Finding the best projectors under $400 dollars can be a tough job. There are all kinds of products in the market, each with its own merits. How would you know which one to choose? Some projection systems are best for watching videos, whereas some excel at presenting slides.
To help you find the product that fits your needs, we’ve reviewed some fantastic projectors in this article. They all have amazing picture quality, brightness, and lamp life. Below, we have also noted down the specifications a projector has and what you can expect from a good product. Therefore, read more to find out!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 Expert’s Picks: The Top 10 Projectors Under $400 in 2023
- 1.1 ViewSonic (PA503W) – Our Top Picks
- 1.2 Optoma S334e – Best Budget-Friendly Projector
- 1.3 Anker Nebula Apollo – Suitable for Outdoor camp projector!
- 1.4 BenQ SVGA (MS560) – Best Projector for Business
- 1.5 BenQ MS536 – Best SVGA DLP Projector
- 1.6 Anker NEBULA Capsule Max – Best Budget-Friendly Projector
- 1.7 ViewSonic (PA503S) – Suitable for Home and Office Projector
- 1.8 ViewSonic M1+ – Best Portable LED Projector
- 1.9 AAXA P7 – Very easy to use
- 1.10 Portable Mini Projector – Affordable Excellence: Acceptable Flaws, Impressive Value
- 1.11 Unlocking the Best Value: 9 Crucial Factors to Know When Buying a Projector Under $400 in 2023
- 1.12 Budget Brilliance: Managing Expectations for Projectors Under $400 in 2023
- 1.13 Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.14 Final Words
What Is The Difference Between DLP and LCD Projectors?
Currently, two of the most common types of projection systems are DLP and LCD projectors. These two are basically the display technology of your machine and decide the quality of projection you’ll be getting. They’re both great technologies, each having its advantages and downsides.
DLP technology uses a chip that has millions of micromirrors. It reflects light through these mirrors onto a spinning color wheel that projects our image. The wheel spins at very high speeds and projects the primary colors in the images in pulses.
But these pulses are not detectable by the human eye as it’s speedy, and hence we see the images as one.
Projection with DLP gives smooth projection. These projection devices are generally small and do not wear out quickly. 3D viewing is also possible through this technology. With DLPs, the rainbow effect is a con that occurs with time when the wheel rotates at a slower speed.
It is a great display to use for business purposes. Naturally, DLP is a bit more expensive than standard kinds. They can use both LED or traditional lamps, which is beneficial as LEDs are more long-lasting and give less blue light. If you’re considering purchasing a DLP projection device, you will not be disappointed.
The LCD technology is the classic display for projectors, and it’s very much like the display you’ll find on a TV. They use liquid crystal panels, and the primary colors are displayed all at once. In LCD, the pixels are visible, unlike DLP, and they’re generally less expensive.
With this technology, you’ll have better coloring and rich image quality. It also eliminates any rainbow effect. But a downside to LCD is that it requires filter maintenance. It’s best for watching movies and lengthy videos. If you use a three-chip LCD, you’ll get excellent contrast, and the system will be quieter.
LCDs use standard lamps, and they tend to be heavier in size than DLP. Hence, carrying it around is a bit hard. However, they’ll also give you a much brighter image to smoothly work in less dim environments.
Therefore, which type of projection system you should get depends on your needs. Both DLP and LCD have their benefits.
Expert’s Picks: The Top 10 Projectors Under $400 in 2023
Although $400 sounds like a very small budget, you can actually find some great products at this price that is more efficient than an expensive one. Here, we have reviewed some of the best projectors under 400 dollars:
ViewSonic (PA503W) – Our Top Picks
When presenting your slides with a projector, you don’t want those products that project the dimmest images ever. Your clients will not only be able to read your pointers, but you might also get off track while focusing!
The first product on our list is the very bright projector from ViewSonic to solve the same problems. It comes with about 3800 lumens, and the best part is that it can continue this brightness for more than 15,000 hours.
Moreover, if your projector needs to be set up a bit far, it’s no problem as this product projects from 15 ft and 8 inches distance.
The projected image size is 120 inches, and there is also a 2 watts internal speaker included. Therefore, playing some audio with this item will be no hassle. Another great feature of this product is its compatibility. It can support almost all devices starting from a media player to a phone. MACs and PCs are a given.
Furthermore, the product supports various input options like an HDMI or VGA connection. If you want to watch a 1080p resolution HD video with this projector, that’s no issue.
The machine supports everything from 480p to 1080p and gives you picture-perfect colors in its images. It is perhaps the best 1080p projector under 400 bucks!
Optoma S334e – Best Budget-Friendly Projector
If you’re a teacher who uses an external speaker when audio lessons are played, we have the right product for you.
Optoma has brought an SVGA resolution projector with a 10 watts internally built speaker. Not only will this product ensure you excellent image quality, but taking lessons with educative audio clips will be no hassle as well.
Suppose we move on to the other features of this product, 3800 lumens worth of brightness and durability of 15000 hours. However, you can use it for only 4 hours per day. Moreover, this product has a 1.1x zooming function and vertical correction feature that will enable you to fit your picture perfectly.
Carrying this product is also effortless as it weighs only 7 pounds. So, you can quickly move it around various destinations. In addition, both HDMI and VGA connections are supported by this product so that connectivity will be a smooth process.
It has a contrast ratio of 22,000: 1, which ensures a vibrant and smooth image on the screen.
Anker Nebula Apollo – Suitable for Outdoor camp projector!
We have brought you the best movie projector under 400! Why do we say so? Because this projector from Nebula has a 200 ANSI lamp that will give you the brightest and most colorful image. Like a theater, this product also requires a dim environment to best work and has an 854 x 480 resolution.
The projection measure of the product is 100 inches, and it’s so tiny in size that you can carry it anywhere. In addition, the best part of this item is that it’s a smart projector.
It has an Android 7.1 OS, and you can directly use Netflix and YouTube from this device. To run the projector, you need to download an app on your phone first.
Playing games is also very much compatible with this device. Therefore, connecting an external device is no longer required with the product. The total lamp life of the projector is 30,000 hours, while you can use it at once for a maximum of 4 hours: a duration more than enough for a movie.
No wonder this is the best device to screen your movie on a big screen!
BenQ SVGA (MS560) – Best Projector for Business
We generally need simple but quality projectors at the office to do the work. One such product is this projector from BenQ with a contrast ratio of 20,000: 1.
This product has one of the best projections in terms of brightness as it functions with 4000 lumens. It has two HDMI ports, so you can easily connect two devices simultaneously. Moreover, there is a USB port also available. You can connect laptops, speakers, consoles, media players, and more with the product.
We say this product is best for business use because most presentations contain texts in this field. And for your audience to read these texts smoothly, you need bright and clear images. This product has a data review mode that ensures that all your texts and numbers are projected crystal clear.
The product projects an image of a maximum of 150 inches so that it will amplify your picture size much better. Another great feature of this item is its anti-dust sensor that prevents dust from accumulating.
BenQ MS536 – Best SVGA DLP Projector
Our fifth product from BenQ is among the most delicate DLP projectors in town. Not only will this product give you images that are sharp and clean, but you will also see every color distinctively with its low dispersion lens.
Moreover, the device follows an 800 x 600 SVGA resolution that will make your presentations look HQ. The lens also shines images with 4000 lumens, so no worries about a dim picture.
The maximum size of the image this product projects is 150 inches. Like our previous product, this one has dual HDMI ports, and it can support two devices simultaneously. You’ll receive a nicely integrated remote control, a VGA cord, and a main power cord in the package.
The weight of this machine is only around 8 pounds, so portability should not be an issue. There is no built-in speaker, so if you want to play some audio, you’ll require an external one.
Anker NEBULA Capsule Max – Best Budget-Friendly Projector
This product has a 200 ANSI lumen brightness. It projects an image of 100 inches so setting it up on any wall is no issue. Moreover, the product can support a video/image quality of 720p, giving you HD movie, cartoon, and documentary experience effortlessly. Indeed, it is the best home projector under 400!
Besides, the best part about this mini tech item is that it’s a smart projector! It has an Android 8.1 OS, so downloading apps through the projector is also very accessible. You can also connect your device to the projector using several methods, including mirror imaging, Bluetooth, USB, etc.!
But what if you want to watch a Netflix movie on the big screen? Netflix doesn’t allow screen sharing, so how will you do that? Well, worry not, as, through this product, you can download apps like Netflix and YouTube on the projecting device itself. Watch movies and series without having to connect to a different device.
ViewSonic (PA503S) – Suitable for Home and Office Projector
Getting a projector ideal for both home and office is worth every penny. You can do your business presentations with it and watch a movie in your free time. It will be the best of both worlds.
ViewSonic has brought you one such product. Its 120 inches projection size from 15 feet away will give you a picture-perfect screening at all times.
The product shows efficiency in brightness as its lamp has a life expectancy of about 15,000 hours. With SVGA resolution picture and 2 watts built-in speaker, you can watch a 3-hour movie at ease with this product. The 3800 lumens worth of brightness will ensure you get a crystal-clear image that is easy for the eyes to process.
Some projectors lag in speed when you’re watching a video. But with this one, that’s not a concern as it has a decreased latency in input. You don’t even have to worry about those slanted projection issues as the product also has a vertical keystone correction. For connection, it has HDMI and VGA ports available.
ViewSonic M1+ – Best Portable LED Projector
The eighth product on our list is another amazing tech from ViewSonic, perhaps the best-LED projector under 400 bucks.
This brand thinks about the eyecare of its customers, and keeping that concern in mind, they’ve brought a projector that is free of blue light. As a result, you can now watch different content on your screen without tiring your eyes.
Moreover, this projection device has an 854 x 480p resolution that will give you the perfect quality image.
A very lucrative feature of this product is its size and portability. It is only 1.65 lbs. Also, it comes with an additional holding stand that can change the projector’s angle as well. As a result, you don’t have to keep looking for a high table or chair to position the device at the right height.
The product projects a picture of 100 inches from a distance of 8 feet and 9 inches. It runs on a battery that can provide support for 6 hours at once. USB Type-A, Type C, HDMI, and all ports connect your phone or laptop. An internal Bluetooth speaker is also added to the product.
AAXA P7 – Very easy to use
The P7 mini projector from AAXA comes in hand size, and you can easily carry it around in your backpack. It has a 38W rechargeable lithium battery that will support you for a maximum of 1.5 hours. Moreover, this product projects through LED bulbs that have a total capacity of more than 30,000 hours.
If you are wondering about the projection size of this tech, it can display an image as large as 120″ in size. In addition, the product supports HDMI, composite AV, screen mirroring, and many other means of connectivity. There is also a 2 watts speaker included.
Remember to keep your lights dim when using the product. It has a brightness of only 600 lumens, so you’ll need to operate it in a dark room. Remote control will be included to operate this projection device. You can connect it to phones, laptops, consoles, and cameras.
Portable Mini Projector – Affordable Excellence: Acceptable Flaws, Impressive Value
ZCGIOBN has brought a product with the most incredible features for a portable projector. It weighs only 0.98 pounds and runs fully on a rechargeable battery that can give you support for 2 hours. It can project any video in 1080p or 720p quality without distortion as it has DLP technology and vertical correction.
The LED lights of the product have a flux of 3600 lumens and a life of 50,000 hours. From a 15.6 feet distance, you can get an image projection of 150″ inches. You can connect your device to the projector easily through WiFi. However, if you want, HDMI and USB ports are also available. All these unique features in one product, huh!
Moreover, firestick, Xbox, and Gamepad are all suitable for this product. It also ensures a high-quality sound experience with its built-in HiFi speakers. We believe this is one of the best deals you can find if you’re looking for a portable projection device!
Unlocking the Best Value: 9 Crucial Factors to Know When Buying a Projector Under $400 in 2023
When you’re under a budget to buy a projector, you must purchase a product worth the money. It should meet your requirements and have maximum efficiency. Therefore, to find the perfect product, there are some factors you should keep in mind before purchasing. They are:
The display technology decides the quality of image projection you’ll be seeing. There are mainly three displays in projectors: LCD, DLP, and LED. DLP gives better contrast, whereas, with LCD, you’ll get more sharpness. LEDs have a great lifespan and will better protect your eyes in case of long-term use.
This factor of a projector defines how many pixels will be used to project your image. It also decides the aspect ratio your projected image will have. Some of the standard resolutions are SVGA, XGA, WXGA, and 4K UHD. SVGA is the most classic and traditional image resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
You can go for WXGA or WUXGA if you want a wide projection. On the other hand, the most upgraded resolution in the market today is 4K UHD. It has the highest pixel ratio till now, so it will ensure quality.
Brightness and Lamp Life
A must-have quality your projection machine must have is brightness. In these machines, brightness is measured by the unit of lumens. The higher the lumen specification your product has, the brighter your image will be. So, get a product that fits your requirements.
If you need projection in a lit room, you should get a projection system with a very high brightness level. Not much light is needed for darker rooms since too much brightness can irritate the eyes.
Lamp life is also significant for these products as it measures how long your projector will last. You definitely must get a product with long lamp life.
From what distance a projector will project on the screen is its throw distance. Generally, at what distance you’ll get the maximum size projection depends on the optics of the projection system. Different throw distances, like long throw and short throw, decide where you should set your projector.
Each brand has its own specifications in this case.
This is a significant factor to look for before you purchase a product. Currently, almost all projection systems are compatible with laptops and phones.
But what if you need a projector to play games on the big screen? In this case, not all products will be compatible, and you have to specifically look for the one that fits this criterion the best.
The projected image will appear very distorted when your projector is not set at a perpendicular angle from your screen. Many products now have the feature of keystone correction that removes this distortion to fix this issue. This feature helps the image be symmetrical again without appearing awkward.
The contrast ratio decides how distinctively you’ll see the colors and the details on your projected image. It is the ratio between the white tones of an image and the black tones, denoting how proportionate the color contrast in the image will be. The higher the contrast ratio, the more vibrant your projection will be.
This feature tells what way the image is being projected from your device. It is possible to project an image upside down or inverted. You should have the right setting on your projection system to have the correct mirroring of the image.
Not all projection products will have a built-in speaker. But among those that do, you must get a product that will give you a high-quality sound experience.
Because when projecting content, we often have to show video clips with audio, and connecting an external speaker is a hassle. So, get a product will a loud and durable speaker.
Budget Brilliance: Managing Expectations for Projectors Under $400 in 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get a good projector for under $400?
As we’ve mentioned already, getting a good projector below this budget is possible. Many brands sell durable products below this budget that will allow you to do all kinds of work- from watching movies to giving presentations.
Can you watch Netflix on a projector?
Yes, you can definitely watch Netflix with a projector. Many projectors can download the Netflix app on the projector itself.
Does it meet your needs for an under 400 dollars projector?
Yes, a 400 dollars projection system can meet all general needs. It generally has all the features a normal projector should have and sometimes more. But if you have specific requirements like 4K graphics, it will be hard to find a product under that budget.
Do projectors need WiFi?
No, they do not require WiFi. You can always connect your device through an HDMI or USB connection and get a fine projection.
Is DLP better than an LED projector?
Both have their pros and cons. If you want picture contrast and brightness, you could get DLP. On the other hand, LEDs are more efficient and possess longer lamp lives.
Projection systems are great devices to have for official purposes and to watch movies or play games on a big screen. And nowadays, they’re available for all budgets starting from a hundred dollars. We have reviewed some of the best projectors under 400 dollars in this article.
They all have unique features to make your big screen experience better. We hope you can choose one for yourself!