Many of us nowadays find ourselves when we need to set up a presentation for a large audience. It could be a software demo in a conference room, a training session in a meeting room, a work review in a boardroom, or a presentation in a small theater.
Whatever the case might be, the process usually remains the same. You need to set up a projector, connect a laptop or desktop to it, and then start the presentation. Choosing the right projector for your business is tricky, especially if you are unfamiliar with projector technology. You need to consider different factors like brightness, screen size, resolution, and color quality.
With these affordable projectors, you can easily turn any space into a movie theater. They are also useful for video conferencing or presentations. These affordable projectors are ideal for small businesses, students, families, and anyone else who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a projector for personal or business use.
There’s no denying the fact that we live in an age of presentations. If you can’t present your product or idea clearly and concisely, you might as well not bother. But how do you set about choosing the right projector and where on earth do you find one for under $500?
6 Best Projectors under $500:
1) Optoma GT760A
- Built-in speaker on/off switch on the rear panel for speakers connected through HDMI port.
- Native 1920 x 1080 resolution.
- Digital connections including HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0
- Built-in Speaker.
- 1920 x 1080 native resolution.
- 1. 2x optical zoom lens.
This unit also has an HDMI port along with two other ports on its rear panel. The other two ports are; USB Port; and Mini-Din Ports (for your additional external devices).
The HDMI port gives you the ability to use an HDTV via the included VGA cable (or simply connect it to an HDMI-enabled DLP projector).
The Optoma GT760A is the newest in the GT series that has led the gaming projector market since its launch in 2009. It features Full HD 1080p resolution, quite high for its price range, and an Ultra-fast response time of 2ms.
An excellent choice for gamers. It’s equipped with support for both VGA and HDMI interfaces so you can use it either to connect your game consoles or other audio-video equipment. The intuitive remote control allows easy access to all functions without interrupting game-play.
It also features an Image Quality change wheel so you can avoid eye strain by simply adjusting contrast, brightness, sharpness, and other image details to preference.
- Great Picture Quality
- Brightness is adequate for most people
- Easy Setup (Plug and Play)
- Reasonable Cost
- Large Size (36 in)
- Good Build Quality
- HDR does not work easily with this projector.
- There is no keystone change available on the projector, so images need to be calibrated by the user
- No Focus feature
- Screen 5.” Built-in” speaker system can’t compete with another option “Built-in” speakers are only 2 Watts.
- Large size should make it difficult to project close to a wall or ceiling
2) LG PH550 CineBeam LED Projector
- Ultra-short throw and 1:1 ratio
- DLP, 1080p resolution
- High contrast and brightness
- Built-in 16W speaker with HDMI connectivity
- Wi-Fi and LAN capabilities
- Integrated zoom lens
- Lightweight design
The LG PH550 is a high-powered, portable projector that provides a huge 100-inch screen from an impressively compact package. The LG PH550 packs a lot of punch for its size and price and is one of the best projectors for people who want the convenience of a small projector but don’t want to sacrifice anything in terms of power or image quality.
It’s also one of the cheapest projectors on this list, which makes it an ideal choice if you’re looking to save money while still getting your hands on a powerful device.
PH550 CineBeam is rated as the best projector under $500. Its build quality, features, and performance are exceptional for the price. A laptop/PC connection makes this unit versatile for both kids and adults comfortably, with its amazing connectivity options. At one end is an ultra-short throw projection with a 1:1 ratio, while at the other end is a 1080p resolution that impresses with clarity, brightness, and contrast ratio.
- LED bulb technology
- Clear and colorful image
- 1080p native resolution
- 3D compatible features for $200 less than the nearest competitor.
- Low power consumption and eco-friendly design.
- Low native resolution.
- No 3D feature.
- Switches to trigger the various modes.
- No advanced keystone change features.
- No built-in speakers
3) BenQ MS536 Projector
- 3200 ANSI lumens
- 180/degree lens with tilt and swivel
- Built-in speaker
- HDMI, VGA, and USB input
- 2D to 3D conversion for both movies and games
- Very short lag time for gaming
The BenQ MS536 projector is best for anyone who is looking for a replacement for their old projector, or if they are just starting with technology. It has 30000 lumens, 1080P Full HD resolution, and 4K UHD resolution.
The light engine provides movie theater-level performance to the visuals on the screen, while being able to project it up to 130 inches in size so you can have an expansive view. The colors look sharp and vibrant, and the digital keystone correction will give you sharp angle adjustments. The lamp can last up to 12000 hours of life expectancy, so it is very long-lasting.
It also has a built-in speaker system, and HDMI and HDMI 2.0 ports Perfect for media sharing and presentations with family and friends.
- Excellent picture quality
- Amazing brightness for larger screens
- Has 2 pairs of 3D glasses for viewing 3D movies or games
- Fantastic value for the money
- Very quiet operation, especially in eco mode
- The speakers are not very powerful so external speakers should be used instead.
- The fan can be heard when it is in eco mode.
- A small amount of dirt can be seen on the screen in the lower right corner.
4) WiMiUS P18
- HDMI, VGA, USB, and AV ports
- Built-in speaker
- 2000 lumens lamp brightness
- Projection size: 18 inches
- Built-in speaker for audio/video playback (HMDI only)
The WIMIUS P18 projector is a great option for anyone who wants a cheaper projector in a smaller package. You can find it online besides stores for around $300, making it almost impossible not to find something you might be interested in.
That being said, the primary downside of this model is that the resolution isn’t quite up to speed with other projectors on the market—the native resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels doesn’t compare well against 1080p projectors from companies like Sony and Samsung for example.
However, if you’re looking for something affordable with bright picture quality, then this may be worth your time and money. It features a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,000 lumens lamp brightness.
The screen size has been reduced from 18 inches to 16 inches, while the other characteristics have remained the same. It supports 1080p/720p video input through the HMDI port. The projector can project images from 8 to 16 inches in size with a 300 degree viewing angle.
- Brilliant images on both large and small screens.
- Full 3D glasses included
- Intelligent projection technology analyzes the size of the room to provide optimal light coverage.
- Compatible with multiple devices, including PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, PC.
- Incredible brightness at just 2 watts.
- Picture quality is not top-notch.
- The projector’s HDMI cable adapter is not included (a 5-foot cable is only included).
- It has some brightness issues, especially when displaying movies or TV shows with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.
5) DBPOWER Projector
- This is the best quality projector with a massive diagonal magnification of 2.07 times.
- The projector has several projection modes, including liquid crystal display mode, progressive scanning mode, screen mirroring mode, and ultra-high-definition DLP projection mode.
- This model has strong lightings which can effectively provide a bright and clear image for your presentations or video games.
- With the built-in speakers that allow you to enjoy crisp sound effects vividly without carrying extra speakers.
- This projector is perfect for indoor and outdoor excursions because it allows you to project movies on any wall or ceiling, making it versatile.
The DBPOWER projector represents a significant step down in price from many similarly featured projectors. With its proprietary Wi-Fi, it offers great connectivity and reliability. It can support almost any audio format, has up to 3x lens zoom, and comes with two USB inputs for connecting your device.
The only downside is that it’s not as stable when it’s moving vertically, but this isn’t too problematic for most people. Overall, the DBPOWER projector is an excellent option for those looking to spend less than $500 or who don’t need features like 3D or Alexa integration.
For anyone looking at spending a more little more on a projector, however, there are better options available with higher levels of performance and functionality.
- The smaller size can project up to 300 inches, while the larger one will project up to 500 inches.
- It’s able to display images in four resolutions: SVGA 800×600, WSVGA 1024×768, WXGA 1280×800 and HD 1080p 1920×1080 for better clarity.
- Includes 1 HDMI port for video input and 1 VGA port for video input or computer connection plus digital audio output.
- 4 convenient carrying handles on the side for easy transport.
- Reduced visibility in bright rooms.
- The fan is relatively loud
- Poor color accuracy
- Vague manual
6) Crosstour Mini Portable Projector
- 1920×1080 high resolution.
- 16:9 aspect ratio screen, perfect for movies/TV shows.
- 10-watt speaker, bringing you a great audio experience.
- Support 1080P video playback and multi-media playing in USB flash drive; supports for 1080P dual video dual audio streaming at the same time.
- 30″ – 100″ projection size, which is big enough to cover a 3m distance with no distortions or crosstalk.
- Simple operation interface for power on/off, volume change, and projector entering standby mode when not in use.
Crosstour Mini Portable Projector is the ultimate projector for small space usage. It produces a crisp and clear 720p HD resolution with a 3000:1 contrast ratio for vivid colors. This device also offers a built-in speaker, an A/V input, and HDMI output so you can play your favorite movies or tv shows wirelessly on any desired screen.
Crosstour Mini Portable Projector is compact and easy to move from place to place, so it’s perfect for road trips! This portable projector has been engineered to offer convenience, and picture quality that exceeds the competition at this price point.
- It’s portable and easy to carry around.
- It has 5200 lumens of brightness, which is more than enough for any occasion.
- Its image quality is perfect, making it great for watching movies or playing games on the go.
- It also has a built-in speaker so you can even listen to music with this device!
- Low resolution – 1280 x 800 pixels
- Poor sound quality
- Low brightness – 200 lumens
- Mediocre battery life – 4 hours in full HD mode.
- Few connections options – only HDMI and VGA.
- Weak remote control, no speaker on the projector itself.
- Comparatively pricy – $400 at the time of writing.
Factors to consider purchasing the best projectors under $500:
- Screen size: Some people want a projector because it can create a bigger, more immersive image than a TV. If this is the case, but according to the size of your display and what you would like to view (length x width x height).
- Resolution: Resolution is how many pixels are displayed on the screen. The higher resolution your projector has, the sharper and clearer your images will be.
- Light Level: This is how many lumens there are in one square meter of space; it tells you how well it will project in dark rooms and outside at night.
- Projector controls: This is how many buttons you need to adjust the projector. If you only want the basics so you can adjust the brightness, colors, and contrast levels, then you don’t need many buttons.
- Weight/Size: Some projectors are very heavy and difficult to move around by yourself or store when not in use. Make sure that it has enough power to last four years without needing too much maintenance. Therefore, portable projector is becoming more popular instead of stationary ones.
- Price tag: Not everything is cheap, but some cheaper projectors are worthy and worth the money because it provides decent quality and service than their more expensive counterparts.
- Warranty: If the product comes with a warranty, that is a great sign that the manufacturer or seller is confident in their product.
- Replacement bulb: Some projectors have a lamp/bulb that requires replacement after some time. Always check how long it will last before needing replacement and what is the cost of replacing it in case you need to do so.
- Sound quality: If you are using it for home cinema, then the sound is very important. Make sure that it has a built-in woofer system to enhance the audio output without requiring to connect external speakers.
- Budget: What will you use it for, There are tons of projectors in the market and they all have different functions and uses; if you need one for your classroom, business presentations, community theater, or home cinema, then buy one that suits your needs and budget.
The Bottom Line
Even though projectors are old technology, they are still very useful. Projectors are an excellent tool to use in meetings, presentations, and other events.
If you’re looking for a projector for a home theater, gaming, or large classroom that won’t break the bank, then you’ll want to check out the current best projectors under $500. At that price, you can get all the big-screen entertainment you need with the ability to show movies, play video games, run classroom presentations, and more!
With so many projectors out there, it’s hard to know what to look for, so follow the guide above to find the best one for you. Before buying a projector, be sure to do your research and know what you need. Visit our blog for more projector related articles that are still good in 2022.