TOP 8 Best Projectors under $500

Best-Projectors-under-500-reviews

Our Top 3 Picks

Epson VS240 SVGA 3000 Lumens Projector

Epson-VS240-SVGA-3LCD-Projector-3000-LumensIf you’re looking for the best equipment for your business presentations or home movie theater, you might want to consider this top-rated projector under $500 by Epson. With the color and white brightness of 3000 lumens, it will offer you a clear image with vivid colors even when used in a well-lit room.

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ViewSonic PA503W WXGA HDMI Projector

ViewSonic-PA503W-3600-Lumens-WXGA-HDMI-ProjectorThis high-quality video projector will definitely surprise you with what it is capable of. Delivering a crisp image, this model is flexible and allows for a rather versatile use. It is compatible with the majority of modern PCs, laptops, media players, and other devices that have VGA or HDMI inputs. Also, the setup process is super simple. Just plug it in and you’re good to go!

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ViewSonic PRO7827

ViewSonic-PRO7827HD-1080p-HDMI-Home-Theater-ProjectorThis model will make a good HD projector for your home theater. It is able to support the 1920 x 1080 resolution and can handle displays up to 300 inches. This 1080p projector delivers a great picture quality with very natural and accurate colors. It also features two built-in speakers, which are quite powerful for such a small projector.

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Top-Rated Projectors under 500 dollars

Best Pick Under $500: Epson VS240 SVGA 3000 Lumens Projector

Epson VS240 SVGA 3LCD Projector 3000 Lumens

This model is actually even cheaper: you can get it under $400. Still, it makes a great projector for both home and work use. Enjoy the bright and clear image with the color brightness of 3000 lumens. Even in a well-lit room, you will have no visibility issues.

It can also serve as the outdoor projector, offering an SVGA resolution (800 x 600) and a super simple setup process. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices that support the standard HDMI connectivity.

Why we like it

We appreciate the value for money this projector offers. When purchasing it, you can really save a dollar or two but still get a great quality equipment for the everyday home or office use. It delivers a good picture quality with bright colors and detailed image. Moreover, the lamp will serve you for around 10,000 hours, which is a really good deal, in our opinion.

Pros:
  • Good image quality, bright and crisp;
  • Versatile in use;
  • No visibility issues even in well-lit rooms;
  • Sleek and compact design;
  • Quiet fan.
Cons:
  • The supported resolution might not be enough for HD movies;
  • The built-in speakers are not powerful enough for an immersive experience.

FAQ

Will it work with a gaming console?
Yes, as long as it has an HDMI output (or you can use an adapter). 

What are the mount options?
You can either place the projector on a sturdy surface or install it on the ceiling using a compatible mount. You cannot use it with a tripod, unfortunately.

Is there a USB port?
There are 2 USB ports on the back.

ViewSonic PA503W WXGA HDMI Projector: Great for Outdoor Movies

ViewSonic PA503W 3600 Lumens WXGA HDMI Projector

There’s a lot to love about this HDMI projector. For just under $500, it offers a great image quality with WXGA native resolution (1280 x 800), allowing users to enjoy movies and bright, detailed pictures. The lamp bulb will serve you for around 10,000 hours. However, you can prolong its life by setting the Eco Mode (if you don’t mind the image to be dimmed).

This model offers a rather versatile use. You can connect it to any VGA or HDMI enabled device. It also supports 3D and Blu-ray movies, what means you will have much more movie options to choose from.

Why we like it

We are the fans of this model’s design and build quality. It’s not a secret that guys at ViewSonic know how to do their job well. This projector has some weight to it, which means there are some high-quality components and parts used in its construction. It also features a very sleek exterior and a user-friendly design.

Pros:
  • Great image quality even in well-lit rooms;
  • Doesn’t overheat;
  • Flexible connectivity;
  • Sleek and user-friendly design;
  • Nicely built;
  • Supports HD and 3D movies.
Cons:
  • The internal speaker is not powerful enough for a nice surrounding sound, might require a sub speaker (external);
  • Quite large, so it doesn’t offer a superb portability.

FAQ

Can it be used outdoors?
Yes, this model will work perfectly well outside. Just make sure you have a screen or a plain wall for it to project the image onto.

Can I connect it to my iPhone or iPad?
Yes, but you will need an adapter.

Does it support the 16:9 resolution?
Yes, it does.

ViewSonic PRO7827 Home Theater Projector

ViewSonic PRO7827HD 1080p HDMI Home Theater Projector

If you are looking for a good but reasonably priced projector to add to your home theater setup, you should definitely consider this model by ViewSonic. Being able to support and display the movies in full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, it also handles screens that are up to 300 inches large. Isn’t that impressive?

You will also be fascinated by the image quality. The colors are vivid and bright, but look very natural, allowing for lifelike pictures and videos. Another cool thing about this projector is the setup flexibility it offers. There are the 4-corner adjustment, the vertical and horizontal keystones, and the vertical lens shift, which make this model suitable for almost any home setup.

Why we like it

We are impressed by the screen size this projector can handle. The maximum of 300 inches allows for a real-like movie theater experience. This little guy will allow you to play your favorite film or a sports game on the big screen, providing the most immersive atmosphere possible in a home setup.

Pros:
  • Versatile mount and connectivity options;
  • Great image quality (even in brightly lit rooms), supports full HD;
  • Can handle large screens up to 300 inches;
  • Easy to set up;
  • Bright, vibrant colors.
Cons:
  • Mediocre audio quality, will require being paired up with external loudspeakers;
  • The fan isn’t that quiet (but if you use the external sound system, you probably won’t hear it anyway).

FAQ

What is this projector’s native output resolution?
It is 16:9, the standard aspect ratio of the modern movies.

Can it be used outside to watch movies?
Of course! It will work perfectly fine as an outdoor projector.

What kind of connections does it have?
There are dual HDMI, composite RCA and S-Video, VGA, monitor, and audio inputs/outputs.

WOWOTO H8 LED 3D Projector

WOWOTO H8 Video Projector DLP LED Full HD 3D Support 1080P Android OS

If you’re searching for a good 3D projector under 500 dollars, we highly recommend this model. Despite its super compact size, this mini projector is capable of many great things. First off, it offers a great image quality. With the native resolution of 1280 x 800, it handles 3D and Blu-ray movies, which makes it a great home theater projector. It is also able to work on large screens (up to 300 inches), which is rather impressive given its small size (it’s not larger than an iPad mini, by the way).

This model works on the Android system and allows for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. You can use it for video or music streaming, watching games, and many other things. And you will be able to do that for a very long time thanks to its energy-efficient light bulb (which will last for around 20,000 hours).

Why we like it

We absolutely love the compact size of this projector. You can take it anywhere or set it up in different rooms of your house. Wherever you need this projector, you will easily carry it there. The setup process is also super simple, which only adds to the portability.

Pros:
  • Great image quality, supports high-resolution videos;
  • Works on large screens up to 300 inches;
  • Super compact and portable;
  • Allows for a very versatile use;
  • Long-lasting light bulb.
Cons:
  • The room has to be dark for it to show its best performance;
  • The remote might misbehave occasionally.

FAQ

Can I connect the Bluetooth speaker to this projector?
Yes. It is Bluetooth enabled, so you’ll be able to pair it up with a Bluetooth speaker.

What kind of 3D glasses do I need to use with this projector when watching movies in 3D?
You need the active-shutter 3D glasses, not the passive ones.

Does is support rear projection?
Yes, it does.

BenQ DLP Video Projector, Good for Business

BenQ DLP Video Projector - WXGA Display 3300 Lumens

If you need an equipment for the superb-quality work and business presentations, this model is the one to go with. With the brightness of 3300 lumens, it delivers clear, crisp images with vivid and distinct colors. Even in a brightly lit room, you and your colleagues will be able to see all of the pictures and all the details on them without any visibility issues.

This projector is quite compact, which means you will be able to bring it to your office without a problem. It is also super easy to set up. Just find a sturdy surface and plug the laptop (or any other HDMI enabled device) in.

Why we like it

We absolutely love the image quality this model delivers. It is a perfect option for your business meetings and work presentations. It will work perfectly fine in all lighting conditions, which allows for a rather flexible use (which is so important when it comes to the work environment).

Pros:
  • Perfect for work and school presentations;
  • Great image quality with bright colors and detailed representation;
  • Compact;
  • Compatible with the majority of modern devices;
  • Easy to set up and to use.
Cons:
  • Its limited resolution is not suitable for the home theaters;
  • Larger images (up to 300 inches) get dimmed.

FAQ

Can it be used for watching movies as well?
Of course! Just keep in mind that its native resolution is 800 x 600, which might not be suitable for some movies.

What’s the biggest size it can project?
300 inches. However, at such size, the image will be dim.

Can it be used for the rear projection?
Yes.

ASUS S1: Portable Short-Throw Projector Under $400

ASUS S1 200 lumen HDMI-MHL Built-in 6000mAh Battery Power Bank

This small, short-throw projector is a perfect option for people who have a limited space and don’t want a bulky equipment. It’s also a great portable model, which features a powerful 6000 mAh battery, allowing for up to 3 hours of work on a single charge. Take it camping or whip it out in the backyard. Whatever the case is, this little guy will come in handy.

Now, despite its compact size, this projector has quite a few cool features to offer. The lamp has the 200 lumens brightness and the 854 x 480 native resolution, which is enough for such a tiny device. The lifespan of the lamp bulb is impressive – up to 30,000 hours. The projector also features an HDMI/MHL input, which allows for a flexible connectivity.

Why we like it

We are the fans of this projector’s compactness. It is so tiny you can carry it in your pocket (which you shouldn’t do, probably). It’s a great short-throw option that has a very powerful battery and allows for a rather versatile use.

Pros:
  • Superb portability;
  • A great short-throw option;
  • Good picture quality;
  • Very easy to use;
  • Versatile connectivity.
Cons:
  • Delivers a better image quality in dark rooms;
  • Being one of the short throw projectors, it offers a resolution that might not be enough for high-quality videos and movies.

FAQ

Can it be mounted on a tripod?
Yes.

Can it play videos directly from the USB flash drive?
No, unfortunately. The USB port serves for charging.

Is it suitable for business presentations?
Yes, but it requires the lighting to be rather dim for the best performance.

EUG LCD 1080P Gaming Projector

EUG LCD LED Multimedia HD Video Projector 3600 Lumens

This model stands out from other LCD projectors under $500 thanks to its versatile features and a great image quality it provides. It can make a great gaming projector or become a good addition to your home theater. With the 3600 lumens brightness, it delivers HD images and the 1280 x 800 resolution, which is enough for a great movie or gaming experience.

This model also allows for a very wide variety of connection options. It features 2 USB ports, 2 HDMI inputs, RCA Audio, VGA, and AV ports, which means it will work with almost any device that you have. If you want to use this projector for gaming (which is a great idea), but your console doesn’t have an HDMI output, you can always use an adapter. However, the majority of modern consoles feature the HDMI connection, so we’re sure you won’t experience any issues.

Why we like it

We absolutely love the number of cool features this model offers. High resolution, flexibility in use, powerful and durable lamp… The list can go on. This gaming and movie projector can also deliver a screen as large as 200 inches. Are you impressed? We are too.

Pros:
  • Excellent image quality;
  • Great resolution, suitable for movies and gaming;
  • Versatile in use and connectivity;
  • Handles large screens up to 200 inches;
  • Android, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth enabled.
Cons:
  • The built-in speakers aren’t that loud;
  • The room has to be dark for the projector’s best performance.

FAQ

Can I watch YouTube via this projector?
Yes, it works on Android, so you can stream videos from YouTube without a problem.

Can it be mounted on the ceiling?
Yes, there are four ceiling mount points on this model.

Can it project movies straight from the USB drive?
Yes, it can.

CAIWEI 720p WiFi Projector: Excellent for Watching TV Programmes

CAIWEI Video Projector WiFi Wireless Max 200

Once you get this Full HD, 1080p, and 720p projector, you will want it to stay forever. It packs a lot of impressive features and can become your faithful companion during the family movie nights or TV marathons. With an impressive brightness (4200 lumens), it projects an excellent image quality at the maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200. You can enjoy all of that on a screen as large as 200 inches.

This projector is Wi-Fi enabled and can play movies directly from the USB port, which allows for a fast and fuss-free setup. It is also compatible with the majority of modern devices, including iPhones, iPads, other smartphones, laptops, etc.

Why we like it

We are impressed by this projector’s powerful light bulb. It works perfectly well even in brightly lit rooms. Even if you decide to watch a movie in your backyard but don’t want to wait for it to get dark outside, the projector will still deliver a high-quality, bright, and crisp image.

Pros:
  • Impressive image brightness and quality even in well-lit rooms;
  • Long lasting light bulb (up to 50,000 hours);
  • Numerous connectivity options;
  • Sleek design;
  • Supports full HD;
  • Wi-Fi enabled;
  • Can handle large screens (up to 200 inches);
  • Great build quality;
  • Offers a great value for money.
Cons:
  • Quite heavy and might even feel bulky, which may not be suitable for some users;
  • Might require some color and brightness adjustments upon arrival.

FAQ

Will it work with an Android smartphone?
Yes, surely.

Can I connect the external speakers to this projector?
Yes. However, it features the built-in speakers too.

Will it work with a Bluetooth speaker?
No, unfortunately. This projector isn’t Bluetooth enabled.

Things to Know Before Buying a $500 Projector

Even if you’re not an expert in projectors, you can still shop for one and make a good choice. Review the following features, and you will know exactly what to look out for when searching for the best projectors under $500:

Area of use. Do you need a cool home theater projector or a good presentation equipment to substitute for TV usage at work? Depending on where you plan to use your projector, you will need different models with different features.

Brightness. If you’re going to use the projector in a well-lit room (for business presentations, for example), you need a model with 3000 lumens. Moderately lit rooms require at least 1500 lumens. And 1000 lumens and up will be enough for dark, theater-like spaces.

Image quality. Currently, the most common resolutions for video projectors are HD (1920 x 1080) and WXGA (1280 x 800). The HD image quality has around twice the number of pixels a WXGA resolution has. More pixels means a crisper, sharper image and a more flexible compatibility with HD materials and sources.

Aspect ratio. This is the format of the projected image. The most common ratios these days are 16:9, 16:10, and 4:3. The 16:9 is the most popular choice for home theaters since the majority of video sources (Blu-ray, DVDs, or HDTV, for example) deliver the materials in the 16:9 format.

Lamp type. Regular projector lamps work for up to 5,000 hours and offer a rather bright light output. Laser lamps don’t require the bulb replacements and offer a wider color range and a better color contrast. As for the LED lamps, which are the most common in modern movie projectors, they work for up to 20,000 hours, offer a better color control, and operate very quietly.

Sound. Almost all the projectors feature the built-in speakers. However, those are not suitable for home theaters, to be honest. So, if you need to show a short video during your work presentation, your projector’s speakers will be enough. However, for movies, it is best to connect the external audio system. This will allow you to enjoy a better sound quality and a more immersive experience.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to choose from on the projector market. Even under $500, you can find a high-quality equipment, suitable for watching movies in HD or enjoying slideshows of the bright and detailed pictures. So, no matter what you are going to use your new projector for, it’s good to know that you don’t have to spend a fortune on it and can still get yourself a good one.