The Very Best Projectors Under $500 – Experts Choice

Projectors have moved from being that gadget used to present slides at seminars, functions, school gatherings and board meetings to gadgets used for game night or movie night at home. It offers the almost gigantic cinema effect of cinema screens and with a powerful sound system attached to the laptop for running your media, you are sure to enjoy whatever it is you watch.

We have covered a number of best projector under 500 considering the resolution, clarity in pictures, weight and even compatibility with various PCs and laptops. We hope you enjoy this bit of nugget. You are sure to have a good choice after looking at the expert picks below.

Don’t wanna read all the long stuff? Here’s our #1 choice

Promo!
Optoma HD143X Affordable High Performance 1080p Home Theater Projector, 3000 Lumens, 3D Support, Long 12000 Lamp Life, for Indoor and Outdoor Movies, Built In Speaker
1,498 Reviews
Optoma HD143X Affordable High Performance 1080p Home Theater Projector, 3000 Lumens, 3D Support, Long 12000 Lamp Life, for Indoor and Outdoor Movies, Built In Speaker
  • CLEAR, DETAILED IMAGES: 1080p (1920×1080) resolution renders sharp and detailed images from high definition content without downscaling or compression
  • STUNNING PICTURE QUALITY: High contrast (23,000:1), reference display mode and RGB combine to deliver bright, accurate colors that are perfectly aligned to the REC.709 and REC.709b color space.
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: Enjoy up to 12,000 hours of lamp life for an average of 4 hours of viewing time for 8+ years

Comparison Table For The Best Projectors Under $500

Full Review of 7 Best Projectors Under The Range of $500


7. BenQ MW526AE Business Projector review

BenQ MW526AE 1080p Supported WXGA 3300 Lumens HDMI Vibrant DLP Color Projector for Home and Office
42 Reviews
BenQ MW526AE 1080p Supported WXGA 3300 Lumens HDMI Vibrant DLP Color Projector for Home and Office
  • Brilliant image performance: 3300 ANSI Lumen High brightness delivers stunning display presentations
  • Catch every detail: 15, 000: 1 High Native contrast Ratio ensures crisp readability
  • Multiple connectivity: dual HDMI inputs provides multi-platform and expanded connectivity,Power Supply:AC 100 to 240 V, 50/60 Hz

If you were in the market for an affordable projector to meet your business and office needs, this would be your best buy. For small office settings or startups, this would be just perfect; might also be good for a home theater. The throw size of this particular projector is about 6.5 feet, with a small distance which can utilize a large screen because it can go from 36 to 300 inches. It can be used in all sorts of formats and resolutions, easy to set up and manage. This feature makes it quite easy to use with various complementary technologies such as Blue-Ray players, Mac, or PC. The little downside of this projector is that it has a shorter bulb life of only 10,000 hours, which invariably means it will not be used often, so as to make sure it lasts.

PROS

  • WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels) – This makes it ideal for commercial presentations and business presentations. Pictures are detailed out well
  • Easy to set up
  • Large screen range
  • Multiple input (Dual HDMI and more)
  • 3,300 lumens for vivid colors and brightness

CONS

  • Short throw distance
  • Quite a short lamp life span.

Also Read: Best Projectors Under $100 for Lower Budgets


6. Acer H5382BD 720P Home Theater Projector Review

Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector - White
262 Reviews
Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector - White
  • Projection Sytem: DLP
  • Resolution: Native 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Brightness: 3300 ANSI Lumens (Standard)

If you were thinking of home entertainment and projectors? This baby here is the answer to your equation. The Acer H5382BD home theater projector is an excellent device, quite affordable, and delivers the exact claims it has on its specs. It is simply built with a carry case that lets you move it easily from place to place. It has the HDMI port support, which also supports MHL technology. This means that you can connect your smartphone and tablet directly and play videos. It has two VGA ports and an S-Video port. It has a brightness rate of 3300 lumens, the native resolution 1080*720; this means that you would get HD details while seeing any movie. The projector functions well in a ambient light, and for dark rooms, you can get the superb contrast. It also has the Eco-mode which increases lamp life by 1,000 hours to 6,000 hours. this projector just like the majority of DLP projectors has some motion artifacts, however, the extent of disturbance has been reduced. You can screen 3D videos with shutter glasses, but you would have to buy your own. The sweet part of the deal is that you get to control all functions of the projector with a remote,

PROS:

  • Automatic Keystoning
  • HDMI and MHL support
  • 3300 Lumens
  • 1080 x 720 pixels resolution.

CONS:

  • Motion artifacts, though not quite much.


5. BenQ MS524AE DLP Video Projector Review

BenQ MS524AE 1080p Supported SVGA 3300 Lumens HDMI Vibrant DLP Color Projector for Home and Office
51 Reviews
BenQ MS524AE 1080p Supported SVGA 3300 Lumens HDMI Vibrant DLP Color Projector for Home and Office
  • 3300 ANSI Lumen High brightness for stunning presentations
  • 15, 000: 1 High Native contrast for crisp readability.Acoustic Noise (Typ./Eco.) 32/29 dB, C sku: <36dB follow CECP. Operating Temperature 0~40℃
  • Dual HDMI inputs for multiplatform digital connectivity. HDTV compatibility: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, video compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

This is one projector I would refer to as sleek and stylish. It is like walking into a room full of projectors and seeing every other one looking so masculine and brutish in design while this one sits in a class of her own, stylish and cute. LOL.

Anyways this beauty is sleek and stylish and would fit perfectly in an office space, home theater or classroom. It has a lumens brightness of about 3300, which makes it able to deliver clear presentations even with the lights on. It has the DLP technology and a contrast ratio of 15,000:1, which enables it transit between colors smoothly, making content displayed on it clear and readable. It has a throw size of about 2.37m, dual VGA and HDMI inputs, which enables you to connect more than one device at the same time. It possesses the vertical keystone feature which makes image alignment easy without having to make adjustments frequently. This model comes with triple adjustment feet which makes set up easy and swift. With the cool eco-friendly features such as the SmartEco Mode, Eco Blank Mode and auto power off mode, you can conserve 70% lamp power, save energy and turn it off without stress. Amazingly, it also has a Kensington Lock to prevent theft.

PROS:

  • Portable
  • Eco-friendly modes
  • Amazing brightness and contrast
  • Multiple VGA and HDMI inputs.

CONS

  • Throw size is low
  • Speaker is average.


4. EUG X88 1080p Home Theater Cinema Projector Review

EUG LCD HD Home Theater Projector 1080P 4600 Lumen Digital TV Projector Movies Gaming with HDMI HDMI USB RCA Audio VGA AV Zoom Keystone Built-in Speakers, Ideal for Outdoor Indoor Entertainment
76 Reviews
EUG LCD HD Home Theater Projector 1080P 4600 Lumen Digital TV Projector Movies Gaming with HDMI HDMI USB RCA Audio VGA AV Zoom Keystone Built-in Speakers, Ideal for Outdoor Indoor Entertainment
  • ※Why choose EUG X88 LCD Projector? You will see more detail and it will be less grainy and pixilated--Brightness: 3700 Lumens. Native Resolution: 1280x800 support 1080P. Contrast Ratio: 4800:1. Aspect Ratio:4:3 &16:9 Compatible. Projecting image size: 50-200 inches. Projection distance: 6.56-20.7ft.Inputs Supported Max. WUXGA(1920x1200),1080P, 1080i, 720P, 576P, 480P, 576i,480i
  • ※FOR INDOOR & OUTDOOR: Integrated powerful dual 5W stereo speaker provides superb audiovisual experiences for games, movies, and TV.Well-designed Copper tube heat sink, high-performance cooling technology. Pre-long the life of this LCD Projector.Ideal for watching movies, playing video games, holding indoor/outdoor parties,Karaoke,Football Nights,even Small-Room Meetings.Add fun to birthday party, wedding, camp, BBQ, Christmas, Halloween.
  • ※Plug&Play approach- Ideal for outdoor theatre, game-playing, holiday party, gathering.With multimedia interface, compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Laptop, Android Smartphone, PC, DVD, Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS4, Wii, Roku, Directv, Apple TV, Amazon fire stick, Roku, external speakers, Windows. Support the most common Video, Audio and Picture format( Audio: WMA, MP3. Image: JPEG, BMP, PNG. Video: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, RM, RMVB, AVI, FLV, WMV )

If you were contemplating between getting a T.V and a projector for home entertainment, then this projector brand would be nice for you. You do not need external speakers with this one. It has a USB port which enables you to play directly from a USB stick. There is an HDMI port which enables playback from smartphones and tablets. It also has a composite port and a VGA port. With a native resolution of 1280*800 and brightness of 3900 lumens, it gives a solid image in pitch dark conditions. Its contrast ratio of about 5000:1 gives you clean details when seeing dark movies at an optimum projection of 100 inches. As an LED projector, the map lasts up to 50,000 hours, which is 10 times the bulb life expectancy of LCD projectors. With the presence of a digital zoom, you do not have to operate it manually. As an EUG projector, it has an image flip feature. You could mount it on the front, rear or ceiling mounts without disturbing the image.

PROS:

  • 3900 Lumens brightness @ 5000:1 contrast
  • Speakers present
  • 50,000-hour lamp life
  • Digital zooming and keystoning
  • 1280 x 800 native resolution up to 1920 x 1200 pixels.
  • Dual HDMI & USB

CONS

  • Keystoning sometimes disturbs image viewed.


3. EPSON VS355 Projector Review

Epson VS355 WXGA 3,300 lumens color brightness (color light output) 3,300 lumens white brightness (white light output) HDMI 3LCD projector
178 Reviews
Epson VS355 WXGA 3,300 lumens color brightness (color light output) 3,300 lumens white brightness (white light output) HDMI 3LCD projector
  • More accurate, vivid color, even in well-lit rooms — 3,300 lumens of equal color and white brightness (1).
  • WXGA resolution (1280 x 800) — 2x more resolution than SVGA for projecting HD presentations and video; perfect for widescreen laptops.
  • Fast, easy setup with Epson — get up and running in no time with easy image adjustments and convenient control.

This is a specially built projector, typically suited for business. It is suitable for displaying project presentations, documents, or educational materials on a wide screen. Its 2x WXGA resolution improves the color sharpness and makes images displayed via it very clear. Its controls are easy to set up, adjust and maintain. This projector comes with equal color and white brightness of 3300 lumens which gives accurate images in terms of color even in really bright rooms. It gives you two options to choose from, namely: Normal and Eco mode. The Normal Mode gives you a bulb life expectancy of 6000 hours and a bulb life expectancy of 10,000 hours when used in Eco mode. With this projector, you would need to invest in an external speaker for clearer sounds in the case of video viewing.

PROS:

  • 3LCD Technology
  • Awesome image resolution.
  • Perfect for business presentations
  • Better content sharpness
  • Beautiful image resolution.

CONS

  • Average speaker performance
  • Low Lamp life


2. EPSON EX3240 Projector Review – Great Choice For Many

Promo!
Epson EX3240 SVGA 3LCD Projector 3200 Lumens Color Brightness
243 Reviews
Epson EX3240 SVGA 3LCD Projector 3200 Lumens Color Brightness
  • Look for two numbers: 3200 lumens Color Brightness for more accurate, vivid color3200 lumens White Brightness for well-lit rooms
  • SVGA resolution (800 x 600) - for projecting basic presentations and graphics
  • Fast, easy setup, only from Epson - get up and running in no time with easy image adjustments and convenient control

This projector is really budget friendly. When it comes to specs and price that is balanced, this would be your right pick. It produces detailed and quality images with its HDMI connectivity. It is suitable for seeing movies and can be used for business purposes too. It is a moderately portable projector that comes in a sling on bag, which means it gives you a 100 percent of mobility. It has an HDMI port that connects a single audio/visual line, plus a USB composite, and S-video ports for more inputs. This projector uses a 3LCD infrastructure for visuals which prevents the rainbow and motion artifacts that are popular with conventional LCD projectors. Espon delivers an 800*600 resolution which makes the image quality so bright and clear than that of cheap projectors. The lamp life is approximately 10,000 hours of use, it doesn’t support 3D videos, and it can be mounted on a ceiling.

PROS:

  • Nicely designed
  • 3200 lumens for color, etc.
  • Quality inbuilt speaker
  • 800 x 600 pixels resolution.
  • Portable carry bag coming if you purchase through our recommended store **great perk

CONS

  • Despite our semi-top-preference on this one, we are still allowed to say the lamp span could be considered low as well. However, it still doesn’t disappoint for decent home usage.


1. Optoma HD143X 1080p Home Theater Projector Review  – Overall Top Choice For Homes

Promo!
Optoma HD143X Affordable High Performance 1080p Home Theater Projector, 3000 Lumens, 3D Support, Long 12000 Lamp Life, for Indoor and Outdoor Movies, Built In Speaker
1,498 Reviews
Optoma HD143X Affordable High Performance 1080p Home Theater Projector, 3000 Lumens, 3D Support, Long 12000 Lamp Life, for Indoor and Outdoor Movies, Built In Speaker
  • CLEAR, DETAILED IMAGES: 1080p (1920×1080) resolution renders sharp and detailed images from high definition content without downscaling or compression
  • STUNNING PICTURE QUALITY: High contrast (23,000:1), reference display mode and RGB combine to deliver bright, accurate colors that are perfectly aligned to the REC.709 and REC.709b color space.
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: Enjoy up to 12,000 hours of lamp life for an average of 4 hours of viewing time for 8+ years

This projector is suitable for watching movies, TV shows, or whatever form of entertainment you desire. Though it looks bulky, it is not necessarily heavy, which makes it portable enough to move from place to place. It has an extended lamp life of about 12,000 hours which is a really big deal in the world of projectors. The projector can be installed easily for a wide range of screen sizes and different spaces as well, thanks to the flexible zoom and throw ratio. It is capable of playing 3D content from all 3D sources, including game consoles. It comes with an inbuilt speaker which produces average sound quality; which invariably means that you may need to get an external speaker to get your desired sound. It also has the MHL feature which enables you to connect to your smartphone or tablet.

PROS:

  • Very portable
  • Full 3D capability
  • 3000 lumens @ 23,000:1 contrast ratio
  • Multiple input capacities (Dual HDMI, USB, etc.)
  • Awesome picture quality
  • Super awesome lamp life
  • User-friendly
  • Ease of setup

CONS

  • Sometimes gets heated in poor ventilation conditions
  • Can get really noisy when at the loudest volume.

See What Having A Projector Under $500 In Your Home Looks Like



Quick Guide For Buyers: What To Look For In Smart Home Projectors

  • Brightness: When getting a projector within the $300 -$500 range, check for both white and color brightness. A lot of projector manufacturers hardly meet the claims on their specs, so before putting your money down on any projector. If the room setup is really bright, the lumen rating should be really high.
  • Resolution: If you really want to see the details of any video, the projector should have a good resolution.  Projectors with a resolution of 480p or above are the best because they usually match that of the video source being played. If the resolution is low, your video will look pixelated, which is really bad.
  • Connectivity: Projectors within the range of $300-$500 dollars should have all popular options of connectivity such as USB, VGA, and HDMI. If it has a Bluetooth connectivity, you are in luck, that is if you have plans of playing your movies from your phone or laptop.
  • Lens zoom: You would have a problem if you are using a portable projector and screen. When setting up, you may not always need to set up with the same distance, you can simply zoom in the video.
  • Contrast: Contrast Ratio is what helps you to see the shadow detail and deep black levels of videos. If the contrast ratio is terrible, you will never understand the importance of many movie scenes shot inside a dark room or a cave.
  • Remote enabled: Projector should be easy to operate, or else you would be caught fumbling with it all the time, which is why getting projectors with a usable remote that can control all these features is very important.
  • Compatibility: As absurd as it may sound, there are many gadgets that don’t blend nicely with some computer formats. Always observe any projector you wish to purchase and ensure that it is compatible with your PC or MAC.
  • Lamp Life: The bulb component of a projector is one of the most expensive parts of a projector, and the most difficult part to switch out. This alone should be your deciding factor when choosing a projector so that you won’t be caught spending extra to get a new one. You should be on the lookout for one with a life expectancy of about 10,000 – 15,000 hours.
  • Throw distance: This indicates the distance a projector can stay away from the screen and still produce a clean and clear image. Some projectors have a range of feet and extend to 15 feet. The larger and more expensive ones have a throw distance of about 30 feet. Before you make any purchase, understand the distance requirements.

We have done a critical look at these needs and therefore come up with 7 best projectors under the price range of $500, respecting the afore-listed features.

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap! All you have to know about the best projector under 500 in 2019. We hope this well-curated list helps you to make a great choice; as it has helped about a few hundred people and counting.

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