Buyer’s Guide: Best Projectors Under $500

You may be wondering to yourself, ‘who uses a projector still?’ Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, projectors are now used for a variety of entertainment applications, too....
Top 8 best projectors under $500

You may be wondering to yourself, ‘who uses a projector still?’ Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, projectors are now used for a variety of entertainment applications, too. They’re used to display movies and video games at parties, informational bits for schools, and many other uses. Because of their efficiency and popularity, as well as their versatility, finding projectors under 500 can be tough, but we’re here to show you a list of some great projectors under $500 today. You’ll also find tips for choosing the best projectors under 500 for your needs and desires.

Tips for Choosing the Best Projectors Under $500 for Your Needs

You’re ready to buy a projector – congrats! You’ve seen various ways that it can intensify a party at your home or help bring your teaching lessons to life. While the idea sounds fun, you may be wondering what are some tips you can consider before you take the plunge and buy yourself a project. There are a few things you should define and know first:

  • The screen size
  • The distance between your “screen” and project – also known as a “throw distance”
  • The amount of ambient lighting you’re set to face when using a projector

Do you teach an incredible amount of students in large lecture halls? Depending on where you’re playing the projector, you’ll want something that’s capable of projecting a really large image or being able to cater to a certain throw distance. Whatever the case may be, there are specific types of projectors that may work better. There are short throw projectors, multimedia projects, as well as pocket projectors for those that just need something small and doable. Let’s not forget about the standard home theater projector either, for those that want a large media room like they’re at the movies.

Unfortunately, if you want all of your projectors to deliver you a 4k experience, you won’t be looking at most projectors, as this process hasn’t sped up quick enough for this area of technology to take it on by storm.

When you’re looking at the throw distance per screen size, you’ll hear something that is known as ‘throw ratio’. This is determined by two facts: the throw distance of the projector to your potential screen, as well as the width of the screen or area you intend to project on. The throw ratio is found through this equation:

  • Throw ratio=D/W (distance divided by width)

After you’ve got this, you should find yourself a ratio that’ll help you in purchasing the best projectors under $500 for your lifestyle. An example of the above equation may include:

  • A screen width of 10 feet
  • A throw distance of 15 feet

When you divide and set to a ratio, you’ll see the required throw ratio as 1.5:1 with the above-mentioned numbers.

Speaking of math, if you don’t know what size screen that you should be looking for, you should take note of the person in the very back, furthest of the screen. This person is known as the ‘Least favored viewer” because after all, who wants to be way back there? If they are 50 feet away from the screen of choice, you’ll want something that’s 10 feet in height, as you’ll be divided by 1/5. While this is just a general rule of thumb and not a strict method of finding the best screen for you, it’s something worth noting.

You should also know that the projector being further from the screen means the projection has to be more powerful. The closer it is, the more vivid the lines and image will be displayed. If you have a weak projector, you don’t want to have such a throw distance that the lines are pretty light and blurred, making it harder for you to see.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best projectors under $500 on the market currently.

Best Projectors Under $500

ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA HDMI Projector

ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA

ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA

First on our list a reliable projector from ViewSonic that has an incredible resume of features. Some of these specifications include the following:

  • Features an exclusive audiovisual feature
  • Flexible connectivity options
  • 8,000 lamp hours on eco mode
  • 2W built-in speaker
  • Outstanding sharpness
  • 3-year limited warranty

Boasting about a 3-year limited warranty, and the fact that this product has 8,000 lamp hours on eco mode, you’re going to be able to reap numerous benefits of this projector, including the screen size of 110-inches at 12-feet, with 275-inches from 30-feet. You don’t have to worry about the projector not being good enough for “larger” crowds, as this should do the job just fine.

Pros

There’s just too many good things to say about this product, and one of them being that it’s compatible with both mac and windows, and can be connected to devices like an Amazon FireTv, AppleTV, ChromeCast by Google, DVD and Blu-ray players alike.

Downsides

There aren’t too many disadvantages of this product, as it comes with the versatility, cleanliness and sharpness that one could hope for when looking at the price; however, if you don’t want to splurge this much, as you’re not going to be using it from very far away or for many people, you may want to invest in something else. That doesn’t say that the performance is bad, but some may be looking to spend a little less.

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GooDee Movie Projector 3200 Luminous Efficiency

GooDee Movie Projector 3200 Luminous Efficiency

GooDee Movie Projector 3200 Luminous Efficiency

Next on our list is a product from GooDee, and boy, it’s a great one! There are tons of features of this projector, some of which includes:

  • Updated fan sound, very quiet
  • External speakers that are ultra-silent
  • Amazing HD experience (1080p)
  • Native resolution of 1280*800

Being able to support a ton of inputs, you won’t have to worry about needing an adapter of sorts when it comes to connecting your form of entertainment. You can connect your console (ps3, ps4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One) and even your PC/laptop for master race gaming. You may also connect to your mobile phone, iPhone or iPad, and even a DVD player. Whether you want to read a book on a larger screen or kick butt in Battlefield 1, this projector can allow you to do it all.

Pros

Are you a gamer looking for a projector that will satisfy your gaming needs? Get competitive this weekend by investing in a GooDee luminous projector and battle your friends head to head on a well-sized screen.

Downsides

We can’t say that there are many disadvantages, but if you’re looking for a warranty that supports more than 2 years, you’ll want to look towards something else. While not really a disadvantage, there are some picky people out there who want their money to stretch more. If you have any problems with this device though, you can return it within 2 months of purchase or exchange it for a new one within 2 years of purchasing.

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GooBang Doo 2017 Model ABOX 2000 Lumens LCD Video Projector

ABOX 2000 Lumens

ABOX 2000 Lumens

We know the manufacturer sounds a little funny, but this next projector means serious business. Boasting quite a few specifications, some of these include the forth coming:

  • You can even watch in daylight
  • 1080p, HDMI
  • USB or SD card capable
  • Multiple input interfaces
  • Extended lamp lives of over 50000 hours

Let’s take a look at some of the big screen numbers. You’re able to have a screen size of 32 to 176-inches with a projection distance of 1.5-5 meters alone. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching sports or a movie, you’ll think you’re in a movie theater.

 

Pros

Want to use your projector at other times than when it’s dark? Get the most bang for your buck by investing in the GooBang Doo projector that lets you watch in the daytime! How cool is that? Let’s not forget to mention the extended lamp life that will save you a ton of money in the long run – 50000 hours!! You read that right – there are no extra zeros on the number. It’ll last many years and give you tons of entertainment opportunities!

Downsides

We understand if you’re not totally into the LCD video projection, but we have to say that this price and the performance are fantastic and you shouldn’t bat an eyelash so quickly!

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Epson VS240 DVGA 3LCD Projector 3000 Lumens Color Brightness

Epson VS240 SVGA 3LCD Projector 3000

Epson VS240 SVGA 3LCD Projector 3000

Next up is a product from Epson, a reliable technology brand that’s delivering one of the better projectors on the market. Well rated by customers, and set for an attractive price, features of this projecting includes:

  • Accurate color with 3-chip technology, 3x higher color brightness
  • SVGA resolution (800×600) – for presenting projects and graphics
  • Supports standard HDMI
  • Fast and easy setup
  • 3000 lumens Color Brightness

Being a basic projector with accurate and bold coloring means that those who are needing a projector for school related tasks can pick this up with ease. There are no harsh setups, and you’ll be able to get this running quickly for your class to view your next lecture.

Pros

There’s a 3000 lumens color brightness option to ensure your presentations will have accurate coloring, which is fantastic for school facilities that need a projector often. We will say that it’s compatible with the latest laptops, and supports standard HDMI.

Downsides

While it does have marvelous and accurate color display, it may not be the best for watching new movies that require high-definition. The aforementioned is due to the resolution size of SVGA – which is a tad outdated (800×600). This projector is perfect for those who perform presentations often (school facility) or show slideshow graphics.

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WOWOTO T8E 2000 Lumens Multimedia Home Theater Projector

WOWOTO T8E 2000 Lumens Multimedia

WOWOTO T8E 2000 Lumens Multimedia

Next on our list is a home theater projector from the manufacturer WOWOTO. This projector boasts quite a few specifications, some of which include the following features:

  • 3D, 1080P projector
  • Brightness of 2000 lumens
  • Max image size of 300-inches
  • Ratio of 10000:1 contrast

If you want something capable of high-definition 3D movie magic, then you’ll want to snag up this projector. With a max image size of 300-inches, everyone will be able to see your favorite movie beautifully.

Pros

There’s so much to talk about with this product, some of which include the ability for this projector to play YouTUbe, Netflix, MiraCast, Airplay, and more, at a maximum size of 300-inches – wow!

Downsides

There aren’t too many issues with this projector. If you’re looking for something geared more towards school related presentations, you won’t have to splurge on something like this. However, if you want to grow an awesome home movie theater for you and your friends at an inexpensive price, this projector is the way to go.

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Epson VS345 WXGA 3LCD Projector

Epson VS345 WXGA 3LCD Projector 3000

Epson VS345 WXGA 3LCD Projector 3000

Next on our list is another Epson projector model. Features of this projector include the following:

  • 3000 lumens brightness
  • More color than your typical projector
  • Size options include just the projector or projector with a screen
  • WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800 – 2x more resolution than SVGA

Thanks to Epson, this projector has a quick setup that will allow you to take it out of the box and begin running almost instantly. Great for those widescreen laptops and high-definition video presentations, you’ll want to take advantage of this Epson projector.

Pros

With a WXGA resolution that’s far better than the SVGA predecessor, you won’t have to worry about unclear images that claim they’re HD when they’re really not.

Downsides

If you’re looking for something simple and far less “complex” in specs than this product, you’ll obviously want to look towards another product, but if you’re someone that wants to have the latest in projector technology with a ton of features, we highly suggest learning the ropes of this project.

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ABDTech LCD Portable Projector Home Theater with 2600 Luminous Efficiency

Abdtech LCD Portable Projector

Abdtech LCD Portable Projector

We’re almost done here, but we don’t want to let you go without seeing these next two projectors. Manufactured by ABDTech, this portable projector features include:

  • Newest update projector with high fidelity images
  • Enhanced image focusing function – manual adjust if you wish
  • 2600 lumens LED for luminous efficiency
  • Various warranties included
  • Big projection screen size of 32-100 inches from 1.2-6 meters

Check out the big guns of this ABDTech projector: you’ll be able to watch a screen as large as 100-inches from a maximum distance of 6 meters (18-feet). With various warranties included, you won’t have to worry about taking the plunge and purchasing.

Pros

There is a multi-function input with built-in speakers, so you don’t have to worry about adapters or not being able to hear without additional accessories.

Downsides

There aren’t any disadvantages that we can pinpoint, as the product has warranties, speakers, high-definition display, and a crisp, clear image quality.

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Paick Video Projector 1080P HD Paick Home Theater Movie Projector

Paick Home Theater Movie Projectors 3200

Paick Home Theater Movie Projectors 3200

Last on our list is a product from Paick, a company you may not have heard of before, but has great reviews across the board. Features of this projector include:

  • HD 1080p projector
  • 3200 lumens high brightness
  • 3000:1 contrast ration
  • Ideal for movies

Featuring high brightness of 3200 lumens, and an HD 1080p projection, you won’t have to sacrifice movie quality to seem a tad cooler for having a projector. You’ll be able to show off this fantastic projector that’s compatible with smartphones, gaming consoles, and more.

Pros

Looking to create a crisp and clear home movie theater? Check out this projector with a 3000:1 contrast ratio that’s recommended for movies!

Downsides

While inexpensive, if you’re looking for something that handles only presentations, and you’re willing to sacrifice on quality, you’ll want to skip this, as this projector is best for movies.

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The Final Verdict

We know we’ve overwhelmed you with technology and math, and you simply wanted this for entertainment purposes (or for teaching), but we thought what we spoke of was important for you to make your final decision. If you still have no clue which you should purchase, we’ll make the recommendation of the ViewSonic PJD5555W 3300 Lumens WXGA HDMI Projector. For what you get and the quality, this is the best projector under $500 to buy. You’ll be using a ratio of 16:10. The screen size will measure 100-inches from 12-feet, and 275-inches from a throw distance of 30-feet. There’s a lot of versatility within this projector, and the fact it’s so pleasantly priced will want to make you jump at purchasing.

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Michael is a 34 years-old writer. His passion includes tools and anything DIY-related. The only thing Michael loves more than writing is to spend some time with his dog, Booba. E-mail : Michael@Theprintedblog.com

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