Tech Pro Line

We’ve put together a list of the best projectors under 500 dollars, along with a buying guide; so we can answer some important questions about what kind of projector you need and what features are most important to you. 

So you want to watch “The Spiderman No Way Home” in your living room but you don’t have a TV? Or maybe you want to host a movie night with your friends but you don’t have a big enough screen for everyone to see?

Or maybe you’re just into the idea of watching movies in the park. Whatever your reasons; projectors are an excellent option if you want to display and share videos, pictures, or presentations with other people. 

Projectors are devices that display images on a screen. They’re commonly used in classrooms and offices, but they can also be useful for home entertainment. These devices are connected to a computer or media player, which streams the image from a projector onto a large screen.

Projectors allow you to show movies at home, give a presentation in class or at work; or even play video games on the big screen. There are three types of projectors: digital light processing (DLP), liquid crystal display (LCD), and liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS).

Each type offers its own advantages and disadvantages. DLP projectors typically offer the best image quality, while LCD and LCOS projectors are more affordable.

Top 10 Projectors Under 500 in 2022

Projectors can be expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options that still offer high-quality images. Here we have compiled a list of the best projectors under 500 dollars that won’t break your bank; yet will still be able to immerse you in a world of crystal clear imagery with beautifully rendered color and image sharpness.

1). YABER Y31 1080P – Editor’s Pick

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Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 9,000 Lumens | Resolution: 1920*1080p, 4k | Screen Size: 50-300 inches | Throw Distance: 10ft | Lamp Life: 10,0000 hours | Warranty: 3-Year

If you’re looking for a high-quality projector at an affordable price, I highly recommend the YABER Y31. For under $500, this projector packs all of the 1080p resolution goodness and crystal-clear color you could want at home or in your office. With 7,500 lumens and 300″ display options, it’s perfect for all of your movies, TV shows, and presentations. This projector boasts HIFI stereo sound, three fans to cool things down while it heats up your viewing experience, keystone correction, all three HDMI ports to keep you connected, and compatibility with all devices.

2). Optoma HD146X Projector – Runner Up

Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 3,600 Lumens | Resolution: 1920*1080p | Screen Size: 30-120 inches | Throw Distance: 6-8ft | Lamp Life: 15,000 hours | Warranty: 6-months

The Optoma HD146X is a great projector for those of you who want to set up a home theater; but don’t have an unlimited budget. For under $500, you get 1080p resolution and a clear, vibrant image quality. Unlike some projectors in this price range, the Optoma HD146X utilizes DLP technology, which is usually found in more expensive models. It offers 3600 lumens and has a gaming display mode that adds an extra level of sharpness and crispness. Although it can be used as a portable projector, it’s meant to stay in one place—and its best feature might just be its remote control; which lets you easily adjust settings even without getting up out of your chair. This projector is great for families who want to enjoy movies together; or for gamers looking for an affordable way to up their game.

3). ViewSonic PA503S – Best Overall

Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 3,600 Lumens | Resolution: 1080p | Screen Size: 30-300 inches | Throw Distance: 3.9-43ft | Lamp Life: 15,000 hours | Warranty: 3-year

The ViewSonic PA503S is the best projector you can find for less than $500. It’s great for movie nights, and it’s also a solid option for business meetings or presentations. (It would also be good for playing video games!) It has a 120-inch screen, and the lamp life lasts 15,000 hours. The projection is very crisp, and the colors are vivid. It supports VGA, RCA, and HDMI cables to connect to other devices; which is nice because it means that you probably won’t need to buy a cable in order to use this projector right away.

4). ZCGIOBN US7-900DAB-1 – Most Versatile

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Display Technology: LCD-LED | Brightness: 7,000 Lumens | Resolution: 1920*1080p | Screen Size: 16:9, 4:3 | Throw Distance: 6.23 – 20 ft | Lamp Life: 50,000 hours hours | Warranty: 2-Year

The ZCGIOBN US7-900DAB-1 is a great projector for those on a budget. It has all the functionality you would expect of a top-tier projector in this range; with Wi-Fi capability, full HD resolution, and superb clarity. It also features Bluetooth, HDMI, USB, VGA, and AV ports; so you can connect it to any device without worrying about compatibility issues or lag time.

The real kicker is its inbuilt media player and 16 GB Android processor. The media player means you can play movies and music right from the projector (without your phone or laptop); so there’s no waiting for buffering or interruptions. And since it doubles as an Android device; you can use this projector as a smart TV box to stream online Youtube or Facebook Watch videos on a bigger screen.

5). ViewSonic PX701HD Projector – Best for Gamers

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Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 3,500 Lumens | Resolution: 1920*1080p | Screen Size: 30-300 inches | Throw Distance: 35.9 ft | Lamp Life: 20,000 hours | Warranty: 3-Year

If you’re looking for a projector that can give you a big screen for your gaming, theatre, or movie viewing needs; the ViewSonic PX701HD is among the best projectors under $500. With a 300-inch screen, 3500-lumen brightness, and 1080p Full HD resolution, the PX701HD allows you to enjoy your content in the highest quality possible. It also comes with SuperColor technology that gives you more accurate colors; and more vivid images to make your home entertainment experience just as close to movie-theater quality as possible. 

The PX701HD is great for gamers because it has low input lag and a 16 ms response time that allows for faster data transfer between your computer and projector. This makes it so that whatever’s happening on your computer appears on the screen almost immediately. For those who want to use it in a theatre or at home for movies; this projector even comes with screen alignment settings to ensure that you get the best angles possible no matter where you’re sitting. The PX701HD is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for an affordable but high-quality projector.

6). Epson VS250 – Value for Money

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Display Technology: 3LCD| Brightness: 3,200 Lumens | Resolution: 800*600p | Screen Size: 30-350 inches | Throw Distance: 3-34 ft| Lamp Life: 20,000 hours | Warranty: 2-Year

Epson is one of the leading companies in projectors, so you know you can expect a display that’s bright and vivid; the 3LCD technology they use makes crystal clear images possible. This projector has 3200 lumens brightness and 800×600 resolution, with a 15000:1 contrast ratio; this means you can use it in dark or light rooms, and it produces deep blacks for rich colors. The throw distance is nice as well; it’s small enough to work well in most living rooms or storefronts, and even some classrooms. If you’re just starting out with projectors and don’t have tons to spend on your first one; the Epson VS250 is ideal for beginners.

7). BenQ MW526AE – Best For Office Presentations

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Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 3,300 Lumens | Resolution: WXGA (1280*800p) | Screen Size: 36-300 inches | Throw Distance: 6.5ft | Lamp Life: 10,000 hours

The MW526AE projector is made for small office settings, and it clocks in under $500. That’s hard to beat, but what really makes this projector great is how easy it is to set up, how many resolutions are supported (it can handle up to WXGA, which is 1280*800p), and that it comes with a remote control. All of these things make it perfect for smaller offices that want to bring together larger groups of people; but don’t have the time or space to mess around with complicated set-ups. This might not be the best projector if you’re looking for something that will throw huge images on your wall—it’s got a smaller throw size than some other projectors; but if you’re looking for something easy to use and compatible with most office space needs, this one definitely gets our vote.

8). GooDee BL98 – Most Durable

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Display Technology: LCD | Brightness: 7,500 Lumens | Resolution: 1080*1920p | Screen Size: 35-300 inches | Throw Distance: 4-25 ft | Lamp Life: 50,000 hours | Warranty: 5-Year

Looking for a projector that knocks it out of the park for under $500? You’re in luck. The GooDee BL98 is a high-quality projector with 1080p resolution and HD video that only costs about half as much as most projectors on the market; but doesn’t skimp on the features. You’ll get an exceptional viewing experience, with immersive media and all-angle visibility.

Built-in speakers let you enjoy movies in full audio, but you can also connect headphones or external speakers to get the best possible sound. If you need to pause a movie or turn off the projector, no problem—the BL98 comes with a remote control. It also has an SD card slot and USB port so you can bring your media with you; and play it right off the projector without connecting to another device. The high-grade case protects internal parts from overheating through fans and vents; so you can use your projector for hours without worrying about damage.

9). BenQ HT1070 – Best Portable

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Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 2,000 Lumens | Resolution: 1280*800p | Screen Size: 35-180 inches | Throw Distance: 4-16.5ft | Lamp Life: 10,000 hours | Warranty: 1-Year

This projector is a lower-cost option that shoots clear, crisp images while still being compact enough to travel with. This projector is a great choice for anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to watching movies or streaming TV shows. The main perk of this projector is its price point; it’s one of the best DLP projectors under USD 500.

This one is also great for fast-moving media. It’s not going to look as smooth as a more expensive model; but it does a good job of getting rid of jittery images or ghosting. The main drawback of this projector is that it can’t show image resolutions above 1080p, which means you can’t watch 4K videos on it. Also, since it doesn’t project very bright images; you’ll probably want to use this projector in a darkened home theater or backyard cinema rather than using it in daylight or in rooms with lots of ambient light.

experience, with immersive media and all-angle visibility. Built-in speakers let you enjoy movies in full audio, but you can also connect headphones or external speakers to get the best possible sound. If you need to pause a movie or turn off the projector, no problem—the BL98 comes with a remote control.

It also has an SD card slot and USB port so you can bring your media with you; and play it right off the projector without connecting to another device. The high-grade case protects internal parts from overheating through fans and vents; so you can use your projector for hours without worrying about damage.

10). ViewSonic PJD5155 – Best Budget Pick

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Display Technology: DLP | Brightness: 3,300 Lumens | Resolution: SVGA (800*600p) | Screen Size: 83-207 inches | Throw Distance: 3.3–32.8ft | Lamp Life: 10,000 hours | Warranty: 3-Year

This DLP-format projector is perfect for indoor and outdoor usage, allowing you to project up to 207-inch screen size; so whether you’re watching movies with friends or presenting a slideshow of your latest adventure at work, this projector will be a great addition to your setup. And despite its low price tag, it’s also pretty bright; With an impressive 3300 lumens of brightness, you’ll be able to enjoy clear presentations and vivid games even in challenging settings like rooms with windows. We love this projector’s mix of features and price point; and we think it’ll quickly become your new favorite way to show off your content.

Check Also: Best Projectors Under 100 Dollars

Qualities & Features of Best Projectors Under 500

A projector can be defined as the device that throws a focused light on the surface of an object. It is also known as a “slide projector” or “optical projector”, which are devices that use mirrors, lenses, and prisms to project images from transparent media, like slides. A projector is used for giving amazing presentations. But, choosing one particular projector among hundreds of projectors available in the market may not be a simple task due to the large number of features offered by each of them. Before you go selecting a projector; assume about the main features that you want in your projector so that it could lead to a fruitful buying process for you.

Resolution

Resolution is basically the number of pixels that make up your picture. The more pixels, the clearer and sharper your picture will be. This is especially important in a projector whose main purpose is to show detailed pictures or videos. You don’t want a projector to display a grainy image; a good resolution will ensure that your images are seen clearly.

The reason for this is that projectors work by shining light through tiny “holes” in a piece of glass to make the image. The smaller these holes are, the crisper your image will look. With 1080p projectors, each hole is about 1/20th of a millimeter. This means there’s less space for the light to spread out and blur before it hits your screen!

A good resolution can mean the difference between watching a movie and being able to see all the wrinkles in your favorite actor’s face (which is crucial); or not being able to tell what exactly is going on during action scenes (which would be really frustrating).

No. of Lumens

When you’re buying a projector, one of the most important factors to look at is brightness. At its core, a projector’s brightness is measured in lumens, which measure how much light gets projected out. The more lumens, the brighter and clearer your image will be.

If you’re planning on using your projector outside or in very bright spaces like an office with a ton of windows or where you’ll need to keep the lights on; you’ll want to make sure your projector has a high lumen count. If you’re going to be using your projector in a darker space like a movie room or living room with the curtains drawn; you won’t need as many lumens for it to work well. So if you can afford it and need it, go for more lumens!

Throw Distance

A projector’s throw distance is the measurement of how far you need to place your projector from the screen for it to function optimally. Depending on the size of your room, you may need a short throw distance or a long throw distance. The optimal throw distance is measured in inches—and the measurement doesn’t necessarily need to be exact. If you’re watching a movie with friends in a large living room, an ideal throw distance is 10 feet. If you’re playing video games in a smaller space, an ideal throw distance is closer to 8 feet.

Short throw distance projectors are best for small rooms. They have a lower lumens rating; and so they are best used in darker situations and at closer distances; where they can shine brightly without having to work as hard. Long throw distance projectors are best for larger rooms; where you want the picture to be clear even if there is some ambient light in the room; this makes them great for movie theaters, lecture halls, and large office spaces where presentations occur.

Warranty

If you’re planning to buy a projector, you might have seen some information about the warranty. But why should you care about it?

Warranty is an important factor to consider when buying a projector. The warranty is the assurance that the company will fix or replace any problems with the product. A good warranty is essential for any electronic device like a projector because electronics are prone to malfunctions or failure.

There are two types of warranties: parts and labor and only parts. In terms of a projector, labor refers to the time and effort put in by repairmen while fixing the device. If your projector is covered under a full parts and labor warranty; then you won’t have to pay for anything if it breaks down or fails during the warranty period. On the other hand, if there is only parts warranty, then you need to pay for the services of repairmen even if your projector fails during its working life.

Screen Size

When it comes to projectors, screen size matters—a lot. 

Screen size refers to how big the image will be when projected on your wall; which depends on how far away from the wall the projector is. If you’re too far away, then your projection will be small and hard to see, even if it’s crystal clear. If you’re too close, then the image might seem distorted or blurry. 

So how do you know how far away to put it? Well, you can use a formula: divide your screen size by 0.84, and that’s approximately how many feet away from the wall you should keep your projector, as long as there are no objects blocking its path. So if your screen is 100 inches wide, then you should keep 100/0.84 = 119 inches (about 10 feet) between your screen and the projector

What’s the difference between a 30-inch projector and a 50-inch one? Simply put, a lot more screen space. And what does that mean for you? That depends on how you want to use your projector.

Larger screens are great for groups, like watching movies with friends or giving presentations to multiple people at once. A smaller screen will be best if you just want it for yourself; so you can watch movies on your own while traveling or playing video games by yourself at home.

You may also want to think about the room you’re using your projector in. Do you want to project on a larger wall? If so, you’ll need a bigger screen size. On the other hand, if you want it to just project onto a small area or table, the size of your screen isn’t as important because your projected image won’t be as big anyway.

Connectivity

You should look for a projector with good connectivity options. It’s important to have a variety of different ways to connect your projector to your laptop or TV so you can use it in any kind of situation. For example, if you want to project from your iPhone, a lightning cable is going to be your best bet. If you want to project videos from your laptop, a Bluetooth connection will be most useful.

Good connectivity isn’t just about having lots of options; it’s about making sure those options are of good quality, too. Some projectors have really buggy connections or really slow loading times. This can make projecting videos from your laptop frustratingly slow and make playing games through the projector totally unplayable. Look for reviews that mention how consistently good the connectivity is in addition to how many different types of connections are available on the projector.

The types of ports present on a projector are: HDMI, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, USB 2.0, Ethernet port (wired connection), SD card slot (for cameras), HDMI port (for video), Digital Coaxial audio out (for audio).

No Lag

No lag is a feature that makes projectors more efficient and can be found in some of the best projectors. A projector with no lag does not delay the information that is being shown on the screen. This can be important for projectors used in business situations where professionals are giving presentations; or for gaming situations where individuals need to see the information quickly and accurately. In addition, projectors with no lag make it easy for businesses to stream live events as they happen, which can make presentations even more impactful and give companies more flexibility when deciding on how to market their products or services.

Different types of projectors will have different levels of lag time, so it’s important to consider this before purchasing one for your business or home entertainment system. It will also help determine what kind of projector you should purchase – whether you need something that has a minimal delay or something that can handle higher levels without missing a beat.

Lens Shift

One of the most important qualities of a good projector is its lens shift. Not sure what that means? Don’t worry—we’ll explain.

Lens shift is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to shift the lens of your projector up and down or side to side, giving you more flexibility in deciding where to project your image. That way, you can decide whether you want the image to be projected on a wall, the floor, or even a ceiling!

And why is this important? Well, there are two reasons:

1. It’s more aesthetically pleasing to have a choice in how you’re viewing your content. Nobody wants to be tethered to their projector screen, so why should you feel like your projector has to look down on you from above at all times? You shouldn’t! You should always have the option of choosing how and where you want your image projected.

2. You can move some or all of the image off-screen if you need to do something else with your space but don’t want to interrupt what’s being shown (for example, if you’re having a party and need people to see what’s going on but don’t want them crowding around a screen).

Color Accuracy

Color accuracy is one of the most important features of a projector. It’s what allows the projected image to be as close as possible to the true colors of the source material. For example, if your source material is a video in which an orange ball rolls onto a blue field, the projector should project an orange ball on a blue field—it shouldn’t project a red ball on a green field. Good color accuracy can be hard to achieve. It requires expensive components and high-quality engineering. But it’s worth it! After all, what’s the point of owning a projector if you can’t see movies or presentations correctly?

Fans & Vents

A good projector needs to have cooling fans and vents. These components are essential when it comes to keeping your projector working properly. Without cooling fans and vents, the projector won’t be able to dissipate heat as it’s used. This will cause the projector to overheat and could lead to damage to the device. Cooling fans and vents also help keep other components of the projector from being exposed to too much heat. They help prevent damage to the bulbs and other parts within the device, which will help make sure that your projector lasts for many years.

Dynamic Iris

One feature you’ll probably hear is “dynamic iris.” It is a mechanism that adjusts the brightness and contrast of a projector’s picture to create more realistic images, resulting in better picture quality. A dynamic iris operates the same way your human eyes do: it opens and closes based on the content being displayed, in order to optimize contrast.

A dynamic iris helps ensure a wide contrast range for different scenes so that when you’re watching a movie scene that takes place in a dark cave, you can actually see it—but also when the main character goes outside and sees the sun for the first time, it’s bright. Basically, this ensures that no matter what kind of content you’re looking at—whether it’s a movie or something else—you’ll be able to see what’s going on screen.

Final Words

So there you have it. Hopefully, our reviews and buying guide will help clarify the differences between projectors and improve your purchasing decision. If you’re a business owner looking to buy best projectors under 500; we recommend checking out the YABER Y31 which boasts excellent audio capabilities and 9000 lumens in color brightness. If you’re an avid movie watcher looking to invest in a basic home entertainment projector, we suggest the Optoma HD146X Projector which offers great image quality at 120 inches with 1080p resolution. Whatever your needs are, there are plenty of options on the market worth considering.