Are you a gamer looking towards getting a big screen for your action games? A movie enthusiast, who has movie nights at their place every weekend? A corporate person needing a projector for serious business meetings?
Whatever the reason, getting a projector is a good idea. The question is can you find the best projector under 500? The answer is yes! You can find a lot of options under $500 which makes it hard to select one.
However, it is crucial that you go through the important features a projector must have no matter the range. You will end up spending a lot more on maintenance and services if you only keep your budget in mind.
This brief buying guide covers all the essential features and specs you should look for in a projector. The good news is that all the products on our list of best projectors under 500 have been selected keeping these features in mind.
What to consider before getting the best projector under 500: buying guide
The picture quality majorly depends upon the resolution of your projector. The higher the resolution, the more vibrant and sharp the picture is. However, a higher resolution comes at a higher price point. If you have a budget to follow, you should get the best resolution available under it.
With projectors coming to the mainstream, you can easily find a lot of brands and models with good resolutions. Keep in mind that the minimum possible resolution you should go with should not be less than 720p. The ideal case scenario would be to find a projector supporting Full Hd 1080p resolution.
The resolution of a projector is not enough for a detailed, sharp image. You need brightness and contrast levels to complement it to ensure you get the desired results. The brightness is measured in lumens, and its value varies with your location and light conditions.
If you want a projector for your home theatre where it will definitely be dark, a 1000 to 1500 lumen projector would do good. Furthermore, if your intended use is in a classroom or meeting room with big windows bringing in sunlight you should look into options with 3000 lumens or above.
Speaking of brightness, we have a detailed guide on projectors for bright rooms, if that is your main concern.
The whole charm of watching your media on the big screen lies in the contrast ratio. Without a good contrast, you will face unbalanced dark and light areas on the screen. It is crucial that you consider the contrast ratio along with the resolution. A good color contrast becomes more crucial when you are using the projector in the dark.
With such busy lives, you cannot always keep the right cables with you. A projector with both wired and wireless connectivity options comes in handy here. The best projector under 500 would support multiple connections such as HDMI, VGA, Bluetooth, and in some cases wifi compatibility. Usually, HDMI connections give greater clarity and brightness than the VGA or Bluetooth options.
The working life of a projector depends on how long its lamp works. A projector with a good lamp life requires less maintenance, giving you years of bright, smooth service. Hence, look into the lamp life of the projector you are getting.
You should consider those projectors providing at least 10,000 to 15,000 hours of lamp life. This would be enough to give you more than 3 years of maintenance-free display.
The display size of a projector depends on the distance between the wall and the projector. If you have a small place, a short-throw projector would suit you well. In case of a large area such as an outdoor place, you should look into long throw projectors.
After all, the primary reason for switching to a projector is the massive screen. Therefore, it should be large enough to make it worth your money.
Top 12 best projectors under $500
YABER Y31 Projector
Epson VS350 Projector
GooDee WiFi Mini
KODAK Luma 350
BenQ MW526 DLP
Epson VS260 Projector
VANKYO Performance V600 Projector
Anker Nebula Capsule Max
Acer H5382BD 3D Projector
All the products listed in this list come under your budget while having extraordinary features and specs. However, if there was to be one projector that surpasses the rest in terms of overall performance and results it would be the Optoma HD146X Projector. The high brightness combined with the special technology makes it stand out and quite easily makes it the best budget projector under 500.
1. YABER Y31 1080P – Best Home Theater Projector Under 500
First on our list of the best projector under 500 bucks is the YABER Y31 Projector. This versatile projector exhibits a variety of features making it to the top. The display quality is the same as other high-end projectors, with its 1080p resolution and 7500-lumen brightness. The contrast ratio aids the crisp, bright images enhancing your viewing experience.
The keystone correction and zoom feature enable you to adjust the screen accordingly. You do not have to fumble with the manuals, instead, the remote control does it all. This makes it flexible to use in terms of placement. It also comes with a built-in sound system adding to the list of features. This makes your movie nights a lot more enjoyable.
One prevailing issue with the majority of the projectors is the cooling system noise. Either the cooling system does not work or it produces unbearable noise. YABER Y31 Projector makes use of an efficient cooling system making use of 3 fans. Unlike the other projectors, you will not even feel their presence since they are so quiet.
Use the recommended Eco Mode to increase the lifespan of your projector to 100,000 hours. I mean, which else projector under 500 gives you this lifespan? This relieves you from the worries of replacing the lamp and other services. Moreover, the extensive input ports provide you with the option of connecting it to almost all other devices.
Also Check: Best Projector For Daylight Viewing
2. ViewSonic PX701HD Projector – Ideal For Gaming & Office Use
If you are on the lookout for the best projector under 500 that would suit a gaming freak, the ViewSonic PX701HD Projector would be it. You can get a huge screen up to 300 inches with stunning picture quality thanks to its full HD 1080p resolution. It has a 3500-lumen brightness making it a great option for both indoor and outdoor uses.
It has an exclusive SuperColor technology that makes use of the wide color gamut resulting in a wonderful color scheme. Each detail is sharpened and highlighted giving you a wholesome theatrical experience. The low input lag is of special importance to gamers. It has a 16 ms response time which gives an ultra-smooth, and fast performance.
Furthermore, it has additional features such as lens schist and zoom pertaining to a flexible and convenient system. With the help of these features, you can align your screen with the best angles. You do not have to replace the lamp for at least 10 years if you use the projector for 5 hours each day. This averages the lamp life to 20,000 hours which is great if you are on a budget.
The 10 W speakers elevate your viewing experience. This makes the 3D motions appear life-like. The wireless connectivity options are another plus point. You can use the USB port for your feasibility. In short, this is one of the best budget projectors you can buy right now.
3. Optoma HD146X Projector (Our Top Pick)
Optoma HD146X Projector is also an amazing option when it comes to the best projector under 500. It has an exceptional quality display with a native 1080p resolution and a stunning color wheel. Retailing for exactly 500 dollars, you get complete worth of what you spend.
The DLP DMD single-chip design ensures a well-aligned, sharp, and vibrant image. The picture quality is unbeatable due to the combination of Full HD resolution and DLP technology. The 3600-lumen brightness provides a sharp display even in moderate lights.
It also serves as a gaming projector if you account for the low input latency. Furthermore, the gaming display mode adjusts the display with the right shadows and darkness to the action game’s needs. The remote control provides an easy means to control the settings and manuals. This adds to your ease and convenience.
The 500,000:1 contrast ratio is boosted through dynamic black technology. Your details are further deepened resulting in a splendid blend of colors and shadows. The 15,000 hours lamp life gives you 4 hours of watch time every day for 10 years. You can install it anywhere and the picture would still be perfectly balanced through the zoom and keystone features.
Also Recommended: Best Projector Under 1000
4. Epson VS350 Projector – Best Business Projector Under $500
One of the best projectors under 500 produced by Epson is the VS350 Projector. The 3300-lumen brightness provides you with the option of using it in the dark as well as light. The vivid, bright and vibrant color display is something you will not find in many budget projectors. The XGA resolution (1024 x 768) makes it a worthy product if you have text-based use, such as in offices.
You can set it up easily at your place as well as take it with you. The dimensions make it a portable option that is travel-friendly. You can easily use it for up to 10 years at a minimum with its Eco-friendly mode. The lamps are cheap and easy to replace too. The keystone correction feature works wonderfully in adjusting the display according to your wall.
The HDMI connectors make it feasible for you to connect the projector with your laptops, Macs, and other devices. You do not have to invest in adapters, the connectors provide adequate means for connectivity. Furthermore, the built-in speakers provide a clear sound, but it is not extraordinary. It does get the job done if your room is not very big, so there is no issue.
5. ViewSonic PA503S – Best Budget Projector
ViewSonic PA503S Projector is a splendid addition to the list of the Top projectors under 500. It works great for small-scale use, such as a movie night or business meetings. It comes with a variety of features making your work easier and productive. The fact that it is affordable as well as provides amazing features make it stand out from others.
You can enjoy a massive 120-inch screen from a distance of only 15 feet. Although this is not a short-throw projector, it does the job from a reasonable distance. The 3800-lumen brightness results in a brilliant crisp projection. The color quality speaks for itself through the depth and vividness. The lamp life of 15,000 hours gives you ample time before requiring a lamp replacement. You do not have to maintain it frequently.
It supports multiple input options such as VGA, HDMI, and others giving you flexibility regarding connections. You do not require any adapter or special connectors. Easily connect your media player, PC, Mac, and mobile phones to it. There is almost no input lag, hence, the display is extremely smooth. The keystone correction feature gives you a proportioned image regardless of the placement of the projector.
6. GooDee WiFi Mini Projector
If you are on a budget, a mini projector with good display performance would suit you. Therefore, GooDee WiFi Mini Projector can be listed as the Top rated projector under 500. You will not find wifi compatibility in any other budget projector other than this. This feature alone makes it a worthy investment. The price point is not high either. Hence, you should look into this mini projector.
The 720p native resolution provides good results. Of course, not as great as Full HD, but nevertheless clear and bright. The color support and 200-inch display combine to upraise your viewing experience. It is compact and lightweight. This means you can easily take it with you on camping trips or set it up in your backyard for movie nights. The built-in internal speakers provide fine-quality audio to accompany your display. You can watch unlimited movies and media for 50,000 hours without a single run for maintenance.
Moreover, the GooDee WiFi Mini Projector comes with a lot of input options. You can connect it to your Roku Stick, Fire-TV, Chromecast, External Speakers, USB Disk, PS4/XBOX, Laptop/PC, DVD Player, and Mobile Phone/iPad. This is done through the HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, and TF ports so you do not have to worry about the connectivity.
Check More: Best Short Throw Projector Under 500
7. KODAK Luma 350 – Best Portable Projector Under 500
KODAK Luma 350 Projector comes with DLP technology to make your pictures appear brighter and more life-like. The picture clarity and brightness are unbelievable for a projector at this price. It is the 200 Ansi brightness and high contrast ratio are contributing factors towards listing it among the best projectors under 500. You can experience a display screen as large as 200 inches, giving you cinematic vibes.
With this projector, you not only get the conventional HDMI and USB ports but also wireless connectivity options. You can use the wifi, Bluetooth, or screen mirroring options to stream your favorite media effortlessly. This way you do not have to deal with long wires and keep your place neat. The built-in speakers are a source of amazing quality audio accompanying the high-definition display.
You can use the projector for a variety of different purposes. The Android 6.0 and iOS interface makes it possible to surf the web, download apps and games directly on the projector. You have to use it to believe in it. This feature makes its use uncomplicated and simple. The compact dimensions make it a good portable option. The lamp life of 30,000 hours will keep it working for a long time.
8. BenQ MW526 DLP Video Projector
If you are looking for the best projector under 500, BenQ DLP Video Projector cannot be missed. It produces a crystal clear, sharp, and bright projection, unlike any other affordable option. The 3200 ANSI lumen combines with the 13000:1 contrast ratio to give you this outstanding display performance.
You can observe even the tiniest of the details with sharp color accuracy. The working life is extended through the Eco Mode to a minimum of 10,000 hours. This points towards maintenance-free use for a long time providing you ease and comfort. The standby mode adds to its power-saving efficiency. Therefore, you can expect the Eco Mode to minimize power consumption aiding the long life.
The VGA and HDMI ports give you different connectivity options to connect to your devices. This is especially of value to the businessmen and corporate workers who need to keep a projector with them at all times. As with all BenQ models, MW526 also possesses a sleek and elegant outlook. The lightweight makes it easy to carry it around. The cooling system comes with a good noise cancellation system that does not even let you feel its presence.
9. Epson VS260 Projector
The next product on our list of the best projector under 500 is the Epson VS260 Projector. Epson went a step ahead with this one and included exemplary resolution, lumen, contrast, and color technology all in one. The 3300-lumen brightness makes it fit to display in both bright and dark rooms. Furthermore, the XGA resolution crisps the text and images even more. Hence, you get a high-quality color display giving you cinema feels.
Epson VS260 also has an additional 3-chip 3lcd technology which highlights the RGB color wheel to provide vibrant images. Moreover, it takes extra care to maintain the quality of the display without any rainbow or discoloration issues like some other projectors. You can use the HDMI port to exhibit your media and presentations on the big screen.
It has an automatic keystone correction feature that adjusts the frame according to the display. The built-in speakers provide a good means of audio to compliment your family movie nights. The screen size is huge, giving you 150 inches of bright display. You can easily zoom in or out according to the requirement through the provided remote control.
10. VANKYO Performance V600 Projector
One of the best projectors under 500 you will find in the market is the VANKYO Performance V600 Projector. This dynamic projector is an amazing investment for gaming enthusiasts who need a smooth and bright projector to enjoy their gaming sessions. It supports Full HD 1080p resolution with a high contrast ratio of 5000:1 giving outstanding display performance.
If you have a place that gets bright light, this projector would be the answer to all your worries. The high lumen brightness gives you razor-sharp graphics on a massive 300-inch display screen. Be it a business meeting, classroom presentation, or gaming session with friends, this projector will be your best find. The best part is that you get all this under a budget.
The lamp life is great too with 10 years of service on the use of 3 hours per day. You can connect your mobile phones, laptops, PC, and other devices using the double HDMI ports available. This is an excellent cheap option if you want to enjoy high-end qualities without paying large bucks.
11. Anker Nebula Capsule Max Projector
Anker Nebula Capsule Max is considered one of the best pico projectors under 500. Two main factors which are usually considered in determining the standard of the projector are brightness and display technology. This projector comes with dimensions of 3.15 x 3.15 x 5.91 inches. It weighs about 1.6 pounds.
Nebula series of Anker is of prime importance because of its battery capacity. Anker Nebula Capsule Max comes with a brightness of 200 Lumens removing all the uncertainty around the mini projectors. It gives the users a brighter and more comfortable experience. This projector comes with built-in speakers of 8W which helps in providing a good sound quality; however, an external speaker through the Bluetooth option can be attached for a better sound experience.
It is considered one of the best choices for your kids since it provides an eye-strain-free experience. It has a battery life of almost 4 hours which is very satisfying. It has a screen display of 40 inches to 100 inches. It has wireless connectivity options along with HDMI and USB options. It has a native resolution of 1280×780p.
12. Acer H5382BD 720P DLP Home Projector
Acer H5382BD Home Theater Projector is one the best budget projector since it offers high contrast ratio and high brightness. So if you are looking for the best projectors under 500, this might be the right option for you. This projector comes with dimensions of 12.4 x 8.4 x 3.8 inches. It weighs about 5.3 pounds.
This projector has both wired and wireless connectivity options which makes it highly user friendly. It provides an HD display that is not completely HD. There is a feature of a background light sensor that controls the setting by detecting external lightning and prevents the quality of pictures from being affected.
It has a high contrast ratio which helps in providing detailed and sharp images to its users. It is very easy to set up making it user friendly. It has 3300 ANSI lumens which are very impressive according to its price range. This is your go-to device if you want a budget-friendly device that has almost all the necessary functions.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
How many lumens is enough for a Projector?
The answer to this question varies because it depends on the screen projection size. For a 100″ screen projection, 350 lumens will be enough; however, the recommended lumens should be at least 1000.
How much of a budget should we keep in mind?
It depends on your need whether you want to use it for indoor purposes or whether you want to enjoy the outdoor experience. For indoor purposes, your budget would lie under 500$
How can I enjoy the 3D Glasses?
You can use your 3D glasses and enjoy the realistic images on almost every projector that supports DLP technology. Most of the customers don’t know this fact so they remain unaware of it.
What to do if I don’t have enough space?
Most of the people complain that they don’t have enough space for the projector so they remain confused and don’t buy the projector. We have come up with the solution, if you have a shortage of space you need to look for a projector that has a short throw. Such a projector will fit in a small space and allow you to enjoy the feature without any worries.
Now that you have gone through all the best projectors under 500, it’s time to make your pick. The fact that all these options are under 500 and best to keep in your living rooms, bedrooms, or any other place in your home makes them extremely versatile. Therefore, it might be hard to choose the best of the best.
Go through the buying guide to understand the important features and how they impact your use. See which one best suits your requirements and budget, get it, and enjoy your big-screen experience.