For the most part, home projectors are now as cheaper as ever, bringing date nights and family evenings to an entirely new level. Not only are home projectors much more easy to carry and deliver significantly larger images, but they also will not demand its users to plan their entire living room décor around them.
Just until very recently, plenty of projectors only came in two types. The first one is the very pricier home cinema specialty projectors that deliver excellent image quality but at price ranges that were out of reach for average consumers. The second one is the blurry, poorly lit, and cheap ones found in conference rooms that nobody could ever show true art on.
The catch here is, presently, a number of new yet untested brands have cropped up. A lot of them started providing high-tech solutions for a certain fraction of the price. However, most would prove to be not that reliable as long term buy.
Now, in order to face any possible competition, prominent brands started releasing new entry-level quality projectors at very reasonable price ranges.
Well, to make it short, if you’re looking for a decent home video projector under just $500, then we’ve got you covered.
Here are the 5 best projectors under $500. We also included a quick buyer’s guide for extra information that you might need.
What Are Your Options for a Projector?
In a price range of $500, you’ll find two primary kinds of projectors. The first one is the DLP or digital light processing, and the second one is the LCD, or most commonly known as liquid crystal display.
DLP projectors provide sharper and blacker images and are perfect choice for those who can completely block out the light from their viewing space.
However, DLPs are also quite pricier compared to LCD units. They also have a tendency to sometimes show some kind of rainbows – which is the light that degrades into tiny specs of green, blue, and red because of fast-moving sequences.
On the other hand, LCD projectors are usually cheaper to purchase, but they tend to consume more electricity. In addition to that, LCD projectors are also much better in spaces where you won’t or can’t install blackout curtains.
And lastly, there are those that come with liquid crystal on silicon projectors that provide the benefits of both DLP and LCD, and typically deliver 4K images or 1080p. However, this is a latest technology that can’t be found under $1,000 price range.
Best Projector under $500 Review
1. Epson VS355 WXGA 3,300 lumens color brightness (color light output) 3,300 lumens white brightness (white light output) HDMI 3LCD projector
This particular projector is specially-built projector, generally fitted for business. It is ideal for displaying project educational materials, documents, or presentations on a wide screen.
Its times two WXGA resolutions enhance the color sharpness and makes images displayed through it extra clear. Its controls are also very easy to maintain, adjust, and set up. Furthermore, this projector is incorporated with equal color and white brightness of 3300 lumens that provides precise visuals when it comes to color even in really bright rooms.
Moreover, it provides two choices to pick from, namely the Eco and Normal mode. Its Normal Mode provides its users a bulb life expectancy of 6000 hours as well as a bulb life expectancy of 10,000 hours when utilized in Eco Mode.
All in all, with this particular projector, you must invest an external speaker for clearer sound output in the case of video viewing.
- Beautiful image resolution
- Better content sharpness
- Ideal for business presentations
- Awesome image resolution
- 3 LCD technology
- Low lamp life
- Average speaker performance
2. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens XGA High Brightness Projector Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone and 1080p Support (PA503X)
A lot of consumers come across projectors that fail to suffice their highest expectations and thus ending up replacing until they get tired. The issue couldn’t make the projector, however you’re not sure with the features they come with.
Now, let’s take a look at the features of the ViewSonic 3600. This particular projector was designed and enhanced to meet the standard of the consumers who are looking for an excellent projector under a reasonable price. It has been advanced and improved regarding visual features making it better for business and education environment.
With this particular projector, you are sure to get the display of the content up to more than 120 inches with excellent visuals on display. In addition to that, its brightness won’t let you down because it comes with 3600 lumens, which are enough to work well in a room full of natural light.
- The images are beautiful and bright
- Great contrast ratio of 22,000:1
- Has great brightness of 3600
- Comes with a remote control
- Comes with a keystone correction
- Its fan noise could be enhanced
3. WOWOTO T8E Full HD Mini Portable Projector WiFi&Bluetooth Home Theater Projector Support 1080P Max300 DLP 3D Video Projector Built in Battery 7800mAh Android System for Gaming Business&Education
This particular projector can be categorized as a multimedia smart projector because of its advanced features. Its manufacturer is not that prominent but the catch is, they’ve created very unique and superb outdoor projectors. And that’s the WOWOTO T8E Full HD Mini Portable Projector.
This projector’s actual video output may not go beyond its top-notch competitors, but the brand has a combination of highly useful features which are not typical in DLP projectors. WOWOTO T8E is powered by Android Operating System.
This one is a mini projector that measures 7.8 inches by 4.8 inches by 1.6 inches and only weighs just 1.2 lbs. It comes with an integrated battery that can last about 3 to 4 hours on a single charge because it has a capacity of 7800 mAh.
- Great picture quality
- Long-lasting projector lamp
- Setting up is super easy
- Compact and easy to carry
- 3D and game console connectivity features
- Its 2000 lumens brightness is not ideal for projecting above 100 inches
- Its resolution is not totally 1080p but it supports 1080p content
4. InFocus IN112XA Projector, DLP SVGA 3800 Lumens 3D Ready 2HDMI with Speakers
If you’re a consumer who’s seeking for one of the best low cost projectors out there, then you might really end up purchasing the InFocus IN112XA projector, not to mention that it comes with jaw-dropping viewing experience. In fact, a lot of experts hail to this product because of its availability of features while having a reasonable price and its build quality.
Despite being a cheap movie screening tool, it can provide a whopping 3800 lumens which not only gives a stunning image but also keeps the vividness intact even in high daylight. In addition to that, it has a resolution of 800 by 600 SVGA which ultimately delivers an exceptional 3D visual quality when partnered with Blu-Ray or PC.
Now when it comes to contrast ratio, it comes with a rich color and clarity reproduction that have always been a highlight feature for this particular projector as it utilizes the Brilliant Color Technology along with its 2600:1 contrast ratio.
- Quite easy to operate
- Extensive screen size array
- Its fan doesn’t make much noise
- High color precision and brightness level
- Its 3D visuals are lucid
- It doesn’t come with smart additions like internet compatibility
5. BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
This projector is perfect for lights-on presentations in bright conference rooms. Also, this particular projector generates high brightness for effective note-taking, collaboration, and teamwork. Its high-lumen output guarantees brilliant picture quality with vibrant colors. In addition to that, it comes with crisp text readability for files and documents.
BenQ MW612 project lets presents to confidently concentrate on conference, featuring versatile lens capabilities and comprehensive image adjustment controls for ideally aligned pictures in any environment.
Furthermore, as it comes with 4,000 lumens of high brightness, it enables comfortable lights-on presentations to promote effective conference. Its high luminance allows even participants that are seated furthermost clearly to see the all slides and enhances picture quality with vibrant color for videos and pictures.
And lastly, because of its pixel fill and high contrast factor, it can generate the truest blacks and unrivalled readability with every chart, graph, and character crisply defined. Its high-fill factor improves clarity for white and black or color images, and minimizes eye strain for audiences and presenters to stay concentrated on the topic.
- Comes with built0in 1.5A USB Type A power output empowers multimedia HDMI dongles
- Comes with vertical keystone for ideal alignment
- High contrast for clear text
- Full HD wireless presentation through simple screen mirroring optional
- High brightness of WXGA 4000 ANSI lumens
- The picture quality when watching movies is quite grainy
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Projector under $500
If you’re seeking for the best projector under $500 then there are various key considerations that you must remember. Now, in this section, you’ll get a quick scan of everything you should know to find the right $500 projector for your needs including office presentations, gaming, or home entertainment.
In the price range of under $500, you’ll find two primary formats of projectors to select from.
Each of these two types gives varied advantages and disadvantages over the other, that’s why you should make sure that you pick the one that best suits your needs.
Here are the primary pros and cons of DLP and LCD projectors:
LCD (liquid crystal display):
- Very bright
- Ideal for dark colors
- Very reasonable price
- Not suitable for 3D
- Blurry fast motion sequences
DLP (digital light processing):
- Really bright
- Ideal for fast motion
- Perfect for 3D viewing
- Sharp picture
- Might deliver rainbow effect
- Not that ideal for rendering dark colors
Obviously, this factor is not the screen size on the projector since most of projectors; don’t actually come with any screen at all. Screen size is the minimal or minimal sizes that a projector can be used for an awesome viewing experience.
The takeaway here is, you must be certain of the size of your surface that you intend to project upon, and also the distance that you’ll be mounting your projector from the screen. And just make sure that your measurements line up with your projector, and you’re good to go.
While brightness might seem counterintuitive, brighter is actually not always better. If you acquire a projector that is too bright for your current settings, you might end up with a blinding headache. That’s why in order to determine the brightness level you want, you should look at how bright the place you’re intending to use the projector.
Now, if you’ve got a dim area, then a dimmer projector of about 1,000 lumens would be perfect. However, if you’re going to set it up in a space full of windows that gets a lot of sunlight, you’d want to go quite brighter of about 3,000+ lumens in order to make sure you can see your screen clearly.
For all we know, contrast in an image is the difference between dark and light. The greater the difference, the greater that contrast is. Make sure to seek for a projector that comes with a wide contrast range. This way, you will be able to adjust the image until you get the preferred look you want.
Obviously, the greater the resolution, the better the picture quality of your projector will deliver. If you want to impress your clients or are seeking for an exceptional entertainment experience, you’d want a projector that can handle higher resolutions.
Put simply, throw distance describes how far away a projector can be from the screen and still provide a clear image. Most projectors come with a range that starts with a certain feet and can extend for up to 15 feet. But some of the pricier and larger projectors can extend all the way for up to 30 feet. Make sure you know your distance needs before purchasing one.
Well, that sums it up! Now we’re pretty sure that you know now a lot of stuff about how to find and get the best projector under $500!
Just keep in mind to always consider your needs first before finally purchasing one to make sure you won’t regret and won’t waste your hard-earned money.
We hope that this review can be a big aid to you in finding the most ideal projector for your needs. Thanks for reading, and have a happy shopping!
If you’ve got any feedback or questions about our topic today, please make sure to leave a comment down below and we’ll try to reply as soon as possible.