Are you bored with your regular TV screen and want to enjoy your movie or game on a bigger display? If yes then buying a projector is the most affordable way to go. Most of the feature-rich projectors are available under $500 in the market.
A budget of 500 dollars is sufficient to get the best projectors for movies, gaming, and office use. Though it might lack some of the pro-features most of them are packed with plenty of high-tech features.
In our review, we have included some of the best 1080p projectors, 4k, home theater projectors, and one short throw projector.
The most high-end TV gives you a 75-inch screen, but that is not limited in the case of a digital projector where 75-inches can be just the starting point. You can decide the screen size as per the demand and brightness of the unit.
- 1 What is a Digital Projector?
- 2 Best Projectors Under $500 in 2020
- 2.1 1) Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector for Movies and Gaming
- 2.2 2) VANKYO V600 – Cheapest 1080P LED Projector Under $500
- 2.3 3) ViewSonic PA503S – Excellent HD Digital Projector for Home and Office
- 2.4 4) Optoma HD27 3200 Lumens 1080p Home Theater Projector – 3D-Ready
- 2.5 5) Epson EX5260 XGA – Best Wireless Projector Under 500 Dollars
- 2.6 6) Optoma HD27HDR 4K HDR Ready Home Theater Projector for Gaming and Movies
- 2.7 7) ASUS S1 – Best Battery Powered Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector Under 500
- 2.8 8) Epson VS250 – Excellent Wireless HD Projector
- 2.9 9) YABER Y21 – Best 1080P 4k-Ready Projector Under $500
- 2.10 10) Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector – Best LED Rechargeable Pico Projector
- 3 How To Connect A Projector With Your Computer, Smartphone, or Game Console?
- 4 Conclusion – Buying Cheap Projectors Under 500 Dollars
What is a Digital Projector?
A digital projector is an output electronic device designed to project an enlarged version . of video, or still images on a white screen (most favorable) or on a wall(1). This device is widely used in presentations, home theaters, outdoor screen cinemas, gaming, RV theaters, classroom teaching, and office training(2).
Popularly digital projectors are installed or fixed on the ceiling with the help of a vertical stand, or placed on a stand, or they can be compact in size and used as portable devices.
Best Projectors Under $500 in 2020
You might want to enhance your gaming experience or would like to see a Blu-Ray movie across a large white wall in your living room, or simply remember happy memories by throwing the photos and short clips fro your computer or mobile phone, you are going to need a good projector.
Budget buying is one of the most important factors in the current price rising scenario. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to buy the best projectors available on the market. We have listed some of the best display technology projectors that you can buy under $500.
1) Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector for Movies and Gaming
Watching movies on a 1080p display screen gives you the ultimate viewing experience. The Optoma HD243X is one of the best 1080p projectors under $500 available in the market.
High contrast and brightness combined with WUXGA (1920×1200) supported resolution render sharp details, your movies and images will out lifelike.
Optoma HD234X features low lag functionality to experience fast 1080p input response time at 16ms with enhanced game mode for the ultimate gaming experience. It supports connectivity to the latest gaming consoles and high-performance computers to make your life easier.
2) VANKYO V600 – Cheapest 1080P LED Projector Under $500
Do you like watching movies on a big screen, like really big 300 inches wide? if yes then this home theater projector is perfect for you. The VANKYO performance V600 is compatible with the TV stick, HDMI port, VGA, and USB. It also supports iPhone and Android connectivity for office powerpoint presentations.
This 1080p high-definition projector features Native 1080p, 5,500 LUX, 3,300 lumens, 5000:1 contrast, and 5,000 hours of long-lasting lamps. You get all those industry-standard specifications just under $500 which makes it ideal for indoor or outdoor movies, sports, and gaming.
3) ViewSonic PA503S – Excellent HD Digital Projector for Home and Office
The (PA503S) is one of the cheapest 1080p projectors that you can buy not just under $500 but it can be yours for less $300 during discount deals.
Thanks to the SuperEco mode, the lamp will shine bright for up to 15,000 hours, supporting VGA(640 x 480) to FULL HD (1920 X 1080) resolution.
I personally like the ViewSonic projection system because they support most media players, PCs, MAC,s, iPhones, and Android smartphones.
Just connect this inexpensive projector with the help of any Input options such as HDMI, VGA, and more and Enjoy 120 Inch Large display screen when placed 15′ 8″ away from the screen.
4) Optoma HD27 3200 Lumens 1080p Home Theater Projector – 3D-Ready
The HD27 by Optoma features the reproduction of the REC.709 color spectrum which is the international standard for HDTV viewing. With 3200 ANSI lumens combined with brilliant color let you watch movies and play games with stunning color output in any environment.
The built-in 10W speaker makes it an excellent 1080p home theater projector under $500. For such affordable prices, having an amazing sounding speaker can really make a big difference in your viewing experience.
With industry-leading 25000:1 contrast ration you get a complete home entertainment display system capable of displaying 3D content. Optoma HD27 is capable of projecting 3D content from any source such as Blue-Ray players, 3D broadcasting and latest game consoles.
5) Epson EX5260 XGA – Best Wireless Projector Under 500 Dollars
Epson is one of the leading projection display making company in the world. And if you are looking to buy an affordable Epson projector under $500 then EX5260 XGA will be an excellent choice.
Apart from 3,600 lumens color brightness, Epson EX5260 XGA projects remarkable color accuracy. It projects up to 3 times better color brightness and you get 3x wider color gamut4 with Epson over any other DLP projectors.
Its fast wireless scan setup is my favorite features with the help of a QR code scanner on your iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet, you can simply scan the on-screen QR code to establish the connection.
6) Optoma HD27HDR 4K HDR Ready Home Theater Projector for Gaming and Movies
When sold on a discount deal, you can buy this Optoma HD27HDR 4k projector under $500, precisely around $450. Otherwise, it will cost you somewhat at around $550.
Keeping price tag aside, the HD27HDR is 4K ready projector has a response time of 16ms at 60Hz and 8.4ms at 120Hz when connected to a high-performance computer and latest gaming consoles.
The latest HDR technology and 3,400 lumens projecting 1080p resolution on a large screen gives you a thrilling experience while watching movies or enjoy the high-end graphics due to a 50,000:1 contrast ratio.
Optoma HD27HDR 4k gives you flexible connectivity with HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, and HDMI 1.4a connection ports. Easy installation is supported by Vertical Keystone correction and a 1.1x zoom lets you adjust the screen clarity.
7) ASUS S1 – Best Battery Powered Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector Under 500
The S1-200 is one of its kind projecting system featuring a 6,000mAh battery, it is an excellent battery-powered portable projector that you can buy under $500.
It is ultra-portable which can fit in your palm and weighs only .75 pounds. The unit is Zen-inspired and housed inside an aluminum body.
ASUS S1 delivers 200 lumens projection which is one of the best short throw projectors under $500 easily gives a 41-inch diagonally widescreen from 1 meter of distance.
The compact size of this mini projection system does not limit it from high-end features. You can enjoy movies, connect them with your mobile devices for gaming or get ready for your office presentation anywhere by using HDMI/MHL input port.
This portable projector has one integrated ASUS SonicMaster Speaker which makes it an even more appealing affordable small projection system.
8) Epson VS250 – Excellent Wireless HD Projector
The latest Epson VS250 is an excellent office projector with super color combinations and impressive picture output.
Being an office choice, it comes with a wide range of connectivity support such as HDMI being the conventional way for the connection. Epson also surprises you by integrating a small speaker of 2W (mono).
Compatibility is very reliable as you can project your movies using a PC, MAC, and supports iProjection App to wirelessly project from your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or from any Android mobile devices.
9) YABER Y21 – Best 1080P 4k-Ready Projector Under $500
This YABER unit is something like a hidden gem because you can buy it for less than $300 which is obviously that it falls under 500 dollars category.
It is one of the cheapest projector that supports 4K video projection. With a remarkable 6000 lumens brightness and a high-dynamic contrast ratio of 7000:1, you will enjoy sharp and detailed images and Video plat back from your HD content.
YABER Y21 features an “Optical Coating Technology” and uses a 6-layered top quality glass lens for superior light penetration and amazing movie experience.
Patented low dispersion lens and built-in 5W dual stereo speakers combined with SRS sound system, Y21 provides super clarity up to 300″ inch projected screen for you to enjoy the cinema in your home theaters and have an amazing time playing your favorite video games.
10) Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector – Best LED Rechargeable Pico Projector
This portable mini projector is loaded inside a tiny frame of 5.7 x 3.2 x 0.9 inches and weighs only 0.6 lbs which makes it pocket-ready and super easy to carry.
Its compact size and lightweight design make it ideal for small gatherings, classroom teaching, showing presentations, and some in-house game playing.
This tiny unit has multi-screen sharing features and can project 130″ large screen. You can easily connect this device with your media source using lighting cable, USB cable, or Type-C cable.
Many gamers use it as a personal sports game projector because of its crystal-clear image projected at 1080p high resolution. From a distance of 5 ft, it projects an ideal screen size of 80 inches.
This is an excellent battery-powered portable projector under $500 featuring a 5200mAh battery that allows you to enjoy your personal home theater or gameplay for 2 hours without needing a charge. You can connect it to the charging point while projecting so don’t worry your fun never stops.
How To Connect A Projector With Your Computer, Smartphone, or Game Console?
Advanced in projection technology has made them easy to use and improve connectivity.
There are so many ways to connect a projector with your media sources such as USB device, PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, or any Android-powered smartphone.
HDMI, VGA, USB are some of the most common ways to connect your projector with your laptop or PC. They are one of the conventional and most reliable ways for uninterrupted projection. These ports allow you to connect it with your PC, MAC, Laptops, or any Smartphones or Smart digital photo frame.
Currently, the QR code and iProjection App are the two common ways to connect the projection system wirelessly. Typically for non-Apple users, QR code scanning is the most common way. Otherwise, iProjection App is widely popular because most people use MAC, iPhone, or iPad for the presentation.
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Conclusion – Buying Cheap Projectors Under 500 Dollars
If you find yourself on a tighter budget then go for a 1080p HD projector. They are capable enough to give you the best brightness and display to enjoy your movies or gameplay.
We know that $500 is not enough when you are looking to buy a cheap projector, however, it is enough to get you a projection technology that can project 4k HDR, Blue-Rays, and 1080p movies and pictures.
Lastly, make sure to check the connectivity options because that is something that will help you connect your newly bought projector with your laptop, desktop, or smartphone.