Best Projectors Under 500 – Reviews {Buying Guide}

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When it comes to having high entertainment in your house in terms of watching movies and playing games, then the projector is one such medium which gives you ultimate fun. As you will look around, you will probably be finding the projectors available in different options and sizes. Picking the right projector on budget under 500 is extremely important to make your viewing experience better.

Straight away from the lumens to the built-in speakers to resolution, these all projectors are available in varied options. If you think that projector is a costly investment to make, you need to rethink it again because it is a false notion.

List of Top 10 Best Projectors Under 500 in 2021 – Reviews

Product ImageProjectors DetailRatingPrice
Best Budget Pick


Epson-VS260-3-Chip-3LCD-XGA-Projector-Under-500
Epson VS260

  • Brightness: 3,300 lumens

  • Contrast: 15,000:1

  • Resolution: 1024x768

  • Throw ratio: 1.58:1

5.0
/5
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Best for Home Theather


ViewSonic-Full-HD-500-dollar-Projector
ViewSonic

  • Brightness: 3,500 lumens

  • Contrast: 12,000:1

  • Resolution: 1920x1080

  • Throw ratio: 1m~10.96m

4.8
/5
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Best 1080p


YABER-Y30-Native-Full-HD-500$-Video-Projector
YABER Y30 Native

  • Brightness: 7000 lumens

  • Contrast: 10000:1

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080

  • Throw ratio: 1.40:1– 1.60:1

4.8
/5
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Best Multimedia


BenQ-TH585-Entertainment-$500-Projector
BenQ TH585

  • Brightness: 3,500 lumens

  • Contrast: 10,000:1

  • Resolution: 1080p

  • Throw ratio: 1.50 ~ 1.65

4.7
/5
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Best for Home Use


KODAK-Luma-150-Ultra-Mini-Pocket-Pico-Projector
KODAK Luma 150

  • Brightness: 50 ANSI lumens

  • Contrast: 1500:1

  • Resolution: 854x480

  • Throw ratio: 0.8' - 12.8'

4.3
/5
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Best for Outdoor


Optoma-H184X-Affordable-Movie-Projector
Optoma H184X

  • Brightness: 3,600 lumens

  • Contrast: 28,000:1

  • Resolution: 1280 x 800

  • Throw ratio: 4.1' - 33.7'

4.9
/5
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Best for Office Use


BenQ-MW535A-WXGA-HDMI-Vibrant-Color-Projector
BenQ MW535A

  • Brightness: 3,600 lumens

  • Contrast: 15,000:1

  • Resolution: 1280x800

  • Throw ratio: 1.55:1 - 1.86:1

4.3
/5
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Best Portable


Brookstone-Wireless-Presentation-Projector
Brookstone Wireless

  • Brightness: 100 ANSI Lumens

  • Contrast: 400:1

  • Resolution: 854x480

  • Throw ratio: 1.30:1

4.3
/5
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Best for Gaming


Epson-EX3260-SVGA-3LCD-Projector
Epson EX3260

  • Brightness: 3,300 lumens

  • Contrast: 15,000:1

  • Resolution: 800x600

  • Throw ratio: 1.48:1

4.2
/5
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Best for Movies


KODAK-Luma-350-Smart-Rechargeable-Movie-Projector
KODAK Luma 350

  • Brightness: 150 ANSI  lumens

  • Contrast: 35,00:1

  • Resolution: 854x480

  • Throw ratio: 1.40:1– 1.60:1

4.6
/5
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You can shop out and pick some projector units, which are often available at the cost of under 500. Do you want to know which one?

Well, below, we have the explained everything about the top-rated and best projectors under 500 in 2021 to pick the best model for yourself right away. Have a look here:

1. Budget Pick: Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector

“A reliable projector at an affordable cost showcasing better results in display and brighter video work.”

Epson-VS260-3-Chip-3LCD-XGA-Projector-Under-500

Our Rating:

5.0

What we liked:

  • Great data-image quality
  • Excellent quality of video
  • Reasonable in loud audio
  • USB Access Type-A port
  • Compact and extra portable

What could be better:

  • Lacks in 3D capabilities
  • Does not offer optical zoom

Check on Amazon

The Epson VS230 3LCD projector has been the most reliable projector on our list, which you can get at the cost of under 500 dollars. Epson is a top leading brand for offering the quality of best projectors under 500 at an affordable cost and quality results.

The main reason for its high popularity is its SVA resolution and its lumen count, which can add brightness in dim or low lightroom. Due to the lengthen lamp life, the frequency and cost are gradually maintained. You will also find it available with a wireless networking system.

It even measures 3.2″ x 11.9″ x 9.2″ in the weight of 5.3 pounds. Hence, this makes this model be a moderately portable unit for easy movement. Plus, it is available with a single connection at the backside for the HDMI. It is available with two different ports for USB, i.e., USB A and USB B type ports.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 3,300 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 15,000:1
  • Resolution level: 1024×768
  • Throw ratio: 1.58:1 (D: W)

2. Best for Home Theather: ViewSonic Full HD Projector ( < 500 dollars)

“Grants the user with extra brightness to have a striking detailing in the video towards excellent image quality.”

ViewSonic-Full-HD-500-dollar-Projector

Our Rating:

4.8

What we liked:

  • 3D resolution based
  • 3,500 ANSI Lumens of extra brightness
  • Great connectivity

What could be better:

  • Lacks the support of 4k
  • The speaker’s sound is tinny

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Offering full HD images and vibrant colors, ViewSonic 1080p Projector is a complete feature-packed projector. It is available in the course of 3,500 ANSI lumens of extra brightness to have a striking detailing towards excellent image quality. This demanding home theater projector unit has a screen size of 300 inches and is a complete 3D-ready model. You will find it great as a best home theater projector under 500.

With the help of Viewsonic’s SuperColour Technology, you will find the image quality to be wide enough to ensure a better life color experience. It is available in 7 different image modes to pick the one which suits your room environment.

Regarding the connectivity is concerns, you will be finding it available with the 2 HDMI, 1 USB, VGA, and much more. Plus, it even accompanies a built 10-watt speaker to have both audio-in and audio-out. This makes it easy for you to connect it with game consoles, media players, and your smartphones.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 3,500 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 12,000:1
  • Resolution level: 1920×1080
  • Throw ratio: 1m~10.96m (100″@3.32m)

3. Best 1080p: YABER Y30 Native Full HD Video Projector

“An ideal projector to have excellent HD picture quality with genuine contrast and brightness level.”

YABER-Y30-Native-Full-HD-500$-Video-Projector

Our Rating:

4.8

What we liked:

  • 50-degree use of keystone correction
  • Offers 8000 lumens
  • Great motorized zoom

What could be better:

  • Has a Manual focus ring

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Coming to the 3rd spot, we have the ideal projector for you by YABER! This projector is available with the availability of 7200 lumens with a contrast ratio of 10000:1. It is excellent when it comes to providing excellent HD picture quality with genuine contrast and brightness level. In this way, you will receive sharp and bright image quality in a lit room.

Apart from you, you will also experience a superior projection experience in the native Full HD resolution (1080p) and hence supports almost 4K Ultra HD format. Due to the Color Matching Algorithm, this 1080p projector under 500 grants you great color gamut and genuine color representation.

Above all, it has various connection ports in which we have 2 HDMI and 2 USB, 1 VGA, 1 AV plus 1 mini jack (3.5 mm) audio. You can easily get it connected with PS3, Xbox One, pen drive, headphones, and android smartphones.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 8000 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 10000:1
  • Resolution level: 1920 x 1080.
  • Throw ratio: 1.40:1– 1.60:1

4. Best Multimedia: BenQ TH585 Entertainment Projector Under 500

“Top entertainment projector to have reliable experience of both multimedia effects with great picture quality.”

BenQ-TH585-Entertainment-$500-Projector

Our Rating:

4.7

What we liked:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Brighter image results even in dim light
  • Excellent in color accuracy and great contrast
  • Supports the use of 3D

What could be better:

  • Input resolution needs some improvement
  • Does not support HDR

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In this amazing projector unit by BenQ, you will find it available on flat screens, which are completely outplayed by full HD 1080p. It works as the home theater projector to have an excellent experience of both multimedia effects with great picture quality.

Plus, it has amazing graphics in the Game Mode with 3500 lumens of brightness for delivering intense light even in night mode. This multimedia projector under 500 is also available with the special Game mode where it brings you fine-tuning of images and grants visual precision.

Through the dynamic range of the projection heights, digital vertical lens shift access even ensures that this TH585 can easily fit into any space. The vertical keystone often adjusts the projected range of images for neat alignment.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 3,500 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 10,000:1
  • Resolution level: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Throw ratio: 1.50 ~ 1.65 (100″ @ 3.32 m)

5. Best for Home Use: KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector

“A great projector unit which is best for conducting smooth meetings at home or office centers.”

KODAK-Luma-150-Ultra-Mini-Pocket-Pico-Projector

Our Rating:

4.3

What we liked:

  • Modern design
  • Minimal in rainbow effect in a display of video
  • Easy to get projected through multiple sources
  • Rechargeable powerful internal battery

What could be better:

  • Low image brightness and has a modest resolution
  • Lacks in a tripod

Check on Amazon

KODAK LUMA 150 is the best projector which you can use for meetings or for presentation purposes which you are conducting at home. You will find this projector available with great touch controls, DLP technology and has near-universal device compatibility. It even helps you to view the photos or slides on the 16:9 display, where it can expand to almost 120″.

Plus, these best home projectors under 500 play the files from the microSD™ cards or through USB! It even grants the availability of HDMI® connection ports and hence features threading for greater and standard tripod mount. This tripod mount is located on its bottom, with which you can mount it easily.

Moreover, it has a built-in rechargeable battery with a lifespan of 3 hours. You can even run it longer by connecting it with an AC power supply. Availability of minijack audio output will help you to connect the headphones with the powered speakers!

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 50 ANSI lumens
  • Contrast quality: 1500:1
  • Resolution level: 854×480
  • Throw ratio: 0.8′ – 12.8′

6. Best for Outdoor: Optoma H184X Affordable Movie Projector

“Has a user-friendly feature at an affordable cost with the image adjustment in a fine-tuning way.”

Optoma-H184X-Affordable-Movie-Projector

Our Rating:

4.9

What we liked:

  • Wide coloration gamut for accurate hues
  • Best for both indoor and outdoor
  • Lamplight is brighter for brighter lights-on viewing
  • Good in range for input options
  • Excellent 3D support
  • Easy in installation

What could be better:

  • The resolution side is a bit low
  • Throw distance is lower

Check on Amazon

Optoma great projectors have always been known for providing user-friendly models, out of which H184X is the most affordable one. It is available with the image adjustment options based on 40° keystone correction and has a 1.1x zoom for extra fine-tuning of the image size. To have a perfect outlook projector, this is the best option for you.

The flexibility of this best outdoor projector is also another major aspect that you will appreciate for sure. It can produce a size of 300” to make it suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage. As it works as the standard throw projector, therefore, there is a need to get the larger image which can be up to 45 feet for almost 120” screen.

Plus, Optoma H184X has a great 720p resolution for extra sharpness and has on-screen pixels for a standard definition TV.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 3,600 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 28,000:1
  • Resolution level: 1280 x 800
  • Throw ratio: 4.1′ – 33.7′

7. Best for Office Use: BenQ MW535A WXGA HDMI Vibrant Color Projector

“A projector model ideal for office use with greater image quality power at a high lumen brightness.”

BenQ-MW535A-WXGA-HDMI-Vibrant-Color-Projector

Our Rating:

4.3

What we liked:

  • Great display resolution
  • Lamp life is around 15,000 hours
  • 30” to 300” screen diagonal projection
  • Offer great digital zoom for smaller texts
  • Available with 3D

What could be better:

  • Noisy fan

Check on Amazon

BenQ MW535A’s projector is one such projector model that is ideal for the office or conference rooms. The maximum audience size of this unit is around 10 participants. And it has a native resolution of 1280×800.

It generally works at the battery power of 210 watts for brighter image results with great light sourcing. Often adds up with the brightness claim of almost 3,600 lumens which helps you to combat the ambient light effect in a dim environment.

If we talk about the lamp light survival, it is 5,000 hours in the Normal Mode and 10,000 Hours in the Eco Mode. Plus, this office projector also accompanies a whopping lifespan of 15,000 Hours in the SmartEco. You will find this projector unit to be helpful to get fitted in the image sizing between 30 inches and 300 inches diagonally.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 3,600 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 15,000:1
  • Resolution level: 1280×800
  • Throw ratio: 1.55:1 – 1.86:1

8. Best Portable: Brookstone Wireless Presentation Projector

“Portable and lightweight to move it around easily with the capacity to display brighter color results.”

Brookstone-Wireless-Presentation-Projector

Our Rating:

4.3

What we liked:

  • DLP 4k of UHD resolution
  • Dual-use of built-in 5W speakers
  • Compatible with a variety of HDMI devices

What could be better:

  • Projector lacks 3D imaging
  • Adapters are required for the non-HDMI

Check on Amazon

This projector has been built thru the 3LCD chip with which it displays bright coloration results except for any lag or the rainbow effect. You can additionally buy it as the ‘color wheel’ system via the RGBRGB wheel.

Another quality about this projector has been its photo best which is accessible in the decision of 3,840 x 2,160p with the razor-sharp image produced via the 2,200-lumen lamp. It has 8.3-million pixels in the variety of a 120-inch screen. Being portable, you can easily make it move to any place.

Plus, the playback can be accelerated with the assist of Acer’s AcuMotion Technology for producing intermediate frames. You will discover this best portable projector completely like-minded with several HDMI units such as PS, Xbox, or Satellite TV.

Users would love to seize the superb sound exceptional from two built-in 5W speakers with deeper and crispy bass. Its setup manner is extraordinarily easy with an easy guide.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 100 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast quality: 400:1
  • Resolution level: 854×480
  • Throw ratio: 1.30:1

9. Best for Gaming: Epson EX3260 SVGA 3LCD Projector

“A versatile and simple projector which both beginner and advanced gaming users can have it.”

Epson-EX3260-SVGA-3LCD-Projector

Our Rating:

4.2

What we liked:

  • Great results in the data image
  • Excellent audio
  • Compatible with all laptops or media players
  • Higher color accuracy with extra brightness
  • Easy to set up

What could be better:

  • Lacks optical zoom
  • Does not offer 3D capabilities

Check on Amazon

Epson EX3260 is one such projector that works great when using it for your student lifestyle. It has the boasting power of more than 3300 lumens which makes it a budget-friendly option to have. In short, it is a versatile and simple projector which both beginner and advanced gaming users can have.

Hence, it is available in a simple and ergonomic design with the dimension of 9.9” by 11.9” by 3.6”. It is not just affordable but even the smallest in size in the market. It weighs just 5.5 lb in portable capacity. Plus, it is also available with a carrying case for extra convenience when carrying around.

This best gaming projector under 500 makes it offer HDMI connectivity technology, where it even supports VGA and composite video inputs. You can have the projector gets connected to the computer with the help of a USB cable.

The projector even boasts an incredible color accuracy which is 3×. It also has a 3× wider color gamut to have superb image quality work.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 3,300 lumens
  • Contrast quality: 15,000:1
  • Resolution level: 800×600
  • Throw ratio: 1.48:1

10. Best for Movies: KODAK Luma 350 Smart Rechargeable Movie Projector

“A great projector with high-rated brightness and great resolution power with an excellent image or video quality.”

KODAK-Luma-350-Smart-Rechargeable-Movie-Projector

Our Rating:

4.6

What we liked:

  • Available with Android 6 OS for running apps and downloads
  • Lightweight and extra portable
  • Offers remote control with the built-in battery
  • Projects an amazing decent-size image for extra brightness

What could be better:

  • The video quality needs improvement
  • Controls on the projector are a bit limited

Check on Amazon

This is an LED-based projector that makes use of Texas Instruments’ DLP technology. It has a high rated brightness of almost 200 ANSI lumens which has claimed a 3,500:1 contrast ratio. Plus, it is also available with the 854-by-480-pixel, a.k.a. FWVGA, or the 480p resolution.

It can smoothly work at the range of 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios! As it is working as a reliable LED-based projector, the light source turns out to have a long-rated lifetime of 30,000 hours!

The overall design of this video projector for 500 dollars is incredible in outlook, which is finished with white and gold trim work. It has a dimension of 1.1 by 4.4 by 4.4 inches (HWD) in a portable nature and weight of 12 ounces.

Key Features:

  • The brightness of image: 150 ANSI  lumens
  • Contrast quality: 35,00:1
  • Resolution level: 854×480
  • Throw ratio: 1.40:1– 1.60:1

How To Choose The Best Projector Under 500? Buying Guide Tips 2021

To pick the best projector unit, let’s get into the discussion of few tips to consider when buying the best projectors under 500:

Resolution
Resolution is the total number of display pixels available on the imaging chip. It is measured both vertically and horizontally. The full HD projectors, which are for the home theater, have Full HD 1080p. But as the resolution will increase, the pixel density gets reduced. Some of the manufacturers even make 1080p projectors that can smoothly work with the 4K source video.

Contrast
The set of extra clarity, greater detail, and depth that is available with the 4K can easily be captured in the projector-sized pictures. While purchasing the best projector for 500 dollars, you should consider the contrast in mind. As much higher the projector contrast will be, the deeper the blacks or the color details will pop up. Hence, most of the models come with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) where it supports Ultra HD Blu-rays with outstanding contrast.

Brightness
Next comes the feature of brightness, which needs to be in the range of 700 to 2,500 lumens. The higher the brightness ratings, the more ambient light it brings. You should look for a higher brightness to have extra-large images and for a great experience in viewing 3D films.

Frequently Asked Questions {FAQs}

1. What is the brightness requirement for the at-home projector?

As you purchase the best projectors under 500, you have to consider the day and night time hours to use the projector. For daytime use, the quantity of the lumens will be a bit higher. To use a projector in a room with a dim effect, you have to use the projector with a brightness of 1,000-2,000 lumens.

2. What is the main difference between DLP, LCD, and LED?

DLP (Digital Light Processing), where it uses tiny mirrors for reflecting the light in the direction of the screen. This is done with the help of a spinning color wheel. LCD (liquid crystal display), which does not have any moving parts. It is, although costly, and is available with a longer-lasting lamp compared to the DLP. LED is similar to LED bulbs which are smaller and hence generate lesser heat.

3. Is it important to choose a projector with high resolution?

Yes, high resolution means better quality of the image. For a clear and crispy effect in images within best projectors under 500, you should look for the display with full HD.

4. What is the meaning of throw distance?

Throw distance is the approximate distance from the lens towards the main screen. If you increase the projector distance and the screen, then the image will gradually increase. The ratio will somehow determine if it is long or short.

Our Verdict

Epson VS260 is a magnificent projector model for video and gaming textual content to have a clear and vivid display result. You will view the top-notch structure and coloration effects with XPR technological know-how via a stunning UHD 4K experience.

BenQ TH585 is the well-matched one that you can use to play suggests and online movies. You can, without problems, have the projector related to the Wi-Fi access very easily to revel in higher display quality.

ViewSonic projector is the affordable pick out on our listing, which won’t damage your pocket at all. It is effortless to set up and is well suited to work with all units, such as Blue-ray DVD players.

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