Forget the TV, we used a ‘pocket cinema’ to beam Netflix instead

Plug in an HDMI and you’re good to go (Nebra)

When you’ve got something important to watch you don’t want to be huddled over a tiny phone screen no matter how many pixels it claims to have on there.

Meanwhile, the TV is a fixed solution that necessitates being in a certain place with no-one else objecting to your use of it.

And yes, while you can opt for a tablet or a laptop to fill the void, neither is quite as much fun as whipping out a projector to turn a nearby wall into your own personal cinema screen. That’s the solution offered by the Nebra AnyBeam – a tiny portable laser projector currently raising funds on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

The British-based team behind the invention gave a few days to try the gadget for ourselves and we came away suitably impressed.

First and foremost, the AnyBeam is small and light at 19 x 60 x 103mm and 140g. It’s around the size of a box of matches or one of those portable battery packs that sometimes get given out in posh goody bags. You can fit it in decent sized jeans pocket next to a phone without too much trouble.

It’s very portable (Nebra)

Secondly, it’s quiet because there’s no fan and it’s easy to use because there’s no bulb and lens that needs to be focused. Instead, it uses lasers to hone in on a surface and, depending on distance, can beam a screen size of up to 150-inches onto a wall or a ceiling or whatever you want.

The AnyBeam has a standard HDMI input on the back so you can use it with a Chromecast or a Fire TV Stick or a laptop. It’s also got a 3.5mm headphone port which is good, because the built-in speakers are tinny and lack volume. Handily, there’s also a tripod mount on the base of the device.

The sleek little gadget is seeking funding on Kickstarter (Nebra)

There’s a microUSB port at the back for power and you can run the AnyBeam off a standard portable battery or a regular USB lead from a laptop or plug socket. There’s no on-board battery so once you unplug it, the whole thing shuts down instantly.

We only used it primarily for watching Netflix, but equally this could be carted around by business folk for PowerPoint presentations. And tinkerers can get a special version that’s hooked up to a Raspberry Pi computer.

The AnyBeam fits into the palm of your hand (
Ports include a microUSB for power, HDMI for input and headphone jack for audio (

Of course, there’s always a little bit of room to nitpick. If there is ever to be a second generation version of this we reckon a slightly larger form factor would be acceptable if there was a way to add a built-in battery and – perhaps – some on-board storage option such as a microSD slot. As it is, you’ll need to carry an HDMI cable and possibly a dongle or two around with it.

The AnyBeam projector will cost £230 when it launches later this year (Nebra)

That being said, the AnyBeam is a stupendous little gadget and if you’re frequently on the move then we’d well advise you to make some room in your kit bag for it. It’s not as if it’s too expensive, either. The basic projector is set to launch with a price of £230 if the Kickstarter campaign proves successful.


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