Projector recommendations (tablet/smartphone)

We are looking for a cheap projector for showing movies in classes and during an all day anqinban (babysitting) summer program. It doesn’t have to be ultra high quality. It wouldn’t be permanently mounted so the smaller ones would be best for teachers carrying it into the classroom. It needs to be run off of a smartphone/tablet since I’m not interested in dedicating a real computer to it. Budget 3000-5000 (seems reasonable based on a quick glance at BestBuy). We might eventually setup all 3 classrooms with some nice equipment but we need something now (in a couple of weeks) that can be setup with minimal fuss and cost.

What should I be looking for and avoiding? Is there a better alternative that I should look at for a short term low cost solution?

Is there anything other than a small set of speakers that I would need?

Well, any projector nowadays has an HDMI connector, and some also have USBs. If you use Android, there are many HDMI adapters that can help you, or if you want to go wireless, you have some options:

  1. stream from the phone/tablet to a Chromecast connected to the USB port.
  2. get a Raspberry Pi Model B (about 40US$) and set it up so you can stream media to it, or get it from a server, or the internet. This is basically the same of having a dedicated computer running Linux, but the cost is MUCH less. You can even purchase the Wifi module, connect it to your projector by cable, and control the Pi wirelessly from your phone/laptop.

I’d recommend this one…

Also, make sure you get the right USB to HDMI cable for the Android device you’re connecting it with. It should be either MHL or SlimPort, I advise you to get a cable that provides an additional Micro USB port for additional power input.