Best Projectors Under 500

 

If you are in the market for a projector to watch movies, play games on the big screen or even use for presentations, you will quickly realize not all projectors are created equally. Different models have different bells and whistles and they range in price from under $100 all the way to several thousand. While the top rated projectors may be out of reach, there are some great models in the more modest price range. Here we will look at the 6 best projectors under 500 dollars.

 

#1: Optoma GT760A Projector 

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The Optoma GT760A 720p 3D DLP Projector is a short throw projector. It is engineered to display bright 3200-lumen images. The contrast as with most of the Optoma projectors is excellent. The dark scenes appear sharp with clear details.

While the system is designed with the gamer in mind, it is great for Blu-ray movie viewing and presentations as well. This combination means your gaming experience will be full of highly detailed images.

It has full 3D support and 2D to 3D conversion.

The MHL 1.2 support allows you to use HDMI Media Sticks such as Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s FireTV as well as support for popular smart phones, tablets and ultra mobiles.

The GT760A is the right combination of portable, reliable, and economical with lengthy lamp life and high quality output. This blend makes the GT760A a great terrific buy for just under $500. This projector has also earned a spot on the Amazon Choice list.

Projection System:  DLP

Contrast Ratio:  20,000:1

Brightness:  3200 lumens

Resolution:  1280 x 720p

Display  Size:  105-inches from 4 feet; 159-inches from 6 feet

Input / Output Ports: HDMI

Lamp Life:  6500 hours of lamp life in ECO+ mode and 4500 hours of lamp life in bright mode

 

Pros: 

  • Affordable Gaming Projector
  • Short Throw Projector
  • Hassle free installation
  • Portable
  • Good Lamp Life
  • MHL connectivity for sharing mobile phone and  tablet displays

 

Cons: 

The first drawback to this model is the price. It comes in just around $500. A complaint about this projector is the lack of focus on sound quality. Like many projectors on the market you will likely need to purchase a sound bar to supplement your system. Another complaint is that the projector can only be adjusted vertically and not horizontally like many competitors.

 

 

#2: Epson VS250 Projector 

Epson VS250 affordable projector

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The Epson VS250 supports the higher end of brightness at 3,200 lumens in order to balance both color and white brightness. Setup and installation is seamless and you can start viewing or gaming right out of the box. There is a strong focus on color accuracy in this projector, with up to 3x higher color brightness and as much as 3x wider color gamut with over many DLP projectors. It works with laptops, media players and most game systems. This great projector option has earned a spot on the Amazon Choice list for best home projectors.

Projection System: LCD

Contrast Ratio:  15,000:1

Brightness :  3,200 lumens

Resolution : SVGA resolution 800 x 600

Input / Output Ports : HDMI

Lamp Life: 6,000 hours (regular mode) / 10,000 hours (economy mode)

 

 Pros: 

Excellent color details, crisp pictures and a long lamp life make this Epson model a great middle of the road projector. It is versatile and can go from gaming or movie projector to presentation aid in just minutes. It is reasonably sized so portability is not an issue.  

Cons: 

One major flaw of this projector is that while it does come with digital zoom, there is no built in optical zoom. Optical zoom is a must for quick adjustments in the middle of a movie or game. For serious movie buffs and gamers this may present a real issue.  

 

#3: ViewSonic PJD5155 

 

ViewSonic PJD5155 affordable projector

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The ViewSonic LightStream PJD5155 features 3,300 lumens with native SVGA 800 x 600 resolution. It has an intuitive, user-friendly design, allowing movie lovers and gamers to make the most of their viewing experience. ViewSonic’s SuperColor technology provides a vast color range bringing your games and movies to life. The sound enhancement technology also delivers sound quality much higher than many competitors. It features extensive connectivity including HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and audio in/out. The energy-saving DynamicEco addition minimizes power usages by as much as 70 percent.

Projection System: DLP

Contrast Ratio: 20,000:1

Brightness :  3,300 lumens

Resolution :  SVGA 800×600 (native) resolution

Screen Size Range :  83” from 12-Feet / 207” from 30-Feet

Input / Output Ports :  HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and Audio in/out

 Lamp Life: 10,000 hours

 

Pros: 

This projector manufacturer has a serious eye for detail. They paid attention to all of the important projector particulars ranging from crispness of the image to color correction to sound quality. Very little was overlooked. This is one of the best projectors if you are looking for color accuracy. This is an important thing whether you want the best movie experience or you need to accurately display products in an upcoming professional presentation. With a very moderate price tag, it is a great option for first time buyers and those looking to upgrade.

Cons: 

There have been some reports of the projector overheating in warm conditions, so be sure to operate in a climate controlled room. This projector is also absent a headphone jack and has no audio out spot for HDMI. While this might not be important for some, if this is one of your must-haves you may need to keep looking.

 

#4: CiBest GP90 LCD Projector 

CiBest GP90 affordable projector

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The CiBest GP90 LCD High-Definition projector comes with native resolution of 1280×800, true 800p and even supports 1080P Video. It comes with a built-in HiFi stereo audio system with power amplifier chip. This is ideal for a high quality movie watching experience. If you are looking for even more sound quality you have the capability of connecting an external speaker or surround system with HDMI or RCA L/R jack port.

Projection System:  LCD

Contrast Ratio:   3000:1 Dynamic / Up to 10,000:1

Brightness:  3,500 lumens

Resolution: 1280 x 800

Display Size : 35-180″

Input / Output Ports:  VGA cable, USB and HDMI

Lamp Life:  30,000 + hours

 

Pros: 

This CiBest projector uses advanced single-color white LED lamp technology to prove a lamp lifetime that exceeds 30,000 hours. The built-in LED bulb can save energy by as much as 70 percent. It is also one of the least expensive models on this list. The high definition images and HiFi stereo make it another excellent projector in this price range.

Cons:

It has been noted that finding replacement bulbs for this projector can be tricky. If you plan to get a LOT of mileage from this projector (remember it does have 30,000 + hours of usage) it might be something to consider. There have also been criticisms that after using for a few months some projectors develop a bluish tint that can distort images during darker scenes in movies or games.

 

#5: WOWOTO H8 Video Projector

WOWOTO H8 affordable projector

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The WOWOTO H8 projector comes complete with top-level configuration, including a built-in Android System and Speaker, a stable OS and DLP technology. It supports Blu-ray 3D and 1080P projection. Their full color, high-resolution visuals are perfect for watching your favorite movie. It is compact, about the size of an iPad mini, so it is easy to take with you. It also has the capability of multi-screen sharing.

Projection System: DLP LED

Contrast Ratio: 2,000:1

Brightness:  2,000 lumens

Resolution:  Native 1280×800 / Support 1080p

Display Size:  up to 180”

Input / Output Ports:  WiFi,BT,HDMI,USB,RJ45,Audio,AV,SD,Mouse,Keyboard

Lamp Life:  20,000 + hours

 

Pros: 

One of the things that set WOWOTO projectors apart from the pack is their 12-month warranty that protects your investment. When this is combined with stunning visuals and excellent sound quality, it’s a great buy for the price point. The Android compatibility is another big plus for many users. Probably the biggest strength of this projector is the lamp life. Some users have noted that they have exceeded 30,000 hours and their projector is still going strong.

 

Cons: 

Some customers have noted difficulty pairing the remote with the device, as well as limited streaming applications (many note that you can only stream Netflix with this projector). When using this projector for presentations, some have found that the brightness is too low for use in a brightly lit room.

 

 

#6: DBPOWER T20 Projector 

DB POWER affordable projector

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The DBPOWER T20 is a great option for anyone in the market for a portable mini-projector. Maybe you are someone who wants to use their projector for presentations by day and to watch movies by night. With a high level of portability, this 1500 lumen LCD Mini Projector support a projection image size of 32”-176” with projection distances ranging from 1.5m-5m. So don’t under estimate its “mini-status”. This thing packs a big punch in terms of projection size. For anyone looking for a small projector with serious portability, this may be the choice for you.  

Projection System:  TFT LCD

Contrast Ratio:  1,000:1

Brightness :  1500 Lumens

Resolution :  Native Resolution: 800×480 pixels / Supported Resolution: 1920×1080 pixels

Screen Size Range :  32 – 176”

Input / Output Ports :  HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, SD

Lamp Life:  50,000 hours

 

Pros:

The biggest win with this tiny projector is the cost. With a low price point, 1500 lumens of brightness, low fan noise and the compact size, this projector offers a ton of bang for your buck. The upgraded LED source technology means that this mini projector puts up an impeccably clear image without causing the optical harm often experienced on TVs, laptops, and tablets. It is easy to install and use to make it easy for someone new to this technology. With the compact size is it very easy to take with you and bring your theater on the road.

Cons: 

The biggest drawback of the DBPOWER T20 is that in order to change the size of the projection, you need to physically move the projector. There is no built in optical or digital zoom so changing screen size must be done manually. This has led to some complaints about the ability to focus the screen on the fly.  

 

The Bottom Line:

With projectors running the gamut in terms of price, features and picture quality, these are some of the best in terms of bang for your buck. As the technology becomes more sophisticated the projectors are simultaneously getting smaller, cheaper AND better. With everything from higher picture quality to longer lamp life – home projectors are becoming more accessible to the average user.

If you are considering a home projector for your home or office, you don’t need to spend top dollar to find a high quality projector.