Electronic equipment can be pricey, especially when you’re purchasing the latest in technology. But there are many circumstances where you need, or simply want, the latest in technology for work, school, or home use. This applies to projectors which can be quite pricey based on the brand, model, and features.
When shopping for a projector that’s priced under $500, it’s important to compare the different available options to find one that works well and is suited to your needs based on where and how you wish to use the projector. Some brands and models are better than others. The following is a list of the 10 best projectors under $500 based on reviews by consumer report.
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10. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector
The VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector is compact and perfect for those who need to travel with their projector for work or other obligations. This unit is lightweight and comes with a convenient case for travel or storage when not in use.
This mini projector from VANKYO is compatible with many of the most common devices for streaming movies and TV shows. It includes a long-life LED lamp that can last around 40,000 hours.
- compatible with PS4, HDMI, TV stick, and AV connections
- includes a USB port
- has 1290 x 1080 resolution for excellent picture quality
- compact and easy to travel with
- can connect to your smart phone and many other devices
- noise suppression technology makes this unit quiet during use
- doesn’t have a builtin battery
- max screen size is only 170″
This mini projector from Vankyo would work well in a home theater or small classroom. It has a quiet motor and an innovative cooling system for heat dispersion. The ideal projection distance is around 6.5″.
9. DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Supported 4Inch Mini Projector
The DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Supported mini projector is budget-friendly and compact. This projector is easily portable and features the latest in technology to provide you with a great viewing experience for any occasion.
This mini projector from DR. J Professional comes with a 100″ projector screen so you don’t have to purchase on separately. It could be used at home, in the classroom, or for professional uses in the office.
- has an aspect ratio of 4:3/16:9
- contrast ratio is 2000:1
- includes an LED light that can last through around 40,000 hours of use
- small size and portable screen make this unit easy to travel with
- can be used on a screen from 32″ in size up to 176″ in size
- compatible with many devices
- not recommended for use with PowerPoint, Word, or Excel presentations
- doesn’t include the wireless HDMI dongle
This mini projector from DR. J Professional includes a portable 100″ screen. This unit has excellent picture quality for viewing movies, TV shows, and other types of entertainment. It’s compatible with laptops, USB connections, and other devices.
8. ViewSonic 1080p Projector
The ViewSonic 1080p Projector is a high quality projector that would work well for professional use. This unit includes the power cable and can be connected to various devices for projection.
This projector from ViewSonic has reduce input latency which helps reduce delay to deliver smooth images when playing games or watching fast action movies. It can support most types of media players so you have access to your favorite shows and movies.
- includes a remote control for convenience
- comes with a 3-year limited parts warranty
- has a super-eco mode that allows the light to last up to 15,000 hours
- can connect easily to game consoles and other devices
- projector can be used with a screen up to 300″ in size
- features full HD picture
- one of the priciest options on the list
- lamp life isn’t as long as some of the other options
This projector from ViewSonic is ideal for gaming as it features technology to prevent delays. It can be used on screens up to 300″ in size. The projector includes a remote control which makes it great for use at home, work, or in a classroom.
7. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector
The ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector is great for use in your home, office, or a classroom. This projector provides high quality picture and supports 1080p.
This projector from ViewSonic can be used on screens from 120″ to 15’8″ with 3600 lumens. It has a simple design that makes for easy setup so you can have the unit working in just minutes out of the box.
- SuperEco mode saves the light so it can be used for up to 15,000 hours
- can be used for presentation, pictures, and videos
- includes a 3-year limited parts warranty from the manufacturer
- easy to use and setup
- lamp comes with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
- can connect easily to many different devices
- unit is larger than many others and not ideal for travel
- lamp is not designed to last as long when not used in eco-mode
This projector from ViewSonic works well for home or office use. It includes the power cable, VGA cable, and a remote control so you can adjust the unit from anywhere. It can connect easily to many different devices for viewing movies and pictures.
6. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector
The ViewSonic 3600 Lumens SVGA Projector is versatile and easy to setup. This unit requires virtually no setup to use beyond plugging it in with the supplied power cord and connecting it to your devices.
This projector from ViewSonic works well for outdoor use, school use, or for watching movies at home. It has 1080p support to provide you with excellent picture when viewing your favorite content.
- includes an eco-friendly mode to maintain lamp life for longer
- has a resolution support of VGA(640 x 480) to FullHD(1920 x 1080)
- can be used on screens from 120″ to 15’8″
- noise range is 27 dB
- image size is from 30 to 300 inches
- unit is easy to setup and control
- unit doesn’t have the best quality speaker when compared to other projectors
- not designed with portability in mind
This projector from ViewSonic can connect with many different devices to show your pictures, presentations, or videos. It comes with a power cable, VGA cable, and a remote control for convenience.
5. YABER Native 1080P Projector 5000 Lumens Full HD Video Projector
The YABER Native 1080P Projector features vertical and horizontal keystone correction to ensure your image is always a perfect rectangle. This feature makes watching movies, TV shows, and videos more enjoyable.
This projector from YABER can be suspended from the ceiling if desired. It comes with a remote control so you can easily adjust the unit even when it’s installed on your ceiling. You can reduce the projection size using the zoom button on the remote.
- comes with builtin dual stereo speakers for excellent sound
- has a silent cooling system with 3 fans that run continuously
- can be used on a screen from 45″ to 200″ depending on the distance
- includes an eco-friendly function to extend the life of the lamp to up to 70,000 hours of use
- has 5000 lumens for bright and dynamic contrast
- the glass lens has 5 layers to provide better picture when compared to many similarly priced projectors
- larger and heavier than many other projectors
- noise of fans on high may be distracting if you’re sitting close to the projector
This projector from YABER is a great option for home, school, or office use. It allows you to zoom in or out using the remote without having to move the projector. It’s compatible with many types of devices and connections.
4. Epson VS250 SVGA projector
The Epson VS250 SVGA projector has accurate and vivid color even in well-lit spaces. This projector has a quiet fan that won’t disturb you when you’re watching movies. With eco-mode on the fan only puts out 28 dB.
This projector from Epson can be used in many settings. It’s easy to setup and can be out of the box and ready for use in minutes. This projector can connect to various devices so you can view videos, pictures, and presentations.
- provides 3200 lumens of vibrant color
- supports HDMI connectivity
- includes a zoom button so you can zoom in or out without moving the projector
- can be setup and ready to use in very little time
- unit is compatible with most laptops and other devices
- works well in lit rooms which is ideal for classroom or office use
- can’t be mounted on a tripod
- doesn’t have a speaker port to add extra sound options
This projector from Epson is a great option for anyone looking for a protector that can work in different lighting. It can be used outdoors or indoors, even with bright lights on. This unit is easy to setup and it can be mounted on the ceiling with a bracket.
3. GooDee Mini Projector
The GooDee Mini Projector is a budget-friendly option that works well for those who need a compact projector to travel with. This one includes a travel case to protect your projector when you’re taking it to and from work, school, or other places.
This mini projector from GooDee provides you with a high definition experience for viewing your pictures, videos, or presentations. It’s compatible with many different devices and is easy to setup.
- has a 40% higher brightness level than many other projectors
- supports 1080p
- can be used anywhere from 5′ to 15′ away from your wall or screen
- this unit works on screens from 44″ to 200″ in size
- it can be connected to your favorite devices, including the Fire stick, PS4, and others
- includes a builtin speaker for quality sound
- focus and vertical keystone both have to be adjusted manually
- unit only has one connection port
This projector from GooDee works well for indoor or outdoor use. It can be connected to most devices using an HDMI cable. It features a builtin speaker and can be used on screens up to 200″ in size.
2. GooDee HD Video Projector
The GooDee HD video projector features 1080p support. This unit has a higher brightness level when compared to many other small projectors available on the market.
This compact projector form GooDee is compatible with the following: HDMI, Fire TV stick, PS4, VGA, AV, and USB connections. It allows you to view your favorite shows, movies, videos, and pictures.
- has an 80% better brightness than other small projectors
- supports high resolution for better viewing options
- can be used on a screen from 44″ to 200″ in size
- can be used anywhere from 4.9 feet to 18 feet away from the screen
- has an LCD light source for better brightness
- fan is quiet so as not to be disruptive
- focus has to be adjusted manually
- doesn’t include a remote control
This projector from GooDee provides a bright picture so you can use the unit indoors or outdoors. It has a quiet fan to keep the unit from overheating. This unit can connect easily to most devices.
1. VANKYO Performance V600 Native 1080P LED Projector
The VANKYO Performance V600 Native LED Projector is compatible with many devices including the Fire TV stick, HDMI connected devices, gaming systems, and USB connections.
This projector from VANKYO can be used for PowerPoint presentations at work or in the classroom. It has long-lasting lamps that can last for around 10 years of daily use.
- has 2 HDMI ports
- allows you to project full HD content from laptops, smart phones, and other devices
- is around 80% brighter than other projectors
- can be used on a screen up to 300″ in size
- includes a 3-year warranty and support from manufacturer
- has a contrast ratio of 5000:1
- pricier than some other projectors
- keystone adjustment has to be done manually
This projector from VANYKO includes a remote control for convenience. This unit can be mounted on a ceiling if desired. It has a superior brightness and can be used inside or outside.
A projector can be a useful piece of equipment at home, school, or the office. Projectors for home use can be ideal in a home theater or family room where you like to watch movies or favorite TV shows. Many teachers and other professionals find projectors to be an essential item for work.
Some projectors are larger than others so you’ll want to know the dimensions and weight of the unit if you have limited space for use or storage. If you’re dealing with a budget and can only spend $500 or less on a projector, it’s essential to find one that has all the features you need.
Be sure to compare the options that are within your budget based on the features they offer. It can also be helpful to read online reviews from other consumers. These reviews can provide you with helpful information on the different options so you can choose one that fits within your budget, but also meets your specific needs.