A projector is one of the most useful equipment in the modern world. In fact, you can see it in various locations and settings, such as in corporate meetings, classrooms, home and movie theaters, concerts and houses of worship. With the help of a projector, which is an optical device, users will have an easier time projecting a still or moving image into a surface, usually in a projection screen.
This device often creates an image by illuminating a light using a small and transparent lens. However, there are also newer models of projectors that use lasers to directly project the image. If you want to invest in the best projector under 500, it’s not advisable to pick the first one introduced to you. It pays to understand its different types, their individual uses and the specific type of lens to determine the one, which will suit a particular situation.
But before we go to the factors of consideration for the best choice, let’s first highlight the five best products on the market.
Epson VS240 SVGA
The Affordable Portable Projector with Essential Business Features
Acer H5380BD 720p
This product is brings movie quality projection with rich details, bright and natural colors and exceptional contrast
Supemale Video Projector
This product is suitable for use on video games and home theater movies.
Optoma HD141X 1080p
This product is digital home entertainment projector is ideal for watching movies, TV shows, sports and action-packed video games on screens up to 300-inch diagonal
This product is ideal for use in home, education and small business environments
Top 5 Best Projector Under 500 Reviews
Epson VS240 SVGA 3LCD Projector 3000 Lumens
Epson VS240 SVGA is a great option for those searching for the best projector under 500 as it is guaranteed to be affordable. Despite its reasonable price, it has most, if not all, of the features you need from a projector. It features a lightweight design. You can also quickly and easily set it up. This projector from Epson can be expected to display more accurate colors than the ones produced by DLP.
It can deliver 800x600 SVGA resolution, as well as 3000 lumens each of colored and white brightness. It features a solid range of ports. Aside from that, it has a long lamp life, which can help keep its running costs low. It can produce solid video, image and data quality. Furthermore, it is bright enough that it is already suitable for small-sized and mid-sized classrooms and conference rooms. Another positive thing worth noting about this projector from Epson is it supports HDMI.
- Easy and quick to set up
- Displays colors and images with accuracy
- Long bulb life – Replacement bulbs also tend to cost lower than expected.
- Weighs only 5.3 lbs., which is a good thing as it improves the portability of the device.
- Comes with a solid set of ports despite being low-priced – Expect to find ports for VGA, HDMI, RCA jacks, and USB ports
- Lacks 3D capability or optical zoom
- Does not come with a carrying case
Epson VS240 SVGA 3LCD Projector performs a pretty good job for its low price. It has an image quality, which is good for typical presentations.
Acer H5380BD 720p Home Theater Projector
Acer H5380BD 720p projector refers to an entry level home entertainment designed for both 2D and 3D technologies. It also works as a great alternative to an HDTV around 80 to 90 inches. With its native 720p resolution, you have the chance to bring 3D into your own home without spending too much. It is lightweight plus features a small form factor, making it very convenient to use. It also boasts of its 3000 lumens of brightness. It has a lamp with a life that can reach up to five thousand hours.
Aside from that, you will fall in love with the projector’s 2-watt speaker. This speaker, combined with the other features of the device, turns the device into a powerful and portable projector ideal for gaming, video, films, and much more. You also have the option to set it at movie mode, which is a good option if you’re planning to use it for home theater. This specific mode controls ambient light while also having less severe light output requirements.
- Ideal for home entertainment
- Available at an inexpensive price
- Delivers impressive 2D image quality
- Lightweight, making it convenient to store it away when not in use or set it up quickly if you want to use it
- Comes with an HDMI port, which is capable of supporting mobile HD link – Such promotes ease in connecting to MHL-enabled devices.
- Does not come with 3D glasses
- Low volume and audio quality
Still, this projector from Acer is worthy to form part of your list of the best projector under 500. It’s good for 2D and 3D home entertainment while having 720p HD resolution and offering 3D support with Blu-ray players as well as other video devices.
Supemale Video Projector 2000 Lumens
This video projector is another budget-friendly option with lots of useful features. It has a brightness capacity of up to 2000 lumens and can support 1080p resolution. It is also a multimedia projector, which means that it can support all forms of media and files. Aside from that, it boasts of its up to 20,000-hour lifetime. Another positive quality of this video projector is that it features a portable and lightweight design. That said, you can easily take it with you, especially if you’re travelling. Also, it’s suitable for use on video games and home theater movies.
Another nice feature of this device is its multifunctional interface. Such feature makes it compatible with various files and cards, as well as allows you to connect it into various devices, including a DVD player, laptop and PC, so you can enjoy movies or videos. This projector from Supemale also comes with a manual keystone correction, promoting ease in correcting any trapezoidal distortion while also obtaining an excellent viewing experience regardless of the angle.
- Has manual keystone correction
- Features a multifunctional interface
- Has up to 2000 lumens of brightness and can support 1080p resolution
- Budget-friendly projector while still supplying users with plenty of useful features
- Comes with an image focus button, which you can use to adjust the lens and focus on the image – Such increases your chances of obtaining a clear effect.
- Confusing setup instructions
- Quality of speakers needs a bit of improvement
Still, at its price, you can get more than what you expected. It has plenty of valuable features designed to give you a satisfying experience when using the projector.
Optoma HD141X 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector
Finding the best projector under 500 is also easy with the Optoma HD141X. It’s an all-digital projector designed for home entertainment. Expect it to work ideally if you want to watch TV shows, action-packed video games, sports, and TV shows. You can do so in a screen, which is up to three hundred inches diagonally. It boasts of its native 1080p, full-HD resolution. Aside from that, you will instantly notice the projector’s distinctive design. It features black stylings, subtle lines around its edges, and polished top casing. While the design is not that loud, you will still notice it right away.
It features a basic user interface, which is what you can expect from a projector within the price range. It has plenty of customization options, including advanced settings, such as the capacity to keystone the picture depending on how you mount the projector. It can deliver a brightness rating up to 3,000 lumens, which is enough to provide you with a rich set of colors.
- Works well for gaming
- Full 1080p image quality in both 2D and 3D
- Comes with a distinctive yet not too loud design
- Serviceable color representation and whisper quiet operation
- Brightness level is top-notch, even if it’s a budget-friendly projector
- Lacks input variety
- Rainbow effects are possible in the projector
Despite the flaws, you can still expect this home theater projector to fit your requirements in terms of image quality, brightness and price.
ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA HDMI Projector
This projector from ViewSonic is another device that you ought to consider if what you’re searching for is one that fits your low budget without sacrificing quality and features. With its compact and lightweight design, it’s no longer surprising why many prefer this device over the others. It also delivers solid data-image quality. In terms of videos, you can expect this HDMI projector from ViewSonic to deliver better quality than that of DLP models.
It boasts of its 3,300 lumens, as well as its long lamp life. Other interesting features that you’ll love in this projector are its improved sound output with the aid of SoundExpert technology and HDMI 1.4 jack, which is compatible with 3D Blu-ray. It is also portable, so you will never have problems moving it from one place to another.
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Features an intuitive and user-friendly design
- Impressive brightness despite being just a budget projector
- Has highly advanced audiovisual features and flexible options for connectivity
- Provides a wider range of colors than certain conventional projectors – Such feature can provide you with accurate and realistic colors.
- Lacks a carrying case
- Some rainbow and tinting effects on video
The good thing about ViewSonic PJD5555W projector is that the quality of its video- and data-images is high. Despite being offered at a modest price, it can also project 3D content impressively.
Types of Projectors
Here are the different types of projectors you have to learn about if you want to pick the best projector under 500:
1. Portable Projector
Ideal for small to medium-sized meeting rooms and classrooms. It is compact, easy to use and lightweight. Most portable projectors have brightness levels that range from 2800 to 3700 ANSI lumens. Resolutions also include XGA and WXGA.
2. LCD Projector
This type works by making use of polarized mirrors passing and reflecting only specific colors of light. Such results to the separation of each channel of blue, green and red then later being re-converged through a prism. However, note that it first passes into an LCD panel, which works in controlling the color’s intensity and saturation.
3. DLP Projector
This type has two classifications – the one chip and the three-chip. All these chips house millions of mirror capable of reflecting light hundreds to thousands of times per second. The one-chip classification is capable of producing at least sixteen million colors. The three-chip variety, on the other hand, can produce at least thirty-five trillion colors. That said, DLP projectors are capable of reproducing more lifelike and natural images.
Other types of projectors that you have to consider researching about if you want to find the best projector under 500 are the installation projector, large venue projector and installation projector.
How to Choose the Best Projector Under 500?
Before committing to purchase any of the projectors introduced to you, it’s important to take your time and conduct some window shopping. To help make an informed and sound buying decision, keep the following factors in mind:
The higher the brightness, the better you can expect the clarity and visibility of the pictures. That said, you need to find a projector with high brightness – preferably around 2000 to 4000 lumens. Such level of brightness makes it sufficient for large auditoriums.
2. Color Reproduction
Note that the color that you find in the screen of the projector varies from that in your laptop or PC monitor’s screen. In this case, it would be best to pick an LCD projector as it works better than other types in terms of natural color reproduction.
3. Picture Quality
In your search for the best projector under 500, it is crucial to think about the picture quality. Your choice should be able to present crystal clear visuals with a life-like and sharp quality. If there are texts, all must also be readable even if you magnify them. It’s necessary to check the image resolution as it is a vital aspect in assessing picture quality. A high resolution means that it can present clearer and sharper details.
4. Lens Clarity
Some multimedia projectors often feature an adjustable lens, which gives you the freedom to set the clarity of pictures and texts. You can also enlarge the size of an image up to a limited range. That’s possible without navigating the menu. Find a projector with a high level of lens clarity as this increases your chances of presenting crisp images on screen.
Aside from the four mentioned factors, you also have higher chances of picking the best projector if you consider the connectivity options, resolution, ceiling mount, and lamp replacement of the device.
While you have plenty of options for a projector, note that armed with some of the best brands and models as well as a good buying guide, you can select the one, which suits your needs the best. Finding the best projector under 500 is actually easy as long as you consider the features, performance, and quality of the different products available in the market.