10 Best Projectors Under $500
Are you in the market for a good quality projector, but have no idea which one to buy? In this buyer’s guide you’ll find the only projectors under $500 that are worth considering. We have spent countless hours researching the marketplace. This buyer’s guide will save you time so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting research by yourself.
Read the buying consideration section to learn more about what noteworthy considerations to make when buying a projector. You’ll realize that there is a straightforward way of buying projectors that allows you to end up with the perfect one every time.
We had a blast writing this buyer’s guide and we are sure that you’ll find the projector which meets your needs. Read until the end of the guide to have a complete overview of the projector marketplace.
|HDEYE Home Theater Projector|
|Weight: 7.05 Pounds|
|Brightness: 3000 Lux|
|Excellent connectivity options and ideal for home use.|
|Weight: 6.39 Pounds|
|Brightness: 5000 Lux|
|Top quality image, high brightness, and amazing contrast ratio.|
|Optoma HD243X 1|
|Weight: 7 Pounds|
|Brightness: 3600 Lux|
|Gaming friendly, excellent contrast, and ideal for 3D users.|
Projectors Under $500 Comparison Table
|Make and Model||Weight||Brightness||Price|
|Optoma HD243X 1||7 Pounds||3600 Lux||Check Price|
|YABER Native||6.39 Pounds||5000 Lux||Check Price|
|Epson VS250 SVGA||5.3 Pounds||3200 Lux||Check Price|
|ViewSonic PA503S||7.05 Pounds||3600 Lux||Check Price|
|BenQ MW612 WXGA Business|
|5.51 Pounds||4000 Lux||Check Price|
|HDEYE Home Theater|
|7.05 Pounds||3000 Lux||Check Price|
|Gzunelic Projector||7.23 Pounds||4200 Lux||Check Price|
|Nebula Capsule||0.94 Pounds||100 ANSI||Check Price|
|EUG Projector||10.05 Pounds||44000 Lux||Check Price|
|ViewSonic M1+||1.7 Pound||300 ANSI||Check Price|
1. Top PIck: Optoma HD243X 1
Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5
The Optoma HD243X 1 is a competitive choice that offers an advanced viewing experience suitable for movies and sports. You’ll love using this projector for all entertainment in your home. It’s packed with amazing features that allows you to get immersed in the viewing experience. Read onwards to learn more about what the Optoma HD243X 1 brings to the table.
The 16s input response time means the projector is ideal for gaming. The minimal amount of lag is not noticeable so you don’t have to worry about a lag filled experience. Furthermore, the screen is crystal clear with 1080p support and also you can view images as detailed as 1920×1200. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about poor image quality with the Optoma HD243X 1 projector. Also, there is full 3D support, which must be used with the required glasses.
The 3300 Lux brightness rating is nothing special but provides enough brightness for a balanced viewing experience. The 23000:1 aspect ratio is amazing and allows for some sharp image quality that inferior projectors cannot output. High contrast is important if you want to see a clear difference between the light and dark areas of a screen.
Excellent connectivity is offered with the Optoma HD243X 1 since you can use 3.5mm, HDMI, and USB ports. It’s going to be compatible with devices that are already in your home. Also, it weighs just 7 pounds and is compact so you won’t have a problem finding a space for it in front of the projector screen.
The Optoma HD243X 1 is a competitive choice but you need to consider the drawbacks before making the choice to buy. Firstly, the brightness could be higher given the high asking price of the projector. At least 4000 Lux would have been nice so you can see clearly during daylight hours. Also, a wireless connectivity option would have been ideal so you can control the viewing experience at a distance using your smartphone.
To conclude, the Optoma HD243X 1 is the right choice for the buyer that wants a gaming friendly projector with 3D capabilities. You’ll love the advanced picture quality and good connectivity options for modern devices. However, it’s not the brightest projector in this buyer’s guide, which could be a deal breaker.
|Weight: 7 pounds|
|Brightness: 3600 Lux|
|Ideal for 3D users|
|Could be brighter|
2. Best Value: YABER Native
Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5
The YABER Native projector is one of the brightest in this buyer’s guide with a 5000 Lux rating. Therefore, it’s versatile since it can be used during dark and bright days. It’s also compatible for garden use since you’ll see a clear image out in the sun. Take a closer look at the features to figure out if the YABER Native is the right choice for your needs.
The native 1080p resolution means that you can enjoy clear images that look stunning on the big screen. Also, the 8000:1 contrast ratio looks stunning so you’ll clearly be able to tell the light parts of the screen from the dark ones. It contributes to a rich image that will satisfy even those among you that like to pick holes in projector quality. The rich blacks here means that you can enjoy scary movies and ones that are based on dark scenes.
There is an optical zoom function that allows you to zoom in when required. It’s ideal if you are trying to get the right projection size for the screen. For example, if you are projecting on a small screen then it helps when you can efficiently zoom in. The image length can be reduced by up to 50%, which should be more than enough for most applications.
You can use a mirroring function that allows you to take the image on your phone or laptop and blast it on the big screen. However, you’ll need to purchase a specific cable that can connect your device to the projector. There are plenty of ports so compatibility isn’t going to be an issue – you just need to buy the right cable.
The advanced cooling system and intelligent temperature control means you don’t have to worry about a noisy fan. The cooling system is designed for maximum efficiency and low noise. Therefore, you can get on with the business of enjoying your entertainment instead of dealing with unwanted fan noise.
The YABER Native is a good choice but you need to consider the drawbacks before adding the projector to the virtual shopping cart. Firstly, the brand name is not one of the premium ones on the market, which means you have to question the technology that’s packed into the product. Also, the remote control could have a better design that’s more functional.
To conclude, the YABER Native is the right choice for buyers that want a mixture of high visual quality, a good warranty deal, and compatibility with all devices in your home. It’s one of the best projectors in this buyer’s guide for home use. Therefore, you can buy confidently knowing that you’re getting a great deal.
|Weight: 6.39 pounds|
|Brightness: 5000 Lux|
|Top quality image|
|Amazing contrast ratio|
|Remote could be improved|
3. Epson VS250 SVGA
Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5
Epson is a premium projector brand that offers excellent functionality for the office. The features here mean you’ll love the practicality, ease of use, and compatibility with other devices. Take a closer look at the features to figure out if the Epson VS250 SVGA is the right choice for your needs.
The 800 x 600 resolution means this projector is more suited towards the office than watching movies at home. The resolution is ideal for setting up PowerPoint presentation on an office projector screen.
The 3200 Lux brightness rating isn’t the best in this buyer’s guide, but it allows for clear images. However, on very bright days you may need to draw the shutter to ensure that image quality is optimal. The balanced image means that it allows for professional presentations that clients will be impressed by.
The HDMI connection means that the projector is compatible with modern media players and laptops. However, you can also connect with gaming consoles and other devices since there is a rich list of ports that include USB, VGA, and RCA. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the projector being compatible with devices already in your home.
The included remote control allows you to alter the audio, pause/play, and change between image settings. Therefore, you can be sitting back on the couch and control the entire experience using the handy remote.
The Epson VS250 SVGA is a decent choice, but there are drawbacks you shouldn’t overlook when making the choice to buy. Firstly, the lack of a wide-screen resolution means it’s not the best home entertainment option. Also, the brightness could be increased so that you’re able to see the image clearly during daylight hours.
To summarize, the Epson VS250 SVGA is a good purchase for the buyer that’s after an office friendly projector with good connectivity options. You’ll love the balanced and clear image that has good contrast. It’s a reputable brand and a highly rated projector so you can buy confidently.
|Weight: 5.3 pounds|
|Brightness: 3200 Lux|
|Ideal for the office|
|Good connectivity options|
|Premium brand name|
|Could be brighter|
4. ViewSonic PA503S
Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5
The ViewSonic PA503S projector offers good value for money due to the advanced features. It’s a highly rated projector that offices take advantage of all around the world. The mix of the clear image, good connectivity options, and strong warranty deal means there is a lot to like here. Continue reading to learn more about what the ViewSonic PA503S brings to the table.
The easy plug and play setup of the projector means you can get going in just a few minutes after unpacking the box. It’s ideal for busy professionals that don’t have the time for a lengthy setup process. The 3 year included warranty is one of the best in this buyer’s guide. There is also one year protection for the lamp so it can be replaced if a fault occurs. It’s a US based customer service team, which means you can communicate effectively.
The projector supports a screen size of 30-300 inches, which is more than enough for most setups. Also, the 3600 Lux rating means you receive a bright image that isn’t hard to see during daylight hours. However, at least 4000 Lux would have been better for those sunny days. Also, the fan noise is 27 decibels, which is decent given the type of projector that you’re buying.
There are 2W internal speakers so you can add audio to your presentations. However, speakers are not ideal if you want to enjoy the projector for movies and playing video games. Also, there is a remote that allows you to control the viewing experience at a distance. ViewSonic is a reputable brand so you can expect each of these features to be well-executed.
The ViewSonic PA503S is a projector that’s worth buying, but look at a few of the disadvantages before moving forward. The projector is not ideal for the home since it lacks the movie watching features. The office limited nature means that flexibility is not one of the highlight here. Also, the 15,000 light bulb hours could be increased so that it’s competitive with alternatives on the market.
Overall, the ViewSonic PA503S is the right choice for buyers that want a mixture of performance and affordability. It’s a reliable workhorse for the office that will allow you to execute presentations professionally. However, the lack of move cinematic features means you may not want to take it home after work.
|Weight: 7.05 pounds|
|Brightness: 3600 Lux|
|Strong warranty deal|
|Ideal for presentations|
|Light bulb only offer 15,000 hours|
5. BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector
Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5
The BenQ MW612 WXGA is the right choice for buyers that want a projector for their business or office. It’s packed with features that professionals will enjoy using from day 1. However, it’s a pricey piece of kit so you’ll need to give it an extra dose of scrutiny. Take a closer look at the features to figure out if it’s worth the asking price.
The projector comes with easy installation, which is ideal if you quickly want to get on with the business presentation. You can also get in touch with BenQ if you need help with any aspect of the setup. They provide 3 year parts and labor protection so you can use the projector without worrying if it will break down shortly.
The exceptional 20,000:1 contrast ratio of the projector means the image will look spectacular. Your clients will be impressed and reading text from the image is pleasant. The max resolution is a cool 1280×800. It allows for clear images and videos to be displayed that might be a key part of your business presentation.
There is wireless connectivity since you can use the HDMI dongle and other wireless dongles to connect at a distance. Opting for a wireless connection may lead to a more professional look since there is no need to deal with wires.
The 4000 ANSI Lumens rating means the screen is very bright so there won’t be a problem with identifying the small elements on the screen. 120 inches is the maximum screen projection size. It allows for presentations to be executed in a large room for a big audience. The projector must be at a range of 2 inches to 13 feet from the image.
The BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector offers amazing performance but you need to consider the drawbacks for a balanced overview. Firstly, the lamp life is only 4,000 hours when used in normal mode and 15,000 when used in eco mode. Therefore, you may need to replace the lamp more often than you’d like. Also, it’s a high asking price and there is comparable quality at lower prices.
To summarize, the BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector is one of the best options for office workers that need a reliable workhorse. You’ll love the combination of the wide-compatibility, wireless connectivity, good warranty deal, and excellent image quality. It’s manufactured by a premium brand that understands what the end user needs so buy confidently.
|Weight: 5.51 pounds|
|Brightness: 4000 Lux|
|Ideal for business purposes|
|Excellent contrast and brightness|
|Lamp lifetime could be increased|
6. Best Budget: HDEYE Home Theater Projector
Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5
The projector here is not manufactured by one of the top brands in the industry. However, it’s an affordable option that is packed with the right features for a home-friendly experience. Continue reading to learn more about the specific features this projector has to offer.
The max projection size of this projector is 165 inches, which is more than enough for a cinematic experience. Also, the brightness of 3000 Lux is good enough for clear images in the dark. However, during daylight hours you may feel that the brightness is lacking.
The LED has more than 50,000 hours worth of battery life, which is very competitive when compared to alternatives. Also, there is a strong warranty deal that gives a 1 year money back guarantee. That should give you peace of mind since you’re buying from a relatively new brand. Buying with a good warranty saves you the hassle of taking the projector to a repair shop and spending extra money to get problems fixed.
The wide-compatibility of the setup means you won’t have trouble combining the projector with devices already in your home. The connectivity ports include dual USB, 3.5mm, AV, VGA, and HDMI. Therefore, you can connect your TV, computer console, laptop, and tablet for use with the projector. There is no need to buy extra equipment to run the projector for your entertainment.
There is an effective cooling system that is great at dispersing heat without making a lot of noise. Therefore, you can enjoy the movie without having to deal with a loud fan. Don’t have speakers to use with the projector? Not a problem since you can use the integrated 5W speakers that are good enough for home entertainment.
The HDEYE Home Theater Projector is a good choice but you need to look at the drawbacks before deciding to buy. Firstly, the lack of higher brightness means that you may not enjoy using the projector outdoors or when there is a lot of sunshine. Also, the projector could have a bigger max size setting so that you can combine it with screens that around 200 inches.
To conclude, the HDEYE Home Theater Projector is a good choice for the home buyer that wants the complete multimedia projector. It provides the right connectivity options and there is enough performance for amazing image quality. The affordable price means that it’s one of the better value buys in this buyer’s guide.
|Weight: 7.05 pounds|
|Brightness: 3000 Lux|
|Excellent connectivity options|
|Ideal for home use|
|Great heat dispersion setup|
|Brightness could be higher|
7. Gzunelic Projector
Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5
The Gzunelic Projector is the right choice for the buyer that’s after amazing value with all the right features for a home entertainment system. The mixture of the up to date features, superb warranty, and nice image quality means it’s a competitive option. Continue reading to determine if the Gzunelic Projector is the right choice for your needs.
The connectivity options are top-notch here since you can connect with all modern devices. The available ports include HDMI, USB, RJ45, AV, 3.5mm, and VGA. Also, you can use the WiFi and Bluetooth to forge wireless connections with your smartphone. The smartphone can be used as a hub via the image mirroring function. This means the image that appears on screen is the same as what’s on your smartphone.
You get 4200 Lux worth of brightness, which is more than enough for most users. Also, the contrast is a whopping 6000:1, which means you’ll have no trouble distinguishing the portions where the dark and light part of the images converge.
The lamp lasts for 50,000 hours, which is among the best in this buyer’s guide. You can also take advantage of the amazing customer service team that comes with 3 years worth of protection for the projector. It’s a US based repair center so getting problems fixed won’t take too long.
The Gzunelic Projector provides value for money but the negatives might be deal breakers. Firstly, a remote control not included in the purchase, which means you may want to use your smartphone. Also, it’s not a premium brand that has years of experiencing manufacturing high quality products. Therefore, you may feel that there are small details missing here where brands like Epson and ViewSonic would provide.
To conclude, the Gzunelic Projector is the right choice for buyers that are after a projector for the home. It’s bright and compatible with all types of devices. Therefore, you can use it in all situations so versatility is one of the strong aspects of the projector.
|Weight: 7.23 pounds|
|Brightness: 4200 Lux|
|US based repair center|
|Bright lamp and long lasting|
|Excellent connectivity with wireless options|
|Not a premium brand name|
8. Nebula Capsule
Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5
The Nebula Capsule projector is a unique entry to this buyer’s guide since it comes in a compact and portable design. You’ll love the combination of the premium use of materials, good features, and a reputable brand name. Delve deeper into the features to figure out if there is enough here for the asking price.
The projector comes with a 360 degree omnidirectional speaker that allows you to enjoy good audio quality regardless of where you’re sitting. It’s ideal when you plan on sharing the visual experience with many people that will be sitting in all directions from the projector.
The remarkable clarity of the projector allows you to fire up images up to 100 inches in size. That’s not big compared with the other projectors in this buyer’s guide but competitive compared to other small projectors.
Android compatibility is excellent here, which means you can run media such as Netflix, YouTube, and a lot more. The projector is ideal for smartphone users that want to display their apps on the big screen.
The super portable projector that weighs just 15 ounces is ideal for buyers on the go. It also has an aluminum body and has a nice finish that makes it look durable. The craftsmanship is what you can expect from this premium brand.
The projector is a nice choice but you’d be hasty to buy before taking a look at the drawbacks. Firstly, the projector is not able to provide a huge cinema like experience for movies. You need to set realistic expectations or you’ll be disappointed. Also, the asking price is relatively high for what you are getting.
Overall, the Nebula Capsule is the right choice for buyers that value portability. The combination of the 360 degree speaker, durable aluminum, and nice image quality means there is a lot to like here. However, if you want the best image quality and performance then opt for a more traditional projector.
|Weight: 0.94 pounds|
|Brightness: 100 ANSI|
|Durable aluminum finish|
|360 degree speaker|
|Could be cheaper|
9. EUG Projector
Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5
The EUG Projector is a competitive option from a brand that constantly upgrades their products. This projector is a result of many years worth of trial and error. It’s packed with modern projector features that will impress you from day 1. Take a closer peek at the features to figure out if it’s the right choice for your needs.
This projector can output a whopping 4400 Lumens worth of brightness, which is more than enough for most applications. Therefore, you can count on the projector to display clear images when out in the garden or viewing in daylight. It supports 1080p viewing so you can enjoy crystal clear images. It’s not comparable to a 4K monitor but there is a lot to like here.
There are a lot of connectivity options here, which includes a plethora of ports such as USB and HDMI. Also, there is Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect your smartphone at a distance. It’s handy if you like to use your smartphone as the entertainment hub in your home. The excellent connectivity means you won’t have trouble connecting the projector with devices already in your home.
The bulb battery life is a decent 50,000 hours and the customer service team will help you figure out the setup details. You’ll get a quick answer from the professional service since they have a good reputation. Also, it’s a user friendly design that has a small learning curve.
The EUG Projector is a solid choice but you cannot ignore the drawbacks before moving forward with the purchase. Firstly, the lack of a premium brand name means that you might be disappointed with the small details of the design. Also, the projector is not the best choice for buyers that are after a projector that has some of the best contrast out there.
To conclude, the EUG Projector is a competitive choice that will allow you to enjoy a cinematic movie experience from the comfort of your own home. The combo of the wide-compatibility, good image quality, and decent value means there is a lot to like here. It’s a highly rated projector from satisfied buyers so don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on the purchase.
|Weight: 10.05 pounds|
|Brightness: 4400 Lux|
|Wide-compatibility means you can connect all devices in your home|
|User friendly setup|
|Not a premium brand|
10. ViewSonic M1+
Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5
The ViewSonic M1+ is another portable option that comes with the right technology of an enjoyable viewing experience. You’ll love the mixture of the premium brand name, attention to detail, and the cool visual look. Take a closer look at what’s offered to figure out if the ViewSonic M1+ will meet your requirements.
The projector allows for viewing size of up to 100 inches, which is about what you can expect from the portable projector marketplace. The maximum distance from the screen can be 8-9minches so there is a lot of flexibility. You’ll need to play around with the positioning to determine at what distance you’ll achieve the best image quality.
The projector comes with a built-in battery that lasts for 6 hours per charge. It’s enough to handle a presentation or view a couple of movies. However, you need to remember to charge the projector beforehand to avoid running out of battery power when you need it most. You can also charge smartphones using the projector via USB Type C. The wireless capabilities of this projector means that it’s one of the more portable options on the market.
The package comes with an industry leading warranty deal that allows you to receive 3 years worth of limited parts and labor coverage. It’s a US based team that will answer all your question and help with technical difficulties as they arise. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about problems if you’re a beginner.
The device comes with integrated Harmon Kardon speakers, which means you’re getting good quality audio. It’s one of the best speakers on a portable projector, or any other for that matter. Therefore, you don’t need to invest in a pair of standalone speakers to enjoy a good quality viewing experience.
The ViewSonic M1+ is a competitive choice, but you need to take a look at the drawbacks for a balanced overview. Firstly, the lack of a screen size that goes over 100 inches might be a deal breaker for those with large screens. Also, the projector can get loud when using the battery so you’ll need to keep it away from you to enjoy good audio quality.
Overall, the ViewSonic M1+ is one of the best portable projectors at under $500. You’ll love the combination of the lightweight battery based design that allows you to take it anywhere. Use it in your room or take it out into the garden when having a party. The possibilities here are endless, which is one of the highlights of this projector.
|Weight: 1.7 pounds|
|Brightness: 300 ANSI|
|Comes with good speakers|
|Has a built-in battery|
|US based customer service team|
|Max size is only 100inches|
- Buying considerations
- Image quality
- Extra features
- Projectors Under $500 Comparison Table
- 1. Top PIck: Optoma HD243X 1
- 2. Best Value: YABER Native
- 3. Epson VS250 SVGA
- 4. ViewSonic PA503S
- 5. BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector
- 6. Best Budget: HDEYE Home Theater Projector
- 7. Gzunelic Projector
- 8. Nebula Capsule
- 9. EUG Projector
- 10. ViewSonic M1+