LG CineBeam PH30N portable projector comes with some big compromises

LG Electronics has taken the wraps off a new consumer CineBeam projector for the US market, one designed to be highly compact and portable — but at a cost. The PH30N is small enough to easily take outside or with you on a trip, measuring in at 5- x 5- x 1.5-inches in size and a bit over a pound in weight. The catch? You won't get much brightness or a 4K resolution with this model, which also has a pretty big battery limitation.

There's an obvious appeal to portable projectors — you can, for example, take them out to the backyard for a movie under the stars, bring them with you on vacation, and otherwise move them around to whatever room is best for movie night. The portability comes at a cost, however, and that's expected. The question is which features you're willing to compromise on to get this level of portability.

In the case of LG's new PH30N projector, the compromise is that the projector will not be able to fully play some movies on battery power alone — it can run for up to two hours before needing to be recharged, which means longer movies will require a power outlet to get through. As well, this model's resolution is capped at 1280 x 720 and the brightness is only 250 lumens.

The model can project up to a 100-inch screen at a distance of only 10ft. Audio can be sent to a nearby Bluetooth speaker, plus there's support for wireless device mirroring. Because the light source is an LED, LG says that users can expect up to 30,000 hours of use before the lamp needs replaced — that works out to around eight hours per day for 10 years straight.

Other features include a USB port for plugging in a hard drive or flash drive to access media. Ultimately, this model would be well suited for users who need to play shorter videos while on the go, who need a projector portable enough to travel with, or for artists who want a simple model to project stencils onto large surfaces. The LG PH30N is available now for $399.99 USD.