C cable for charging the 5,000 mAh internal battery.
There are four ports along the right side of the projector — a USB-C port for charging and providing power to the device, a USB Out port that lets the projector operate as a portable power pack in a pinch, an HDMI port that also supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) for connecting your smartphone, and a 3.5mm jack for connecting external headphones and speakers. On the opposite side, right next to the projector lens, is a slider for controlling focus.
On the bottom is a threaded tripod mount hole that you can use, but I generally found it unnecessary to use because the projector does automatic keystone correction so well — point it at a wall and it will configure the display to create a perfect rectangle no matter how you have it orientated. A flexible GorrilaPod mount will make for a great accessory for this projector if you plan to use it on uneven surfaces or mount it on a railing.
Made a popup theatre in my backyard using @nvidia Shield TV, @Sony mobile projector and a bedsheet. Gotta make the most of these last days of summer!🎥🍿👩💻 pic.twitter.com/kdKdbVZ1OqMade a popup theatre in my backyard using @nvidia Shield TV, @Sony mobile projector and a bedsheet. Gotta make the most of these last days of summer!🎥🍿👩💻 pic.twitter.com/kdKdbVZ1Oq— marc (@spacelagace) September 2, 2018September 2, 2018
Regarding performance, the 105-lumen lamp is more than bright enough to use in any dark setting whether that be a classroom, bedroom, or outdoors after the sunset. This works as a short throw projector, creating a 40-inch image when placed just over a meter away, and can cast a 120-inch image from just three meters away.
This allowed me to connect and project my NVIDIA Shield TV to fill an entire wall of my bedroom for a movie theatre experience in my bedroom. Combined with the great sound from my bookshelf speakers, the entire set up was quite brilliant. I also tested the setup outdoors and created a wonderful little backyard theatre for myself in no time at all.
Sony MP-CD1 Mobile Projector What I don't like
For all the positive qualities I love about this projector, there are a few drawbacks. The first limitation is the battery life — you can expect to get two hours of projection time from a fully charged battery.
This is more than enough battery life to enjoy most movies, but a Netflix binge will most certainly cut short if it's not connected to a power source. Once the battery is depleted, I've found that plugging into a direct power source charges the battery first, and since the lamp uses power faster than the battery can recharge, the projector inevitably dies fast.
There's no built-in OS for the projector, and I was unable to test connecting my phone via MHL because that required an additional accessory that probably should have been included here. The built-in speaker is sub-par at best, so you're definitely going to want to use this projector with a set of headphones or speakers.
Sony MP-CD1 Mobile Projector
This pocket-sized projector is one of the coolest accessories I've tested in 2018. With a little imagination, you're able to create a custom theatre experience anywhere inside or outside your home.
4 out of 5
I think this mobile projector would be an especially great accessory for any college student who could make use of it for academic presentations along with a cool theatre setup for gaming or watching movies in the dorm room.