Best cheap projector – Year’s #1 Choice

Best cheap projector

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a decent projector. You can buy one that works well and won’t break the bank.

It’s difficult to choose a good projection system, as there are so many variables involved. To help you get started, here are some things to consider when choosing a projection system.

We’ve researched and tested models that meet our criteria for both wireless connectivity and PC portability. Here are the top 6 budget projectors that we think you should consider checking out.

Quick Comparison

Image Product
Epson EX3280 XGA Projector Best for Presentations: Epson EX3280 XGA Projector
Editor's Rating: 9.9 Brand: Epson Check Price
BenQ HT2150ST Projector Best Short Throw: BenQ HT2150ST Projector
Editor's Rating: 9.6 Brand: BenQ Check Price
TopVision T21 Best for Phones: TopVision T21
Editor's Rating: 9.3 Brand: TOPVISION Check Price
Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector Best Portable: Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector
Editor's Rating: 9 Brand: KODAK Check Price
Anker Nebula Capsule Max Best Outdoor Projector: Anker Nebula Capsule Max
Editor's Rating: 8.7 Brand: NEBULA Check Price
Philips NeoPix Easy Projector Best Budget: Philips NeoPix Easy Projector
Editor's Rating: 8.4 Brand: PHILIPS Check Price

Best cheap projector for 2022

Brief analysis

If you want a portable projection system for business meetings and gatherings, the Epson EX3280 may be worth considering. It's not quite as inexpensive as some other options, but it offers decent performance and features.

With its 1280 x 800 widescreen LCD screen, the Optoma HD2550 projector offers excellent picture quality at a good price point. It supports both DVI and HDMI connections, has built-in speakers, and includes a remote control. However, there is no optical disc drive, so you won't be able to play movies from discs. There is also no way to connect to a networked computer, which may limit its usefulness if you need to share projectors between multiple people.

For $300, you get an excellent HD projector that provides 3,600-lumen brightness, which makes it easy to see even from far away. It has a built-in sensor that allows it to adjust its output so that it won't distort images when they're projected onto a wall.

Some product details

  • True 3-Chip 3LCD technology — displays 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame, providing outstanding color accuracy while maintaining excellent color brightness, without any distracting “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues seen with other projection technologies

  • Crisp image quality — XGA resolution delivers crisp text and images; perfect for displaying presentations, video and more

  • Amazing dynamic contrast ratio up to 15,000:1 — provides crisp, rich detail for graphs, images and videos

What we like
  • Looks good even when there isn't enough light.
  • Automatically corrects image distortions
  • 768p XGA resolution is ideal for projecting documents
What we dislike
  • No SD card slot
  • No wireless functionality
Brief analysis

The BenQ HT2150ST is an excellent choice for gamers who don't want to spend too much money on their gaming setup.

It has a 1:1.7 foot projection distance that allows you to project up to 2 additional feet beyond the projected image. This makes it ideal for use in smaller spaces like children’s bedrooms or tents.

With its 2,200 ANSI Lumens, the BenQ HT2150ST projector puts on a generally strong picture in dark rooms while supporting 1080p resolution and 15000:1 high brightness dynamic range (HDR) mode.

With two HDMI inputs, one USB-A input, three USB mini-B connectors, one RS-232 serial connection, one PC VGA connector, and one 3.5mm audio jack, most projectors won't be able to compete with the BenQ HT2150ST

Some product details

  • UNPARALLELED PICTURE QUALITY:: Native 1080p Full HD image quality with 2200 ANSI Lumens, 15, 000:1 contrast ratio, 6x RGBRGB color wheel delivers rich colors and crisp details that are calibrated for movies and gaming.

  • AWARD WINNING PROJECTOR - Best Overall - Best Projectors for Gaming 2019 - IGN

  • FLEXIBLE INSTALLATION: Vertical keystone correction and a 1. 2x zoom allows easy installation

What we like
  • With 2,200 ANSI lumen brightness and 15,000: 1 contrast ratio
  • For small rooms, the 1:1.69 throw ratio is great.
  • For games, low latency is great.
  • Loads of ports
What we dislike
  • It costs a bit more than most budget projector models.
  • No wireless connectivity
  • No 4K projection option
TopVision T21

Best for Phones: TopVision T21

Editor's Rating: 9.3 Brand: TOPVISION Check Price ❯
Brief analysis

The TopVision T21 is an affordable projection system designed for connecting to mobile phones, tablet computers, and laptop computers. It can display images at 1080p resolution using any of its three connections (HDMI, USB, VGA).

With its 3,600 lumens of brightness and 2000:1 contrast ratios, this affordable projector offers decent picture quality that isn't too shabby for a budget-friendly option. Its built-in speakers aren't anything special, but they're more than adequate for watching movies at home.

Some product details

  • 【HiFi Stereo Speakers & Upgraded Cooling System】 This portable projector has 3W HiFi stereo speakers, which you can get a superior sound experience. The video projector adopts temperature control technology, it minimize the power consumption and extend the lamp life up to at 80,000 hours.

  • 【Fast Connection Via WiFi or USB cable】This mini projector compatible with Android, iPhone, TV stick, and PS3, PS4, and other audio and video equipment. Just one-time WiFi connection you can easily achieve the screen mirroring, no need to connect HDMI cable, you can get a good viewing experience!

  • 【Rich Interface & Wide Compatibility】 Equipped with various ports such as VGA / USB / HDMI / AV / SD / audio output. the outdoor movie projector Compatible with Smartphones, computer, tablet, U disk, SD card, DVD, game console, etc.

What we like
  • HDMI, USB, VGA, and AV ports
  • Built-in surround sound speakers
  • 2000:1 contrast ratio
What we dislike
  • No wireless casting option
  • It's not perfect but it works well enough for now.
Brief analysis

It has a disappointing 480p resolution, so it isn't suitable for use at home as a primary projector, but its small footprint makes it perfect for use as a portable projector when traveling, attending gatherings, or giving presentations on-site.

With its usual HDMI and USB ports, the Luma 150 can cast content wirelessly from Apple, Android, or Windows devices. Its 60 ANSI lumens and low 1,000: 1 dynamic range means it projects images into small and dark rooms, but its compact size and tripod mount make it useful for larger venues too. It’s not perfect, though – if you want a bright, high-quality projector, there are better options out there.

Some  product details

  • DESIGNED FOR EASY PORTABILITY | Includes Built-In Speaker & Sleek Illuminated Onboard Controls So You Can Watch & Listen On Demand| Powers Via Rechargeable Battery Up to 2.5 Hrs.

  • STUNNING 16:9 PROJECTION | Device Boasts 60 Ansi lumen brightness LED Lamp, 854 x 480 Resolution, Supports 4K Resolution & 1000:1 Contrast Ratio for Crystal Clear Widescreen Imaging; Watch HD Video, Play 4K Games & Share Family Photographs w/ Brilliant Color & Clarity

  • THE ULTIMATE MULTIMEDIA COMPANION | Tiny Projector Makes a Wonderful Gift Idea Note: Copyrighted content from Hulu, Netflix, and similar services CAN NOT be mirrored or screencast. Mirroring and screencast can be used to display non-copyrighted content downloaded on an external device. Or, such copyrighted content can be viewed by plugging in an external streaming device, such as a Firestick or Roku.

What we like
  • Extremely portable and easily carried
  • They feel modern and premium.
  • Wireless casting from smart devices
What we dislike
  • 480p resolution is too low for most people to watch comfortably
  • Low 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • It doesn't look very bright at 60 ANSI lumens.
Brief analysis

The Anker Nebula capsule max is an excellent choice for those who love watching movies and television shows on their big-screen TVs. With the help of Google Play Movies & TV, you can stream any movie or show right from the projector without having to connect any additional devices. The only thing you'll need is the Anker Nebula Capsule MAX mobile application, which works just like the one used on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Once installed, you can access the same content you would find on your phone or computer via the mobile version of Google Play Movies & Television. You won't need to download any files onto the projector; everything happens automatically through the cloud.

Another benefit of the Nebulon Capsule Max project is that it's small. Small enough to fit inside your pocket, this projector offers great portability and convenience. However, the Anker doesn't offer much in the way of brightness or longevity. With only 4 hours of runtime, it'll require frequent charging. And because it's so small, it won't provide much light in dark rooms.

Some product details

  • Ideal in the Home: Stay entertained at home with this mini-projector’s 100-inch image. Watch movies, take online classes, or keep the kids entertained with hours of cartoons and educational videos. The possibilities are endless.

  • Smart OS: Download and stream YouTube, Netflix,and more from Nebula Manager Store. Use the Nebula Connect app on your phone to control Netflix on the mini-projector.

  • NOTE: Copyrighted content from Netflix, and similar services CAN NOT be mirrored or screencast. Download and use the apps directly through Capsule Max movie projector to view copyrighted content from these providers. Chromecast is not supported. For peak performance, please update to the latest firmware.

What we like
  • Can run Android apps without an emulator
  • 720p projection resolution
What we dislike
  • You'll need a dark room with at least 200 ANSI lumens.
  • At 400:1, low contrast ratio means the black text
  • Four hours of power
Philips NeoPix Easy Projector

Best Budget: Philips NeoPix Easy Projector

Editor's Rating: 8.4 Brand: PHILIPS Check Price ❯
Brief analysis

The NeoPix Easy is not meant to be used as a movie theater experience. It doesn’t offer full 1080p or 4K resolutions, nor does it feature any kind of HDR technology. You can connect your phone via microSD card slot or USB port, but the maximum video size is just 2GB. And yes, that means no UHD Blu-ray discs either. For those reasons alone, the NeoPix Easy should be avoided. But if you do decide to buy one anyway, make sure you know how to set it up properly before plugging it into your television. Otherwise, you might end up spending hours trying to figure out why nothing comes through.

There isn't an AV port on the Philips NEO PIX EASY but there is an AV adaptor included so you will still be capable of using an AV source if that's what you prefer.

The 40 ANSI Lumens might not be ideal for media fans who want bright projections, but they do offer decent contrast ratios and a good 3.5mm audio out port.

Some product details

  • Vivid Display: Up to 80" display in 480p, 800x480 resolution.

  • Perfect for your bedroom: LED light source lasts over 20,000 hours. Image Adjustments: focus and keystone correction

  • Easy Connection: Connect all your compatible devices to your NeoPix projector via HDMI.

What we like
  • Supports HDMI, VGA, Micro SD, and USB input ports.
  • You can use 3.5mm audio outputs for headphones and speaker systems.
  • A solid contrast ratio of 3000:1
What we dislike
  • The 480p resolution is really disappointing
  • There is no support for VGA connections.
  • No wireless functionality

How to choose Cheap Projectors?


Brightnesses play a role when it comes to projectors. Projectors get their brightest when they’re projected onto a white surface. If you plan on using your projection system in bright rooms or from long distances, then the brighter the projection gets, the better. However, if you plan on using your system near the screen or in dark rooms, then the brighter the projections get, the less useful it will be.

Projectors measure brightness (in Lumen) and not luminous flux (Lux). A lumen is a unit of luminous intensity, defined as the amount of visible radiation emitted per second by a source whose total power output is one candela. One lux is equal to 1 lumen per square meter. Thus, if your projection system can produce 1,500 lum/m2, then it produces 1500 LUX.

Contrast Ratio

A high contrast ratio means that there are more details in the image, which makes it look more realistic. It’s good for TV and projector screens because it creates an immersive viewing experience.

Especially when using home projectors in dark rooms, the difference between black and white is more noticeable than in brighter rooms.

It’d be wrong to assume that a projector with a 5000:1 (or even 2000:1) CR is twice as good as one whose CR is 2500:1. After all, the CR only tells us about the extreme values—it doesn’t tell us anything about the colors and graying in between the brightest whites/blackest blacks.

A good number for the brightness of the image is between 1000:1 and 2000:1. Higher numbers usually come with a higher price tag.


Projectors can vary wildly in quality, so if you’re buying a new one, make sure to check out our guide to choosing the right one. We’ll help you pick between LCD, DLP, and LED projectors, plus find out what features matter most to you. You may not get a super high-res image out of a cheapie, but you should be able to watch movies without any major problems.


How much should a projector cost?

Because projectors can range widely in price, there are some that are cheaper than others. However, most people consider them to be less expensive than others.

A projector’s manufacturer or brand usually affects its cost, but the most important factor affecting its cost is its quality. For instance, a projector that has to be operated in low light conditions and that shows only a 480p picture may cost $80 while one that projects images at a high definition (HD) level and that can show a crisp, crystal-clear picture even when viewed in daylight costs anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000.

How many lumens do you need in a projector?

A lumen is a unit of luminous flux, equal to one candela per square meter (cd/m2). In general, the higher the lumen rating, the brighter the projected image. However, not all projectable images require high lumen ratings. For example, a simple slide presentation might only require 100 lumens, whereas a full-blown movie requires thousands of lumens.

What is the throw ratio on a projector?

The throw rate is the amount of light projected onto a surface per unit area. In general, the higher the throw rate, the brighter the picture. However, the throw rate can also affect how much light reaches your eyes. A low throw rate may cause bright spots on the projection surface because not enough light hits your eye. High throw rates may cause dark shadows due to too much light hitting your eye.

Useful guide Projector: Several Things You Need To Know Before Buying One

About Alysson Emard

Alysson Emard was born in South Africa, grew up in Texas, and attended Pomona College. He has spent more than a decade covering the technology industry from San Francisco and is a noted Silicon Valley historian.

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