Best Projectors under 500

Best Projectors under $500

Are you looking for the best projectors under $500 that will meet your need? Or looking to replace your existing projector? Look no further. Since the projector has become part of everyday lives, it’s inevitable to get just the right one that meets our needs.

If you are looking for your home, business, and classroom or for events whether outdoors or indoors, we have got you covered in all of them. The projector market offers a superabundance of choices for enjoying the finest cinematic experiences, finest gaming views and presentations.

Just take an intense look at the top 10 best projectors under $500 in 2020 along with a highly cooperative guideline and go for yours best.

What Are the Best Projectors Under $500?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best projectors under $500; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

  • Native Resolution: A lot of projectors accept HD content, but very few of them can actually produce an HD image. Many of them use a technology called “downsampling,” which means it takes a high resolution image, and scrunches it down to a lower quality one.
  • Throw Distance: This is a math equation that calculates how big a projector’s image will be based on how far away it is from the screen or wall it’s projecting onto. The further away the projector is from the wall, the larger the image will be. Some projectors are categorized as “short throw,” which means they’re calibrated to throw a larger image from a shorter distance.
  • Brightness: The image thrown by a projector is highly susceptible to light pollution, which will dim its image before it hits your screen or wall. The brighter the projector, the more it’s able to overcome light pollution.
  • Ports: Ports let you connect computers, game consoles, phones, or tablets to the projector, so the more ports the better.

Who this is for

A sub-$500 projector won’t look as good as a TV screen for daytime viewing, and very few of them have the 4K and HDR support of the latest batch of TVs in this price range. But if screen size is your top priority, the projectors in this guide are for you.

Any of our picks will produce a 100- to 120-inch image quite easily, they all have built-in speakers, and they are easy to move around as needed—no heavy display panels to drag around, and no need to permanently install it anywhere.

These projectors are designed to accommodate a number of viewing situations, whether they’re in a permanent ceiling mount in a midrange home theater or simply propped up on a stool in the living room. Just add a set of blackout curtains and you’ll be able to get a huge and immersive image anytime you want.

10 Best Projectors under $500 2020:

NameImage BrightnessWeight
Viewsonic pa503x3600 lumen7.10 lbs
Epson VS250 SVGA3200 lumen5.30 lbs
LG PH550 CineBeam550 lumen5.98 lbs
ViewSonic PJD5555W3600 lumen4.89 lbs
Optoma HD 143X3600 lumen6.20 lbs

1. Viewsonic pa503x

Viewsonic pa503x

Your expectation to grab one of best cheap budget projectors is definitely to be matched with the ViewSonic XGA Projector, ideal for use in education and small business environments. The big screen projector features amazingly intuitive, user-friendly design supporting high lumens and admirable resolutions that guarantee to reproduce the finest and detailed picture quality regardless of the amount of ambient lighting present. The exclusive Super Color technology offers a wider range of displayable color for projected images with true-to-life color accuracy.

Having an advanced audio-visual features, flexible connectivity options, the ViewSonic PA503X projector delivers a level of expertise that is tough to beat. This DLP projector delivers smooth images without delay and its vertical keystone correction helps eliminate crooked and distorted images for a perfectly proportioned picture every time.

The energy-saving Super Eco Mode is an especial addition of the PA503X, asthe feature reduces power consumption and extends the lamp life by up to 15, 000 hours.

Pros /Cons
  • Ideal for education & small business
  • Amazing color Accuracy
  • Advanced Audio-visual input
  • Quick power off
  • Flexible connectivity
  • Weak 2W internal speakers
  • Isn’t the lightest projector to carry anywhere

2. Epson VS250 SVGA

Epson VS250 SVGA

My list of top projectors is not possible until I included any projector for everyday business presentations. However, My research on finding the best one, especially for presentations, completes with Epson VS250.

The Epson VS250 is one of the most popular portable projectors from Epson, and it offers aa wide range of connectivity and compatibility options, including tablets, Smartphones, Laptop/computer, Gaming consoles, and many others. When it comes to the brightness of the projector, it offers 3,200 lumens with the contrast ratio of up to 15000:1.

After comparing it with other models, I found it best in terms of brightness, contrast with accurate, vivid color balance. Therefore, I can recommend this projector to everyone – whether you’re looking for home theater or business occasions, it won’t disappoint you. However, I consider it the best for office presentations.

Pros /Cons
  • High-quality projector and feels quite premium
  • Brightness and colors are quite accurate and vivid
  • It comes with FAN Noise ECO mode technology
  • With small image adjustments and convenient control
  • It doesn’t include any audio output port

3. LG PH550 CineBeam

LG PH550 CineBeam

HP is a brand that has given us everything from great PCs, laptops, and sound systems. Now the company has blessed us all with this great and modern projector that has the same HP quality and durability.

With new advancements being made in technology, connecting, setting up, and operating projectors has become easier.

This LG projector comes with a wireless connection. So no need to go through structured steps and set up the projector. You can connect this device to any android or apple device easily.

When it comes to operating the device, mobiles or tabs can be used to control speed, volume, or switch between slides. This can come in handy during presentations as you are free to move and direct your audience instead of being stuck at a set position controlling the activities of the slide.

Also, not to mention, this is great for those lazy and cozy nights when you just want to stay in bed and control your projector without having to get up.

Bluetooth sound systems give you decent audio, and you don’t need any external sound systems unless you’re watching a movie. There is a built-in battery that can last up to 2.5 hours.

Pros /Cons
  • Quality and durability of HP has never failed us
  • Can be operated through phones and tablets
  • The battery lasts for 2.5 hours straight
  • Small in structure
  • Difficult to replace the battery

4. ViewSonic PJD5555W

ViewSonic PJD5555W

When it comes to buying a high-quality projector at a good price you must choose the latest ViewSonic PJD5555W. This projector not only provides you with the best visuals but also the high quality improved audio system makes it the perfect choice for watching movies and videos. This makes it the most perfect choice for watching movies at home with your family.

The new ViewSonic projector provides its customers with a number of different high-quality models. All of these models provide you a resolution of 1280×800. The projector provides you with the best quality extended zoom and connectivity sources. The price of this model is quite reasonable.

When you check the backside of this amazing projector you will find two inputs. The HDMI input and the composite input. The model also comes with mini USB ports so that you can easily plug it into the laptop USB port to watch a downloaded movie. The lamp life of this projector ranges from 5000-8000 hours. What makes this projector even more special is the fact that it falls perfectly on the budget of a normal person.

With this projector, you will also be able to adjust the resolution depending on if you are watching a movie or a video. At the lowest settings, it provides a lamp power of 1000 lumens which makes it the perfect choice for every customer.

Pros /Cons
  • Minimum fan noise
  • High performance
  • Provides HDMI input
  • Provides a good resolution of 1280×800
  • Doesn’t come inside a compact case

5. Optoma HD 143X

Optoma HD143X Home Theater Projector is another pocket-friendly projector that comes among the list of the best projector under 500 bucks.

We all know that Optoma company is known for its expertise in audiovisual hardware including projectors, so the HD143X is an excellent addition to the catalog of the Optoma Projectors.

This best TV projector under $500 is designed for widescreen entertainment. Like if you want to watch movies, TV shows, or live sports that may seem interesting to you, Optoma HD143X is the best option for you.

Don’t forget the flexible zoom and throw ratio, the Optoma HD143X projector can be installed easily for a wide range of screen sizes and different spaces as well.

Pros /Cons
  • User-friendly
  • Easy to set up
  • Amazing lamp life
  • Full 3D support makes this best 3d projector under $500
  • Multiple input capabilities
  • Noisy at times
  • Generates heat

6. Optoma S334e

Optoma S334e

This is the best budget projector from Optoma which offers many powerful features at an affordable price range. It comes with 1920 x 1080 pixels SVGA resolution which is ideal for projecting everyday presentations and graphics. The projector has 3,800 lumens of equal color and white brightness which delivers more accurate and vivid colors even in a lightroom.

The Optoma S334e works with the latest laptops and media players with HDMI connectivity support. This business projector has DLP display technology which gives 3 times higher color brightness and 3 times wider color gamut.

Its 10-watt built-in speaker makes it loud enough for small-to-medium classrooms and meeting rooms. If you want to buy a projector for movies, sports, and gaming but running on a tight budget then Optoma S334e is the best inexpensive projector for you.

Pros /Cons
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 3D capable
  • Lots of connectivity options
  • Easy to install
  • Vibrant and sharp visuals
  • Long throw distance

7. ZCGIOBN US7-900DAB-1

Being limited to a budget of $500 or less doesn’t mean you have to choose a projector of subpar quality. The ZCGIOBN US7-900DAB-1 is in the same price range, and you can definitely rely on it for some top-tier functionality and quality features.

You might like the dual Wi-Fi capability that allows you to project images from your various devices, e.g. phone, laptop, computer. Once projected, it is highly unlikely that you would have any complaints about image quality either. Remember it features full HD resolution and the contrast ratio allows for top-notch clarity.

Bluetooth functionality also doesn’t seem left out of this projector’s design. As such, you can pair other Bluetooth devices such as headphones and speakers. As if Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity isn’t enough, you can link various devices to the projector via HDMI, USB, VGA, AV and audio ports.

Notably, there is almost zero buffering when you’re using the wireless connections to mirror on the projected screen. This is essential if you are to enjoy seamless use of the device.

Pros /Cons
  • The machine has an android operating system and a built-in media player
  • Impressive resolution
  • You get multiple connectivity ports with this purchase
  • The projector has 16GB memory for storage of applications
  • Some apps like HULU seem incompatible with the device
  • Projector fan is a bit loud

8. Acer H5382BD

Acer H5382BD home theatre projector is one that brings the best entertainment experience right in your home. It enhances the quality of the movies and sports in the rich details of every singled content it displays. The color brightness is impressive since it is bright and natural. The color could be said to be enhanced on the surface due to the technology used the color Boost 3D and also color safe also prevents the color decay of the wall due to too much use the projector on the wall.

The projectors come with a great resolution of 720p and a brightness of 3300 lumens that resonate well in any room environment including a room full of ambient light. The contrast is exceptional bringing out the rich details one would need to experience on the content.

Something even more remarkable about the projector is that is it equipped with an ambient light sensor that can detect the amount of ambient light condition and adjust the content to fit according to the condition of the lighting in a room. Apart from the sensor, the projector is also designed with a content ware technology that makes it analyze the content and then adjust to the required level.

When it comes to connectivity, you can listen to your favorite movies and audio songs at your comfort with the MHL connectivity. That’s not all you can also use your phone directly to your projector by connecting to the HDMI port. With all this, you can find it easy to use with any device since they are compatible with almost all the devices.

Pros /Cons
  • Great contrast ration
  • The rear projection support is amazing
  • Great for gaming with low latency
  • The resolution is remarkable
  • Speakers could be better
  • Poor bulb performance
  • No 3D glasses

9. Epson Home Cinema 730HD

Epson Home Cinema 730HD

When it comes to enjoying full entertainment at home you must choose the latest Epson Home cinema 730 HD, HDMI, 3LCD, 3000 lumens. This projector is the best choice for you if you are someone who likes to stream movies and TV shows. It comes with the best connectivity sources so that you can easily play your favorite movie. The price is highly affordable which makes the Epson home cinema an ideal choice for the customer.

The Epson home cinema is a highly portable projector that weighs 5.3 pounds. It provides you with the HDMI inputs which require a single cable connectivity. Compared to the price the video quality is highly exceptional. This projector offers a zoom of 1.2x.

Whether you are sitting in a room with dim lights you don’t have to worry about anything because the image quality will remain perfectly fine. This is the best projector available so far that saves the lamp life even after continuous use.

Pros /Cons
  • Provides the HDMI connectivity options
  • Provides lumen rating of 3000
  • Resolution is 1280×800
  • It is unable to scale the results of 720p resolution

10. Anker Nebula Capsule Max Mini Projector

Anker Nebula Capsule Max Mini Projector

This mini projector from Anker Nebula is another great projector under 500 dollars with high-end specifications. It is an incredibly portable and budget-friendly projector you can use for outdoor entertainment.

It comes with a compact design and lightweight make it easy to carry around as it to install. The Capsule Max mini is featured with a built-in 8W speaker that gives you immersive audio for heightened cinematic immersion.

For connectivity, this projector comes with HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-fi connectivity so you can project all your media on the big screen. Also, it has 200 ANSI lumens color brightness for accurate and vivid colors specially in low-light environments.

With autofocus and keystoning technology, the projector delivers an ultra-sharp image from almost any angle in under a second. The lamp life of Capsule Max mini projector is up to 30,000 hours.

Pros /Cons
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Small and lightweight
  • Battery lasts nearly four hours
  • Runs Android TV natively
  • Picture quality isn’t as bright

How we picked

Projectors can range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. But the picture quality doesn’t increase linearly with the price; more often, gems pop up at specific prices. In our experience reviewing projectors at all tiers, paying more generally gets you a better contrast ratio (and therefore a better-looking image), but a higher price does not always guarantee more light output—nor does it guarantee more features (3D and the like).

For this guide, we focus on projectors priced under $500 that can deliver a high-quality big-screen movie experience.

The two most important attributes of a home theater projector are contrast ratio and brightness. Roughly speaking, contrast ratio refers to how good the image looks, and brightness refers to how large an image you can create before it starts looking washed out.

How we tested the projectors under $500

We measured each projector using CalMAN software and $10,000 worth of test equipment, including a Klein K-10A and an i1Pro2 photospectrometer running patterns from a Murideo Six-G test pattern generator. We tested for light output, contrast ratio, color and color temperature accuracy, and more.

Additionally, since numbers don’t reveal the whole picture, we did qualitative comparison testing by placing projectors next to each other and sending them the same signal using an HDMI splitter. Viewing the same image side by side with identical screen sizes makes it easy to see differences in black level, contrast, and color.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. Now you know everything that you need to to find the best projectors under $500! Hopefully, this article was a big help to you in finding the perfect one for your needs. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!