Buying a tabletop projector screen isn’t as complex as buying a TV. You don’t need to concern yourself with the resolution, peripheral support or smart features because tabletop projector screens are much simpler devices.
They are effectively a blank screen which is projected on to with a separate device. Because of this, there are only two things you need to concern yourself with when buying one: the size of the screen, and the format (e.g. 4:3). There are some smaller details to consider, such as screen material, but these are secondary.
Tabletop projector screens are designed to be portable, and they exist precisely because not everyone has a dedicated projector setup. They come in a wide range of standard sizes, such as this 50” tabletop projection screen.
The right screen size for you is dependent on your desk size. While high-quality tabletop screens are stable, so can have a little overrun on a desk, it is only really safe for them to be in complete contact with the desk. You should take measurements of the desk or err on the side of caution and go for a compact size.
The great thing about projectors is they can show videos in any format. However, blank space can reduce the visual experience (in the case of a 16:10 video on a 4:3 display) and so choosing the right format is important for quality.
The most common tabletop formats are 4:3, 16:10, 1:1 and 16:9. The most popular format is 4:3, because it offers decent wideness on a tabletop and good height. 16:9 and 16:10 screens can be a little too wide, although it really depends on the desk. 4:3 tabletop screens will be a good middle ground for most users.
Our advice for screen material is simple – the material should be brilliant matte white. It shouldn’t be grey, nor should it be satin or glossy. It’s important to remember projector screens have no pixels of their own. The brilliant white background is necessary to reflect light back to the eye for a crisp image.
This is brand specific and it should be said the installation of some tabletop projector screens is far easier than others. The screens we sell are easy to setup – you just fold out the feet at each end of the case for stability, attach the pole stored within the case, and raise the screen into position.
Other brands are not so easy. If possible, you should ask the seller for a setup video or instructions. Some screens claim to be easy to setup, but they are in fact very fiddly and rather flimsy. Ours are easy to setup and rock solid.
Size is important for fit; format is important for viewing experience. Material is important for crispness and video quality. You can definitely tell the difference between a high-quality projector screen and a poor one. Try and find a screen that’s easy to setup. Ideally, it should take no more than 60 seconds to get up and running.