Best Projectors Under $500: Value and quality combined

Sargis Avagyan

Last updated on September 29th, 2023

Sargis Avagyan
best projectors under 500

In the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, the desire for immersive cinematic experiences has never been stronger. Picture yourself reclining on a cozy couch, a bucket of popcorn in hand, and the anticipation of a blockbuster movie night ahead. What's missing? The best projector under $500 to turn your living room into a private cinema, where every detail is crisp, colors are vibrant, and your favorite movies come to life in larger-than-life fashion. But here's the best part: you don't need to break the bank to achieve this dream. 

In this article, we embark on a journey to discover the best projectors under $500, where affordability meets excellence. These projectors may carry a budget-friendly price tag, but they certainly don't compromise on performance. Get ready to explore the world of cheap projectors that offer the perfect blend of value and quality, where your home entertainment dreams come true without breaking the bank.

Features to look for before buying the best projector under $500

When you're on the hunt for the best projector under $500, it's important to remember that while you might be working with a budget, you don't have to compromise on essential features that can elevate your viewing or presentation experience. To make an informed decision, here are the key features you should consider before making your purchase:

Resolution Matters

Resolution is one of the most critical factors affecting picture quality. Look for budget projectors that offer at least Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution. This ensures sharp and detailed images, whether you're watching movies, playing games, or giving presentations.


The projector's brightness, measured in lumens, plays a significant role in image quality, especially in well-lit rooms. For a versatile projector that can handle various lighting conditions, aim for a brightness of 2,000 lumens or higher.

Contrast Ratio

A high contrast ratio contributes to better image depth and clarity. Look for projectors with good contrast ratios to enjoy more vivid and dynamic visuals.

Connectivity Options

Ensure the projector has the necessary ports and connectivity options you need. HDMI ports are a must for connecting to devices like Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and laptops. Additional ports like USB, VGA, and audio-out can add versatility to your setup.

Throw Distance

Consider the throw distance, which determines how far the projector needs to be from the screen to achieve your desired image size. Ensure it suits your room size and setup.

Keystone Correction

Keystone correction is essential for adjusting the image shape when the projector isn't perfectly aligned with the screen. Many projectors offer both vertical and horizontal keystone correction to eliminate distortion.

Lamp Life

Check the lamp life of the projector. Longer lamp life means less frequent bulb replacements and lower maintenance costs. Look for projectors with at least 5,000 hours of lamp life.

Audio Quality

While external speakers are often recommended for a better audio experience, it's still essential to consider the built-in speaker quality. Some projectors offer enhanced audio features like Dolby Digital support for decent sound quality.


If you plan to move your projector between rooms or take it on the go, consider its size and weight. Portable projectors are often more convenient for such purposes.

Brand and Reviews

Research the brand's reputation and read user reviews to gauge reliability and performance. Reputable brands tend to offer better customer support and product warranties.


Ensure that the best projector under $500 that you have chose is compatible with the devices you intend to connect, such as gaming consoles, streaming devices, or your laptop.

Top 7 Best Projectors Under $500

  1. ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA
  2. YABER V6 Portable Home Theater Projector
  3. Optoma HD28HDR 1080p Home Theater Projector 
  4. ViewSonic PA700S 4500 Lumens SVGA
  5. BenQ WXGA Business Projector
  6. KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector 
  7. ViewSonic M1+ Portable LED Projector 

ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA


  • Brand: ViewSonic
  • Color: White
  • Display resolution: 1280 x 800

The ViewSonic Gome Projector is a true gem in the world of home entertainment. With its impressive 3800 Lumens of brightness and WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800, it delivers stunning visuals that will transform your living room into a cinematic experience.

Setting up this projector is a breeze, thanks to its 1.1x optical zoom and 40-degree vertical keystone correction. You can achieve the perfect picture with minimal effort.

One of the standout features of the ViewSonic Gome Projector is its reduced input latency of just 16ms. This means you can enjoy fast-paced action sequences in movies or video games with smooth and lag-free images, making it a must-have for gamers.

Also, the ViewSonic Gome Projector offers flexible connectivity options, supporting a wide range of media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. With inputs like HDMI, VGA, and mini USB, you can easily connect all your favorite devices for a seamless multimedia experience. That’s why it is safe to say that the ViewSonic 3800 is one of the best projectors under $500.

viewsonic 3800

Reasons to BUY

  • Bright and Clear Image Quality
  • Easy to Use
  • HDMI Port

Reasons to AVOID

  • Super Eco Mode Programming

YABER V6 Portable Home Theater Projector


  • Brand: YABER
  • Color: White/Grey
  • Display resolution: 11920 x 1080

With an astounding 13,000 Lumens of brightness, a high 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and a native 1080P resolution, the YABER V6  projector delivers a visual experience that's sharper, brighter, and more colorful than ever before. It's like having a cinema right in your living room.

But it's not just about the visuals; the built-in 6w dual HiFi Stereo speakers with SRS sound system ensure that you get an incredible auditory experience too. It's a feast for both your eyes and ears.

What sets the V6 apart is its connectivity options. It supports ultra-fast 5G WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, allowing you to effortlessly mirror content from your smartphone or other Miracast-enabled devices. This means you can easily stream your favorite videos, photos, and games directly onto the big screen.


Reasons to BUY

  • Durable and Long-Lasting
  • Bright and Vibrant Image
  • Good Value for Money

Reasons to AVOID

  • Fan Noise

Optoma HD28HDR 1080p Home Theater Projector 


  • Brand: Optoma
  • Color: White
  • Display resolution: 11920 x 1080

The Optoma projector can be an amazing choice if you are looking for a high quality projector with an affordable price. It provides 1080p resolution (which can even handle 4K input) and an impressive 50,000:1 contrast ratio, the projector delivers sharp and detailed images without any downscaling or compression, ensuring every detail pops off the screen.

But what truly sets this projector apart is its HDR compatibility. With HDR10 technology, it elevates your viewing experience by delivering brighter whites and deeper black levels, making movies and content come to life like never before.

When it comes to brightness and color, the Optoma projector doesn't disappoint. It boasts a remarkable 3,600 lumens of brightness for vivid and colorful images. The 6-segment color wheel ensures accurate and true-to-life colors, making it perfect for sRGB & REC.709 color profiles.

Dynamic Black technology is another standout feature, providing more depth to the image by smoothing lamp output and creating high contrast. This means that both bright and dark scenes are richly detailed and beautifully rendered.

The Optoma projector also offers versatility. You can connect it to media players and gaming consoles to enjoy big-screen movies and gaming. Plus, it's compatible with 4K UHD HDMI dongles like Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, or Apple TV, allowing you to play games, stream videos, and share photos effortlessly.


Reasons to BUY

  • Low Fan Noise
  • Impressive Picture Quality
  • Versatile Use

Reasons to AVOID

  • Limited 4K Compatibility

ViewSonic PA700S 4500 Lumens SVGA


  • Brand: ViewSonic
  • Color: White
  • Display resolution: 11920 x 1080

The ViewSonic PA700S 4500 projector is a versatile powerhouse designed to meet the demands of both education and business environments. Setting up the PA700S is a breeze, thanks to its 1.1x optical zoom and 40-degree vertical keystone correction. Whether you're in a classroom or a boardroom, you can quickly adjust the image to fit your screen with precision. I believe that this one over here can be considered as the best projector for presentations.

Connectivity options are abundant, making it incredibly flexible. It supports a wide range of media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices with inputs like dual HDMI, VGA, USB, Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack. This means you can effortlessly connect your preferred devices, ensuring seamless presentations and content sharing.

viewsonic projector under 500

Reasons to BUY

  • Easy to use
  • High quality picture
  • Supports most of the ports

Reasons to AVOID

  • Fragile 

BenQ WXGA Business Projector


  • Brand: BenQ
  • Color: White
  • Display resolution: 1280 x 800

Elevate Your Visual Experience with the BenQ Projector!

Boasting 4000 ANSI Lumens of high brightness and an impressive 20,000:1 contrast ratio, the BenQ projector delivers presentations that are nothing short of stunning. Prepare to be captivated. With HDMI technology, data transmission is swift, ensuring your presentations flow seamlessly. But that's not all—dual HDMI ports provide versatile multiplatform connectivity that takes your options to the next level.

Moreover, setting up has never been this easy. The projector's ergonomic retractable foot and auto vertical keystone feature make alignment a breeze, so you can focus on your content, not technicalities. Go green and economical with the SmartEco Mode, which not only enhances your lamp's longevity but also saves up to a remarkable 70% on power consumption. It's brilliant for both your presentations and the environment.

In conclusion, the BenQ projector is a powerful tool that combines superb image quality, lightning-fast connectivity, crystal-clear clarity, and user-friendly features. Prepare to shine in your presentations like never before, all while being eco-conscious. The BenQ projector is one of the best home projectors under $500 in the market. 


Reasons to BUY

  • Good Value for Money
  • Bright and Visible
  • Great Picture Quality

Reasons to AVOID

  • Overheating 

KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector 


  • Brand: KODAK Luma
  • Color: White/Gold
  • Display resolution: 640 x 480

If you've ever dreamed of turning your smartphone's screen into a larger-than-life movie theater experience, the KODAK Luma 150 is here to make it a reality. This pocket-sized projector is a game-changer for home entertainment, offering a plethora of features that will leave you in awe.

The Luma 150 can project bright and vivid video and images on a screen of up to 150 inches! Whether you want to watch your favorite movies, showcase a photo slideshow, or deliver a compelling presentation, this little device has you covered. With HDMI and Micro USB cables included, you can easily connect your camera, storage drive, PC, laptop, or other compatible devices. Plus, you can go completely wireless by mirroring your mobile device's screen via Airplay and Miracast.

Enjoy stunning 16:9 projection with 60 Ansi lumen brightness, 854 x 480 resolution, and support for 4K resolution. The 1000:1 contrast ratio ensures that your visuals are crisp and vibrant, making movie nights and gaming sessions truly immersive.

Designed for easy portability, the Luma 150 comes with a built-in speaker and sleek illuminated onboard controls. It's powered by a rechargeable battery, giving you up to 2.5 hours of uninterrupted entertainment wherever you are.


Reasons to BUY

  • Portable and compact
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Good picture quality for the size

Reasons to AVOID

  • Limited streaming compatibility

ViewSonic M1+ Portable LED Projector 


  • Brand: ViewSonic
  • Color: Silver
  • Display resolution: 854 x 480

Introducing the ViewSonic M1+ projector, your ticket to a world of portable entertainment! This compact powerhouse combines convenience, exceptional audio, and stunning visuals for a next-level projection experience.

With rapid auto-focus, vertical keystone correction, and 360-degree projection, setting up is a breeze, immersing you in your content within seconds. The built-in dual Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers deliver audio excellence, offering crystal-clear sound for your movies and presentations.

Experience lifelike colors with Cinema SuperColor+ technology, providing an astonishing 125% Rec.709 color accuracy. Your images and videos will pop with vibrancy. 

For versatile connectivity, the M1+ offers HDMI, USB C, USB, and MicroSD drive inputs, complemented by a generous 12GB of local storage. It's the all-in-one solution for those who demand the best in portable projection.

viewsonic M1+

Reasons to BUY

  • Auto-focus feature for easy setup
  • Good image quality for movies
  • Portable and lightweight design

Reasons to AVOID

  • Poor focus uniformity and blurriness, especially for text and computer use

Reddit Summary

“Viewsonic is better than Optoma, but rarely comes close on their numbers with poor out of the box color accuracy and often a focus on brightness over a quality image. Some of their stuff is a good deal, but it's not industry leading. BenQ, at this time, is pretty well industry leading. Epson does a a great job as well. Viewsonic or Acer would be middle of the pack, with Optoma just falling behind.”


“Make sure to read reviews on things. You kind of said "I want LED!" - then your first couple of options are using standard lamps. You should also read some reviews. I don't hate Viewsonic projectors, but as a company, they tend to not spend much time getting the color accuracy and the finer details accurate compared to a company like BenQ. So, there are some BenQ products which are nicer, but you aren't getting them for under $1,000 either. You only have a very limited number of choices when your budget is what it is. This is going to pigeonhole you into a product that really is only going to be decent.”



Are there any projectors under $500 with 4K resolution, or should I stick with 1080p?

While it's challenging to find true 4K projectors under $500, there are some models that use pixel-shifting technology to simulate 4K-like visuals. These projectors offer impressive image quality and are an excellent choice for budget-conscious buyers looking for enhanced resolution. However, for a genuine 4K experience, you may need to consider a higher budget.

What is the ideal screen size and viewing distance for a budget projector in a home theater setup?

The ideal screen size and viewing distance for your best projector under $500 depend on the projector's specifications and your personal preferences. For budget projectors with 1080p resolution, a screen size of 100 to 120 inches is often recommended for an immersive home theater experience. Regarding viewing distance, a general rule of thumb is to sit approximately 1.5 to 2.5 times the screen's diagonal size away from the screen.

Do these projectors offer various connectivity options, such as HDMI, USB, and wireless streaming capabilities?

Yes, budget projectors typically come with a variety of connectivity options. Most of them offer HDMI ports for connecting to devices like Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and laptops. Additionally, you can expect to find USB ports for media playback and sometimes built-in wireless streaming capabilities, including Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing you to cast content from your smartphone or laptop to the projector. However, the specific connectivity options may vary by model, so it's essential to check the product specifications to ensure it meets your needs.


In this article, we embark on a journey to discover the best projector under $500, where affordability meets excellence. These projectors may carry a budget-friendly price tag, but they certainly don't compromise on performance. Get ready to explore the world of projectors that offer the perfect blend of value and quality, where your home entertainment dreams come true without breaking the bank.

Now you know everything you need in order to make a wise decadion and choose the best projector under $500.


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