10 Best Projectors for Under $1000 (Outdoor, 4k, 1080p, iPhone, Short Throw)

Just because you are on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of entertainment avenues or gadgets in your home. With as little as $1,000, or even less, you can find some of the best projectors for your entertainment room. If you look hard enough, you can find an excellent projector that can double as an indoor and an outdoor projector.

Top 10 Projectors for Under $1000

This review will look at a few of the best budget projectors on the market today. These options not only bring you excellent features but are also quite budget-friendly. Later on, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about budget projectors and look at some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a good quality.

1. Best Home Projector Under $1000

When you are looking for a budget home projector, there are some factors you need to consider, such as how noisy the fans on the projector are when used in a small room. You also want the best home projector under $1,000 that can offer excellent picture quality and brightness.

It’s also important to find one with a wide range of tv picture quality from HD to 4K. A 4K option is significant since a 4k resolution is becoming the new standard picture quality.

Optoma HD28HDR Home Theater Projector

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The Optoma brand is synonymous with high-quality products and is a well-trusted name in the industry. This Optoma HD28HDR home theater projector is an excellent option for people looking for a budget projector that can still offer excellent picture quality and a wide range of features to enhance their entertainment experience.

Designed with next-generation technology, it offers you clear and highly detailed images. It’s a native 1080p projector with a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, which ensures that you get sharp images without compression or downscaling.

Featuring HDR10 technology with 4K input, you will experience deeper blacks and brighter white levels, making your viewing experience much better. In addition, with an incredible 4,000 lumens and a 6-segment color wheel, you get accurate colors and colorful images every time.

Optoma HD28HDR also features a gaming mode that gives you a 16ms response time with a 120Hz refresh rate, which keeps up with the action and reduces blur motion while gaming.

Pros

  • 15,000 hours of lamp life which means you can use it for more than ten years
  • Enhanced gaming mode offers an excellent refresh rate
  • HDR10 technology offers you brighter images
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • It can be pretty noisy when starting up

2. Best 4k Projector Under $1000 

A high-quality 4K projector will offer you more pixels than your day-to-day average projector.

What that means is that you can have the picture enlarged to the size that you want. So, for example, it lets you project your movies and videos onto a small 55-inch screen or a massive 300-inch screen with the best possible picture quality. 

ViewSonic PX701-4K

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Now and then, you come across a projector that has almost everything you would want on a budget. In addition, it’s packed with features! It’s an all-around 4k projector that works well for gaming, home theater, sports, and even office presentations.

As a DLP projector, the ViewSonic PX701-4K is all that and much more. It offers true 4K resolution and is capable of supporting HDR10 and HLG. All of which ensure that you get the best viewing experience even on larger 300-inch screens.

The lamp can produce 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness, which means that you can easily use the projector in a bright room. With an impressive 240Hz refresh rate and an incredible 4.2ms response time, it’s one of the best projectors for gaming in this price range. It also has many connectivity options, including HDMI, USB, RS-232, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Pros

  • Blisteringly fast response time
  • High refresh rate
  • A wide array of connectivity options
  • True 4K projector
  • 20,000 hours of lamp life
  • 12,000:1 contrast ratio

Cons

  • Very basic design

3. Best Short Throw Projector Under $1000 

Short throw projectors are used for very close to the screen projections. Typically, it’s placed about 3 to 8 feet away from your screen. While it might sound like a disadvantage, it isn’t.

Short throw projectors tend to produce bigger, better, and clearer pictures, making them ideal for people who love watching their movies on big screens. The machines used to be very expensive, but today, you can buy a budget short throw projector on our list.

BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Gaming Projector

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Many advantages come with using a gaming projector for your day-to-day movie viewing like this BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Gaming Projector. For one thing, you get unparalleled picture quality thanks to the native Full HD 1080p resolution with Rec.709 color accuracy. It also offers 3,000 lumens as well as a high native contrast ratio which enhances picture brightness.

Since this short-throw projector is primarily geared towards gaming, it’s ultra-fast with extremely low input lag and a high refresh rate. Moreover, as a short-throw projector, you can use it to project on a screen that’s as big as 300 inches from just 5 feet away.

Pros

  • High-speed refresh rate
  • High-quality pictures
  • Project on screens up to 300 inches
  • 3,000 lumens of brightness
  • High native contrast ratio
  • Easy to set up
  • Excellent for both movies and gaming

Cons

  • The fan can get a bit noisy

4. Best Home Theater Projector Under $1000

When choosing the best home theater projector for your needs, consider features like lumens and connectivity. The number of lumens for the projector shows how bright the pictures will be, which, in turn, determines where you can watch your movies using the home theater projector; in a bright room, outside, or a dark room?

On the other hand, connectivity shows you how easy it will be to connect the affordable projector to other devices such as your home theater system or Bluetooth headphones.

Epson Pro EX9220

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There’s no doubt that Epson is a well-known brand with a robust and rich history in this industry. This Epson Pro EX9220 is one of the best for home theater use. For one thing, it features 3,600 lumens of brightness, which means that you can use it in pretty much any room of the house, and you will still get good quality viewing. It also features full HD (1080p) native resolution, which gives you crystal clear images.

The host of connectivity options stands out and makes the Epson Pro EX0220 one of the best home theatre projectors for under $1000. For one thing, you can easily mirror most, if not all, of your devices via its Miracast technology.

Without necessarily plugging into the projector, you can wirelessly project movies and videos from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Of course, you also have Bluetooth and HDMI connectivity, should you need it.

Pros

  • 3,600 lumens of brightness
  • Mirror casting from handheld devices
  • Easy to set up
  • Multiple connectivity options, including Bluetooth and HDMI
  • Excellent color and picture quality

Cons

  • It’s not a 4K projector

5. Best Projectors for Outdoor Use Under 1000 

A projector for outdoor use needs to offer the highest lumens. It’s mainly because you’ll probably want to watch a movie under a starlit sky where the moon, the stars, and other light sources could become an issue.

A projector with high lumens will cast a bright enough image to nullify all these light sources and still give you an excellent viewing experience.

Epson EF12 EpiqVision Mini

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The Epson EF12 EpiqVision Mini is a top projector for outdoor use for under $1,000. It has 1,000 lumens, which may not sound like much, but it’s good enough to provide you with a bright and immersive viewing experience. It’s especially true when you pair that with the customized audiophile speaker system from Yamaha that provides a powerful sound display that rivals the best soundbars on the market.

Furthermore, it has Bluetooth connectivity, which means that you can use it with any other standalone speaker of your choice.

The Epson EF12 also has Advanced Scene Adaptive Color Correction technology, producing a crystal clear and natural-looking image with every scene regardless of the light around. In addition, the compact design makes it easy to set up and allows blends into the background.

Pros

Cons

  • The lag is a bit wanting

6. Best Gaming Projectors Under $1000

There are certain factors that every gaming projector simply must meet. For one thing, the gaming projector for under $1,000 you choose needs to have high resolution. Anything below a true HD projector that has at least a 1080p native resolution won’t do.

The projector also needs to have an incredibly fast refresh rate that will allow for clear, more detailed, and seamlessly continuous images. In this case, you should aim for a projector with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz.

XGIMI Elfin Mini Projector

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With a native resolution of 1080p, the XGIMI Elfin Mini Projector is an excellent option for those who love to enjoy the HD gaming experience even when they’re on the go. While this small projector only has 800 ANSI lumens, it’s still bright enough to offer you vivid images on a 150-inch screen size, whether it’s night or day.

What’s more, it comes with built-in Harman Kardon speakers that produce crisp and clear audio to enhance your gaming experience.

Not only is the XGIMI Elfin mini projector portable, but it’s easy enough to set up with its ISA (Intelligent Screen Adaptation) technology which allows for automatic focusing, obstacle avoidance, and screen adjustment. Finally, the HDR10 technology creates a vivid 3D experience that will fully immerse you in the game.

Pros

  • Portable
  • 25,000 hours of lamp life
  • Affordable
  • True HD
  • HDR10 technology
  • Built-in Herman Kardon speakers

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a stand

7. Best 1080p Projectors Under $1000

A 1080p native resolution projector was the gold standard for a long time until 4K came along and took over. Granted, there are other screen resolutions types, but these two are the most synonymous with high-quality videos and movies. So if you buy the best projectors for under 1000 dollars for your home, 1080p native resolution should be the lowest yet highly welcome standard.

BenQ HT2050A 1080p Projector

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With 2,200 lumens of brightness, the BenQ HT2050A 1080p projector offers you nothing but the superior picture quality and high responsiveness. It’s a native 1080p projector; therefore, you know that the picture will be crystal clear. On top of all that, it has 96% Rec.709 color accuracy and a high native contrast ratio, which means that the pictures will be extremely vivid.

With a low input lag of just 16ms, the 1080p projector is more than just a home entertainment device; it’s also an excellent gaming projector. It’s capable of projecting on screens of up to 300 inches. In addition, the BenQ HR2050A offers flexible connectivity that supports most media players, including HDMI, USB, and HDTV compatibility; you have a highly versatile projector for a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Superior picture quality
  • Low input lag of just 16ms which makes it good for gaming
  • Projects on screens of up to 300 inches
  • 2,200 lumens of brightness
  • Long lamp life

Cons

  • Lamp replacement can be pretty expensive

8. Best Budget 1080p Projector Under $1000

Thanks to the high rate of technological advancement, 1080p projectors have become a mainstay in the market. As a result, you can now get an excellent, high-quality 1080p video projector at a very reasonable price.

Here’s a budget 1080p projector you could consider buying for your home cinema.

DBPOWER Native 1080P Wi-Fi Projector

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The DBPOWER full HD 1080p projector offers you nothing but the best and clearest pictures at an affordable price for your home cinema. It utilizes bright LED light as well as LCD technology to give you an excellent viewing experience.

It’s a portable projector that offers you many connectivity options, including wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity. It can easily connect with most of your handheld devices, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. So you have the freedom to use it without having to worry about dangling cables.

A standout feature for the DBPOWER 1080p projector is its 4-Point Keystone Correction & Zoom Function. It’s a huge upgrade from the typical 4D Keystone Correction function. While the 4D option serves its purpose well, it’s limited to only adjusting the picture vertically or horizontally.

The 4D projector option takes that adjustment to a whole new level by adjusting the picture in all directions, so you get the best possible image to enhance your viewing experience.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Innovative 4-Point Keystone Correction and Zoom Function
  • Host of connectivity options, including wireless and USB
  • 3-year warranty
  • 100,000 hours of lamp life

Cons

  • Lamp replacement can be costly

9. Best Business Projector Under $1000

Business projectors are designed for people who make regular business presentations and prefer a larger screen with better images for display to a group. Just from that, it’s easy to deduce that a business projector needs to offer features such as portability for when you need to make your presentation while traveling.

It provides excellent picture quality to make sure that all the colors come off as intended. Plus, it has a host of extra features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, just in case you forget the necessary cables.

With that in mind, here’s one of the best budget business projectors in the market.

 ViewSonic PA503S

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With 3,800 lumens of brightness, the ViewSonic PA503S business projector is an excellent option for bright rooms that aren’t dark enough. In addition, the high lumens help show off your advanced visual features in your presentation.

Apart from that, the portable projector is easy to set up. All you have to do is plug in the high-lumen projector and play your videos, presentations, movies, and other forms of media.

It can project on big 120-inch screens, but it also offers you 15,000 hours of lamp life. That’s a lot of business presentations! In addition, the ViewSonic PA503S includes an industry-leading 3-year warranty and flexible connectivity for a highly versatile business projector at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • 15,000 hours of lamp life
  • 3,800 lumens of brightness
  • Flexible connectivity
  • Quick power off
  • Awesome color accuracy

Cons

  • No carry case

10. Best iPhone Projector Under $1000

Your iPhone projector should mimic your phone in that it needs to be highly portable, sleek, offer easy connectivity while still providing you with all the necessary features.

Here’s one of the best iPhone projectors under $1,000 to buy if you enjoy watching music videos and movies from your iPhone with your friends.

Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector

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Tiny by any standards, this powerful Kodak Ultra Mini portable projector is something of a marvel in that it packs a powerful punch for its size. For one thing, it can project images and movies on screens of up to 100 inches in 1080p resolution.

The Kodak Ultra Mini has advanced DLP for superior LED brightness with exceptional color accuracy. A key feature is its size; the small projector is palm-sized. So you can quite literally carry it in your pocket wherever you go.

It also features onboard media players, built-in speakers, and an assortment of input options, including USB, HDMI, and MicroSD Hookup.

As a plug-and-play option, all you have to do is connect the mini projector to your iPhone and start displaying your presentation or movie.

Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Native 1080p resolution
  • Vivid images
  • Plug and play
  • Palm-sized but powerful

Cons

  • Ideal for dark or dim-lit rooms

Best Budget Projector Buyers’ Guide

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for less for a projector with features and functionality. On the contrary, technological advancements have made it budget-friendly projectors are capable of offering you more than you bargained for in terms of resolution and connectivity.

However, to take advantage of it, you need to know how to buy the best projectors under $1000. As such, here are some important factors to consider before buying your next budget projector.

Resolution

It will depend on what you intend to do with the cheap projector. For example, suppose you are only going to be using it for business presentations. In that case, you don’t need to have a 4K projector unless your presentation involves videos and other such media.

In this case, all you need is a machine capable of offering at least 720p. That will work perfectly fine for documents and images. However, if the projector is used at home for entertainment or gaming, then resolution comes into play.

To get crystal clear videos, you need something that offers you at least 1080p and above. These types of projectors have the clearest pictures and feature an excellent refresh rate so that you continuously get those pictures to avoid pixelation.

Lumens

When you see the Lumens value indicated on any projector, the manufacturer is trying to tell you how bright the pictures will be. Therefore, it may seem easy to assume that the higher the lumens value, the better the projector. However, the truth is that it always comes down to when and where you intend to use the lumen projector.

Say, for example, you want a projector for school projects or business presentations. In this case, you are probably going to be using it in brightly lit rooms. You, therefore, need a high-lumen portable projector.

Anything from 3,000 lumens will do just fine. However, if all you want to do is watch movies and maybe some gaming in your dark entertainment room, you can buy projectors up to 2,200 lumens.

Display Technology

You will find that the most common types of display technology used in modern projectors are DLP and LCD technology. As you would imagine, each one has its own uses and disadvantages.

Projectors using DLP technology are often a bit pricey but are excellent for projecting crystal clear and sharp images. LCD projectors, on the other hand, offer better image quality and colors. It also comes with significantly higher focusing capabilities and image brightness.

Connectivity

For the most part, the best projectors offer a wide range of connectivity options, including USB, HDMI, DVA, and even VGA. In addition, the best also offer wireless connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, mirror casting, and Bluetooth.

Noise Levels

Your projector has an internal fan that cools it while it runs. The fan shouldn’t be so noisy that it ruins the entire experience. Unfortunately, not all projector manufacturers keep this in mind when designing their products. The idea is to buy a quiet projector that produces less than 30dB of noise.

FAQ

What other features should you look for when buying a projector?

There are a host of other features that make a good projector. For example, you need to pay close attention to the optical zoom feature, determining how far or close you need to sit to the picture.

You also need to look for features such as keystone correction, which comes in handy when solving image distortion issues.

Finally, consider whether or not the projector is a long throw or short throw projector. It tells you how far from the screen it needs to be for the clearest images.

What does “Lumens” mean in projectors?

Lumens are the standard measurements used in measuring the brightness of light from any given source. For example, the number of lumens shows how bright the light from its lamp shines, resulting in how clear the image on the screen is displayed.

How many lumens do I need for a home projector?

Since you can control the ambient light level in your house (make the room darker if necessary), you won’t necessarily need a projector with a high number of lumens. In this case, anything above 1,500 lumens should work just fine.

On the other hand, when teaching in a classroom or business presentation environment, you might need projectors with a higher number of lumens, at least 2,500, since those environments tend to be brighter.

What additional factors to consider when buying a projector?

There are non-obvious things to consider when buying the best projector for under $1,000, including:

  • Power supply – If you’re using the projector in your backyard for family entertainment, you’ll need an extension cord. Buy the best extension cord to handle the wattage, proper length, and heavy-duty for outdoor use. 
  • Speakers – Unless you’re in a small room, you’ll want to buy a good speaker for outdoor use or large spaces, such as a banquet hall or hotel conference room.
  • Avoid used projectorsPlaces that sell used electronics can be well-intentioned, but you can be buying a cheap projector with problems, such as sites like Craigslist. The problems include a distorted image, overheating, shadows, dull images, or even no image. In most cases, it may not be repairable, and you’re out of luck.
  • Return policy – Given factors such as lumens and screen size, it’s best to know the return policy before buying a projector under $1,000. Not only is the return policy important, but some manufactures on our list have generous warranties.