10 Best Projector Under 500 In 2020 – Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews

Buying a budget-friendly projector can be a herculean task. In this guide, we present the most efficient and the best projectors under $500 that are pocket-friendly and impart a wonderful visual experience. So, let’s get started! 

Top 10 Projectors Under $500 Comparison Chart

Name Brightness Resolution Contrast Ratio Editor’s Rating Call To Action
ViewSonic PA503X 3600 lumens 1024*768 native 22000:1 5 star
BenQ MS535A 3600 lumens 800*600 native 15000:1 5 star
Optoma HD 243X 3300 lumens 1920*1080 native 24000:1 5 star
BenQ MW526AE 3300 lumens 1280*800 native 15000:1 4 star
Epson VS355 3300 lumens 1280*800 native 15000:1 4 star
Epson VS250 3200 lumens 800*600 native 15000:1 4 star
InFocus Corporation IN119HDx 3200 lumens 1920*1080 native 15000:1 4 star
Epson EX3240 3200 lumens 800*600 native 15000:1 3 star
ACER H5380BD 3000 lumens 1280 x 720 native 17000:1 3 star
Optoma ML750 700 lumens 1280*800 native 15000:1 3 star

Projectors Under $500 Reviews

1. ViewSonic PA503X

This is a powerful and energy-efficient projector from the top brand ViewSonic. It is an eco-friendly model owing to its SuperEco mode that is ideal for viewing presentations in the best way. Equipped with 5 color modes, this projector model makes use of SuperColor Technology. This projector bestows outstanding visual performance with high brightness and contrast ratio.

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1024×768
  2. Brightness: 3600 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 22000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/SuperEco): 5000/15000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.96~2.15
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Availability of Eco Mode and SuperEco Mode (extends the lifespan)
  2. Presence of Auto power off and automatic sleep timer
  3. Guarantee of exceptional performance under all kinds of environment
  4. High color efficiency and refined imaging
  5. It enables 3D Viewing and offers instant activation
  6. It imparts time management support and has a remote-control functionality

What I Like

This projector ensures an accurate in bright as well as dark backgrounds. It’s 5 color modes enhance the view and proffers the best image quality at all times. Its automatic features are superb and the usage is quite user-friendly, making it an ideal choice at a reasonable price range.

What I Don’t Like

Mainly, the HDMI cable is required to connect with a computer. This downgrades the product reliability a little. Also, the size and weight of the product come to a little bulkier side.

Pros Cons
  1. Value for money
  2. Clear picture Quality
  3. Ease to use
  4. Excellent Colour Sharpness
  5. Perfect Sound Quality
  1. Bulky
  2. Requires HDMI cable
  3. Average Product Reliability

2. BenQ MS535A

This model is an eco-friendly projector from a famous brand BenQ. Owing to its High-end performance and excellent security, this projector is ideal for mobile or fixed-point business. Its advanced security system and Infographic Mode are its main USP. This projector serves as an all-in-one solution that proffers crystal-sharp clarity.

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 800*600
  2. Brightness: 3600 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco/SuperEco): 5000/10000/15000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.94~2.32
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Availability of Fast Transmission via HDMI connectivity
  2. Presence of Eco Mode and SuperEco Mode (extends the lifespan)
  3. It enables fast image alignment through vertical keystone
  4. Brilliant picture quality and performance
  5. Availability of Ergonomic retractable foot for hassle-free setup
  6. Hi-end security using Kensington Lock
  7. Excellent Anti-Dust Accumulation Sensor for smart maintenance

What I Like

This projector is smart and has an exquisite design and convenience features. The availability of all glass lenses imparts excellent quality at all times. It has a good security feature, easy-access handling makes it a perfect choice. Also, 2 ports of HDMI connectivity ensure faster connection.

What I Don’t Like

Mainly, the contrast ratio and resolution are a little less. 

Pros Cons
  1. Innovative and smart
  2. Clear picture Quality
  3. Ease handling
  4. Energy efficient
  5. Availability of 2 HDMI ports
  1. Low resolution
  2. Low contrast ratio

3. Optoma HD 243X

This Hi-end model powered by Dynamic Black Technology comes from a renowned brand Optoma. Its amazing MHL Connectivity converts it into a smart display to project everything on the big screen. The projector comes with special ISF modes that confirm an outstanding picture quality. The best part is that it arrives with an integrated speaker for great sound quality. 

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1920×1080
  2. Brightness: 3,300 ANSI lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio: 24,000:1
  4. Light source life (Dynamic/ECO/Bright): 12,000/10,000/3,500
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.47~1.62
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM, HD

Product Highlights

  1. Support Full 3D and HD content
  2. Hi-Fi security options: Password protection and Kensington Lock
  3. Excellent picture quality and performance
  4. Easy +12v Trigger while the projector is on or off
  5. Availability of in-built speaker for powerful sound quality
  6. Connect your smartphone or any device using MHL connectivity
  7. Guarantee of cinematic colors production

What I Like

This highly secure projector offers multiple features owing to its DLP technology. The facility of HD content facilitates the vibrant quality of videos and makes the projector perfect for any kind of viewing experience.

What I Don’t Like

The price is a little too much 

Pros Cons
  1. Highly secured
  2. Cinematic picture Quality
  3. Ease to use
  4. In-built speaker availability
  5. MHL connectivity
  1. High Price

4. BenQ MW526AE

Being an eco-friendly projector, this model comes under the brand name BenQ. Well-known for its amazing performance and super-secure system, it is considered a great choice for small-business meetings and home events. With a pixel-perfect clarity, this projector is very easy to handle as compared to other products.

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1280*800
  2. Brightness: 3300 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco/SuperEco): 5000/10000/15000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.55~1:86
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Availability of HDMI and VGA connectivity options
  2. Availability of outer adjustment feet for easy setup
  3. Advanced security using Kensington Lock
  4. It facilitates fast image alignment through vertical keystone
  5. Presence of Eco Mode and SuperEco Mode (extends the lifespan)
  6. Amazing picture quality and performance

What I Like

This projector is known for its user-friendly and eco-friendly features. Besides, it is very secure and has a set of convenient features. The availability of excellent picture quality and power saving mechanisms along with its one-touch install function makes it worth buying.

What I Don’t Like

The resolution and contrast ratio is less. 

Pros Cons
  1. Eco-friendly
  2. Bright picture Quality
  3. Ease to use
  4. Value for money
  1. Low resolution
  2. Low contrast ratio

5. Epson VS355

This HD quality projector is a reliable product from the top brand Epson. Providing a vibrant and colorful image quality, this projector has a superb resolution and color accuracy. It is password protected which ensures security. You can also adjust the keystone manually to get the best rectangular image. This product finds its appropriate use in widescreen laptops and 

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1280*800
  2. Brightness: 3300 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco): 6000/10000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.38~1.68
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Availability of Fast Transmission via HDMI connectivity
  2. Presence of Eco Mode to save energy
  3. The product facilitates manual image alignment 
  4. Vivid image quality and excellent performance
  5. Hassle-free setup
  6. Hi-end security using Password protection

What I Like

This projector can be connected to different devices such as laptops and media players. It has a high speed and uniquely distinguishes all the colors in the best way. The security using a password helps in maintaining confidentiality. It’s eco-friendly features such as recyclable parts and RoHS compliance makes it an ideal option.

What I Don’t Like

The price is higher as compared to its features.

Pros Cons
  1. Compact
  2. Reliable
  3. HD picture Quality
  4. Offers High Compatibility
  5. RoHS compliant (Eco-friendly)
  6. Fast and hassle-free setup
  1. High Price

6. Epson VS250

This model is an eco-friendly projector from a famous brand BenQ. Due to its outstanding performance and wireless connectivity option, it holds a strong position in this list. The projector is guarded using a password to ensure only authorized people can operate it. Moreover, the device has a smart operation and can be manually adjusted for ultimate viewing.

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 800*600
  2. Brightness: 3200 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with Eco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco): 6000/10000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.45
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Availability of rapid Transmission via HDMI and wireless connectivity 
  2. Presence of Eco Mode and compliance to RoHS
  3. Facilitates manual adjusting of image over the screen
  4. A portable facility along with fast setup
  5. Hi-end security using Password protection

What I Like

This projector is enabled with both wired as well as wireless connection making it highly compatible with different devices. Password protection ensures security from unauthorized access. The picture quality is brilliant and the projector is completely eco-friendly. Also, there is an availability of port for HDMI connectivity.

What I Don’t Like

In comparison with other projectors, it has a low resolution and high price. 

Pros Cons
  1. Vivid picture Quality
  2. Offers High Compatibility
  3. RoHS compliant (Eco-friendly)
  4. Fast and hassle-free setup
  5. Compatible with iProjection App
  6. Offer Wireless Connectivity
  1. High price
  2. Low resolution compared to others

7. InFocus Corporation IN119HDx

This model is considered as the best high-resolution business projector that not only offers well-structured data images but also enables excellent brightness at such a high price. Moreover, this projector is perfect for business conference rooms and professional board rooms. It serves as an all-in-one solution with permanent installation and a highly protective security system.

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1920*1080
  2. Brightness: 3200 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco/SuperEco): 5000/10000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.15:1-1.50:1
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Availability of high-resolution data images.
  2. Hi-end security using Kensington Lock.
  3. This High-cost product is available in multiple languages.
  4. Presence of Eco Mode and SuperEco Mode (extends the lifespan).
  5. Excellent picture quality and performance.

What I Like

This projector impacts vibrant picture quality with exquisite design. Not only this, it is a perfect solution for permanent installations in industrial business meetings. Also, it enables a good security system with an easy access handling function.  

What I Don’t Like

The main drawback of this projector is its high price and less functionality provided as compared to the other products.

Pros Cons
  1. Brilliant security protection
  2. High resolution
  3. Energy efficient
  1. Low contrast ratio
  2. Expensive pricing policy.
  3. Less features available.

8. Epson EX3240

The EX3240 portable projector is a complete package full of setup features, speedy processing, and HDMI®, compatible connectivity standards. This projector exhibits true to life color combinations with SVGA resolution. It utilizes 3LCD, 3-chip technology for 100% balanced color brightness and innovative functioning for the professional users.

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 800*600
  2. Brightness: 3200 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco/SuperEco): 5000/10000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.47:1
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. Compliant with RoHS.
  2. SmartWay Transport Partner with recyclable quality.
  3. Supports HDMI with high compatibility with other laptops and media players.
  4. Fast easy setup with the accurate color combination.
  5. Availability of manual keystone correction with portability to use.
  6. Fine picture quality and performance.

What I Like

The EX3240 portable projector is commonly used by business professionals as it proffers vivid color brightness and easy portability. Moreover, this projector supports HDMI, digital connectivity standards for better network connectivity.

What I Don’t Like

The projector has low SVGA resolution quality which hampers the picture clarity although the color brightness is excellent.

Pros Cons
  1. Recyclable quality product.
  2. High compatibility and portability.
  3. Vibrant color brightness.
1. Low-resolution quality.

9. ACER H5380BD

The Acer home entertainment projector that supports excellent entertainment to the users and displays 720p HD pictures in order to provide terrific movie experience. It supports Dynamic Black technology which enables clarity in functioning and readability. This projector enables a durable LED lamp with a power-saving facility.

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1280 x 720
  2. Brightness: 3000 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 17000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor/Eco/SuperEco): 5000/6000/10000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.55:1-1.70:1
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. High-quality visuals with a variety of color ranges.
  2. Includes Acer dust shield system installation for protection and safety.
  3. Outfitted with Acer ColorBoost II+ technology.
  4. Dynamic RGB gain control for better color fidelity.
  5. Eco-friendly power-saving projector.

What I Like

The Acer entertainment projector not only saves the lamp replacement costs but also displays content on wireless devices. Moreover, its magnificent picture quality and ease of handling make it more effective. This projector also provides good audio quality and eliminates signal related issues.

What I Don’t Like

The projector has a high pricing policy as compared to the other products. 

Pros Cons
  1. Eco-friendly quality product.
  2. Flexible connectivity.
  3. Ease of handling and lightweight.
  4. Advance controlling system.
1. Expensive cost.

2. Complex product functioning.

10. Optoma ML750

The Optoma LED projector offers incredible power performance with impressive color accuracy. This projector makes the presentations more impactful with its razor shaped focus and brilliant contrast ratio. It is suitable for traveling professionals in the industrial market. Also, it enables auto-power off facility that saves the power and energy of the projector for further usage.

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

Overview

  1. Native Resolution: 1280*800
  2. Brightness: 700 ANSI Lumens
  3. Contrast Ratio with SuperEco mode: 15000:1
  4. Light source life (Nor): 20000
  5. Throw Ratio: 1.50:1
  6. Video Compatibility: NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Product Highlights

  1. HDMI/MHL mobile connectivity.
  2. Brilliant LED light source.
  3. Wireless presentation capability.
  4. Auto-Power off.
  5. Easy setup with the accurate color combination.
  6. PC-Free presentations.

What I Like

This LED portable projector is a perfect solution for traveling professionals as it not only provides PC-Free presentations along with a palm-size projector handling facility. 

What I Don’t Like

The projector has quite a high pricing policy and low brightness facility as compared to other products.

Pros Cons
  1. Palm-size projection handling.
  2. High compatibility and portability.
  3. Vibrant color brightness.
1. Low brightness quality.

2. High pricing policy.

Buyers’ Guide

A projector helps you to look at different presentations, movies, and other video stuff in a cost-effective way.  Therefore, selecting the right projector can have a great impact on your business events, conferences, home entertainment.  When it comes to choosing a projector in the budget, there are several key features that need to be considered for their functions and picture quality—

  • Modern Technology: 

Commonly there are two projection technologies that are used in most of the projectors — one is Digital Light Processing or DLP and the other is Liquid Crystal Display or LCD. DLP technology is used in almost all types of applications. DLP is widely used in both the basic and advanced projectors because of its filter-free designs where you do not need to replace filters. It provides a better mechanism than the long-term LCD that makes the projection smooth.

  • Colour Processing: 

Usually, the projectors have advanced color processing technologies that help to improve color performance.  With this advanced color technology, it is easy to expand the color range and reduce brightness fluctuations. Advanced color wheel design increases dynamic lamp control capabilities.

  • Better Resolutions: 

A projector with a higher resolution can show the presentations in detail. Moreover, it reduces visible pixilation that offers a crisper viewing. Besides native resolution, the maximum resolution also matters because it is the highest resolution that the projector is programmed to display.

  • Source Materials: 

The resolution quality of a projector depends on the native resolution of the source material. Low-quality signal always provides low-quality images. The best way to maintain the image quality is to match the projector’s native resolution with the native resolution of the source content. With the latest technology, it is possible to create images as clear as they are in their native formats.

  • Contrast Ratio: 

The contrast ratio depends on the white and black components of an image. So, for a greater contrast ratio, the more difference between the black and white components can be visible. The projector’s ability to produce a greater depth of images is proportional to the contrast ratio of the projector.

  • Brightness:  

It is not always necessary to have a brighter projector all the time. The Ambient level of a projector needs to be considered for its brightness level. A brighter projector can be hard on the eyes inside a dark room whereas a less bright one can look dull in a room full of ambient light.

Projectors FAQs

  • What Is The Throw Ratio?

Throw ratio is the distance between the projector lens and the projector screen. It is measured from the tip of the projector lens.

  • What Is The Ideal Brightness Required In A Projector?

The brightness should be more than 2000 lumens to view a good image quality. Also, remember the higher the brightness, the higher the picture quality.

  • I Want A Wireless Projector Under $500. What Are My Options?

 Epson VS250 and Optoma ML750 are the perfect choices for you. You can also check their other features to select the best one.

  • I Want To Watch Movies On A Large Screen Sometimes. Do You Think A Portable Projector Is A Good Fit?

Portable projectors can help you view movies, TV shows and get a cinematic view. You should probably consider buying it.

  • What Is The Brightness Required For A Dark Room?

A brightness range above 3000 lumens caters to the needs well for people who want to present in a darkroom.

Final Verdict

Now that you have gone through the pros and cons of each projector under $500, it is time to choose the best one according to your specific requirements. The product that delivers exceptional performance at a reasonable price is ViewSonic PA503X. The second place is reserved by BenQ MS535A while Optoma HD 243X holds third place.