Best Projector Under 500 – See our #1 Pick

best projector under 500

Projecting movies onto large surfaces can be an expensive proposition, especially if you’re planning on doing so regularly. With a good quality screen, however, you can enjoy watching movies without breaking the bank. A great option for those who plan on showing off their favorite films often, these projectors offer high brightness levels and excellent contrast ratios. They also come equipped with built-in speakers, so you’ll get a full surround sound experience. Best of all, they’re easy to set up and operate, meaning you can start enjoying your favorite movies right away.

Quick Comparison

Image Product
 XGIMI MoGo Pro Portable Projector Best Overall: XGIMI MoGo Pro Portable Projector
Editor's Rating: 9.7 Brand: XGIMI Check Price
 LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater Projector (Renewed) Best Sustainable: LG PF50KA Portable Full HD LED Smart Home Theater Projector (Renewed)
Editor's Rating: 9.6 Brand: LG Check Price
 FATORK 5G WiFi Smart Portable Mini DLP Projector Best Budget: FATORK 5G WiFi Smart Portable Mini DLP Projector
Editor's Rating: 9.5 Brand: FATORK Check Price
BenQ WXGA Business Projector Best for Offices: BenQ WXGA Business Projector
Editor's Rating: 9.3 Brand: BenQ Check Price
Epson Home Cinema 880 Best for Home Theater: Epson Home Cinema 880
Editor's Rating: 9 Brand: Epson Check Price

Best Projector Under 500 for 2022

Brief analysis

If you could create a projector that was smaller than an iPhone, would it be able to display high-quality images? The XGMI Mogo Pro has a powerful built-in laser light source and an impressive array of features.

Within this tiny projector’s screen, there s a full Android TV, including OK Google, Google Play, and Chromecast. From this, you can watch Disney+, Prime Video, and lots more. Well, except for Netflix, which admittedly is quite a letdown. The built-in power lasts from 2 to 3 hours depending on how much you’re watching, so it should last long enough to show off a lot of films. You can also charge it while it's plugged in, and if you do, it will automatically switch into standby mode once it's done. It does’ t skimp out on audio either, with sounds by Harman Kardon. If you want even better immersion, you can easily connect it to a Bluetooth speaker or surround system. The rest speaks for themselves. XGMI Moogo focuses no matter where you point the projector, for the best image no matter where you‘re seated in the room. The lag is low enough to even handle light gaming. And while it's possible to play your own files through USB, you won‘t be able to operate them with the remote. Aside from that, it's one of the best projects under 500 dollars.

Some product details

  • Harman Kardon Sound: Phenomenal audio powered by two 3W built-in Harman Kardon speakers. You can also wirelessly connect soundbars and Bluetooth headphones

  • 1080p Image with 300 ANSI Lumens: An advanced DLP lamp delivers FHD resolution and 300 ANSI lumens, helping you enjoy vivid colors on a giant 100-inch screen.

  • Auto Keystone Correction: Autofocus and 40° Auto Keystone Correction ensure a perfect aspect ratio from almost any angle.

What we like
  • Portable and powerful
  • Complete 3-in-one Android TV backend
  • Audio by Harman Kardon
What we dislike
  • When playing files from USB, remote unresponsive when playing files.
  • No Netflix
Brief analysis

If you're looking to save some cash, consider buying an older projector instead of a new one. Refurbished projectors don't just save old technology from landfill; they let you access great technology at a lower cost.

The design is as good as you'd expect from an LG product and is glossy and eye catchy enough to hang on the wall. With the LG SmartTV back end, tapping into all your favorite content on a plethora of streaming destinations, with the remote makes surfin' from one platform to the other a total breeze. LG portable full HD LED Smart Home Theater Projectors are great alone but play nicely with others including all manners of Bluetooth gadgets like soundbars and smartphones aside from iPhones and iPads and any other Mac device too. Only android and windows device works here if you wanna hook them wirelessly. The possibilities are endless with a USB-c port that allow for super-fast file transfers and display from streaming and gaming device alike.

Why do we choose it?

Get a new LG PF50KA projector for less than $1000 so you can enjoy the theater-level video at home.

Some product details

  • Full HD (1920 x 1080) Resolution at up to 100" screen Size

  • Built in battery (up to 2.5 hours battery life- Battery life and playback time vary by use and settings)

  • LG Smart TV (webOS 3.5) enabled. Power Consumption 65Watts (Max)

  • Wireless screen Share connection

  • USB Type-C connection and Bluetooth sound Out

  • Up to 600 ANSI lumens brightness

  • Resolution: 1080p. Configure the projector and PC on the same network. Also configure the network on the PC installed with Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10

What we like
  • Super easy to use!
  • Plays well with accessories via Bluetooth
  • Plug and Play Capabilities
What we dislike
  • Only compatible with Windows and Android devices
Brief analysis

If you could pack all the performances of a theater-quality projection system into a small box, the Fatork would be one of the best options out there.

Considering its large dimensions, it is incredibly portable, for movie viewing at friends' houses, campsites, and even small apartments. In place of LED, this device employs a DLP projector, limiting light losses through mirrors for remarkably bright images. It supports Wi-Fi, meaning you can get to high speeds when it concerns streaming. This incorporates displaying smartphones. How cool would it be to watch "Fortnite" on a huge 114-inch display? Very low latency ensures you'll not lose out on any pace for top quality. Rather than having a built-in streaming option, this unit features a USB port and Bluetooth speakers. A cheap streaming stick and Bluetooth speaker package makes this one an ideal choice, particularly given its affordable cost. And you cannot overlook how portable it is. For more choices, check out our recommendations for the best portable projectors

Why do we choose it?

FATORK has an amazing feature set for its size. It's smaller than most projectors but packs a lot of punch!

Some product details

  • 【PORTABLE & AUTOMATIC KEYSTONE CORRECTION】:With a design more minor than the size of a soda can, this mini projector allows you to enjoy your favorite movies anywhere at home.This wireless projector has a built-in rechargeable battery, which can provide 2.5 hours of video on 1 charge, meeting outdoor needs. This pocket projector supports automatic vertical ±40° keystone correction, which helps to correct the image quickly.

  • 【CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPPORT】: FATORK has always been committed to providing excellent pocket projectors and 100% satisfied customer service. We provide 12 months of professional after-sales service and permanent professional technical support. If you have some problem, please contact us on Amazon, and we will try our best to solve it for you within 24 hours.

  • 【CLARITY & SHORT FOCAL DISTANCE】:DLP projectors provide better light efficiency and color control with bright 150 ANSI lumen images. (Recommended for use in darker environments.) Enjoy a brighter and clearer image than LCD projectors. This projector can project up to 114" (10-100" recommended) at a projection distance of 1.64 ft to 9.85 ft.

What we like
  • Unfathomably portable
  • Supports 5G wireless
  • Gaming at low latencies is important because it helps you play
What we dislike
  • Lackluster audio
  • No streaming backend
Brief analysis

If you want to give an interesting presentation, then use a projector that has the good image quality and doesn't cost too much.

With 4,000 lux, everything from pie charts and images to presentations will light up, with three different lighting options designed for viewing, creating, and sharing. Whatever your choice, BenQ Business Projection Conserves Up To 70% Of Its Energy For A Lamp That Is Made To Last. It Will Even Shut Off After 20 Minutes In Case You Forget To Switch It Off. Aside From Being Eco Smart, It’s  Incredibly Durable And Even Damp Proof Even After Years Of Regular Usage. While It May Not Be Best For Home Theater Systems, It’s  Truly Designed For Both Home And Professional Office Uses, With Both HDMI And VGA Ports. There Are Even USB Type-A And USB Type-B Ports, As Well As Old Timey Standard Input Like You Would Find On A 1990s Television. There’s simply no Competing With The Input Versatility. No Matter Which Input You Choose, This Projector Is Fast, And The Picture Output Is Incredible Good. Like Many Other Projectors, It Has Less Than Great Audio Capabilities But That’ S Not Terribly Surprising Given It’s  Designed For Professional Settings.

Why do we choose it?

It’s compatible with new and old PCs, and is even energy efficient

It’s compatible with new and old PCs, and is even energy efficient.

Some product details

  • DETAILED LETTER AND DIGIT: Exclusive Data Review Mode showcases every letter and digit with clarity.

  • GOING GREEN AND ECONOMICAL: SmartEco Mode saves lamp power up to 70%

  • EASY SETUP AND ALIGNMENT: Ergonomic retractable foot and auto vertical keystone for easy setup and fast image alignment.

What we like
  • Durable and dust-resistant
  • Eco mode saves electricity and extends lamp life.
  • New and legacy inputs
What we dislike
  • Lousy audio
Brief analysis

It’s called the Epson Home Cinema C880, and it’s a great projector for a good price.

Not only does the new Sony Xperia 1 offer top notch hardware specs, but it also comes with premium features such as IP68 water resistance, a fingerprint sensor, and a 5x optical zoom camera. It’ll run on Android 9 Pie out of the box, and can take advantage of Google Assistant. You can charge it wirelessly, thanks to Qi wireless charging. And if you really want to go all out, you can get the $1,000 version that includes a 4K HDR display. But if you just want a smartphone that offers solid performance, great battery life, and a sleek design, then the Xperia 1 should definitely be considered.

Why do we choose it?

With its big, bright, and vibrant images, the Epson Home Cinema 880 Projector is perfect for any room in the house.

Some product details

  • Stunning picture quality — provides stunning, detailed 1080p images and fast data processing that’s optimized for fast-action sports, gaming and more

  • Built-in picture skew sensor — automatically analyzes the picture and instantly corrects the keystone for a square image

  • Dynamic contrast ratio — up to 16,000:1 for rich detail in dark scenes

What we like
  • Cinema-quality picture
  • Exceptional color, brightness, and contrast
  • Supports HDCP 2.2/3.0 compliant displays
What we dislike
  • No streaming backend included

How to choose the best projector under 500

Projection screens are expensive. They start around $1,000 and go up from there depending on size and quality. However, if you’re only planning on watching movies occasionally, then a small portable TV might work just fine. You’ll save money on electricity, too.

Picture Quality

One of the obvious compromises that you will have to face for a cheaper projector is image clarity and resolution. In new TVs, computers, and of course, high-end projects, 4K is the norm. Some projects even go further with 8k resolution. At this cost level, you’ll have to settle for 1080P. I would not settle for anything lower. Not us!

Screen Size

You can find a number of inexpensive projects with high resolution, such as the one we chose. But if you’re willing to spend a little more money, you’ll get better image clarity and color fidelity. For example, our 1080p projector has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. That means that each pixel is about 0.5 millimeters wide. A 4K projector would have a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, meaning that each pixel would be about 1/3 millimeter wide. While not quite as crisp, the higher resolution would allow you to see finer details.


Projectors shouldn’t be more complicated to set up than TVs. Focusing on the image needs to be simple, if not completely automatic. A built-in streaming backend is also great. Especially if it can support every popular service like Netflix and Prime Video, along with Airplay and Chromecast. Many projectors come with remote controls, which should be responsive, and easy to navigate.


Projectors shouldn’t be any harder to operate than TVs. Focus on the picture should be simple, if not completely automatic. A built-in streamer backend is also fantastic, particularly if it supports every popular location like Netflix and Amazon Prime. An integrated wireless connection capability is also wonderful, especially if it includes every popular source like Apple TV and Google Cast. Many units include remote controls, which should be responsive plus straightforward to utilize.


Q: How much do projectors under $500 typically cost?

A good quality projector under $500 usually costs between $300 and $500. If you want to buy one, check out our guide on how to get rid of old electronics for recycling.

Q: Which brand is best for projectors?

For projector brands, including Epson, LG, or XGMI.

Q: How many lumens should a projector have?

To achieve the highest quality pictures for a home theater setup, you need an HDTV with at least 1,500 ANSI lumen­s. If you’re using regular lumen­s instead, you might be able to get by with fewer.

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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