Best Projector under £500 – The Complete Guide for 2020

You don’t need to spend a ton of cash to get yourself a reliable projector. Whilst it might seem like a product you need to spend a good amount on, the quality of cheaper models have increase quite a lot over the past few years. In fact, nowadays you can get yourself a high quality projector for less than £500.

But, you do need to know what to look for in a projector to make sure that you ge the right model for you. There are different kinds of projector, with different levels of brightness and resolution. Here are some of the best projectors you can purchase with a mid range budget.

Best Projector under £500

ProductImageLumensGet More Info
Optoma HD143XOptoma HD143X HDMI 3000 ANSI Lumens Projector - Black3000Find Best Price
Epson EB-X41Epson EB-X41 3LCD, 3600 Lumens, 300 Inch Display, XGA Projector - White3600Find Best Price
Anker Nebula Capsule MaxAnker Nebula Capsule Max, Pint-Sized Wi-Fi Mini Projector, 200 ANSI Lumen Portable Projector, Native 720p HD, 8W Speaker, Movie Projector, 100 Inch Picture, 4-Hour Video Playtime, Home Entertainment200Find Best Price
ViewSonic PX701HDViewSonic PX701HD Full HD Home Cinema and Business Projector (3500 Lumens, 1080p, DLP, Dual HDMI, 3X Fast Input, SuperColour Technology, 10 W Speakers), White3500Find Best Price
Vamvo L6200Projector, Vamvo L6200 Native 1080P Full HD Video Projector 6000 Lux with Dolby, Max 300” Display, Compatible with HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, TV Stick, PS4 for Home Cinema PPT Business Presentation6000Find Best Price
LG CineBeam PF50KSLG CineBeam PF50KS Projector (Full HD 1920 x 1080, Battery, 600 lumen, LED, Portable, HDMI, USB-C, USB)600Find Best Price
Anker Nebula CapsuleNEBULA Anker Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector, Black, 100 ANSI Lumen Portable Projector, 360° Speaker, Movie Projector, 100 Inch Picture, 4-Hour Video Playtime, Neat Projector, Home Entertainment100Find Best Price

Optoma HD143X

Optoma HD143X HDMI 3000 ANSI Lumens Projector - Black

Weight: 2.5kg | Stated Lumens: 3000 | Display Type: DLP | Lamp Life: 12,000 hours | Contrast Ratio: 23000:1 | Resolution: 1080p | Connectivity: 2x HDMI, MHL, USB | Warranty: 1 year

The Optoma HD143X is undoubtedly one of the best projectors out there that’s less than £500. It’s a great all-rounder, and it’s the perfect addition for any home.

One of the main reasons that I recommend this projector is that it has an audio speaker built into it. But that’s not all. Not only does it have an audio speaker built in, but it;’s actually of a really good quality! The typical projector that has audio built-in is generally very tinny and poor quality. So, it’s great to find a projector with a high quality sound, and it’ll save you having to purchase an extra speaker too.

Another one of the key reasons why this projector is a great choice is because it minimizes any lag between the screen and the projector. This means that if you want to play games with it, then you’ll be able to without having to worry about any delay. It has a specific gaming mode just for this, but it’s also perfect for movie night too.

This projector is also a good choice for those looking for a projector with a lot of connection options. It has 2 separate HDMI ports that you can use, as well as a USB connection and an MHL connection port too, which allows you to play things from your smartphone very easily.

The downsides of this model? Well, it weighs around 2.5kg, so whilst it isn’t that heavy, it’s not the best in terms of portability. But if this isn’t an issue for you, then I’d recommend this as one of the best projectors under £500 on the market.

Epson EB-X41

Epson EB-X41 3LCD, 3600 Lumens, 300 Inch Display, XGA Projector - White

Weight: 2.8kg | Stated Lumens: 3600 | Display Type: LCD | Lamp Life: 9,500 hours | Contrast Ratio: 15000:1 | Resolution: 768p | Connectivity: HDMI, USB | Warranty: 2 year

Another one of the best options out there is the Epson EB-X41, which comes with a strong 2 year warranty and a ton of good features.

The EB-X41 is one of the brightest projectors you can find within this sort of price range. So, if you’re looking to project films in the early evening before it’s really dark, then this is a much better choice. You’re going to want at least a dimmed room for pretty much any projector, but this model holds up well in the daylight.

How can it produce this brightness? Well, it’s actually an LCD design, which is a little bit different to the other types of projectors listed. An LCD projector can also help to produce some very vibrant colours, but they’re typically more expensive than DLP projectors, which just shows how good of a deal this one is.

The 3LD tech that this projector uses also makes it a very good choice if you’re looking to project a bigger screen. The increase brightness makes it suitable for 120+ inch screens, more so than the other projectors that I’ve listed here. It also means you won’t experience the rainbow effect on your screen either.

This is another strong contender for the best projector of this price. It’s a reasonable price when you consider it’s power, and it’s perfect if you want something for both films and presentations too.

Anker Nebula Capsule Max

Anker Nebula Capsule Max, Pint-Sized Wi-Fi Mini Projector, 200 ANSI Lumen Portable Projector, Native 720p HD, 8W Speaker, Movie Projector, 100 Inch Picture, 4-Hour Video Playtime, Home Entertainment

Weight: 0.7kg | Stated Lumens: 200 | Display Type: DLP | Lamp Life: 30,000 hours | Contrast Ratio: 400:1 | Resolution: 720p | Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Wifi, Bluetooth | Warranty: 1 year

Not everyone wants a projector that weighs several kilograms and is difficult to carry around with you. If you’re looking for something portable, then one of the best options for this is the Anker Nebula Capsule, with the max being one of the top models under £500.

As you can see, this model has a drastically different design to the other models that are on this list. Thankfully due to the DLP technology that this device used, it’s capable of fitting a lot of power into a relatively small device. It weighs significantly less than a kilo, and it’s design makes it fit easily into any backpack.

Although it’s very compact, it still manages to not only produce a great picture, but also a good quality sound too. This is important, as it means that you don’t need to carry a speaker around with you as well as the projector itself. The 8 watt speaker is more than enough to produce some awesome sounds and give you a full experience.

But the best thing about this projector, and what sets it apart from many others out there, is it’s connectivity. You can connect and play movies on this device via both USB or with a HDMI cable. But, you can also connect to it with a Bluetooth device too, and via wifi with a Chromecast connection too.

Bear in mind that this projector isn’t one of the brightest out there, so it’s best used in the late evening or preferably when it’s completely dark. But if you’re looking for a projector that you can carry around with your anywhere, then this is undoubtedly one of the best projectors you can find.

ViewSonic PX701HD

ViewSonic PX701HD Full HD Home Cinema and Business Projector (3500 Lumens, 1080p, DLP, Dual HDMI, 3X Fast Input, SuperColour Technology, 10 W Speakers), White

Weight: 2.6kg | Stated Lumens: 3500 | Display Type: DLP | Lamp Life: 20,000 hours | Contrast Ratio: 12000:1 | Resolution: 1080p | Connectivity: 2x HDMI, MHL, USB | Warranty: 1 year

Another competent contender is the ViewSonic PX701HD. It’s a solid projector which has a good level of brightness, and could be the perfect addition to your home.

Due to it’s brightness, this model can still produce some perfect colours in the daytime as well as the nighttime. So if you’re looking for a projector to use all day and all night, this is going to be a good fit. Although it’s a DLP, it still produces some of the best colours you’ll get from any projectors.

This projector also has 7 different colour modes that are built into the device. So, you can browse through and see which one of them you want to use. It has a separate mode for gaming (which needs a fast response rate and latency), sports and a different mode for movies too.

As well as these different modes, it also has an eco mode you can use too. With this, you could get more than 20,000 hours of use out of the lamp it uses. Plus, this can help you to minimze your maintenance costs with the device too.

In addition to this, I’ve got to mentioned that the sound quality of this model is pretty good too. So, this is another projector which provides pretty great value for money, and could go head to head with much more expensive projectors out there.

Vamvo L6200

Projector, Vamvo L6200 Native 1080P Full HD Video Projector 6000 Lux with Dolby, Max 300” Display, Compatible with HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, TV Stick, PS4 for Home Cinema PPT Business Presentation

Weight: 2.6kg | Stated Lumens: 6000 | Display Type: LCD | Lamp Life: 12,000 hours | Contrast Ratio: 5000:1 | Resolution: 1080p | Connectivity: 2xHDMI, VGA, USB, AV, SD | Warranty: 2 year

Finding a bright projector to use during the daytimes is never easy. it’s even more difficult if you’re trying to find one on a tight budget! But, I think I’ve found a decent model in this Vamvo L6200.

This projector is great for using during both the day and the night too, as it’s bright enough that it’s able to be seen pretty clearly in daylight. It uses LCD technology as well, and it works well for those looking for a 120+ inch screen instead of just a typical short throw projector. So whilst it’s going to give the best image at 100 or so inches, you can easily use it at 20 or 300 inches too.

It can produce a high quality 1080p image, and even though the lamps are bright, they tend to have a long lifespan too. Whilst you don’t need to use an extra speaker, you easily could use it in tandem with them in-built speaker the L6200 has, which gives a decent enough sound.

You can connect to this projector in a variety of different ways, with dual HDMI ports and dual USB ports. This model doesn’t have any battery built in, which is one of the reasons why it’s so cheap. So, you’ll need to plug it in to use it properly.

It’s another very good projector, and an ideal choice for those looking for something relatively cheap when you consider it’s quality.

LG CineBeam PF50KS

LG CineBeam PF50KS Projector (Full HD 1920 x 1080, Battery, 600 lumen, LED, Portable, HDMI, USB-C, USB)

Weight: 1kg | Stated Lumens: 600 | Display Type: LED | Lamp Life: 30,000 hours | Contrast Ratio: 100000:1 | Resolution: 1080p | Connectivity: 2x HDMI, MHL, USB | Warranty: 1 year

If you’re looking for a lightweight projector that has a very high contrast ratio, then the Cinebeam PF50KS is definitely worth checking out. It can give you some excellent sharp pictures, and it’s less than £500 too.

Typically, lightweight projectors aren’t too bright. And whilst this isn’t the brightest out there, it’s certainly brighter than the Anker Nebula Capsules, and will hold up better than they do in levels of semi-brightness. And whilst it’s compact, you can easily fit it into a mount too.

Most people are simply looking for a projector than can give a great picture at 6 feet distance. This model can undoubtedly do that, with 1080p resolution and vibrant colours. Another good element of this projector is that it runs on a web operating system, which makes it very easy to download apps like Netflix and watch a film through that.

This model will only work from a 6 foot distance, and can only really work on a screen up to 100 inches. It has between 2 and 3 hours of battery life too, which should be enough to get a full film watched. But for most peoples home cinemas, this is going to be the perfect size. So if quality of picture is essential for you, then this model is worth considering.

Anker Nebula Capsule

NEBULA Anker Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector, Black, 100 ANSI Lumen Portable Projector, 360° Speaker, Movie Projector, 100 Inch Picture, 4-Hour Video Playtime, Neat Projector, Home Entertainment

Weight: 2.5kg | Stated Lumens: 100 | Display Type: DLP | Lamp Life: 30,000 hours | Contrast Ratio: 400:1 | Resolution: 1080p | Connectivity: HDMI, Phone, USB | Warranty: 1 year

Whilst this Nebula Capsule isn’t as good as the Max version that I’ve already featured, it does have one distinct feature that might make it a better choice.

This projector weighs less than 500g, and it can easily fit into a drinks holder or snugly away in your backpack. It’s also smaller than the Max too, which only increases it’s portability – it’s a similar size to a can of coke.

It has a variety of different connection options, but another reason why I’d advise this projector is it’s integration with a ton of different apps. It runs on Android, so you can easily set it up with Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, amongst a ton of other options too. You can control the projector very easily with the Anker app, which is another bonus to this model.

The projector can work well at any distance, but it’s best used to create a screen less than 100 inches in size, with the sweet sport being between 60-80 inches. So, whilst some people won’t need the portability of this projector, if you’re looking for something you can easily carry with you, then this model is perfect.

Common Questions about Projectors

What is the best budget projector?

I’m more than happy to recommend any of the options that are listed here, but if I had to pick one, it would be the Optoma HD143X. It projects an amazing picture, and it has the best audio of the bunch too.

How much should I spend on a projector?

If you’re looking to get a serious projector for your home, then you don’t want to spend any less than £2-300 on a projector at the bare minimum. Any projector you buy on Amazon for £50 might be good for a bit of fun, but it’s not going to be good enough for a good experience watching films properly. So, in my opinion, £500 is around the sweet spot for getting a good quality projector.

Is 3000 lumens good enough for a projector?

You can still produce a good image with a projector that has much lower luminosity than this, but you’ll need it to be quite dark. Around 3000 lumens is where you can start using your projector in brighter rooms and still get a good image.

Is a projector good for gaming?

Yes, you can definitely find some good projectors out there for gaming. In most cases, you’re going to want to opt for a DLP projector for gaming, as this is the type of projector that gives the lowest latency.

Do projectors use a lot of electricity?

In general a projector actually won’t use that much electricity in comparison to other forms of entertainment, like watching a TV. But, this all really depends on the specific projector, as some can use a lot of electric. Many projectors are battery powered, and they get through that battery pretty quickly.

Conclusion

All in all, there are many other projectors out there for you to consider. They can range from as cheap as a few hundred quid (for anything half decent, that is!) all the way up into the thousands.

But for those just looking for a casual projector to watch films with, then this list proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune. As long as you shop around and buy the right model, then there’s no reason why you can set up your own home cinema on a budget.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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