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2023’s Top 4 Budget Projectors for Your Home Theater

Last updated on March 3rd, 2023 at 01:20 pm

Although we like the home theater experience you can create with a new flat-screen TV or a 4K home projector, there are times when all you need is a projector that costs less than $500 and doesn’t take up any valuable wall space. 

Affordable projectors are helpful for various activities that call for a bigger screen, such as movie nights outside, corporate presentations, or gatherings like weddings and karaoke nights. 

What makes them unique is that most small and portable projectors allow you to stream material wirelessly from various devices, including phones, laptops, and tablets, or you can put in a cable to connect it to your laptop.

Things To Search For When Purchasing A Cheap Projector

It’s essential to have realistic expectations while looking for a budget projector and recognize that you will only be able to attain the same results as with a more costly 4K projector or even the majority of mid-range flat-screen Televisions. 

However, the finest inexpensive projector for your house should take a few key considerations into account.

Portability:

The portability of inexpensive projectors is an essential factor to take into account. 

Do you want a portable projector to fit in a bag or light so you can carry it outside for a movie night or transfer it quickly from room to room? 

Choose a portable projector with a rechargeable battery if you want to use it away from an outlet. 

A fantastic extra is a projector stand included in the device, which makes it unnecessary to use a tripod and helps you adjust the projected angle.

Brightness:

The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens, which is significant since the environment you’re in probably always has some ambient light. 

ANSI lumens are used by certain companies, whereas some specify a projector’s brightness in lumens. 

Finding a cheap projector with at least 1,500 lumens will help you obtain a clean image whenever feasible, but our experts caution that you may have to compromise on size and mobility.

Resolution:

Whether you want to stream TV programs, movies, or videos, our experts advise full HD quality (1920 x 1080) for budget projectors, even though 4K resolution is always recommended. 

The picture on your screen will be less transparent and crisp if the resolution is lower; however, this may not be a problem if you’re projecting workplace presentations or don’t need high image quality.

Display size:

To guarantee you can watch a movie comfortably, our experts advise selecting a maximum screen size of at least 100″. 

Although some manufacturers promise you may get even more giant screens, remember that the image quality will suffer.

Read: Upgrade Your Tech Game with These Apple Watch Deals

Portability and Connectivity

Be sure your inexpensive projector has an HDMI port, one of the simplest methods to connect your laptop or a streaming device like a Roku, by counting the number of ports it has. 

Even more advanced projectors can connect with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so you can stream content from your phone or have internal access to your preferred applications like Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Audio:

Most inexpensive projectors include an integrated speaker, a convenient feature to have while traveling. 

But remember that for better music quality, you may need to connect another audio source, such as an outside speaker. Find projectors with an audio jack if you want to attach headphones.

1. Top Budget Projector

Nebula Capsule Max by Anker

Image courtesy of Clubic

AT AMAZON, $460

  • Product Size (LxWxH): 3.1 x 3.1 x 5.9″
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
  • Resolution: 720 by 1280 pixels.
  • Lumens: ANSI lumens of 200
  • Display size: Up to 100.”
  • Connectivity: Screen mirroring, Bluetooth, USB, Wi-Fi, or HDMI
  • Integrated speaker: Yes

The Anker Nebula offers HD resolution, so the image quality will seem crisp and distinct in low-light situations. Our experts like its sleek, contemporary style. 

We enjoy that using the Nebula Connect app makes streaming; you only have to choose which Netflix series to watch next while using your phone as a remote.

The Nebula projector’s audio quality and simplicity of setup and operation have pleased our experts, even though we haven’t tested this model in the Lab. 

We particularly appreciate that this compact projector, unlike other, more costly versions, is small enough to fit into most backpacks and has a rechargeable battery life of four hours, allowing you to project while on the road. 

It’s an excellent option for streaming anywhere in your house or for outdoor movie evenings.

PROS

  • High definition
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection
  • Simple to set up
  • Exceptional battery life (4 hours)
  • Sleek style

CONS

  • Not compatible with Chromecast

Read: Top 6 Home Theater Projector of 2023

2. Cheapest Value Projector

Vankyo Leisure 3

Image courtesy of desertcartpakistan

AT WALMART, $70

  • Product Size (LxWxH): 7.9 x 5.9 x 3.1″
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Resolution: 480 by 800 pixels
  • Lumens: sixty lumens
  • Display size: Up to 176.”
  • Connectivity: USB, Mini, HDMI, VGA, and SD/AV
  • Integrated speaker: Yes

This Vankyo projector is a terrific choice for streaming movies, binge-watching TV programs, or playing video games. 

Not only is it reasonably priced, but you can use one of the many ports to attach a streaming device like a Roku or your phone to stream content. 

While we haven’t tried it in the Lab, we appreciate that a screen as large as 176″ can be projected, but our experts caution that the resolution won’t be as good as that of other projectors.

PROS

  • Good value
  • Several ports
  • Internal speakers

CONS

  • The resolution may be higher.

Read: How To Choose The Right Projector Screen Size For Your Home Theater?

3. Best Portable Projector For The Money

Portable Wireless Projector Kodak Luma 150

Image courtesy of TechRadar

Currently, 19% off AT AMAZON

  • Product Size (LxWxH): 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.89”
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs
  • Resolution: 480 x 854 pixels
  • Lumens: ANSI lumens of 60
  • Display size: Up to 120″
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, microSD, HDMI, USB, or
  • Integrated speaker: Yes

This inexpensive projector is one of our favorites since it is small, has a battery life of 2.5 hours, and can be easily thrown into a handbag to deliver slideshows, presentations, and more wherever you are. 

Unlike other small, inexpensive projectors of similar size, you can wirelessly connect specific iOS, Android, or Windows 10 devices to them to Miracast or AirPlay video. 

The projector bells and whistles make up for the reduced image quality you must accept.

PROS

  • Tiny, transportable size
  • Consists of a rechargeable battery
  • Wi-Fi is active
  • Screen sharing through Airplay and Miracast
  • Contains an audio jack

CONS

  • Excludes automated image correction
  • Minimal resolution

Read: BEST HD PROJECTORS UNDER $500

4. The Best Outdoor Movie Projector On A Budget

Outdoor solar projector from Nebula Anker

Anker Nebula Solar Portable review | TechRadar
Image courtesy of TechRadar

AT AMAZON, $400

  • Product Size (LxWxH): 7.6 x 7.6 x 2.0″
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Resolution: 1920 by 1080
  • Lumens: ANSI 400 lumens
  • Display size: Up to 120″
  • Connectivity: USB-A, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI 2.0, and
  • Integrated speaker: Yes

If you’re searching for an outdoor projector, the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute believe this selection from Anker is a great option. 

The full HD resolution is stunning, and the brightness is more than most of the other inexpensive projectors on our list. 

The built-in projector stand was well-liked by our reviewers and helpful in setting up a screen without access to a tripod. 

Watching movies and TV programs is simple via HDMI or directly on Android TV 9, which has more than 7,000 streaming applications. 

While this model lacks a built-in battery, you may choose a variant that will provide three hours of cord-free power for a little higher price.

PROS

  • HD resolution in full
  • Integrated stand
  • More vivid than competing models
  • Ability to stream wirelessly

CONS

  • Not equipped with a built-in battery

 

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