The 10 Best Budget Projectors

Updated September 28, 2017

10 Best Budget Projectors
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Bring the movie theater into your living room with these budget projectors, which are perfect for adding novelty and excitement to family screenings and neighborhood gatherings without breaking the bank. They're compatible with a number of streaming devices and will bring people together to watch films, television shows, or play video games in supersized high definition. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best budget projector on Amazon.

10. DLP Pico Projector and Power Bank

The DLP Pico Projector and Power Bank is battery operated but incredibly small. This one can fit in your pocket and, especially for its miniature size, has a variety of input options to choose from as well as the power of 100 lumens to illuminate images.
  • takes four hours to fully charge
  • can use external power pack
  • no built-in speakers
Brand Fugetek
Model FG-957
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. Mileagea LED

With the ability to rest comfortably in the palm of your hand, the Mileagea LED is compact and connects to your satellite cable system, so you can watch all of the shows and movies you'd typically watch on TV in a supersized format.
  • works best with a projection screen
  • does not connect directly to wifi
  • sound is low on speakers
Brand Mileagea
Model FP8048T2-IV28
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Abdtech 1200 Lumens Multimedia

Updated with high fidelity picture and enhanced focusing power, the Abdtech 1200 Lumens Multimedia is great for camping and outdoor parties. Its impressive 1:1,000 contrast will amaze all your friends and preserves detail and image quality.
  • compatible with amazon firestick
  • may require extension cord
  • not recommended for business use
Brand AbdTech
Model ST-GS10
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Fugetek FG-857 Home Theater

Billed as the best 720p entry level projector on the market, the Fugetek FG-857 Home Theater has a native resolution of 1280 x 800. Compact and bright, this one can be transported to conferences, classrooms, and churches to give presentations.
  • two hdmi and usb ports
  • only weighs 8 pounds
  • fan gets very loud
Brand Fugetek
Model fg-857
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Crenova XPE460 LED

The AV adapter that comes with the Crenova XPE460 LED allows its users to connect retro Nintendo consoles, and there's no join lag or latency on modern systems, making this one great for gamers. Plus, its tilt adjuster creates a clear and smooth image.
  • 12 month warranty
  • keystone function adjusts proportion
  • must be used in completely dark room
Brand Crenova XPE460 LED
Model SB-1111
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Dihome LED 1200 Lumens

Connect the Dihome LED 1200 Lumens to a digital camera to create a unique photo display. Its optical lens provides high quality color reproduction as well as excellent transmittance and temperature resistance, so it won't be damaged by overheating.
  • 20 to 120-inch image
  • can project files from sd card
  • easy to adjust focus
Brand Dihome
Model Di005B
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Elephas 1200 Lumens

So discreet and easy to set up that many people prefer it to a smart TV, the Elephas 1200 Lumens is an excellent choice that saves energy with its eco lamp technology. With both HDMI and VGA jacks, this one gives you the ability to hook up a DVD player or a PC.
  • leds are mercury free
  • ideal for family gatherings
  • connects to android devices
Model ELE-YG400
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. DBpower T20 1500 Lumens

Fifty percent brighter than ordinary LED projectors, the DBpower T20 1500 Lumens is excellent for home entertainment. This newest model is equipped with heat dispersion tools that cool the device and cut the noise of the fan in half with sound suppression technology.
  • includes remote control
  • dust won't collect on lens
  • speaker is fairly loud
Model T20
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Xinda LCD 130 inch Mini

With a 1,000 lumen brightness and LED lamp that lasts for over 20,000 hours, the Xinda LCD 130 inch Mini provides a very clear picture, and its portable design makes it easy to travel with. This one is great for projecting art onto a canvas for tracing.
  • ideal projection at 5 to 7 feet
  • compatible with chromecast
  • may overheat if left on for too long
Model PJ-XD0036
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. iDGLAX iDG-787W

Perfect for watching movies and playing games in high definition, the iDGLAX iDG-787W Mini Portable works with PS2, PS3, Xbox, and Wii. Not only can you connect your smartphone using an HDMI cord, but this one can also charge your mobile device or tablet.
  • lcd image system
  • 500 lumen brightness
  • supports 23 different languages
Brand iDGLAX
Model iDG-787W
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Projectors

The first primitive projector came along in 1420, the brainchild of Johannes de Fontana. He was able to project an image of a monk holding a lantern by placing a special filter over a flame, so that the picture was cast in shadow on the wall. This wasn't especially effective, as the picture would have been very blurry, but it was an important first step.

In 1645, Jesuit scholar Athansius Kircher devised a way to reflect sunlight onto a screen by using a mirror and lens. He called it a magic lantern, which I think we can all agree is a much better name than projector.

By the mid-19th century, magic lanterns that burned quicklime were being used in theatrical productions. These limelight systems could give the appearance of high noon in the middle of the night, and filters could be used to project other effects, such as spotlighting.

Many inventors attempted to create a machine that could project moving images, including Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, but the first projector that could accommodate a large audience made its debut in 1895. Chemistry professor Woodville Latham created a device he called the Pantopticon, which could display long sequences due to its ability to seamlessly advance film strips.

Movies became part of travelling vaudeville shows not long after, with the first full-time movie house opening in Los Angeles in 1902. Going to the picture show quickly became a national pastime, and film projectors would rule the roost until 1999, when the first digital models became widely available.

These digital projectors had several major advantages over their film counterparts, including higher resolution, smaller size, and reduced shipping costs. However, many purists (such as Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino) prefer the old film versions, warts and all.

Still, recreating the cinema experience in your home would be next to impossible for the average American if it weren't for digital projectors. Today, you can get a relatively inexpensive model that will give you crisp images, vivid colors, and incredible brightness.

You'll have to supply your own screaming children and sticky floors, however.

Tips For Finding the Right Projector For You

If you're not a techie, picking out a projector can seem like a nerve-wracking task. Luckily, it's a fairly straightforward process, and there are very few wrong choices you can make.

Before you start shopping, you need to figure out where you'll put the thing. Do you have enough room to make it worthwhile? Will you be using a screen, or just a blank wall? Screens will give you a sharper resolution, but at an added cost. Likewise, if you don't have enough space to get the full cinema experience, you might consider just getting a big-screen TV instead.

Also, think about how you're going to install it before you bring it home. Will it be mounted to the ceiling, or just resting on a shelf? Think about how you'll connect all the necessary wires, as well. In general, you'll want to be able to put the projector a good distance away from the display area, especially if you value sound quality, as even the quietest projectors will still make a little bit of noise.

The amount of light you'll have to deal with is another important factor. If you can make the room pitch-black, then just about any model will look fantastic, but most people will find it difficult to block out all light. In general, the more lumens the projector has, the better it will be with dealing with light — and that's especially important if you plan to take it with you on the go.

Regardless of which model you choose, the important thing is to have fun and enjoy your new toy. And remember, if anyone criticizes what you bought, you can simply ask them to leave your special screening of Big Momma's House 2.

Other Ways to Create A Home Theater On A Budget

While creating your own personal home cineplex may seem financially daunting, it can actually be quite fiscally responsible, especially when you consider how expensive going to the movies can be. Here are a few ideas for putting together a great home theater without spending a lot of scratch.

First off, don't feel like you have to buy everything at once. You can upgrade a piece at a time, filling in the gaps with equipment you already have, and you can do so without going into hock.

This is why buying the right projector is key; if you get one that has in-unit speakers, for example, that can save you a fairly major expense right off the bat. Also, many models have built-in Wi-Fi, which can let you stream movies directly from the unit, allowing you to skip buying a Blu-ray player or other device. If you do want to add an external player, though, look for something that can provide a wide variety of entertainment experiences, such as a gaming laptop.

You can find cheap blackout curtains online, and setting these up will do wonders for recreating the movie-going experience. Also, they can help you cut down on energy costs, allowing you to put those savings towards buying more gear.

Finally, be wary about over-paying for cords and accessories. Many big-box retailers charge an arm and a leg for a simple HDMI cable, and you can easily find cheaper versions that are just as good online.

Installing a home theater is an investment that will pay off over time, both financially and in terms of family bonding experiences. You'll soon be the envy of the neighborhood — and hey, you might even be able to charge other families admission.

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Last updated on September 28, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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