7 Best Projectors Under $500 in 2023

Being on a tight budget of less than $500, I tested a variety of projectors that cost less than $500 and realized that the ViewSonic PA503W was the best projector within the budget.

To help you find the finest projector under $500, I examined the most intriguing projectors to see if the claims match reality. We’ll discuss their technical details and their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, I’ll demonstrate how to use each projector so that you can take full advantage of its features. 

Do not be deceived if you think a projector that costs less than $500 is not worth it. You will be surprised to discover that some low-budget projectors have outstanding features. Picture quality and color accuracy are crucial in terms of resolution. Most projectors under $500 will have a 720p or 1080p resolution, but there are also a few 4K options to consider.

The ViewSonic PA503W made the top of my list for several reasons. It has an excellent resolution of 1280X800 and great brightness. One eye-catching detail is its ability to produce the tiniest detail in the image regardless of the resolution. Its color accuracy should not be overlooked. This projector is even 3D compatible and inbuilt speakers.

Depending on what you intend to use the projector for, there should be some special features that it must have to satisfy your demands. It is possible to get a 3D and 4K compatible device within this budget.

In this article, I have provided suggestions for the best projector for gaming, outdoors, presentations, business, and office or home entertainment. Each of these projectors that top the category has a special feature that makes them the best.

Our Best Projectors Under $500

  1. ViewSonic PA503W 3800 Lumens Projector (Best Overall)
  2. ViewSonic PA503X High brightness projector for home and office  (Best for presentations)
  3. BenQ TH585P 1080 Projector  (Best for Gaming)
  4. Anker Nebula Capsule Max Pint Sized Wifi  Mini Projector  (Best Portable projector)
  5. Artlii Energon2 Projector  (Best for Home Theatre)
  6. YABER Y31 9500L 1080P Projector  (Best for Budget 4K)
  7.  BenQ MW560 (WXGA) Business Projector  (Best for business and office)

Keep reading to find detailed product reviews on projectors that cost less than $500.

The Best Projectors Under $500 Reviewed

1). Overall Best: ViewSonic PA503W 3800 Lumens Projector

Even though this projector was primarily intended for professional and academic applications, I chose to test its movie binge-watching capabilities despite the 1280 x 800 resolution. I could see even the smallest details and vivid colors in any scenario thanks to its great brightness (3600 lumens) and good contrast ratio.

Although the bulb life is rather lengthy, you may increase it even more by switching on the Eco or Super Eco mode. 

The ViewSonic PA503W is one of the finest projectors under $500 since the DLP display technology, and 3D support allows you to immerse yourself in the video shown on the screen completely.

ViewSonic PA503W 3800 Lumens Projector

A built-in audio system might meet the very minimum requirements, but acquire additional speakers if you want a sound that fills the entire room. In this price range, a Wi-Fi connection is not likely to be present. The automated sleep timer and power-off features, meanwhile, are both incredibly helpful. They significantly prolong light life and aid in energy conservation.

Key Features

Resolution: 1280X800p

Brightness: 3600 Lumens

Display technology: DLP

Contrast ratio: 22000:1

Built-in speakers: Yes


  • It has a DLP shutter port for DLP glasses for 3D movies.
  • It has intuitive menus and keystone settings.


  • The image may have a reddish color, especially on faces.
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Built-in speakers have incredibly low speakers

This projector’s ability to optimize your viewing experience by selecting from 5 different modes, including Brightest, Presentation, Standard, Photo, and Movie, is what most impresses me. Also, this product has a 4.5-star rating from over 2,300 reviews on Amazon.

The projector did not fail, hang up, or shut down once over the testing period. The fan does make a very faint hum, but you can only hear it if you are close to it. The ViewSonic PA503W is equipped with all the functions required for viewing movies and giving presentations. 

2). Best for presentations: ViewSonic PA503X High brightness projector for home and office

You need a dependable projector that can provide bright enough images to be seen during the day in classrooms, workplaces, and even homes.

The PA503X from ViewSonic has a brightness of about 3800 lumens. Additionally, it boasts a 22000:1 contrast ratio, so anything you’re projecting shouldn’t appear washed out.

In addition, ViewSonic’s SuperColor Technology is included inside the projector. It provides the image with a wide color gamut and produces “stunningly beautiful images” with rich, brilliant tones and textures.

ViewSonic PA503X High brightness projector for home and office

Vertical Keystone Correction, another projector feature, is intended to remove keystone distortion for properly proportioned pictures. This will be useful while presenting because it will guarantee that all content is readable.

Even though the lamp can be used for up to 15,000 hours, the projector has a “SuperEco” mode that reduces brightness by 70% to conserve lamp output and lengthen lamp life. The gadget also boasts an ultra-low latency of 16ms for a better projection experience, so you may anticipate smoother video playing when presenting.

Key features

Resolution: 1080p

Brightness: 3800 lumens

Contrast Ratio: 22000:1 

Lamp Life: 15,000 Hours 

Eco mode: Yes

Built-in speakers: Yes


  • It has a wide screen projection of about 120 inches at a distance of 13 feet, 2 inches.
  • It has a long lamp life with a SuperEco mode feature.


  • No major complaints

Overall, this ViewSonic projector can be a good choice if you’re searching for a high-brightness projector to use for presentations.

3). Best for Gaming: BenQ TH585P 1080 Projector

Suppose you want a specially made projector for gaming or other high-intensity viewing experiences. In that case, the BenQ TH585P 1080p Home Entertainment Projector is a great option.

It has a quick reaction time, reduced input latency, and various features that simplify alignment and setup. Additionally, people who wish to take their entertainment with them will find it a great option due to its mobility and clear, bright image.

A projector made specially to deliver the best viewing experience is the BenQ TH585. With its high brightness built-in function, this True Full HD model from BenQ provides an astounding 3500 ANSI lumens and 10,000:1 contrast ratio for watching movies or TV shows at night when there are no lights in your home setting.

BenQ TH585P 1080 Projector 

You can get pumped up about your favorite sporting event without Retinitis pigmentosa prohibiting you from viewing the live broadcast, thanks to the variety of settings that are accessible, such as gaming enhancement, where colors become more vibrant while bright objects lose their brilliance rapidly.

Also Read:

Best projectors under $1000

This projector also has several unusual features! It has a 1.1x zoom, which makes it easier to see distant objects or larger projections with no distortion on the screen because of the wide angles. The digital lens shifts make staging simple with correct alignment compared to the keystone manual process of adjusting it quickly.

Key Features

Resolution: 1920X1080p

Brightness: 3500 Lumens

Contrast ratio: 10000:1 

Built-in speakers: Yes (Loud 10W Speaker)

Warranty: 3 years

Low Input Lag for Gaming

Stream Netflix & Prime Video

3D Compatible


  • It has a 16ms reaction time.
  • Vertical keystone, digital lens shifts, and the 1.1x zoom simplify setup and alignment.
  • Perfect keystone alignment and portable projection
  • Many brightness choices; very bright, sharp, and clear
  • Dedicated viewing options, such as the game mode
  • It can be connected to the internet

Before purchasing this item, there are a few further considerations: First, you’ll need to purchase any essential extras like 3D glasses separately. Next, ensure your room has overhead lights since when they’re on, they reflect down into our displays and can distract your viewing.

4). Best Portable projector: Anker Nebula Capsule Max Pint Sized Wifi  Mini Projector

This adorable projector will catch your eye if you’re considering purchasing an HD projector that you can carry around wherever you go without straining your back.

DLP technology didn’t come as a huge surprise to me, but 200-lumen brightness did. I was unsure if such a brightness level was adequate. Still, after turning off the lights in my studio, I noticed a crisp 720p image with lovely colors. Remember that this gadget is designed to be utilized in dimly lit areas because sunshine might impair a projected image.

Best Portable projector: Anker Nebula Capsule Max Pint Sized Wifi  Mini Projector

I got a sharp image even at the most acute angles with the help of autofocus correction and keystone. It took me a while to turn my studio into a theatre-like setting because this model has an 8W speaker.

The operating system of the projector has got a good improvement. It uses Android 8.1, while Nebula Apollo, its main competitor, uses Android 7.1. This is great news since it gives you access to a special app for quicker maintenance and modification. I used the software to adjust the brightness, improve the blacks, and quieten the sound.

Key Features

Resolution: 720p (HD)

Brightness: 200 Lumens

Display technology: DLP

Built-in speakers: Yes (8W Speaker)

Wi-Fi: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes


  • Quick recharging (2.5 hours).
  • Can be mounted on a ceiling.
  • Space-saving design.
  • X and Y direction keystroke correction.


  • No way to screen mirror with Prime, iTunes, etc.
  • Apps may crash.
  • Too distracting flickering.
  • 200 lumens brightness only.

I believe this projector’s wide range of compatibility makes it its best feature. Unlike most portable devices, this little system is compatible with Bluetooth, Miracast, and Airplay. I admire the manufacturer’s attention to detail because small projectors can compete with larger projectors in terms of presenting vivid images and realistic colors.

5). Best for Home Theatre: Artlii Energon2 Projector

For those looking for a projector with native 1080P resolution and 4K capability for around $500, the Artlii Energon2 is the best option. It is one of the most color-accurate projectors available due to its brightness of 340 ANSI lumens and color gamut of up to 80% of NTSC.

Additionally, it is simple to connect to numerous devices thanks to its 2.4G/5G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which is quick and reliable. Additionally, connecting to various devices and media sources is simple, thanks to its flexible digital networking choices.

Best for Home Theatre

The Artlii Energon 2. 340 ANSI lumens of brightness, a 7000:1 contrast ratio, and a perfect and reasonably priced projector with all the required features. A Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) ensures high-quality images without sacrificing performance. Its stylish design will add sophistication to any room in your home! But some people might find its bulky design uncomfortable, and its daytime performance might be subpar.

Key Features

Resolution: 1920X1080p

Brightness: 340 ANSI Lumens

Contrast Ratio: 7000:1

4K Compatibility: Yes

Wi-Fi: Yes


  • Native support for 1080P and 4K
  • Swift and steady Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
  • Price is affordable


  • It has a bulky design
  • Performance can diminish during the day.

For those looking for a projector with native 1080P quality, 4K capability, and a quick and reliable Wi-Fi connection, the Artlii Energon2 Projector is the best option for under $500. Its flexible digital connectivity options make connecting to various devices and media sources simple.

6). Best for Budget 4K: YABER Y31 9500L 1080P Projector

The Yaber Home Theater Projector has an impressive 10,000:1 contrast ratio and 8000 lumens brightness. This product has a feature called 4D keystone correction that allows you to automatically correct any horizontal or vertical angle with just one click, eliminating the need for manual adjustments.

The Yaber Home Theater Projector is ideal for movie buffs who want to see their screens in all their glory because of its 300-inch maximum projection size. This projector is one of my top choices because, compared to others in its price range, it has accurate colors and still produces sharp, detailed images.

YABER Y31 9500L 1080P Projector 

The YABER Y31 9500L projector is kept operating smoothly with several amazing features. There is no need to worry about overheating since, for this specific model, the fan is built with two-sided cooling to take care of all phases in draining heat from inside out and automatically regulating its speed based on what you are doing or how hot things have gotten.

Key Features

Resolution: 1920X1080 (FHD)

Brightness: 8000 Lumens

Contrast ratio: 10000:1

Lamp life: 10,000 hours

Built-in speakers: Yes

4K Compatibility: Yes

High contrast ratio of 10,000:1


  • 4K support and native Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Function for 4D keystone correction
  • 10,000 hours of lamp life and a maximum projection size of 300 inches
  • Options for compatibility and connection
  • cooling fan design with two sides


  • Built-in speakers fall short of other external speakers in quality.

When looking for the optimal match, one factor to take into account is the projector’s resolution. While most projectors under $300 only support 720p natively, the Y31 can natively handle full HD 1920x1080p, delivering more explicit images with improved resolution and color accuracy. Since this type includes an outside picture as well as an indoor one on your TV or computer screen, you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor movie evenings together.

Additionally, you should be aware of other aspects like size and weight to ensure that it complements your lifestyle without seeming burdensome.

7). Best for business and office: BenQ MW560 (WXGA) Business Projector

The BenQ MW560 is the business projector for you if you’re searching for one that meets all your office requirements. It has excellent contrast and brightness, a wide range of compatibility choices, and a long bulb life—everything you need to create an impression with your presentations. 

 BenQ MW560 (WXGA) Business Projector

Furthermore, because of its DLP display technology, which guarantees incredibly sharp images and excellent color reproduction. It is perfect for home users who want to watch movies, sports, or other content of the highest quality. It won’t break the bank since it costs less than $500. The BenQ MW560 is the projector for you if you’re looking for an all-around performer that won’t let you down.

Key Features:

Contrast ratio: 20000:1

Display technology: DLP

Lamp life: 15,000 hours

Eco mode: Yes

Warranty: 3 years (limited parts)


  • It has amazing picture quality and a high contrast ratio
  • It can project on wide screen sizes from 100 to 300 inches
  • Long-lasting lamp life of up to 15,000 hours,
  • Setup is relatively easy.

For corporate customers that want dependable performance and outstanding image quality, the BenQ MW560 is a terrific projector. It’s a fantastic option for consumers at home who want to watch movies, sports, or other stuff of the highest quality. It is a great all-arounder that won’t disappoint you thanks to its long lamp life and numerous connectivity options.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Projectors Under $500

There are many distinct aspects of projectors that you should take into account before buying one. Knowing which option is best for you might be difficult, given the wide range of available choices. To assist you in finding the finest projector under $500 for your requirements, I produced this buying guide.

Should I Buy A DLP Or LCD Projector?

Depending on your needs and preferences, DLP is the way to go if you’re looking for a projector that performs well in 3D. However, LCD might be preferable if you’re looking for a less expensive option that still provides good image quality.

Projector Brightness

It’s critical to understand the type of brightness needed in various settings. Assume you’re traveling somewhere dim, perhaps at night when there isn’t much light. Then a projector with 1000 lumens will work perfectly because they produce vivid colors and sharp images that won’t wash out even when viewed up close from a distance of several feet.

However, suppose your outdoor activity requires more light than usual, such as when writing in the daylight and there isn’t much light anywhere but directly overhead (which would make everything appear too bright). In that case, you might want to consider using shades.


The majority of projector manufacturers provide a 12-month warranty with their models. However, some companies charge extra for extended warranties. I advise purchasing an extended warranty if you use your projector for an extended time.


These days, most projectors come equipped with HDMI connectors, making it simple to connect them to your laptop, PC, or other HD devices. Some also feature VGA connectors, which may be used to connect to older devices without HDMI.

You don’t necessarily need to connect projectors to an external sound system because some of them also include built-in speakers. However, since most projectors have poor audio, I advise using external speakers for the best experience.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is the difference between the projector’s ability to produce the deepest black and the lightest white. The image will be more realistic and detailed if the contrast ratio is higher.

Projector Resolution

A projector’s resolution is determined by how many pixels are used to create an image. The sharper and more detailed the image, the higher the resolution. These days, most projectors on the market have a 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution, considered Full HD.

Additionally, some 4K projectors are on the market with a resolution of 4096 x 2160. Although these projectors are more expensive, they provide much more clarity and detail.

Screen Size

Your screen size is important, too, not just for the projector alone. The size of its panel and the type of surface they intend to project onto will affect the projection you see on it.

Whether this distance fits you better indoors or outside, where there may only occasionally have been enough leeway around structures before sunsetting, you can utilize it with a maximum range of 200-200 inches (5m). Consider where they are with respect to themselves, and any surrounding walls or pavements could lay so we don’t end up when choosing which one works best.

Frequently Asked Questions

DLP And LCD Projectors, What Is The Difference?

DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors employ a chip containing small mirrors to reflect light via a lens and onto a screen. The light that passes via LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors is modulated by a panel of rotating liquid crystals. Although LCD projectors are frequently less expensive and exhibit less picture distortion, DLP projectors generally offer greater contrast ratios and quicker refresh rates.

Difference Between Home And Business Projectors

Business projectors are made for meetings and other formal occasions. In contrast, home theatre projectors are made to watch movies and other leisure forms. Business projectors are often smaller and more portable than home theatre projectors, but their image quality is frequently poorer. While corporate projectors may be utilized in various lighting settings, home theatre projectors typically require a dark environment for the best viewing experience.

Is A brightness of 1000 lumens good for a projector?

In a dark room or area with little to no ambient light, 1000 lumens of brightness should be adequate. However, 1000 lumens might not be sufficient if you want to project outside. In this case, depending on how bright the environment you plan to project in is, I’d advise choosing something that can produce 1500 lumens or more.

Anything over 3000 lumens is typically only required when projecting in a fully lit environment.

Can I Get A Quality Projector for Under $500?

Yes, as demonstrated by the list provided, I’d argue that you can buy a decent projector for less than $500. A device that projects 1080p images with a powerful brightness of 3000+ lumens and extra features like speakers and built-in stands is available at this price point. Any projector in this price range should be appropriate for home theatre or outdoor showing.

But it also depends on what you need. For instance, if you want a 4K projector with an incredibly quick refresh rate, you might need to increase your budget to find one that works for you. You can still locate some 4K projectors in this price range if necessary. Therefore, if you want a projector but don’t want to spend a fortune, there are many excellent options priced under $500.

Final Thoughts

Generally, the ViewSonic PA503W projector is a great choice. Its minor flaws can be overlooked because a projector with such features is great for a budget of less than $500. The BenQ MW560 is also a great choice due because of its versatility.

Regardless of what you want to go in for, you will get a projector that costs less than $500 to fit your needs. Carefully go through the buyer guide I have provided and know exactly what you want.

I have provided the link to access each item listed in this article on Amazon. Just click or tap on the link to access the product, it’s pricing, and other features.


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