Home entertainment has a huge market in the world today. With the numerous streaming services, an innumerable number of channels, and millions of different things to watch, consumers typically like to think that the bigger the screen to watch it on, the better. But what if someone wants an even bigger display than the typical big-screen television options that exist? Home projectors have become quite common, especially in homes that have created a nice theater setup. Just like televisions, there are tons of different projector options to choose from that vary widely in price.
Are cheap home projectors any good? Depending on one’s definition of “cheap,” there are many options on the lower end of the pricing spectrum of projectors that are worth it for the price.
The research surrounding projectors has shown that if a customer buys the absolute cheapest options, they may be satisfied by the result. Reviews on Amazon serve to prove that. But only if they have not had experiences with higher-end projectors to compare the cheaper ones to. Like most products in the marketplace, you get what you pay for. If you buy the cheapest projector, it will work, and it will project the picture onto your wall or screen. It just depends on the quality you may be seeking. Higher-end projectors will display a higher quality picture.
Cheap vs. Not Cheap
In the world of technology, the insurmountable number of different options for one type of device is astounding. From cell phones to televisions to automobile technology to smart devices, the options are endless and have consistently proven that spending more money will provide you with a better product. And this doesn’t just apply to technological devices; it applies to most products on the market.
When it comes to projectors that can be used in the home, this sentiment is no different. There are plenty of cheaper options as low as $80 that exist and have been considered effective projectors that do exactly what they advertise. The issue that has been presented with some of the cheap projectors is the advertisement will not be completely accurate.
Each projector advertises a number of lumens, just like a lightbulb, which is considered the projector’s output. These products have third party testing that has determined that not every cheap projector has an accurate lumen rating. That’s okay unless a consumer needs the projector to hold true to their lumen rating. And this isn’t the case for every cheap projector either. We will cover some of the best options in this article so that you can make a purchase that leaves you satisfied in the end, without having to spend a ton of money.
Pricing For Higher End
The higher end of the projector spectrum rings in around $10,000. Depending on how often a projector is used and what it is used for (along with one’s budget), these options may be acceptable if they’re being used every day. Furthermore, these high-end projectors are typically going to be used in a business setting as opposed to being used in the home.
There are also mini projectors available on the market, which I will also take time to cover in this article. It all depends on the use of the projector and the size of the area for the projection. If the surface area is significantly smaller than an entire, large wall in the home, mini projectors can also be a great option to use in the home.
How Do I Know Which Options are Best?
It can be difficult to navigate products out there, especially when you’re trying to save money while still purchasing a legitimate product. We want to give you the options that will be the best bang for your buck, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing a projector that won’t give you what you need. The following projectors have proven to be affordable, effective, and enjoyable.
This option will get you a great projector for under $500. This option even has 3D handling capabilities. It has two HDMI inputs along with a USB port, so watching whatever you choose in high definition is of no issue with this projector. The HD143X is this projector’s predecessor, and it was already a great option as far as affordable projectors go.
The 146X has served to create a new, updated model with better functionality, better color quality, and better contrast ratio. A maximum screen size for this model is 120 inches, so you get to have a sizeable projection for viewing. It’s 3D content projects wonderfully, and the 2D projections are quite crisp as well.
You can learn more about the Optoma HD146X, as well as its additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
Some critics believe this to be the best cheap projector on the market. Although subjective, it does give a viewer exactly what they need when projecting their content. This projector also supports 3D projection (with external glasses), and it also provides an immersive quality when watching. This projector has high color quality with integrated speakers and 10,000 hours of bulb life, which is great because the bulb itself is a little pricey to replace.
BenQ is also considered one of the top brands when it comes to home projectors, so even models on the lower end of the pricing spectrum will hold up to the competition. It even has the capability of automated adjustments, no matter the projection surface, without compromising the picture quality.
You can learn more about the BenQ TH670, as well as its additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
When it comes to the lowest cost projectors that supply basic view needs, the Elephas 2020 is the way to go. Priced about $80 on Amazon, this model can be a substitute for a smart TV. It provides simple interfacing with other devices around your home and can be a great answer for in-home projecting.
The 2020 is a great option for portability as well. This projector weighs less than one pound and also provides 50,000 hours of life in its bulb. It’s also simple to set up and power-efficient. It’s been a popular option for consumers looking for one of the cheapest projectors that will actually work well regardless of the price. Since it is one of the cheaper options, the two cons that come along with this unit are poor picture quality if the room isn’t dark enough, and it’s not great for commercial presentation use. But if it’s an in-home projector you seek that will be set up in a room that can be made dark at any time, this is a great option.
You can learn more about the Elephas 2020, as well as its additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
This model features a combination between LCD and DLP for more accurate color. And although it’s one of the heavier options on this list, it’s hailed as one of the best projectors of all time. It came out a few years back, and when it did, it was considered one of the more advanced in-home projectors one could purchase. To this day, it still is. It also comes with an intelligent sleep mode that allows you to turn off the projection without having to turn off the projector itself.
The only slight downside to this model is its resolution rate. At 800×600, it’s considered to have a little bit lower resolution compared to other projectors that exist in the marketplace. So, if you aren’t looking for the highest quality picture that money can buy, then this projector will certainly be suitable for your needs. Ringing in under $300, this projector is not a bad option for projecting in the home. Epson has also been one of the more well-known name brands in regard to projectors because their products are reliable, affordable, and simple to use.
You can learn more about the Epson VS250, as well as its additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
Not only is the Crenova XPE460 another lightweight option weighing in under three pounds, but it also includes 1080p resolution. So, when it comes to cheap projectors that include excellent, high-resolution pictures, this is a great option. It includes enhanced LED light technology to help produce the best picture possible for the device’s abilities. This projector has numerous customization options to give you the best experience, and also has a gaming mode with negligible input lag.
The XPE460 is considered a number one bestseller on Amazon, and rightly so. The quality of product that Crenova has provided with an incredibly low price makes this projector a great option. You can find these for less than $100, so they are definitely on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. Although it is a great option, projectors priced this low will typically have one or two downsides that come with it. First, it will always have to be a dark room, similar to the Elephas. But another aspect to consider is that this projector does not include integrated speakers. So, although you can get a great projector for a cheap price, if you want sound, then some speakers may need to be added to the list.
Being a great projector for viewing purposes, the XPE460 also comes highly recommended for the gamers out there as well.
You can learn more about the Crenova XPE460, as well as its additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
In contrast to our options that require a dark room for viewing, the PA503W rings in at 3300 lumens to give you a spectacularly bright picture no matter the setting. This projector also includes Blu-ray ready 3D support that makes interfacing not only simple but fast. It even has an integrated subwoofer in addition to its stereo speakers.
When it comes to great price and interface control, this may be the option for you. And it has great sound due to its well-designed speaker chamber and additional subwoofer. The PA503W appears on numerous lists that describe the best in-home projectors for the lowest price. This projector also provides hassle-free cable management, which can be a great selling point for plenty of people in the market for a projection device for their home.
There are tons of other projector options that exist on the cheap end of the spectrum. But these are six of the options that have been deemed the best quality for the price. The characteristics that they possess will hopefully serve to make an educated purchase that will leave you pleased with the outcome.
You can learn more about the ViewSonic PA503W, as well as its additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
What About Mini Projectors?
Just like every other piece of technology available to consumers, projectors are also shrinking. The more devices evolve, the smaller and more portable they become. But the downsizing of projectors to a transportable size is still a somewhat new development in the world of technology. So, the question now is whether mini projectors are worth the money. Since there are options that are super low on the pricing spectrum, it may be acceptable to at least experiment with options to see if they’re worth the purchase.
Luckily, we have some amazing people who have done our homework for us. The most common thought on mini projectors is that they can’t quite replace normal in-home projectors. At least not yet. In time, the technology will continue to evolve, and the smaller options will do a better job producing high-quality images on larger surfaces. But if the projection surface is smaller and you want the option of taking it on the go for portable viewing, then a mini projector can still be a valid option.
Let’s take a look at some pros and cons for mini projectors, along with the different types that have been made available.
- Size: First and foremost, size. The small size is seen as the greatest benefit. You can essentially take a mini projector anywhere without it taking up much space in your bag at all. Some options even allow you to project movies or videos while traveling.
- Set-up Simplicity: Setting up a mini projector is even easier than setting up a full size one. Many options also have a port to plug in a smart phone for direct projecting from your device. Most small projectors also run on batteries, which is a great feature if a power source isn’t nearby.
- Built-in Sound & Hard Drive: Although these features aren’t the most amazing in the world of projectors, they are still completely functional and serve a purpose. The sound input won’t be v loud, but as the technology evolves, this will improve. And most hard drives on a mini projector will be around 2 GB, but again this will see an improvement over time.
- Brightness: Most of the micro projectors that currently exist don’t have an immensely bright output. But this is a feature that is starting to see improvement and will continue to do so over time. Most minis have an output around 100 lumens, but newer models are starting to see outputs of up to 1,000 lumens.
- Limited Features: Due to their small size, the evolution of features in micro projectors is still catching up. With a small size comes limited space for plug-in ports, but I think this will see improvement as new models are designed. 3D capabilities and wireless connectivity are even making their way into the world of mini projectors.
- Low Resolution: Unfortunately, an affordable mini projector that provides an HD picture just isn’t on the market quite yet. In time, it will be available for a cheaper price. But for now, the lower resolution options are what exist for a cheaper price. They still project a decent, visible picture. But the high-quality resolutions will have to wait.
- Cost: This is probably the biggest downside of mini projectors. Yes, they’re great due to their portable size and simplicity of use. But for a decent mini projector that actually provides a quality picture, you may be in the ballpark of $200. So, this brings us back to the portable nature of mini projectors. For the cost, if you’re planning on doing some traveling with your projector, then you may be able to justify purchasing one.
The world of mini projectors is one that is still continuing to progress. They can be seen as a viable option for some consumers, yes, especially when it comes to size and portability. But weighing your options with these is important, as some of them end up costing more than some of the normal-sized projectors on our list. As we’ve mentioned, this is technology that is going to continue evolving and getting better. Smaller sizes, better features, vibrant displays, and greater functionality will come along in time, making micro projectors another great option.
You can learn more about the current best selling mini projectors, as well as additional specs, features, and reviews right here on Amazon.
Cheap in-home projectors have tons of different options to choose from. But sometimes cheaper options can leave a consumer feeling like they may have gotten ripped off if the product doesn’t stand up to the competition. Luckily there are some excellent options that exist that won’t break the bank and can provide exactly what you’re looking for in a projector. I have laid out some of the more popular, well-reviewed options and taken a look at the pros and cons of the mini sizes.
Hopefully, I have provided enough information to make an educated purchase should you choose to have a projector for in-home use. The various features that each option provides gives a buyer the opportunity to choose a projector that will best suit their needs.