Best Projectors under $500 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Home movie lovers and business people know that projectors are no longer what they used to be. They are now smarter, sharper, more versatile, and more communicative.

In this guide, we review the best projectors under $500 in 2021, analyzing their features and explaining why they are the top home theater picks.

Quick Overview: Best Projectors under $500 in 2021

Best Projectors under $500 in 2021 Selection

ImageProductRatingCheck Price
Best Overall
EUG 3900 Lumen WXGA
EUG 3900 Lumen WXGA

Interface: VGA, USB, HDMI
Resolution: 1280×800 WXGA
Image Contrast Ratio: 8000:1
White Brightness: 5000 lumens
Weight: 9.85 lbs

9.7
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Best Value
ViewSonic 3600 Lumen WXGA
ViewSonic 3600 Lumen WXGA

Interface: VGA, USB, HDMI
Resolution: 1280×800 WXGA
Image Contrast Ratio: 22000:1
White Brightness: 3600 lumens
Weight: 4.89 lbs

9.5
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Top Quality
BenQ WXGA 3600 Lumen
BenQ WXGA 3600 Lumen

Interface: USB, HDMI
Resolution: 1280×800 WXGA
Image Contrast Ratio: 15000:1
White Brightness: 3600 lumens
Weight: 5.24 lbs 

9.1
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Good Value
Epson VS350 XGA 3300 Lumen
Epson VS350 XGA 3300 Lumen

Interface: HDMI
Resolution: 1024×768 XGA
Image Contrast Ratio: 15000:1
Color Brightness: 3300 lumens

White Brightness: 3300 lumens
Weight: 5.50 lbs

8.8
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Best for Office
Epson VS355 WXGA 3300 Lumen
Epson VS355 WXGA 3300 Lumen

Interface: HDMI
Resolution: 1280 x 800 WXGA
Image Contrast Ratio: 15000:1
Color Brightness: 3300 lumens
White Brightness: 3300 lumens
Weight: 5.5 lbs

8.6
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Good Deal
Epson EX3260 SVGA 3300 Lumen
Epson EX3260 SVGA 3300 Lumen

Interface: HDMI
Resolution: 800 x 600 SVGA
Color Brightness: 3300 lumens
White Brightness: 3300 lumens
Weight: 5.5 lbs

8.2
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Newer Tech
Optoma HD146X 3600 Lumen
Optoma HD146X 3600 Lumen

Interface: USB, Lightning, HDMI
Resolution: 1080p
Contrast ratio: 25,000:1

White Brightness: 3600 lumens
Weight: 6.20 lbs

8
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1. EUG 3900 Outdoor Movie Projector – Best Overall Projector under $500

Our Top Pick
Best Overall Projector under $500

EUG 3900 Lumen WXGA

The EUG 3900 Outdoor Movie Projector provides extensive connectivity for outdoor movies, TV, video games, and other presentations.

Thus, it has 2 HDMI-in, 2 USB, a Composite Video connection, one VGA output, and an Audio in/out.

This is one of the best projectors for less than $500 dollars.

This projector’s 6500:1 dynamic contrast ratio and its full-color display of 16.7 Million produces bright images of size 50 inches to 200 inches with a throw distance of 3.9 to 9.4 feet.

PROs
  • Excellent inbuilt stereo speakers, using SRS technology
  • High resolution
  • Refresh rate up to 60Hz
CONs
  • Not very easy to suspend from the ceiling

2. ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA – Best Value Projector for Big Screens

Big Screen Projector
Best Value Projector for Big Screens

ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA

The ViewSonic 3600 Lumens WXGA Projector’s advanced and versatile features make it ideal for use in education and small business conditions.

It is capable of big-screen projection, projecting 120 inches wide from 15 feet 8 inches in 3600 lumens. Its Aspect Ratio is 22,000:1.

This projector sets up easily with simple plug and play for your presentations, videos, and pictures.

It supports most media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices with HDMI, VGA, etc.

PROs
  • Big screen projection
  • Low price
  • Compact and lightweight
CONs
  • No carrying case

3. BenQ MW535A Projector – Good Value Projector with Attractive Design

Beautiful Pristine Design
Good Value Projector with Attractive Design

BenQ MW535A 1080p

The BenQ MW535A projector is another premium projector for the under $500 range.

Perfect for bright settings, it is suitable for educational use and small business environments.

The projector’s 3600 lumens of brightness and 15.000:1 contrast aspect ratio helps its big-screen projection of a 120-inch display from 13 feet 2 inches. This increases screen clarity and reduces eye strain.

It has 15,000 hours of lamp life. For connectivity, it has two HDMI, two VGA and an Audio in/out.

It supports WUXGA resolution at 1920 by 1200.

PROs
  • Bright display
  • Smart Eco Mode
CONs
  • Speakers not quite loud enough

4. Epson VS350 XGA Projector – Good Value Projector

A Fair Deal Projector
Good Value Projector

Epson VS350 XGA

One of our top pick for projectors under $500 is the Epson VS350 XGA Projector. This projector is ideal for detailed, text-laden presentations.

Able to project text in great detail, this projector has an XGA resolution of 1024 by 768.

This is 1.5 times more resolution than normal SVGA.

This projector makes your presentations come alive in vivid colors, even in well-lit rooms.

Its 3,300 lumens of equal color and white ensures all-round brightness.

PROs
  • High XGA resolution
  • Easy connection and setup
  • Intuitive menus
CONs
  • No 3D video capability
  • Poor heat control

5. Epson VS355 WXGA Projector – Best for Office Presentations

Office Must Have Projector
Best Projector for Office Presentations

Epson VS355 WXGA

Providing more vivid colors, even in well-lit rooms is the Epson VS350 WXGA Projector, similar to the Epson VS350 XGA Projector in many ways, but not quite like it.

It also has 3,300 lumens of brightness. Setup is also fast and easy, with the projector up and running a few minutes. It also has easy image regulation and very convenient controls.

However, with a WXGA resolution of 1280 by 800, it dishes out 2 times more resolution than SVGA for HD presentations and videos.

Thus, this projector has more resolution that the compatriot, the Epson VS350 XGA Projector discussed above.

PROs
  • WXGA resolution of 1280
  • Best for office presentations
  • USB plug and play
  • Attractive price
CONs
  • Cannot handle 3D content

6. Epson EX3260 SVGA – Attractive Price Projector

Very Good Deal Projector
Very good price projector

Epson EX3260 SVGA 3300 Lumens

The Epson EX3260 SVGA Projector is another remarkable projector you can get for less than $500.

With the usual Epson high color brightness and a one-year warranty, this projector is a good buy, any day.

The display quality is outstanding and of professional levels.

A 1080p+ SVGA resolution of 1920 by 1200 means you have 4.5 times more resolution than any SVGA for Full HD 1080p content.

PROs
  • Quiet
  • Easy to use
  • SVGA display resolution
CONs
  • No audio out port
  • Can’t handle 3D

7. Optoma HD146X – Excellent Projector for Home Theater

Great Home Cinema
Excellent Projector for Home Theater

Optoma HD146X

The final projector in our review is the Optoma HD146X Home Theater Projector.

The picture quality of this projector is stunning. The high contrast of 25.000:1 and RGB attribute combines to deliver bright, exciting colors.

This projector provides 3.600 lumens of brightness.

It provides low lag for games at fast 1080p input response times with fast games and performance-demanding PCs.

PROs
  • Good image quality
  • Two HDMI connectors
CONs
  • Low lamp life

To conclude

The top of the pack for the under $500 range is the EUG 3900 Outdoor Movie Projector.

We chose this projector for its versatility – its ability to provide extensive connectivity for outdoor movies, TV, video games, and other presentations. Its 2 HDMI-in, 2 USB, a Composite Video connection, one VGA output, and an Audio in/out keep it ready for any option you may require.

Also, its high dynamic contrast ratio and full-color display of 16.7 Million produces unmatchable images to satisfy even the most demanding user.

More like this: if you are interested in similar articles like this one, make sure to check our reviews on the best projectors under $200, projectors under $300, and projectors under $1000.

Andrew Smith