Best Projectors Under $500

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As technology keeps advancing, certain technologies are becoming more and more affordable. One such technology are projectors. Once though of to be only for the wealthy, projectors have become extremely affordable.

Today we’ll be looking at some of the best projectors under $500. And, you can easily find an awesome projector for your home theater, bedroom, man cave, gaming or whatever project is next on the list for under $500.

When it comes to projectors, there are a few elements to consider when you think of a higher-quality projector. We’ve taken a look at some cheaper mini portable projectors and some premium options (BenQ HT2150ST vs Optoma GT1080darbee Review). However, the $500 price point is potentially the perfect blend of functions, features, performance and value (especially if you’re really into your media consumption).

With that being said, let’s get into it (P.S. – Some of these projectors might be over $500, but they go on/off sales)!

You can also read more about projector technology here.

Anker Nebula Solar Portable 1080p Projector


The Anker Nebula Solar Portable 1080p Projector is a great option for movie projectors under $500. Anker is a company that has built a pretty good reputation for electronics over the past few years. Since, they have become a leader in charging technology. Now, Anker is moving into the projection space.


The Nebula Solar Projector features an image size up to 120-inches with a high-definition rate of 1080p. It also includes HDR10 support along with 400 ANSI lumens. This means that you can expect rich detail, accurate colors and superior brightness to other projectors.

Also included is a built-in audio system. Anker uses Dolby Digital Plus along with dual 3W speakers to provide sound. While it isn’t the most powerful system, it is extremely easy to add-on a home theater sound system after the fact.


Also included is a built-in audio system. Anker uses Dolby Digital Plus along with dual 3W speakers to provide sound. While it isn’t the most powerful system, it is extremely easy to add-on a home theater sound system after the fact.

The Nebula Solar also features a built-in battery for long wireless watching events. You can expect up to 3 hours on a single charge or plug it in for unlimited watch time. There is also over 5000 apps on Android TV 9 to basically turn this projector into a portable smart TV.

Finally, if you are in the market just to put it in your home theater and leave it there, you can do that too! There is a built-in stand made just for that. In conclusion the Anker Nebula Solar Portable 1080p Projector is a solid all-around choice.

ViewSonic PA503S Home Projector


Coming in as one of the cheaper options on our list is the ViewSonic PA503S Home Projector. This is a 1080p supporting projector that features 3800 lumens of brightness. It can also project up to a 120-inch image from 15-feet away!

The ViewSonic PA503S is one of the simplest projectors on this list providing most features that you need to get the job done. Firstly, you can easily plug-and-play this projector without any issues. The included lamp also supports up to 15,000 hours of life.

ViewSonic includes a 3-year warranty and 1-year of lamp warranty. Along with the support, they also include US-based customer service in the case that you need help. Along with the connectivity options (HDMI, VGA, etc.), you can also hook up a smart device (Amazon FireTV, Google Chromecast) to get the most out of this projector.

In conclusion, the ViewSonic PA503S doesn’t have some of the features that more expensive projectors do. However, it gets the job done for a fair price and you won’t be dissapointed!

Optoma HD28HDR Home Theater Projector


Next up is the Optoma HD28HDR Home Theater Projector. This is one of the most feature-rich and powerful projectors on our best projectors under $500 list. We’ve reviewed Optoma projectors before and been extremely impressed.

Firstly, the Optoma HD28HDR features full 1080p with up to 4K input. It also has a 50,000:1 contrast ratio to retain the most detail out of images. Additionally, you are able to maintain a high-definition quality without any compression or downscaling.

It is also HDR compatible with HDR10 fully support. This means you get brighter whites, deeper blacks, more accurate colors and an enhanced contrast. Optoma also uses 4,000 lumens of brightness for a lights-on viewing experience (or lights-off). Additionally, they use a 6-segment color wheel (RYGCWB) to produce very accurate colors with a sRGB and REC.709 color profile.

Next up is one of the most impressive features of the Optoma HD28HDR Projector; game mode. The gaming mode enables extremely fast response rates of 16ms with a 120hz refresh rate. This is perfect for gamers looking for that competitive edge. In addition, game display mode boosts shadows to help you see in the darkest of scenes.

Optoma also boosts a long lamp life of 15,000 hours and a wide variety of connectivity. You can easily hook up any modern day streaming device, laptop or game console without a problem.

Finally, the Optoma HD28HDR Home Theater Projector ties together what really makes a good viewing experience. Optoma uses a great blend of high-quality components with realistic uses. If you’re looking for a projector to take your home theater to the next level, then we highly recommend checking out the HD28HDR!

Epson Home Cinema 880 1080p Projector


Next up is the Epson Home Cinema 880 1080p Projector. This projector from Epson has a few different models with the 880 just coming in under $500.

First up for the Cinema 880 is the obvious full-HD picture. It features a 1080p image with fast processing for high-speed sporting events, movies or gaming. In addition, Epson uses a light with over 3,300 lumens of brightness (contrast ratio of 16,000:1). This means that you should have a high level of contrast in addition to a better viewing experience in daylight.

They also use an advanced 3 LCD technology to display 100% of the RGB data for each frame. You get superior color accuracy while still maintaining excellent brightness without any rainbow effects.

Finally, connectivity options include all-digital HDMI. It’s extremely easy to setup, just plug-and-play. And, there is even built-in speakers (however we do recommend a soundbar like one of the Best Samsung Soundbars). Additionally, you get a built-in picture skew sensor to ensure a good crop and keystone.

LG PF50KA Portable CineBeam Projector


Next on the list of projectors under $500 is the LG PF50KA CineBeam Projector. Why is this projector special? Well, LG uses a combination of LED lighting, a built-in battery and smart features to make a well-rounded projector.

It supports up to a 1080p picture and has LG Smart TV built-in. Additionally, it supports wireless screen share, USB Type-C connectivity, Bluetooth sound-out and a built-in battery life of up to 2.5 hours.

One of the big advantages to the PF50KA is the LED light source. It allows you to have over 30,000 hours of use and a very detailed image. This projector is an awesome choice for professionals on-the-go or even families who camp out often.

Optoma HD146X High Performance Projector


So, last, but absolutely not least is the Optoma HD146X High-Performance Projector. This is one of the best gaming projectors on the market, and will absolutely blow you away.

Firstly, it obviously features a high-definition 1080p image with an RYGCWB color wheel for high-quality calibration. Additionally, Optoma uses a DLP DMD chip to automatically align the picture. This ensures you get perfect alignment and a great image.

Additionally, the HD146X provides up to 3,600 lumens of brightness so you can easily use it in the daytime or nighttime. Regardless of if you have the lights on in your home, you should be able to view this projector’s image with no issues.

They also use the awesome gaming mode to enhance response rate and refresh rate (16ms response and 120hz refresh rates). Gaming mode also boosts shadows and helps you see in dimly lit scenes.

Finally, Optoma uses dynamic black technology to provide an extremely smooth image with a contrast ratio of 500,000:1. This contrast ratio allows for incredible preservation of image quality and black and white differences. You should also expect up to 15,000 hours of lamp life with the light source included.

What Is The Best Projector Under $500?


In conclusion, what is the best projector for under $500? We really really really like the choices from Optoma; the Optoma 146X High Performance Projector and Optoma HD28HDR Projector. They offer a lot of features and a very very good image quality for the price.

If you’re on a projector budget for under $500, then these are both two awesome additions to your home theater. Just make sure to get the right sound system to go along with them!

READ: Guide to the Best Samsung SoundBar!

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