Projectors are often thought to be of exclusive use in the corporate world. Yet there are other ways to use a projector aside from displaying charts and graphs. These machines can also be used for a movie at home or even for a gaming night. Indeed, the need for projectors goes beyond lecture rooms and boardrooms.
Another common misconception about this device is that it is expensive. You will be happy to learn that you can get a projector for less than $200. And a projector at that price range isn’t exactly wanting in features. Most of the affordable projectors are already equipped with high definition resolution, multiple connectivity options, and even built-in speakers.
You’ll also be pleased to learn that there are inexpensive projectors that are small and compact enough to be placed inside your bag. These projectors are highly recommended for professionals who are always on the go, such as sales and marketing professionals.
Read on for our list of the 11 best projectors you can get for less than $200. Following the list is a quick buying guide to help you understand what specs to look for.
Expect to see bright and clear images from the DBPower T22 projector, which is up to 60% brighter than most of the LED projectors within its price range. It has 2,400 lumens, which means you can use it in rooms even with ambient lighting.
The T22 has a native 1080 x 720 resolution and a contrast ratio of 3,000:1. It can project images from a base of 30 inches to a maximum of 176 inches and from up to a distance of 5 meters. The lamp life span can extend more than 10 years.
It also has an integrated speaker that can deliver loud and booming sound compared to traditional speakers. It is also compatible with PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and supports USB flash drives and external media players. It comes with a three-year warranty.
A projector with a high contrast ratio of 2,000:1, the Dr. J Professional Projector is surprisingly packed with features despite its low price.
This projector shines 2,600 lumens with a native resolution of 800 x 480. Its lamp life is also quite good at 40,000 hours. It can project images or videos from a low of 32 inches to as expansive as 170 inches.
The projector is equipped with an advanced LCD lens display that can show clear and detailed images. It has focus and keystone buttons that you can adjust to set up the projector and show the best image or video. Its two stereo speakers can deliver surround-quality audio while there is also a headphone jack port for connecting an external speaker.
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This mini portable projector from OTHA can let you connect your iPad or iPhone directly through a lightning cable, HDMI cable, or Wi-Fi network. It is compact at just 18 x 11 x 7.1 centimeters and weighing a mere 210 grams. The 4000mAh battery is built in and can enable the projector to play a movie lasting more than two hours.
Capable of supporting full high-definition images, the projector uses an OSRAM LED lamp, which can last for more than 30,000 hours. The picture or screen size can be adjusted from 15 to 130 inches. The projection distance can range from 1.6 to 10 feet, although the manufacturer recommends 5 feet.
The GooDee video projector is compact with dimensions of 12 x 9.4 x 4.7 inches. It weighs just 5 pounds. With a native resolution of 1280 x768 pixels, this projector can turn your small room into a home theater. It is good enough for projecting games and movies, as well as presentations and graphics.
It uses an LED light source that is energy efficient. As a result, the lamp life of this projector is pegged at 30,000 hours which is pretty impressive for an inexpensive movie projector. The GooDee video projector can display images from 44 to 200 inches from a distance of 5 to 18 feet.
The projector comes with an innovative fan design, plus a couple of built-in 3-watt speakers. The latter can eliminate the need to install an external audio system for your home theater. Connectivity options are limited to one HDMI cable and one AV 3-in-1 cable.
The Xinda HD 5.5-inch projector can display sharp and clear images at a reasonable price. It can project images up to 200 inches and its two integrated 5-watt speakers are enough to support an immersive cinematic experience.
This Xinda projector has a contrast ratio of 4,000:1 with a projection size ranging from 30 to 200 inches. It measures 24 x 38 x 14 inches and weighs around 7 pounds. The lamp life can extend up to 6,000 hours which practically lowers the cost of maintenance of this optic device.
There are plenty of connectivity options on this projector, such as HDMI, USB, VGA, SD, AV, and TV inputs. The HDMI port is particularly noteworthy because it can let you enjoy movies and games on the big screen. Even smartphones can be connected to this projector using the HDMI port.
This full HD projector offers a high contrast ratio of 3,000:1, which enables it to display crisp, bright, and realistic images. It is also compatible with numerous media devices, and its cooling system has been upgraded to minimize noise and prevent overheating.
It has a projection screen size of 44 to 200 inches. The projector also has a built-in speaker that delivers decent sound quality. Multimedia connectivity options are many, from HDMI, USB, AV, VGA, and even SD cards. With this feature, the full HD projector can connect to most devices, including TVs and laptops.
Equally impressive is the extended lamp life of the projector at 50,000 hours. This means that the LED lamp need not be replaced for over a decade if the projector is used 10 hours a day. The unit has a built-in fan, too, that keeps it running at optimal an temperature without excess noise. This projector comes with a three-year warranty.
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One of the best features of this projector is that it is compatible with smartphones and tablets through its dual HDMI ports and USB ports. It also features a screen-mirroring function that makes it possible to enlarge mobile content through projection.
The optical device offers more projection possibilities, as the display size can be increased from a base of 44 inches to a maximum of 200 inches. The projection distance, meanwhile, can be increased from 1.5 to 5.6 meters. There is also a ceiling mount hole located on the bottom for more versatility in projecting images.
It supports full high-definition, 1920 x 1080p resolution for an immersive, cinematic experience. It has an advanced 4,000:1 contrast ratio that enables it to project crystal clear, high-definition images on the big screen.
The lamp life can extend for more than 60,000 hours, although the manufacturer recommends that the unit be turned off after 4 hours of continuous operation. The built-in stereo system further makes this projector a must-have.
Be sure to also check out our guide to the best-selling short throw projectors.
This high-definition projector is also a steal, given its impressive features and low price. It is good to use in a room with ambient lighting as it has a brightness level of 2,800 lumens. Its MHL function, meanwhile, enables it to connect to tablets and smartphones and mirror the screen to show images on a big screen. Other connectivity options include dual USB ports and HDMI ports. Moreover, its bulb can last for 20,000 hours and lets you save up to 70% on energy. On top of that, the manufacturer offers free bulb replacement, which can help you save on maintenance costs.
The projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a contrast ratio of 2,000:1. Its screen size is adjustable from 30 to 200 inches. The manufacturer recommends a projection distance of 2.6 meters with an 80-inch screen for the best picture quality.
The ABox projector has a native 1280 x 720 resolution, which is not bad for a low-cost projector. It can project crystal clear images from a base of 32 inches to a maximum of 180 inches. It is a short-throw projector that makes it ideal for use in small rooms.
The 100 lumens is not the best in this range, but it should be enough when watching movies or TV shows in a room with poor lighting. Equipped with LCD technology, the projector is able to produce clear and sharp images. Its design, on the other hand, minimizes the intake of dust and particles, leading to an improved lamp lifespan of around 50,000 hours. It is also noticeably quiet while in operation with its fan producing around 15 decibels. This projector also features a wide range of connectivity options, including HDMI, USB, VGA, AV, and Micro SD ports.
The latest LCD LED projector from Wsky Direct has a native resolution of 1080 pixels. Its contrast ratio is 2,000:1, which suggests that this projector can display clear and bright images.
You can expect a cinematic viewing experience using this projector as it can display up to 176 inches on the big screen. Altering the screen’s height can be achieved through adjustment of the three screw holes at the bottom of the unit and a stand screw.
One of the most impressive features of this projector is its Dolby Speaker, which practically eliminates the need to set up a separate audio system. The dual fan design, on the other hand, features noise suppression to minimize the noise while the unit is in operation. It also makes use of an advanced cooling system to protect and prolong the lifespan of the light bulb.
Multiple multimedia connectivity options are available, including HDMI and USB ports, a VGA jack, and AUX audio port. It is also possible to use an MHL cord as well as HDMI to USB cable to connect smartphones and tablets to this projector.
This is considered to be the smallest portable projector in the world. Measuring just 4 x 3 x 0.5 inches, it also features HDMI connection. This is the projector you will want if you want to show your videos and photos for play or work. The optical device can project images up to 60 inches in size.
This projector is easy to use as it is plug and play. It has a bright 25 lumens with an LED DLP light engine and a decent 640 x 360 resolution. The contrast ratio is also at an acceptable 1,100:1. Because of its size, the projector can be taken anywhere. It is the ideal projector for business presentations, and it comes with a 2100mAh rechargeable battery.
The unit also has an internal speaker, so you can hear audio from the videos. It is likewise possible to use a 3.5mm headphone jack and connect it to external speakers or earphones.
How to Shop for Projectors
When you shop for a projector, you will come across terms such as aspect ratio, contrast ratio, and native resolution. To avoid confusion, let us help you understand some of the things to look for when buying a projector.
One of the first things you have to be concerned about is the resolution of the projector. Resolution is defined as the number of lines of an image that is projected on a screen. To put it simply, the greater the resolution of the projector, the more vivid and clear the picture quality. For a budget of $200, you should be able to get a projector with a resolution of 1280 x 768. But as you will learn later on, it is also possible to get a model with a full high-definition resolution.
The brightness level will also be a big factor in choosing a projector. This is measured in lumens. As a general rule, the higher the lumens, the brighter the projector is. For a budget of $200, you can expect to nab a projector with a rating of 1,000 lumens. This should suffice in a room with minimal lighting. But for an environment with ambient light, you need a projector with at least 2,000 lumens. However, that may be too much for a low-budget projector to have.
Zoom and Lens Shift
You will also notice that projectors have zoom range and lens shift. These specs are indicative of the ability of the unit to alter the throw distance, size, and position of the image being projected. Short-throw projectors are best for small rooms while long-throw units are for large spaces, such as a theater.
Aspect Ratio and Contrast Ratio
Another specification you’ll come across when shopping for a projector is the aspect ratio, which pertains to the shape of the image being projected. Most modern projectors have an aspect ratio of 16:9.
Don’t confuse this with contrast ratio, which is the difference between the brightest white measurement and the darkest black measurement. To put it simply, the higher the contrast ratio of a projector, the better it is in displaying photos and videos. However, there are also other factors that can affect picture quality, such as ambient light. For an inexpensive projector under $200, you can expect it to have a contrast ratio of 2,000:1.
You should also consider the connectivity options of the projector. Most projectors have VGA ports, while some have HDMI and USB ports. It may be a stretch, though, to look for a projector under $200 with Wi-Fi support.
Noise and Speakers
Moreover, you should be concerned with the fan noise of the projector. You certainly don’t want to get one that has a noisy fan because it can distract you while having a movie night with your friends and family.
Most budget projectors already have built-in speakers, which eliminate the need to set up an external audio system. However, don’t expect those speakers to be of Dolby Surround quality.
Finally, look at the lamp life of the projector to determine how long its lamp will last. A projector’s lamp life is typically 1,500 to 2,000 hours, although most on our list exceed that dramatically, especially in eco mode.
Those are the primary factors you should be concerned about when shopping for a projector. Other factors that may also affect your buying decision are the warranty, the dimensions and weight of the unit, and the ease of use or installation.