Best 3 Projectors Under 500 Dollars: Reviews & Guide 2020

Udated:

It actually doesn’t matter who you are: a gamer, a movie lover, or a person who loves going office. The only common thing here is the projector as no one wants to watch a movie on a small screen, right? So, for better entertainment experience, you’ll need a good projector that fits your all needs. Don’t worry! You don’t need much money in your pocket as you can buy best projectors under 500 dollars easily.

However, do you think that it is going to be that easy when it comes to buying something? Of course, a big no. So, what features will you be looking in a projector while purchasing one? No worries! Thanks to God, as you are in the right place. Here, you will find a complete guide that helps you in finding the best projectors under $500 on your own.

For instance, the Buying guide includes a projector’s things, such as technology, types, bulb life, throw distance, size of the screen, contrast ratio, and brightness. Plus, you will also see the pros and cons of each projector. Moreover, if you are someone who doesn’t have much time to read the entire article, then read the following paragraph in order to know my recommended $500 projector.

So, what is the best projector under $500 for 2020? The ViewSonic PA503S is my all-time favorite and best in terms of brightness, technology, and overall performance. It is a DLP type projector and comes with the highest brightness and contrast ratio. So, PA503S is my recommended projector for 2020.

Best 3 Projectors Under $500 In 2020

The following table below lets you compare some of the best projectors. In this comparison table, you will see Name & Features, Image, Rating, and Price of each projector.

ViewSonic PA503SVIVIBRIGHT GP100BenQ MW526AE
Image best projector under $500 best projector under $500 best projector under $500
Rating
Review Read More Read More Read More
Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

The ViewSonic PA503S – Best All-In-One Projector Under $500

projector under $500
Highlights
  • Display: DLP
  • Brightness: 3,600 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 22,000:1
  • Max. Resolution: 1080P
  • Technology: SuperEco
  • Bulb Life:15,000
  • Warranty: A 3-year Limited

Before we dive in, let me tell you that it is the best projector under $500 on the market and holding the first position on my list. You might not have known, but DLP projectors are known the best on the market in terms of display. So, it actually doesn’t matter where you place your projector far away or closer to the screen. The DLP display gets all the job done for you. The projector has a throw range of 3.9ft to 43ft, meaning it suits all your requirements, whether it is your office or home. Plus, you can use this projector as an outdoor projector.

As you saw in the highlights, the projector boasts 3,600 lumens. This much of bright projector can work anywhere you want, whether it is used inside the home or outside. The bulb which gets this projector has an excellent life up to 15,000 hours. It means you don’t have to worry about its replacement for a long time. However, I am not saying that it is the only projector which comes with the most extended bulb life, but under $500, it is quite impressive.

If we talk about the connectivity that the projector offers, then get ready to be surprised, since it supports all types of connectivity, such as HDMI (standard), VGA, and RCA.

Pros & Cons

I Like:

  • It comes with thousands of choices for connectivity options, meaning more flexibility.
  • It is quite bright and boasts 3,600 lumens.
  • The throw range is higher compared to the competition.
  • The DLP technology which ensures a better imaging experience.

I Don’t Like:

  • I haven’t found any issue yet.

VIVIBRIGHT GP100 – The Runner-up For $500 Projector

projector under $500
Highlights
  • Display: LED, LCD type
  • Brightness: 3,500 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
  • Max. Resolution: 1080P
  • Throw Distance: 35 inches to 180 inches
  • Bulb Life:30,000 Hours

The second projector on my list is the VIVIBRIGHT GP100, which is new on the market with some new technologies. Let’s start with the display type. Despite being an LCD projector, it uses LED technology too. The combination of two technologies forces this projector’s bulb to live long. However, this is a quite bright projector, yet lasts up to 30,000 hours.

No doubt! You can use this projector for multiple applications since it boasts a wide range of throw distance and the size of the screen. In other words, you can use this projector in the range of 4 feet to 18 feet. Which means it is great for both indoor and outdoor uses. Moreover, you can use it for a huge screen from 35 inches to 180 inches.

The connectivity of the projector is also good and allows VGA, HDMI, and RCA connectivity, while the HDMI is the standard connectivity. The projector has built-in speakers; you don’t need to spend money on external ones as those in-built speakers are good enough.

Pros & Cons

I Like:

  • It boasts 3,500 lumens, which makes it quite brighter.
  • It can be used on a large screen.
  • The bulb life is awesome and lasts up to 30,000 hours.
  • It has built-in speakers.

I Don’t Like:

  • Compared to others, it has a shorter throw range.

BenQ MW526AE – Best for Office Presentations

projector under $500
Highlights
  • Display: DLP Technology
  • Brightness: 3,300 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 15000:1
  • Max. Resolution: 1280P
  • Throw Distance: 36 inches to 300 inches
  • Bulb Life: 10,000 hours

I picked this projector keeping office people in my mind. So if you are looking for a good projector that can work perfectly in your office, then this BenQ is made for you. However, this projector offers a smaller through size than the other similar available projector on the market. The short-throw distance is 6.5 feet. I consider this projector an ideal option for small offices, but It is not good for a home theater. However, this projector is known for a small distance, yet can be used on a large screen from 36 inches to 300 inches.

If compared to other projectors on the list, this one is really easy to set up and easily supports all types of formats. However, the bulb life is not up to the mark as it has a short bulb life of 10,000 hours, which was the only drawback I noticed in this projector.

Pros & Cons

I Like:

  • It has 3,300 lumens and can be used on a large screen.
  • Native WXGA 1280*800p resolution.
  • It supports multiple resolutions.
  • Setup is quite straightforward and easy.
  • DLP type of technology.

I Don’t Like:

  • Bulb life is not good.

Buying Guide

Before you buy any projector, you have to keep some critical factors in your mind. These key features are essential when it comes to buying the best projector under $500. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to find a perfect projector on your own.
  1. Projectors Types
  2. Screen Size
  3. Brightness
  4. Contrast Ratio
  5. Resolution
  6. Throw Distance
  7. Lamp Life
  8. Connectivity
  9. Compatibility

Projectors types:

If you have planned to buy the best projector under $500, then there are two display formats for you: LCD or DLP. However, there are many other formats available on the market, but they are not popular than these two. DLP and LCD both have their own advantages and disadvantages. In other words, both are considered good formats. So it is all up to you which one is best for you, choose as per your needs.

DLP vs LCD:

DLP

Pros:
  1. It ensures better and sharp picture.
  2. It is an ideal option for 3D.
  3. It is more bright compared to LCD.
  4. Fast Motion is possible with this type of display.
  5. Expensive display.
Cons:
  1. Rending dark colors issue.
  2. You might notice a rainbow effect.

LCD:

Pros:
  1. Less bright compared to DLP.
  2. This type of display considered best for dark colors.
  3. It is cheaper than DLP.
  4. Perfect for Rending dark colors.
Cons:
  1. Not suitable for Fast Motion.
  2. Not Ideal for 3D effects.

Screen Size:

Here I am not talking about the size of that screen that we usually see on the projectors. Actually, most of the projector doesn’t come with the screen, though. However, it is all about the projected screen; it can be a maximum or a minimum size of the screen, depending on the projector.

When it comes to screen size, you have to make sure you know the size of the surface where you will be projecting upon — moreover, the distance between the projector and the screen.

Brightness

The brightness of a projector plays a vital role and can change the entire viewing experience. For example, If you set up your projector at the higher level of brightness, then I can bet that you’ll get a headache within a couple of hours of projector use. So, it always important for us to determine the brightness level as per our needs and location.

When a projector is being used in a dark area, then it is recommended for us to go for a dimmer projector that comes with atleast 1,000 lumens.

Contrast Ratio:

Consider it as a ratio between light and dark of an image. The more the difference, the more the contrast. So make sure your projector has a wide range of contrast so that you can adjust the image according to the perfect viewing.

Resolution:

The resolution is another considering factor for your projector. It is always better to buy a projector that comes with higher resolution or can support the higher resolution.

Generally, we see most projectors only work with a fixed and particular resolution. If your projector has a wide range of fixed resolutions, then you’ll be able to set your desired resolution as per your needs. However, the more expensive the projector, the more resolutions it offers. So if your primary concern is higher resolution, then take a look at the best projectors under $1000.

Throw Distance:

Throw distance of a projector is the distance between the projector and the screen while maintaining the picture quality. You might have noticed that all projectors highlight this feature, such as 15 feet throw distance, 30 feet throw distance, Etc. So, measure the distance between the projector and the screen so that you can find the best one.

Bulb Life:

After all, this is a very important key factor you have to keep in mind. The bulb of a projector is costly. Plus, it takes many efforts when it comes to replacing the bulb. That is why I keep on letting people know that go for a projector that comes with excellent lamp life.

Connectivity:

No doubts! Modern projectors come with many connectivity options, such as RCA, VGA, HDMI, and many others. These are all wired type connectivity; however, in order to connect wirelessly, you need to buy a projector that is compatible with Bluetooth. But HDMI cable provides the best picture quality compared to Bluetooth.

Compatibility:

Just like connectivity, compatibility also very important. Make sure your projector supports both Mac and PCs. However, most of the projectors don’t support all types of gadgets. That is why I included this feature in the guide.

Conclusion:

In this article, I tried to include everything: the three best projectors under $500, Pros & Cons, a buying Guide. For those who haven’t read this article yet, then read the following paragraphs.

If you want a projector for everything, then go for the very first projector on my list, which is ViewSonic PA503S. I consider this projector overall best in terms of display, brightness, throw distance, and warranty.

If you are looking for a projector that fits your home, then consider the second projector, which is VIVIBRIGHT GP100. It is an LCD-LED type projector that has high brightness and contrast ratio. It also has a longer bulb life up to 30,000 hours.

When it comes to office presentations, consider The BenQ MW526AE. It would be an ideal option for you. Like ViewSonic PA503s, it has a DLP type display and boasts 3,300 lumens. It can be used on a large screen from 36 inches to 300 inches.

Leave a Comment