Best Projector Under $500 – Buying Guide 2020

Best projectors you can actually afford

Everyone will find something suitable among new models of projectors: both a compact projector for a small room and a portable model for presentation at office.

Our experts have tested the best new models of projectors on the market up to $500; they compared their main operating characteristics and operational parameters.

When buying a projector, it is important to pay attention to the following parameters:

  • Operating conditions. The projector should best meet your needs.
  • Brightness and contrast. These indicators affect the clarity and the quality of the image in rooms with different lighting.
  • Native resolution. This is one of the most important indicators – it affects the ability to receive different formats of the signal (HD, Full HD) without the loss of quality.
  • Method of installation. It should be possible to mount the projector on the wall as well as to install it on a horizontal surface.
  • Connectors and interfaces. A projector should have a lot of these – and the more connectors it has, the more types of equipment it will support.
  • Lamp life is another important indicator – the bigger this indicator is, the longer your lamp will serve.
  • Finally, each model should be user-friendly and simple in operation, it shouldn’t require any special knowledge from the owner, and it should guarantee a high level of reliability and durability.

How to choose the right projector

The customers who never had to choose a projector before often need professional advice. After all, the stores offer a truly impressive range of models and each of them is suitable for their own specific purposes.

Let’s review top five projectors according to customers’ feedbacks that you can find on the Amazon.

TOP-5 projectors 2020 up to $500

  • ViewSonic 1080p Projector with 3500 Lumens DLP 3D (PX700HD).
  • KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector.
  • EUG LCD HD Video Projector.
  • WOWOTO H8 3500 lumens Mini Projector LED DLP.
  • Optoma HD143X 1080p 3,000 Lumens 3D DLP Home Theater Projector.

Additionally

  • Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness.
  • Nebula, by Anker, Mars II 300 ANSI lm Portable Projector.

Table of main characteristics of models

Picture Product name Main characteristics Amazon Price
KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector Native Resolution: 640*360.
Image Brightness: 25 ANSI lumen.
Contrast Ratio: 1,300:1.
Display Technology: DLP.
Projection screen: 20-100 in.
Item Dimensions: 3.1*3.1*0.79 in.
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EUG LCD HD Video Projector EUG LCD HD Video Projector Native Resolution: 1280*800.
Image Brightness: 4,500 lumen.
Contrast Ratio: 6,000:1.
Display Technology: LCD.
Projection screen: 50-200 in.
Item Dimensions: 13.2*10.4*4.6 in.
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WOWOTO H8 3500 lumens Mini Projector LED DLP WOWOTO H8 3500 lumens Mini Projector LED DLP Native Resolution: 1280*800.
Image Brightness: 3,500 lumen.
Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1.
Display Technology: DLP.
Projection screen: 50-300 in.
Item Dimensions: 4.72*6*1.22 in.
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Optoma HD143X 1080p 3,000 Lumens 3D DLP Home Theater Projector Optoma HD143X 1080p 3,000 Lumens 3D DLP Home Theater Projector Native Resolution: 1920*1080.
Image Brightness: 3,000 lumen.
Contrast Ratio: 23,000:1.
Display Technology: DLP.
Projection screen: 28-301 in.
Item Dimensions: 9*11.7*3.8 in.
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Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness Native Resolution: 1280*720.
Image Brightness: 3,300 lumen.
Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1.
Display Technology: 3LCD.
Projection screen: 60-300 in.
Item Dimensions: 11.1*9.2*3 in.
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Nebula, by Anker, Mars II 300 ANSI lm Portable Projector Nebula, by Anker, Mars II 300 ANSI lm Portable Projector Native Resolution: 1280*720.
Image Brightness: 300 lumen.
Contrast Ratio: 400:1.
Display Technology: DLP.
Projection screen: 30-150 in.
Item Dimensions: 7.01*4.8*5.43 in.
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The PX700HD is a DLP projector with a Full HD 1080p resolution that creates a bright and colorful image. The projector supports the exclusive SUPERCOLOR technology from ViewSonic, which provides realistic color reproduction.

A dedicated sports mode make sports events an incredibly bright and vibrant thanks to an improved transfer of the notes. Also, the PX700HD supports an improved eco-friendly mode that reduces power consumption and extends the lamp’s life by up to 15,000 hours.

Users can connect multiple devices simultaneously and share high-resolution content with two HDMI input connectors. The built-in USB power supply is used for charging connected devices.

The luminous flux of 3,500 ANSI lumens guarantees high image brightness in all conditions, even in rooms with a high level of general illumination.

The PX700HD can project 3D content directly from 3D-enabled Blu-ray players and devices with HDMI connectors (such as laptops, tablets, and media players).

If no signal is detected, the projector will automatically turn off. As a result, energy is saved and the lamp life is extended.

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Pros

  • Full HD resolution.
  • Super silence and comes with speaker.
  • Actually low input lag & nice image quality.
  • Several connectivity options.

Cons

  • No major Issue.

2. KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector

The KODAC Luma 350 is a portable intelligent model that projects a cinematic-quality image. It has all the multimedia functions that are popular in today’s market. The video projector has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, HDMI, and USB for your phone, laptop, tablet, streaming devices, support for Blu-Ray, game consoles, and much more.

Using the phone as a remote control, users can browse the Internet, stream Netflix and Hulu, and enjoy games and other content. With the IOS Luma 350 app, intuitive wireless access is possible.

The device uses advanced digital light processing technology that facilitates the visualization of video and images in resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD. The model has amazing clarity, color, and brightness of 350 lumens. The image size reaches 200 inches. The built-in speaker does not require external equipment. The KODAC Luma 350 runs for 30,000 hours without a drop in brightness.

Features of the device also include easy-to-use touch control with backlight and manual focus. For convenience, we recommend updating the projector to the latest firmware version on the Kodak Photo Plus website.

The miniature portable video projector fits easily in your pocket, so you can hold a movie session anywhere: in the office, outdoors, visiting friends, or at a public performance.

Pros

  • Compatible with all smart devices.
  • A long period of operation without recharging.
  • High resolution eliminates the blurring of individual sections of the image.

Cons

  • Does not work in a well-lit room.
  • Does not support HDR content.

3. EUG LCD HD Video Projector

EUG LCD HD is a liquid crystal video projector that provides clean and clear multi-level images of high quality. The model displays dynamic pictures, emphasizing each pixel of the projection screen.

The built-in dual stereo speaker with SRS audio system guarantees excellent sound quality.

The led projector has a low noise level and the quick heat removal function significantly extends its service life.

Equipped with HDMI, VGA, AV, USB, TV, Audio interfaces, compatible with laptop, Fire Stick, Roku, TV set-top box, Blu-Ray player, DVD player, Wi-Fi, PS4, PS3, DVR, PC, Amazon Stick, Google Stick and many more.

The device has a brightness of 4,500 lumens, a contrast of 6,000:1 and a Full HD resolution with support for 1920*1080 pixels.

Lanthanide optical glass lenses, which are primarily used for professional lenses, provide a cinematic display with gorgeous colors.

The projected image size is 50-200 inches at a distance of 6.56-21.9 feet. The image aspect ratio is 16:9/4:3. The vertical correction of the trapezoid, equal to ±15°, keeps the image in a perfect rectangle.

Durable energy-saving led lamps to support up to 50,000 hours of operation. The built-in shooting dust filter is easy to clean and prevents contamination from the inside.

The video projector is ideal for outdoor film sessions.

Pros

  • The brightness is 70% higher than that of a conventional projector on the market.
  • High stability and durability thanks to the two-channel cooling system.
  • Supports the MHL standard.

Cons

  • Considerable size.
  • Difficult to set up.

4. WOWOTO H8 3500 lumens Mini Projector LED DLP

WOWOTO H8 3500 lumens Mini Projector is a modification of the mini projector for viewing videos at home or in the office. The interface contains the Android operating system. This makes it much easier to use the device.

The model supports multi-screen sharing functions. The resources of your mobile phone can be used on a large screen, and in addition to the support of the WiFi and Bluetooth projector, it is very easy, fast and convenient to do this.

WOWOTO H8 reproduces a 1280*800 image, which corresponds to the HD-ready standard. 3D technology allows you to watch modern movies and feel in the thick of events.

The built-in OS running on a powerful processor allows you to use the technique without connecting to a computer. Using SmartTV technology when connected via LAN or WiFi, you can view various types of information on the Internet or play games.

Playing the video on a 180-inch diagonal will give you more emotion while you watch it. The LED light source operates for 45,000 hours without additional maintenance.

It is very convenient to use the new projector, and the minimum size allows you to place the device in any convenient storage place and carry it with you.

Pros

  • quick setup when connected thanks to automatic image alignment;
  • no distracting noise during operation due to the perfect cooling system;
  • connecting to a device running on Android, iOS, which expands the possibilities;
  • automatic zoom, which allows you to move the projector back and forth without affecting the image.

Cons

  • it works for 3 hours and you need to take a break;
  • the lack of a native resolution of 1920*1080.

5. Optoma HD143X 1080p 3,000 Lumens 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

Projector HD143X Full HD 1080p is ideal for watch movies, TV-shows and sports in real time any time a day on the big screen.

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Projector contrast ratio is 23,000:1, brightness is 3,000 lumens and lamp service life is up to 12,000 hours.

Optoma HD143X capable to provide Rec.709 colors according to HDTV international standard to ensure accurate cinematographic image.

The 1080p resolution gives the sharp and detailed picture of HD media-content without scaling or compression, so this projector ideally fits for watching Blu-ray movies, HD-broadcast, and video games.

Optoma HD143X plays 3D content in original quality from almost any 3D source including 3D Blu-ray players and modern consoles. With 144 Hz refresh rate this projector delivers clean and smooth picture without flicker.

Game mode in Optoma HD143X optimizes projector settings to achieve the blazing-fast response, maximal contrast, and brightness, and extremely sharp details.

With MHL standard support Optoma HD143X can play content from mobile devices – to connect smartphone, tablet or laptop you will need only one cable. Perfect resolution for gaming, stream-video watching and photo browsing directly on the big screen.

If you leave this projector on and not used it will go off automatically.

It also capable to transmit Full HD or 3D content from Blu-ray player, TV box or game console to the wireless network.

Pros

  • It has full 3D which supports VESA RF glasses and DLP-Link.
  • The 3D mode is modifiable, with a User mode and one predefined color.
  • Stereo audio out meant for an external sound system.
  • It is user-friendly.

Cons

  • The 10-watt mono speaker for this projector gives great sound quality though just enough volume for a bit small family room.

6. Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness

Epson Home Cinema 760HD is a portable bright projector for home theater with excellent color, white and black colors that make the final image of high quality. Innovative 3LCD technology allows you to enjoy dynamic scenes without the rainbow effect. Purely led lamps display natural rich colors.

The device has a high brightness of 3,300 lumens, adapts to any outdoor lighting. Built-in speakers provide spatial sound without requiring additional equipment.

Epson Home Cinema 760HD is combined with cable, satellite set-top boxes, Blu-Ray player, various game consoles and streaming devices.

It has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio with a vertical resolution of 1280*720 pixels. The 15,000:1 contrast ratio allows you to see the smallest details even in the darkest areas of the projected slide.

Lenses have 3 levels of adjustment, using them, you can perfectly center the image if the installation is not perpendicular to the screen.

The device is suitable for rest and work and cozy home viewing. It is intended for outdoor use but is mainly used indoors.

Pros

  • Long-distance broadcast.
  • 3LCD technology.
  • High brightness and resolution level.

Cons

  • No internal multi-level cooling system.
  • Long setup process.

7. Nebula, by Anker, Mars II 300 ANSI lm Portable Projector

Anker Nebula Mars II – original and stylish projector, can be used as the portable cinema or for presentations.

Projector contrast ratio is 400:1, a 300 ANSI lumens brightness, lamp service life is up to 30,000 hours.

This projector is designed as “all-in-one” device. It capable to form a picture of 30 to 150 inches size with 1280*720 (HD format) resolution.

Equipped with two built-in 10 W speakers giving quite a good sound with mellow low-frequency tone.

Integrated 12,500 mAh battery ensures up to four hours of continuous operation.

This model powered by a quad-core processor with 1Gb RAM. The capacity of internal flash storage is 8 Gb. Equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless communication, HDMI 1.4 and USB 2.0 interfaces.

This projector operates on Android 7.1 system. Can be paired with Android and iOS-based smartphones and tablets. Portable speaker mode for music. Carrying handle.

Pros

  • Built-in speaker.
  • Runs on Android 7.1.
  • Vibrant colors.
  • Very portable.
  • Easy set-up and operation.

Cons

  • The picture is not very sharp.

Conclusion

Projectors are increasingly used in many areas of our life: in-home theaters, in schools and universities for classes, in offices, in museums, etc.

With the projector, you can watch a movie on the big screen at any time. The projector creates a real sense of presence, because of which people go to the cinema. When you turn on the projector, it’s like you’re in a movie.

The projector can give you and your family thousands of unforgettable hours in the company of excellent movies.

Winner

ViewSonic 1080p Projector (PX700HD) is a DLP projector for home entertainment with a resolution of Full HD 1080p and a brightness of 3,500 ANSI lumens.

If you need a large image of good quality to watch movies or games, it will be easy to make it with this model. The PX700HD can also project 3D content.

Thanks to the 3X Fast Input technology, the image will respond immediately to your commands if you use the projector for games.

If no signal is detected, the projector will automatically turn off. As a result, energy is saved and the lamp life is extended.

ViewSonic 1080p Projector (PX700HD) is currently one of the best projectors in the price range under consideration.

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