If you want to enjoy the benefits of watching movies, TV shows or sports games on a large projector screen without wasting all of your savings, you’ve landed on the right article. We spent 44 hours researching the best budget projectors that won’t break your bank, and came up with this list based on their quality, durability, performance and more. Let’s not waste any more time and jump right into it!
1. Nebula Capsule
Nebula Capsule is one of the best all-around projectors in the market and it comes at an affordable price. It is a very portable DLP projector coming in with an Android operating system and it is the most feature-packed package that I’ve seen so far. It has a built-in JBL speaker, WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, it has access to your favorite streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and many more features, let’s dive deeper into this near-perfect projector.
First off, I want to praise the Nebula Capsule’s build quality built with high-quality materials and the craftsmanship is of the highest order. As its name implies it has a cylindrical body shape with curved edges up top and the bottom, and it is fairly small, but it carries on a substantial weight of 420grams that will aid in the durability aspect of the device.
It has a metal construction with a matte-black finish and an attachment on the bottom of it to mount it onto a tripod if you wish to. On the bottom part of the body, you will spot a grille, that houses a 360-degree speaker with 5W amplification, which means that you can use the Nebula Capsule as a Bluetooth speaker.
The biggest selling point of the Nebula Capsule is its integrated Android operating system, however, the device doesn’t have the Google Play Store like every other Android device. Instead, it has the Aptoide app store that has a selection of apps that are adapted for the projector, but it has the most popular apps for video streaming and some file manager apps. It also has Chromecast connectivity, AirPlay for iOS devices and even Miracast for Microsoft devices.
The DLP chipset of the device is at 16:9 and has a native resolution of 854×480 pixels, furthermore, the lamp life is rated 30000 hours and can manage to display about 500 lumens of brightness, and its long-throw lens can produce a 100-inch screen size from 10 feet away.
Complete with a 2.5-hour battery life between charges, the Nebula Capsule is one of the best projectors regardless of the price range, and definitely the best in the budget range.
2. Epson VS240
Next up is the Epson VS240, a great projector, but it is a little more expensive than other projectors in this list, however, it is still in the budget range. The Epson VS240 is an LCD model with plenty of connectivity ports, a long lamp life, amazing image quality, great design and plenty of portability. If you have somewhat of a more relaxed budget you should consider buying this.
Design-wise this projector is pretty simple, but attractive nonetheless, with its rounded corners and white and black two-tone chassis. It is very compact and portable thanks to its size that measures 11.7×9.2×3.2-inches and weight of 5.3-pounds, however, it lacks a carrying bag in its package. Just behind the lens of this projector, you will find a focus wheel and a keystone correction dial, to get the best image even in awkward angles.
On the top panel, you will also find the control panel with a bunch of buttons, like the power button, home button, source search, menu, etc. On the back of the Epson VS240, you will locate the connectivity ports consisting of a USB Type-A port, a USB type B port, audio and video ports, computer ports, and HDMI port.
The Epson VS240 supports a native SVGA 800×600 resolution at a 4:3 aspect ratio, which provides a detailed image and it has a light engine that utilizes Epson’s 3LCD technology. The manufacturer has rated the device at 3000 Lumens of brightness and has a long lamp life of about 5000 hours in normal mode and 10000 hours in eco mode, and even then a replacement lamp costs a little.
During my testing, I noticed that this projector was an excellent one for business and education settings as it had a great performance with slides and presentations, but not so much with movies and films. For the former, it displayed an amazing image even in medium-sized classes and everything was readable even at distances.
An excellent inexpensive projector for your business or classrooms will prove its worth time and time again.
3. VANKYO Leisure 510
The VANKYO Leisure 510 is one of the most impressive projectors in the budget range, thanks to its compacts size, gorgeous design, amazing image quality, exemplary brightness, plenty of connectivity ports and an excellent set of features all in an affordable package. It is one of the most popular budget projectors on Amazon, and I can see the manufacturers pricing it higher without any complaint.
Right out of the box, the VANKYO Leisure 510 comes in style, with its nice carrying bag that can fit in a bunch of things such as cables, chargers, CDs, flash drives, and even a tablet or a slim laptop. It is also worth mentioning that the carrying case will provide appropriate protection for your tech, and it is easily carryable thanks to its nice handles.
The projector itself looks gorgeous with its matte black plastic casing and Vankyo logo on top, other than that on the top panel you will spot the control panel, with a directional pad, an enter button, the power button, menu and return buttons. Right on top of them, you will spot the focus and keystone dials to adjust the picture accordingly on the fly. On its sides, you will spot the 5W included speakers and on the back the connectivity ports.
The initial setup of the VANKYO Leisure 510 is done in a breeze, you just plug into a power outlet and connect it to a streaming source and it will project everything instantly. As a first impression without delving into specs first, the image was extremely detailed, very bright and rich colours. I tested the projector on my projector screen from different distances and it still worked excellently, as it can project an image at 300-inches diagonally at max.
The VANKYO Leisure 510 has a native resolution of 1280×768 Full HD, it can achieve a brightness of about 4000 Lux at its max and has a contrast of 3000:1. At this price, there is no other projector that can realistically compare with the VANKYO Leisure 510, amazing work from the design and engineering team, top marks.
4. APEMAN M4 Projector
Most people want a projector either for their home cinema or for watching movies outdoors, mini projectors are excellent for outdoors because of their compact size, lightweight, rechargeable batteries, and impressive image. The APEMAN M4 Projector delivers the best mini projector experience, with an impressive image, cool design, and affordable prices. While it may lack the power of other high-end full-sized projectors, it is still exemplary.
First off, the APEMAN M4 gave me a very modern and futuristic impression, with its two-tone black and silver design, with sharp and minimal lines that are pleasing and attractive. While the casing may look beautiful, it is a dust and fingerprint magnet, so it will require more attention, however, in the package, you will find a protective film cover. The APEMAN M4 measures about 3.85×3.85×0.85-inches and weighs about 1.04-pounds, so you won’t have to worry about carrying it around or stabilizing it.
The APEMAN M4 doesn’t sport a ton of controls on it, it has power and volume buttons on the right side, and the focus adjustment dial on the left. It has four LED lights that inform you about the battery status, each light representing 25% of battery life and shine a light when the device is charging or it is in use.
The setup process of the APEMAN M4 is pretty straightforward and very user-friendly, you just need to connect the projector to a source to start displaying, it is very versatile and works with plenty of devices such as Blu-Ray players, laptops, Playstation consoles and many more.
The projector also comes with a foldable 360-degree tripod that measures 4×1.25×1.5-inches when folded and is easily attached to the projector. It offers plenty of height and angle adjustments so you can use it in any setting and you can even display the image to a ceiling.
The APEMAN M4 provides 50 ANSI lumens of brightness, so it is advised to use it in darker rooms for a better image, but the DLP image technology and 1000:1 contrast offers an impressive image nonetheless. With a native resolution of 480p and support of Full HD content, this mini projector delivers plenty of performance.
buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY6GWSW/
5. DR. J HI-04
Having your own projector for your home cinema is great, however, most of them are really pricy and the more affordable ones are confusing to choose, one of those affordable but great options is the DR. J HI-04, in fact it is the most affordable projector in this list, but it provides tons of value for its budget price, with a good and durable design, nice image, and a great set of features.
The manufacturer has listed the DR. J HI-04 as a mini projector, due to its small size, at least compared due to most of the projectors. The device weighs just about 3-pounds in total and without forgetting it measures 7.8×2.7×6.02-inches, so it is not as tiny as some might think, but you can carry it around and can place it in tighter spaces.
On the top panel of the projector, you will find a set of very basic controls such as play button, volume buttons, next and previous and a directional pad. You also get two dials for adjusting the keystone and focus just behind the lens of the device, and on the right-hand side of the projector, you will spot the connectivity ports that are appropriate for the setting consisting of VGA, HDMI, USB, and aux inputs.
In terms of picture quality the DR. J HI-04 sports an 840×480 native resolution, that is capable of 1080p with some amounts of downscaling. This means that the device can support 1080×1920 resolution, its processor will adjust it automatically to 840×480, but it is not an issue if you display the picture at the full size of 170-inches and even lower.
In my experience, I found out that the movies looked great, however, presentations and texts not so much, but the manufacturer has stated that it is not ideal for those applications.
I was particularly impressed with the LED light source of this DR. J displaying brightness around 2000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 2000:1, and the light bulb it is rated at 40000 hours. Pretty affordable but capable of amazing experiences.
6. Optoma HD143X
The Optoma HD143X offers a premium performance for an affordable price, and that’s maybe the main reason why it is currently among the best if not the best options on the market and i can easily say that it fully deserves its spot on this best budget projectors list!
From a design perspective, the HD143X boasts a stylish, all-black body that is followed by a large, black-colored ring at the front, an intuitive control panel at the top, a zoom dial also positioned at the top and quality feet which will ensure a greater level of stability on any surface.
In addition, the connection ports are composed of 2 HDMI ports, a 3.5-millimeter audio out port, a 3D Sync port, a 12-Volt trigger, a USB port, which is more than enough to keep you covered with everything!
But now, let’s talk about the performance.
The HD143X has a contrast ratio of 23,000 to 1, a throw ratio of 1.47 to 1 in depth, and 1.62 to 1 in width respectively, a brightness of 3000 lumens and Full HD resolution which translates to 1920 in 1080 pixels, so when we combine these specs, it means that you will see lifelike visuals with a stunning color accuracy!
I would also like to add that this projector can cast a picture to screens as large as 300-inches, which means that you can transform your home into a real cinema since you will enjoy a real cinematic experience!
Another great thing about this projector is its ability to maintain its quiet performance thanks to its fans, so for now, I’m unable to find any remarks.
For your information, the HD143X has a built-in, 10-Watt speaker which is moderately loud, however, if you require more sound, then do not hesitate to use external speakers.
Moreover, Optoma claims that the lamp’s life may last around 12,000 hours of usage, and for example, if you watch a two-hour movie every day, the lamp may last around 10 years of usage which is awesome!
I’d also like to inform you that you can use this projector has proven itself as a great addition for gamers, so if you select the Enhanced Gaming mode, you can get an input lag that ranges 16.4 to 17.3-milliseconds!
To conclude, you should seriously consider the Optoma HD143X as your next purchase, because it offers a great value for its price cost!
7. BenQ MH530FHD
The BenQ MH530FHD is yet another DLP home theater projector that combines an attractive look with a powerful performance in order to dramatically enhance your user experience, regardless if you’re watching movies or sports!
From a design perspective, this unit has a shiny, white-colored plastic construction that houses a bright lamp positioned on the side, an intuitive control panel positioned at the top, and quality feet which will support the projector on virtually any surface.
At the rear, there are the connection ports which are quite many, so you can find a monitor out port, two D-Sub ports for PC, 2 HDMI 1.4a ports, one USB Type Mini-B port, an RS232 port, an IR receiver, a security bar, an audio in and an audio out port, so you will be more than fine.
However, my only remark regarding this unit is that it lacks smart TV functionalities, but considering its price tag, this doesn’t surprise me.
Now, let’s talk about the features.
The BenQ MH530 FHD has a contrast ratio of 15,000 to 1, 3300 ANSI lumens of brightness, a native resolution of 1080p, and if we add the fact that this unit can deliver well-defined projections on screens as large as 100-inches, without a doubt I can say that you will have a really good time with it!
According to the users, the visuals produced by this projector are well-defined and they are filled with vibrant colors which is always welcome, since both sports and movies that you will watch, will look exceptionally good!
I would also like to mention that this model has a lamp life of up to 45000 hours if you use it under normal settings, but it can reach up to 10,000 hours if you use the SmartEco or Eco Blank Mode, which is cool!
Last but not the least, most of the users claim that its built-in speaker is actually very silent, so I’d recommend you connect it to an external speaker in order to feel your sports and movies to their best.
Overall, the BenQ MH530FHD is worthy of considering, so give it a try and assure yourself of its quality!
8. Acer H5382BD
The Acer H5382BD is one of the best and most purchased home theater projectors on the market and if you ask me, this isn’t something to be surprised of, since Acer has proven thousands of times that they are crafting quality products that have never left us disappointed!
From a design perspective, this model features a sleek, white construction that is accompanied by a control panel positioned at the top, stable feet which will ensure that the projector will stay fixed in place, and a dark-colored ring which adds even more beauty to its appearance, so I have to admit that Acer did a really good job here.
When it comes to the connection ports, well, all of them are placed at the rear of the unit, and they consist of a USB port, two HDMI ports , from which one of them has support for MHL, a USB Type-A port, a one VGA input, an audio input, an audio output and an RS-232 port,so you will never have any difficulties in connecting with other devices!
But now, let’s talk about the performance.
The H5382BD packs 3300 lumens of brightness, an aspect ratio of 16 to 9, a contrast ratio of 20,000 to 1, a native resolution of 720 which can be expanded to 1920 by 1080 pixels, which means that there aren’t many projectors with these specs in this price range!
I would also like to mention that this unit uses the Acer’s ColorBoost 3D and the LumiSense+ technology, where each of them is going to drastically enhance the quality of your projections. To be more precise, the ColorBoost 3D will ensure that the colors will remain consistent and accurate for both 2D and 3D content regardless if you cast a picture on colored walls.
On the other side, the LumiSense+ technology will be there to optimize the image’s brightness levels and color saturation in order to ensure that the image will look good in any light.
Finally, Acer claims that the lamp life can last for 5000 hours if you use the standard mode, 6000 hours on the Eco mode and up to 10,000 hours on the Extreme Eco mode.
To conclude, I strongly recommend you the Acer H5382BD, especially if you’re looking for a projector that has versatile capabilities!
9. BenQ MS524AE
The BenQ MS524AE would be a really good option for you if you’re looking for a quality SVGA business projector without spending thousands of dollars, so let’s get quickly into action in order to find out what’s so special about it!
From a design perspective, this particular model sports an all-white construction that is accompanied by a durable lamp, a control panel positioned at the top, an array of connectivity ports positioned at the rear, as well as three adjustment feet which make the projector very mobile, so you won’t have any difficulties while placing it virtually anywhere you want in order to make presentations!
For your information, the connection ports consist of 2 HDMI 1.4a ports, one USB Type Mini B, a 3.5-millimeter audio mini jack, a 3.5-millimeter audio out mini jack, a single RS-232 port, one IR Receiver, a security bar, one monitor out port, two D-sub connectors for PC and one monitor output, so as you can see, they are indeed many!
Now, let’s talk about the features.
This particular model has 3300 ANSI lumens of brightness which is very useful for presentations because everyone would have a clear picture of everything you want to present, and when we add its high native contrast ratio of 15000 to 1, it means that your audience will read everything without any problem.
In addition, the MS524AE has a native resolution of 800 by 600 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4 to 3, and if you ask me, this is more than enough for business and commercial needs so I think that you won’t find any remarks.
I would also like to mention that thanks to its specs, the manufacturer states that you can use this projector in small well-lit meeting rooms with up to 10 participants which is really cool!
When it comes to the lamp life, BenQ rates it at 4000 hours if you use the normal mode, 6000 hours on ECO, and 10,000 hours on SmartEco mode, which says a lot about its durability!
Overall, if you’re looking for a projector that looks and means business, then the BenQ MS524AE is the one for you!
10. LG PH550 Minibeam
When you are searching for the best budget projectors, you will have a lot of options to choose from because almost every tech company has their own line of projectors. Let’s start with the first one.
The LG PH550 Minibeam, as the name suggests, is a portable mini projector that would be an ideal option for everyone who wants to invest in a budget projector that can compete with most of the midrange priced ones on the market, and let’s hear why!
From a design perspective, this model has a sleek, white construction with a copper-colored ring that is position at the front side, a 4-way controller with a central button placed at the top, a focus lever that sits above the ring, and feet which will ensure that this projector will stay fixed in place once you set it up.
The connection ports include an AV-in jack, a VGA port, a slot for a Kensington lock, an HDMI port with MHL support, an audio-out jack, and a single USB Type-A port, which is still good even though it lacks a microSD support.
Now, let’s talk about the features.
The LG PH550 Minibeam is armed with an LED RGB lamp, which according to LG can last up to 30,000 hours of usage, so if you use it for 8 hours every day, you’re unlikely to replace the lamp for 10 years which is amazing!
Moving on, this projector has very interesting specs, such as its maximum resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels, the 550-lumens of brightness, the contrast ratio of 100,000 to 1, as well as its aspect ratio of 16 to 9, so the visuals will be indeed stunning and defined.
I would also like to mention that this projector can cast a picture to screens as large as 100-inches, which is yet another thing that makes this projector different from the others in this price range!
But what got my attention the most regarding its performance is that this device will let you wirelessly stream sound to your audio speakers and headphones, so your movies will not only look good, but they will sound good as well!
Overall, the LG PH550 Minibeam deserves your attention especially if you’re looking for an affordable, mini projector that will never disappoint you with its performance!