Projectors have come a long way from big, expensive units they were back in a day. Today, they are small and compact, yet powerful enough to cast massive screens across the room. They are perfect for movie nights with a family or a gaming weekend with your friends. Many of the models on our list are powerful enough to be used outside, in garden settings, making the event even more memorable. Of course, we took into account the need for professional application as well and have included a model or two of excellent presentation projectors, perfect for office settings.
With a price tag of under $1,000 ( some of the models are significantly under that threshold), there is simply no reason to limit your self to a TV or a monitor when watching movies or playing games. The price easily justifies the purchase of one of the models on our list and the hours of enjoyment you will get from one are well worth several hundred bucks. All you have to do is pick the right one for you.
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BenQ HT2050A is probably your best pick for a projector under $1,000. It is a 3D DLP projector, with a 16-millisecond input lag, which makes it good for. On the downside, its maximum screen size is 180 inches and it only has 2,200 lumens brightness. This means it can struggle during day time or in a bright environment. Fortunately, it has the ability to calibrate the beam, making it watchable even then. The 6x speed dual RGB color wheels ensure excellent color display. It can cast a 100-inch screen at the distance of 8.2 feet and it comes with a three-year warranty.
If you are looking for a great projector for small rooms, BenQ HT2150ST is your best bet. It only has 2,200 lumens and a maximum of 120-inch display, but it can create a 100 inch diagonal at the distance of only 4.9 feet. With a 16-millisecond input lag, it can be used for gaming. BenQ HT2150ST comes with two 10-watt speakers, which won’t blow you away with the quality of the sound but can come handy, at least until you save enough money for something better. The company claims that the lap is good for 7,000 hours, however, they only offer a one year warranty on the projector.
Epson Home Cinema 2150
It is extraordinary that with a contrast ratio of 60,000:1 this Epson projector costs under $1,000. Combined with a maximum screen size of 300 inches, it makes it perfect for outdoor gatherings, like garden parties. The high contrast goes a long way on mitigation somewhat poor 2,500-lumen brightness, even with a strong ambient light. Not only it can cast a huge screen, but it also can do it in 1080p resolution. However, the downside is that you may be disappointed with the results if you try to use it in smaller rooms. It just can’t handle short distances and the resulting image is far from satisfactory.
Epson Pro EX9220
Epson Pro EX9220 is an excellent choice for the presentation projector. It comes with a wireless connection, allowing you to easily connect it to a phone and a QR code scan feature. The Miracast only works with Windows or Android devices, however. If you plan to hook it up on Mac, you will have to use HDMI cable. It is a 3LCD projector, able to display screens from 29 to 300 inches. One thing that users complained about this model is the fan. It is so noisy that can be distracting at moments. Epson guarantees that the lamp is good for 10,000 hours, but they skimped on the warranty, offering only one year.
With a massive, 370 inch screen, Optoma HD39Darbee offers the biggest display on our list. The projector has some muscles to back such big screen as well, with 3,500 lumens of brightness and a 32,000:1 contrast. The 3D DLP projector offers excellent image quality, but with a 32 milliseconds delay, which means there might be some slight delay in fast-paced video games. The lack of zoom ring and horizontal keystone adjustment means that it will struggle with shorter distances since it needs at least 15 feet to display images correctly. The lamp is certified at 15,000 hours.
Optoma HD29Darbee is our budget pick. It does everything it should, but it suffers from a long throw like other Optoma model on our list. Again, there is no horizontal keystone adjustment, so this projector is reserved for bigger rooms with at least 17 feet in order to cast a 144-inch screen. The company also cut corners on speed color wheels in order to achieve the price. There are only two of them, as opposed to 6 found in BenQ models. The contrast of 30,000:1 is excellent, as well as 3,200 lumens of brightness, making it easy to use even in broad daylight.