10 Best Projectors Under 500 – ( Top Picks of 2021 )

Be it gaming, PowerPoint presentations, or entertainment; projectors are a significant tool that can serve you with remarkable features from the image quality to the video resolution, from portability to supporting a large audience, and so on. However, these units with immense performance efficiency can be a little pricier for many users. Yet, there are many options that are budget-friendly and effective as well. So, don’t worry and start searching for projectors with efficient performance. The most pocket-friendly approach is to set a milestone of $500 while going on the search mission. Hence, the best projector under $500 is ideal and suitable for you.

Whether it is a home theatre or gaming projector, a unit for office or education institutes, you can get a perfect and appropriate model for yourself. This article offers a list of the 10 best projectors under $500 based on usage, resolution, and portability, coupled with a detailed buying guide that can help you choose the right product for you.

10 Best Projectors Under 500

  1. ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
  2. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home
  3. Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Color Brightness Projector
  4. ViewSonic M1+ Portable Smart Wi-Fi Projector
  5. Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness Projector
  6. Anker Nebula Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector
  7. Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming
  8. VANKYO Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector
  9. Epson VS355 WXGA 3,300 lumens color brightness
  10. Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

1. ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector

Rating: 4.6/5

 ViewSonic 3800 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector

The ViewSonic 3800 is highly popular among business workers or the education institution because of its high versatility. For the purpose of convenience, the model includes easy setup and usage. Thereby, you just have to plug in the projector and play your presentations, videos, and so on. Apart from this, performance efficiency is remarkable in this unit.

Consequently, it comes with the 3000-lumen ratings that ensure the perfect contrast and brightness ratio on the screen with sharp colors. Further, color saturation is assisted by the 15000 hours lamp life coupled with the high display resolution. It also contains a 3D Blu-Ray Ready input connectivity option that enhances the moving image’s overall maneuvering.

Additionally, the characteristic that is regarded as a determining factor in the projector industry is the heat control and energy efficiency. Fortunately, the ViewSonic 3800 has an eco-mode feature that controls heat generation and mitigates energy consumption. Therefore, cost reduction and high-performance efficiency are achieved. Viewsonic has also produced some exceptional 2000 dollar projectors too!

Pros
  • High display resolution
  • Better energy efficiency
  • Ideal for large venues
  • Perfect contrast ratio
  • Better color saturation
Cons
  • Weak speakers
  • Lack portability

Thereby, if you are looking for a projector that can support your business activities or the educational institutions, this ViewSonic is an incredible choice. It offers high colour quality with the perfect contrast and high resolution. Further, it works in the high light conditions for larger venues and serves best when it comes to energy efficiency and less heat consumption.

2. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home

Rating: 4.6/5

ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home

First and foremost, the ViewSonic WXGA has been dominating the market with the perfect color accuracy and fine pixel quality. Hence, with 3600-lumen ratings, the unit has a commendable brightness and contrast ratio that defines outstanding color saturation. The 22000:1 contrast can support the 1.1 x zoom capacity with 3D compatibility.

Furthermore, the model has a fine lamp life of 15000 hours with a 36.0 ft throw distance that perfectly pops the colors on the screen. The DLP operations are supported by chips that offer a graphic resolution of 1080p resolution that is well-suited for any home theatre as well as medium-sized venues. Further, the large projector screen has the ability to accommodate an audience up to 120 inches.

Last but not least, the manufacturers have included different features that can aid the users in energy efficiency and less heat consumption. One of which is the SuperEco Technology that assists the process of less heat generation. Consequently, the lamp life and durability are enhanced with the efficient cost reduction that makes it convenient for homes.

Pros
  • Energy efficient
  • Large lamp life
  • 3D capability
  • Perfect contrast ratio
Cons
  • Single HDMI port

In the end, the ViewSonic 3600 is an ideal and well-suited projector for home theatre and small venues characterized by the perfect color accuracy and high resolution. Moreover, the easy installation and portability coupled with the energy efficiency add value to the unit. The large lamp life and the throw distance accommodate the user to achieve a delightful experience from quite a distance.

3. Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Color Brightness Projector

Rating: 4.6/5

Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Color Brightness Projector

The Epson VS250 has been a phenomenal projector under $500 with a high lumen rating and perfect color brightness. This model’s highlight is the eco mode that helps to ensure less energy consumption and heat generation coupled with the best home-usage. Despite the price and less energy usage, 10,000 hours lamp life is remarkable.

Likewise, the pixel density and resolution is not compromised in this model. The 600 x 800 resolution with the HDMI and two additional USB inputs are specially designed for user facilitation. Talking about the contrast and brightness, the process is assisted by the medium contrast value with the perfect white and black bend. Further, the projector is recyclable that adds value to the product.

Moreover, the portability is unmatched with the 5.3 pounds weight that is extremely easy to carry around. Also, the ease of usage and the additional password setting makes it highly convenient for the users. Hence, you can set the password that can only be opened with your permission. Furthermore, the Bluetooth connection is the treat for the home theatres.

Pros
  • High display resolution
  • It comes with a password.
  • Highly portability
  • Suitable inputs
  • Less heat consumption
Cons
  • Speakers might issue
  • Needs maintenance

Finally, this Epson VS250 is an ideal choice for anyone setting up a home theatre or a smaller venue in a dim-lit setting. The high portability and the less energy consumption are highly efficient when it comes to cost reduction and overall performance. Additionally, the password setting and the display resolution aid the audience in a pleasant experience.

4. ViewSonic M1+ Portable Smart Wi-Fi Projector

Rating: 4/5

ViewSonic M1+ Portable Smart Wi-Fi Projector

The smarter and technologically advanced ViewSonic M1+ is another masterpiece in the list of best projectors under $500. First of all, the design is a modern plastic shell with air spaces that increases breathability. The lens protector enhances safety coupled with ventilated grills. Moreover, for the purpose of eliminating extra heat generation and energy efficiency, it shuts down the lamp in case of any obstruction automatically that increases the cost reduction.

Similarly, the projector uses the DLP and offers 480p resolution that assists the user. However, the image quality highly depends on the colour wheel as the DLP chip directly supports it. Moreover, the contrast and brightness are decent but cannot be classified as one of the best. Overall, if you are looking for a medium quality resolution, this M1+ is the one.

Last but not least, the system comes with unmatched technical support that makes it stand among others. The interface offers a list of input options that assist the user in convenience and comfort on the starting menu. Hence, the problem of carrying a laptop is eliminated as it can save your files. Also, the Bluetooth technology and wifi is just outstanding in this unit.

Pros
  • Includes wifi
  • Better input options
  • Better contrast ratio
  • Ideal for business
  • Energy efficient
Cons
  • Lack high resolution
  • Isn’t portable

In essence, if you are looking for an easy and highly efficient projector for multimedia purposes, this ViewSonic M1+ is the absolute best for you. The wifi and Bluetooth technology offer the user to browse and transfer the files in a USB or SD card that eliminates any other smart device’s need. Further, the easy installation and contrast ratio adds value to the product.

5. Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness Projector

Rating: 4.5/5

Epson Home Cinema 760HD 3,300 lumens color brightness Projector

Firstly, within the limited price range, the Epson 760 HD’s best feature is its enhanced portability and the distinguishable connectivity that makes it stand among its competitors. This best entertainment projector for home usage is equipped with the HDMI input and zooming facility. It offers single-cable connectivity and 1.2 X zoom that assist the user in a delightful experience.

Additionally, the 5.3 pounds lightweight makes it highly portable that is convenient for users while setting up the venue and carrying it around. Further, the pixel density is highly efficient with 1280 X 8000 resolution that offers a sharp picture with no filters and the perfect blend of colors. Hence, the perfect contrast is achieved for the moving picture.

Another interesting and intriguing characteristic of this Epson home 760 HD is the lumen rating with decent contrast value. Its 3300-lumen ratings work for both the white and black light and offer an incredible result in dim light. Thereby, for the outstanding entertainment efficiency, this Epson 760 HD is the absolute best.

Pros
  • Zooming ability
  • Convenient connectivity option
  • High display resolution
  • Better pixel density
  • High lumen rating
Cons
  • 720p resolution is compromised
  • It doesn’t include a speaker.

In the end, this Epson 760 HD with the perfect portability, high comfort value, display resolution, and lumen ratings is an ideal choice for users. If you are someone who is searching for a projector to invest in for home entertainment, this unit has the capacity to accommodate you. The single cable connectivity and the zooming ability adds value to the product.

6. Anker Nebula Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector

Rating: 4.5/5

Anker Nebula Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector

First of all, the Anker Nebula is a technically advanced and performance efficient mini projector you all have been looking for. It comes with the Android 7.1 feature that plays any of the favorite media content from your phone or smart device. The lamp life is 30,000 hours that is unmatched considering it is an inexpensive and technologically intelligent, and well-built unit.

Additionally, the mini projector comes with a wifi feature that can support a four hour continuous streaming in each charge. It has a DLP chip and supports the 480 p resolution that might not be the ultimate best yet is decent. Furthermore, the input options include the HDMI single cable and Micro-USB port that are convenient for the users.

Finally, the model is lightweight and offers unmatched portability. Hence, it is easy to carry it around and set up with effortless operations. Also, for user facilitation, the projector has long durability because it works on battery and minimizes the cost that comes with high energy consumption. The 360 degrees speakers are somewhat decent for a smaller to the medium venue.

Pros
  • Decent resolution
  • Comes with wifi
  • Technologically advance
  • Detailed picture quality up to 100 inches
  • Quick charging
Cons
  • Lack brightness
  • Resolution is not best.

In the end, this Anker Nebula is the performance-centred mini projector unit that can be your absolute choice based on its usage. It can be used at homes, in business meetings, and so on with the highly serviceable wifi technology, USB ports, and enhanced portability. Furthermore, the detailed picture and the lamp life is phenomenal that aids the user in the delightful experience.

7. Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming

Rating: 4.6/5

Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming

The idea of the creation of Optoma 146 is enjoying the cinematic experiences at home with the additional privacy and comfort. The model’s underlying features include extraordinary image delivery, image alignment, and high graphic resolution that is all you need in a home theatre. Hence, the jaw-dropping 1080p resolution in a limited budget is an absolute desire of users.

Thereby, these outstanding and high definition graphics comes with 3000-lumen ratings that ensure the perfect brightness on a screen. The 23,000:1 contrast value perfectly complements the brightness and shapes the overall colour saturation. Moreover, the 3D capability on the Blu-Ray player offers the cinematic experience that makes it one of the best projectors for under $500.

Additionally, talking about connectivity and input options, the company has ensured users’ best facilitation. The system comes with a pair of HDMI cables and two USB ports that can be used interchangeably. So, the problem of adding an extension is eliminated that enhances the overall comfort for users.

Pros
  • High definition graphics
  • Versatile input options
  • Perfect contrast ratio
  • Highly portable
  • Sharp imaging
Cons
  • Lack energy efficiency
  • Weak speakers.

Finally, if you are looking for a premium and high-end resolution in a projector under a certain budget, this Optoma HD 146 X is the ultimate choice for you. It comes with high definition graphics, high lamp life, and the appropriate contrast ratio that ensures high resolution coupled with 3D abilities. Overall, the enhanced portability and sharp imaging is the best feature of this model.

8. VANKYO Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector

Rating: 4.5/5

VANKYO Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector

If you are searching for a projector under a limited budget that can help you enjoy the content or playing video games in the daylight, this Vankyo is the best appropriate projector for you. This is a traditional LED unit with high resolution and additional speakers. Further, the unit is highly versatile when it comes to input options.

Similarly, V600 comes with a 300 inches screen with 1080p resolution that can accommodate you in venues where you do not have the facility of darkness. Being a performance-oriented model with sharp imaging, this is highly practical for business presentations or educational institutes. However, it is a potential home unit with a sharp image, pop of colors, high graphics, and the perfect contrast ratio.

Moreover, it is a conventional unit that doesn’t include Bluetooth or wifi but can be connected to other PCs, laptops, or smart devices through its versatile input options. It includes a pair of HDMI cables, a USB port, and the VGA that makes the process effortless. On the contrary, speakers might not be the best feature of the model but work decently for a small room.

Pros
  • Highly versatile
  • High resolution
  • Ideal for gamers
  • It suits a variety of users.
  • Long lamp life
Cons
  • Lack innovation
  • Speakers might issue

Finally, the Vankyo is popular not only because of its limited range but also the compatibility with various users. Its high resolution and working capacity in different venues make it suitable for businesses, educational institutes, or gamers. It further possesses the energy efficiency and long lamp life that helps the user in durability. On the whole, portability is also ensured with this model.

9. Epson VS355 WXGA 3,300 lumens color brightness

Rating: 4.7/5

Epson VS355 WXGA 3,300 lumens color brightness

Epson has been a promising brand when it comes to efficient and budget-friendly projectors, and Epson VS355 is no different with all the essential features. The best-known feature of the Epson VS355 is the LCD that is considered premium with the best resolution, efficiency, and screen size. Hence, it uses 3 LCD chips that ensure the perfect mixture of all the high-end characteristics.

Likewise, the model comes with 3300 ANIS lumen ratings with the suitable color brightness and balance of image sharpness. The 15000:1 contrast value ensures the ideal color balance and complements the brightness. The 1280 x 800 WXGA resolution is quite decent considering the overall efficiency. The unit includes the WXGA resolution that is more effective than SVGA and XGA.

Last but not least, the Epson VS355 offers different connectivity options that eliminate the need for additional extensions. The input options include USB ports, HDMI, and VGA ports for user facilitation and can be connected to any smart device. In the end, the screen offers a view up to 320 inches that are efficient for medium venues.

Pros
  • WXGA resolution
  • High lamp life
  • Energy efficient
  • Versatile input options
  • Enhance portability
Cons
  • It doesn’t include an audio port.
  • Lack energy efficiency

In the end, the Epson VS355 offers a high HD resolution with three LCD chips that ensures sharp image, better contrast ratio, and overall appropriate brightness. The WXGA resolution type and versatile input options facilitate the user on a limited budget. Overall, all the essential features are present in this model and if you want something premium, then have a look at these top projectors priced under 1000 dollars.

10. Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

Rating: 4.5/5

Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

First and foremost, the Acer H5382 is a conventional model. Yet, the prevalent color balance and resolution have become the turning point for this unit. It includes the 3300 ANIS lumen ratings with the 10,000 hours lamp life that is highly efficient considering this is a model restricted by budget. Overall the projector has a 720p resolution that adds value to the product.

At the same time, there are many characteristics that make it preferred by the users over many other models. One of them is the color stabilization that changes the display options after measuring the light in the room or venue. Apart from this, another sensor monitors the content requirements and adapts effectively to the surroundings.

Furthermore, the colour brightness, durability, and energy efficiency are not compromised despite the tight budget and small area for innovation. The color brightness is ensured with the perfect contrast ratio coupled with the 3D color boost technology. Finally, the unit is decently energy efficient and prevents heat consumption with the premium plastic construction that ensures high durability.

Pros
  • High resolution
  • Efficient sensors
  • High durability
  • Ideal for gaming
  • Perfect contrast ratio
Cons
  • Weak speakers
  • Lack input options

In the end, the Acer H5328 is a decent and above average unit with the basic construction, high resolution, and characteristics that can accommodate the user. If you are a gamer who is searching for a projector under a limited budget that can\support the gaming in ambient light, this one’s for you. Overall, the portability, durability, and additional speakers add value to the product.

What to Consider While Buying the Best Projectors under $500 – A Comprehensive Guide

Be it professional work or entertainment purposes; video projectors are regarded as the best facilitation. These tools help the users with presentations for business, set up as home theatres, and be used in the commercial entertainment business. However, different purposes demand distinct features for better assistance. Following are some detailed features that can help you in the selection of the right product.

Types of Video Projectors

Video projectors are highly popular among users based on the large entertaining and convenience value. The three major types of video projectors include;

Digital Light Processing DLP

The DLP uses tiny mirrors that are microscopic coupled with a color wheel in spinning motion that provides a sharp image. This image needs no filter and possesses 3D capabilities with a better responsive nature. It has a decent lamp life of 2000-5000 hours relatively and offers a moving picture.

Liquid Crystal Display LCD

Being less expensive, LCDs possess no 3D imaging or moving pictures with the use of crystal display. Furthermore, the 3-chip LCD projectors contain better color saturation, efficient response, and overall effective mechanism with no or less noise. These are efficient for home theatres or multimedia usage if you are going for a budget-friendly product.

LED or Lasers

LED is highly popular among the users when it comes to video projectors because of the lower value of power consumption, better lamp life, and zero maintenance costs required. These are smaller in size, have better image quality, and require less heat to start its mechanism. Its approximate lamp life is 20,000 hours that is highly incredible considering the compact size. However, these have a limited contrast and brightness setting, so they cannot be used in a room with a high light ratio.

Finally, based on your need and space, you can choose the best option. The LED and LCD have the efficiency to perform well in the home theatres and large spaces. On the other hand, the DLP proves itself in multimedia or extra-large venues with phenomenal picture quality and 3D capabilities.

Display Resolution and Pixels Quality

Display resolution is the most significant factor irrespective of the type and can largely impact the outcome of the projector. Here, 4K is considered the best resolution for a projector with a sharp image and no filter demand. The LCD and LED mostly use the 4K display that operates on the specific numbers of pixels. At the same time, if you are going for HDTV, 720 p is perfectly fine for the DVD. While in the Blu-Ray Disc Player, a projector with 1080 p pixel resolution is the absolute best for the sharp image and better saturation.

Light Ratio/ Brightness

Similarly, light input is essential for the ideal picture and better color spectrum. If there is less light input, the final product can be soft, broken with no brightness, even in darker spaces with no light. To get a projector with the ideal light input and desired brightness, it is important to check the ANSI Lumen rating that can guide you and track how much light is used as an input for the specific generator.

However, the Lumen rating can be seriously affected by the size of the room, the amount of light in the room, and other surrounding factors. Yet, approximately, 1000 ANSI Lumen rating is considered ideal for home theatres or small to medium venues.

Color Balance and Contrast

Contrast is the ratio between the white and black light on the screen, and it can seriously complement the brightness of the projector. A higher contrast value can lead to a highly bright picture, whereas the low contrast can increase the black tone of the image on the projector. Thereby, it is highly significant to maintain the contrast value for the appropriate saturation and brightness. For instance, in a dark room, 2000 ratio 1 is phenomenal.

Color value or reproduction is another factor that can affect the outcome of the projector. Here, you will have to look into the fresh colors, darker tones, color stability, and brighter parts of the screen. All these nuances can ensure the perfect performance efficiency and can make a strong difference in how the colors pop on the screen.

Input Format

Likewise, while buying the best projectors, you might need to look for the input options and ensure that your outlined product must have all the necessary input options from HDMI to VGA and DVI. Hence, with this feature, you can have ease and don’t have to change videos’ format. Moreover, many contemporary projectors come with built-in speakers and audio options, yet the working is compromised in each case. So, it would be best if you considered investing in a separate unit for audio that can support your videos’ high-quality audio demands.

Portability; Size Matters

Moreover, coming to the screen, there are many factors that are of paramount importance. One of which is the size of the projector. While setting up a larger space, it is usual to carry the projector around to see what position or location best in terms of the angle and audience arrangement. Thereby, it is important to have a projector that is portable enough to be carried around. Apart from this, easy or convenient setup and installation are highly appreciated, which adds to the user facilitation. For further ease, you can opt for a perfect screen for your projector regarding the viewing angle, the light direction in the room, and the distance between the screen and the audience.

Other Significant Features

There are many other features that can offer you an edge while going for budget-friendly projectors. Some of these features include;

Image Size

Image size is another feature that can affect the overall efficiency of your projector. It is highly influenced by the venue you are deciding on or where you want to place your projector. Hence, if you are going for the outdoor venues, you must consider a bigger image size with a larger viewing angle that can support a large audience. In the case of small or medium venues, you can go for any image size as long as it has a high resolution and pixel density.

Throw Ratio

The throw ratio is defined as the width of the image that is compatible with the throw distance. E.g., if you have a 2 throw width, it implies that you would need the projector to be at a distance of two feet for each foot of the image width. It is also dependent on the venue where you will be placing your projector. For instance, you are setting up a home theatre and want to have an indoor or smaller venue, you might need a projector with a low throw ratio that can suit the setup and give you an overall pleasing experience.

Lamp Life

Lamp life can be manifested in terms of durability or is defined as the lifespan of the projector. It is highly significant but can be concerning if you are going for a tight budget projector. Long lamp life can cut the additional cost and ensure the projector’s efficiency where less or no maintenance is required. Hence, 10,000 to 15,000 is considered phenomenal if you are going for an inexpensive unit with a warranty of at least three years.

Finally, based on your venue and usage of the projector, you can go for the following features. If you are looking for a large venue unit that can support a large audience, you might need a large image size, larger throw distance, and an approximate 15,000 hours lamp life and vice versa.

Installation and Usage

There are many settings where the video projectors are used. Yet, the two major divisions are based on the large setups or bigger venues and home theatres. Hence, with completely different mechanisms, the following are some specifications of both the types you should consider while buying.

Fixed Installation for Larger Spaces

The fixed Installation projectors for larger venues include large multimedia units with a high ratio of brightness, little or no ambient light in the venue, and the pixel resolution. These units mostly have 4500-lumen ratings with 20,000 lamp life that is decent enough to support a larger audience. These projectors involve a long time period to set up with professionals’ help and are not portable at all. These units can be used in the lecture halls, driveways, theatres, stadiums, and other large venues that support a large number of people.

Home Theatres

Likewise, as the home theatres are designed for a small number of people and limited spaces, the mechanism’s focus point is image quality. These are easy to install and require no labor force with improved portability that can assist the setup process. These units operate on the low voltage level and the noiseless operations with high efficiency and a better cooling system. These include 1800 lumen ratings, and 4K displays usually.

In the end, these are the prerequisites for the best projector under $500 or any other price range you are going for. According to your desires and needs, you can opt for the best and right unit for you.

FAQs

What is the best projector under $500?

ViewSonic WXGA 3600 is the best projector under $500, with all the high-end features that can help the user set up a home theatre. It offers high energy efficiency with a top-notch HD resolution coupled with the perfect contrast and brightness ratio. Overall, the image size, lamp life, and portability are also considered in the system that is an additional service under a tight budget.

What is the best projector for educational institutions under $500?

The best projector for educational institutions or business people is the ViewSonic 3800 SVGA that can support a large audience. It comes with versatile input options with the perfect display that works efficiently in the ambient light. Its reliable connectivity and easy installation coupled with enhanced portability make it highly suitable for lecture halls.

Which projector is ideal for gamers?

Vankyu performance V600 is specially designed for gamers with the best support that comes with high resolution, pixel density, and efficient working operations. It works perfectly in the daylight with a long lamp life that helps the gamers get the maximum benefit.

Final Thoughts

Finally, these best projectors under $500 are perfectly suitable for your business ventures, academic demands, or home entertainment. These noteworthy units assist the users with the best connectivity options, high image quality, better video resolution, enhanced portability, and so on. Thereby, following are some recommendations based on these prerequisites;

  • Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Color Brightness Projector with high portability, large lamp life, and energy efficiency.
  • ViewSonic M1+ Portable Smart Wi-Fi Projector because of its highly advanced mechanism, smart working operations, and portability.
  • Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector for Movies & Gaming with its gaming efficiency, multi-purpose usage, and high video resolution.

In the end, enjoy your favorite movies and plan your Saturday with these pocket-friendly projectors. Feel confident and present your powerpoints with the perfect support from these highly efficient projectors.

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