Best Projector Under $500 Review 2021

By: Anry Sergeev | 01.02.2021, 19:05
Best Projector Under $500 Review 2021

What Video Projector is Best For Home & Office?

Selecting a good projector is an essential part of achieving both your office presentations and home theatre screen imaging objectives. But, it can also be a nightmare finding one within your budget, especially if you don’t want to hinder your plans. Nonetheless, you will be glad to know that the current projector marketplace offers numerous choices for selection. And to help you make a quicker choice, we have analyzed the most popular brands to get you this list of the best projector under $500. Read on!

Best Choice
ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office
ViewSonic WXGA big screen projector has an impressive user-friendly design with high lumens, and resolution. This awesome combination guarantees the reproduction of superior and thorough image quality even under circulating lighting. It embraces SuperColor Technology to produce various displayable colors of the target image, giving it an authentic appearance. Highly recommended!
Read Verified Customer Reviews

Best Projectors under $500 – Overview & Rating

Author’s Choice ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector review ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector
  • 3600 Lumens and native WXGA 1280x800 resolution
  • Connectivity: HDMI, 2 x VGA in, Composite Video, 1 x VGA output, and Audio in/out
  • HDMI Vertical Keystone
Check Price
Check Price
People’s Choice Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector review Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector
  • 3300 Lumens, Up to 15,000:1
  • Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, USB Type-B
  • Built-in Speakers
Check Price
Check Price
Premium Choice BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector review BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector
  • Stream Netflix & Prime Video
  • Collection Replay: Yes
  • Loud 10W speaker
Check Price
Check Price
Best Budget ViewSonic PA503S 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector review ViewSonic PA503S 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
  • Super EcoMode: Energy saving
  • 3D Blu-Ray Ready HDMI Input
  • Quick Power Off
Check Price
Check Price
Best Portable Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector, by Anker review Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector, by Anker
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast
  • 8W Speaker
  • 5,000+ Apps
Check Price
Check Price
Best for Gaming Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming review Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming
  • Enhanced Gaming Mode with 16ms input lag
  • Automatic power on/off with HDMI-CEC technology
  • Quiet Operation 26dB noise level eco-mode
Check Price
Check Price

Detailed Overview

Author’s Choice

ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector
  • 3600 Lumens and native WXGA 1280x800 resolution
  • Connectivity: HDMI, 2 x VGA in, Composite Video, 1 x VGA output, and Audio in/out
  • HDMI Vertical Keystone
Check Price

ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA is one of the best budget-friendly projectors in the market. It makes an ideal choice for homes, small businesses, and educational environments. Its color accuracy is highly authentic to giving you stunning images, thanks to ViewSonic’s exclusive SuperColor technology. Also, the 3600 lumens projector produces bright pictures in any environment. You can dim the projection brightness to suit your preference, which in return extends the lamp life. The package includes the latest 3D Blu-Ray HDMI, which can be comfortably connected to any HDMI enabled devices for convenience. It weighs only 4.9 pounds, making it a great companion for on-the-move sessions. The vertical Keystone Correction feature of this projector helps eliminate unnecessary image distortions to give you a flawlessly proportioned end-image.

Pros:

  • Lightweight to carry around
  • True to life colors
  • Amazingly sharp images
  • Crispy Clear Night images

Cons:

  • You might need extra external speakers to boost sound quality

People’s Choice

Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector
  • 3300 Lumens, Up to 15,000:1
  • Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, USB Type-B
  • Built-in Speakers
Check Price

Epson VS260 is an SVGA projector that comes with major business attributes. It’s suitable for simple data, and image/video projection, making it one of the best picks among budget-conscious buyers. This 3300 lumens projector produces decent white brightness for effective usage in small/mid-sized spaces. It offers impressive color accuracy to ensure perfect video and presentation displays.  For your zoom video calls, you can conveniently use the available HDMI port, which also connects to various streaming devices. It comes with a built-in speaker for quick set-up once you receive the package. Say bye-bye to time wastage! There’s also a built-in picture sensor for fast image analysis and defects auto-correction to enhance the image’s shape. At 7.4 pounds, this projector is still portable for when you need it. 

Pros:

  • Has all-important business features
  • Amazing for standard presentations
  • Clear images with authentic color

Cons:

  • No audio-out feature

Premium Choice

BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector BenQ TH585 1080p Home Entertainment Projector
  • Stream Netflix & Prime Video
  • Collection Replay: Yes
  • Loud 10W speaker
Check Price

BenQ TH585 1080p is the best definition of a default setting projector. Its big-screen offers befitting both business and home-entertainment. You can also use it in your class presentations. The projector uses a native resolution of 1080p, complete with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio to enhance your entertainment/presentation experience, even when in a bright room. It comes with built-in speakers for clear loud sound to turn your watching time into a full-swing entertainment session. The projector offers automatic screen-size adjustment depending on what’s being displayed. BenQ offers a 3-year warranty on this device to allow you to enjoy your purchase worry-free.

Pros:

  • Bight eco bulb mode
  • A quick install button on the remote control
  • Excellent combination of HD, Blue-ray, and Video broadcasting
  • Automatically switches between inputs

Cons:

  • No lens cover

Best Budget

ViewSonic PA503S 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector ViewSonic PA503S 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
  • Super EcoMode: Energy saving
  • 3D Blu-Ray Ready HDMI Input
  • Quick Power Off
Check Price

ViewSonic 3800 Lumens is an ideal choice for budget-conscious buyers, who desire a balance between price and quality. It offers versatility at home and work, with its amazing visual features. This projector comes with extensive audio-visual features to offer bright and accurate colored images, reflecting the actual picture to the audience. Also, its flexible connectivity options give you the convenience of staying connected and up to date wherever you are. You can use it at home, small office, or in educational environments. And if you’re an environmental enthusiast, you will be glad to know that this device is dimmable by up to 70%. So you get to play your role in saving the environment.

Pros:

  • Clear pictures even in darkness
  • Flawless image projection 
  • Simple to set-up

Cons:

  • The 2W internal speakers might be a little weak

Best Portable

Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector, by Anker Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector, by Anker
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast
  • 8W Speaker
  • 5,000+ Apps
Check Price

Nebula Capsule II is a mood setter for home theater lovers. It easily changes the seriousness of any space, ushering in fun and adventure. It’s best suitable for homes, as you can use it to watch favorite movies, educational videos, or take online classes in the comfort of your space. At 1.6 pounds, this device is one of the best portables in the market, without compromising quality. Anker Store embraces DLP technology to give this device impressive 720p 200 ADI-lumen pictures. So, you can use it at night on the rooftop or in poorly lit spaces. This projector allows you to personalize it with over 5000 Apps, so you got a wide range of entertainment options.

Pros:

  • Very small, and light for easy portability
  • Produces bright images
  • Has a full-sized HDMI
  • Loud enough for personal/small group entertainment

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a 3D function
  • Lacks quick access option

Best for Gaming

Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming
  • Enhanced Gaming Mode with 16ms input lag
  • Automatic power on/off with HDMI-CEC technology
  • Quiet Operation 26dB noise level eco-mode
Check Price

The affordable Optoma HD146X is a genuine definition of cinematic home entertainment. Its big screen makes it popular among projector users, who love the thrill of movies, gaming, and sports at their favorite space.  Its 1080p resolution enhances the sharpness of images while displaying comprehensive details. So you can enjoy high definition pictures without worrying about compression.  You can enjoy viewing with lights on or off, from whichever room you prefer thanks to the 3600 lumens.  Its HDMI-CEC technology allows single remote control of the device and all its connections making life blissful. 

Pros:

  • Crispy and vibrant pictures
  • Easy to set-up and navigate 
  • Actual color display: you don’t have to adjust out-of-the-box

Cons:

  • No component input
  • Watch out for rainbow artifacts 

Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for When buying Best Projector under $500

Keep in mind that when buying a projector under $500, you only have two choices: DLP and LCD. There are various pros and cons attached to each type.

DLP projectors can comfortably operate as standalone, they do not need maintenance, which makes them suitable for class/lecture room, and business environments.

LCD, on the other hand is a contemporary projector, with bright and rich colors. It is great for displaying videos, digital files, and even still images. But they need regular maintenance (filters cleaning). Therefore, they’re more popular among hobbyists and DIY fanatics.

Compatibility

Not all projectors are compatible with your PC or laptop.  Some manufacturers embrace exclusive technologies that can only perform best on specific computer formats. If you aren’t sure, check compatibility with your devices first.

Throw Distance

This is the distance between the video projector and the screen. How far can it be and still display clear images? For most projectors, this could range from a few feet to around 15 feet. Ensure you understand your preferred space dimensions before ordering. The more expensive and bigger a projector is, the higher range of feet it can offer. 

Connectivity

In this modern times, connectivity is a vital consideration when purchasing electronic devices, projectors included. If you prefer wireless connections, a Bluetooth and WiFi projector makes an ideal choice. But, if you don’t mind connecting cables, you might as well go for HDMI, which also offers excellent image quality. You also use a VGA cable if your setup is older. 

What are Features to Consider for the Best Projector under $500?

Lens Zoom

Always go for projectors with amazing lens zoom. Why? Because if they are good, you won’t have to adjust the system’s distance for use. All you need to do is zoom in out of images as you please. Although most cheap projectors lack this feature, a few of them do, so you can enjoy it as well. 

Brightness

A projector is as good as its brightness.  A standard quality device should offer you great service with a decent lumen rating. 

Resolution 

A good projector should display good quality videos or movies. And you shouldn’t strain to view the images. So, get a device with a good resolution, which usually ranges from 480p upwards. Anything less than offers blurred pictures causing strain to your eyes, spoiling the entertainment mood.

Contrast

A good projector should give you balanced on-screen contrast. If not, you will notice a lot of shadows and unreal colors on the images. Checking out the contrast level will help you make the correct choice. A contrast ratio of 1,500:1 is good enough for a poorly lit room. But if you can, always go for 2,000:1 upwards for impressive results.

Multiple Connectivity

The more connectivity features a projector has, the more convenience it offers to you.  Some of the common connectivity sources include USB, Bluetooth, HDMI, and VGA.  For instance, if you prefer playing your videos from your laptop, a Bluetooth connection makes an ideal choice. But if you’re using a PC, you might want an HDMI for faster and easy connectivity.

What are the Benefits of Video Projectors?

1. They offer better image quality and size compared to a smart TV.  Besides, most of them have impressive viewing angles, at affordable pricing.

2. They make 3D images crispy clearer than standard flat-screen TVs.

3. Most modern projectors are easily portable, and with excellent resolution to use wherever you want. 

4. They allow you to create a cinematic experience right at the comfort of your home. Saves you some bucks!

5. For gaming hobbyists, a good projector enhances the thrill of the game. Makes it easy to have fun with family and friends, especially if you love playing in groups.

Different Application of Video Projectors

The type of video projector applications largely depends on the projector type. However, the main types of applications include classrooms, religious gatherings, business meetings, home theaters, and conferences.  

FAQ

Which under $500 projector is the best for home usage?

The choices might be many, but our best choice on this list ViewSonic 3600 Lumens outranks the rest for both home and small business usage. 

Is there any 4K resolution projector under $500?

No, we didn’t find any. So, you will have to spend more on this. 

How much should I spend on a projector? 

Everything depends on your needs. If you prefer one for outdoor use, then a projector of around $500-$1000 will suit well. But, if you’re an indoor person, consider a projector under $500. 

Summary

Always remember, the projector you choose should perfectly fulfill your needs, and not strain your budget. We hope by going through our projector review list, you’ve already made up your mind on the best projector under $500 to buy for yourself.

You may also like