Top 5 best 1080p Projectors Under 500 dollars

A projector is great for watching movies, playing games or sports, or just showing off your photos. But, what are the best 1080p projectors under 500 dollars? With so many choices available, it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best projectors under 500 dollars and compiled this top 5 list.

If you thought projectors were out, think again. Projectors are making a comeback, and it’s a good thing. A projector is versatile. You can hook it up to a gaming console, streaming device, laptop, or television. You can also connect multiple projectors for a bigger screen, or hook it up to an external screen.

Top picks of best 1080p Projectors Under 500 dollars

DesignBuying GuidesRetailer
Optoma S334E
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Optoma H184X
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Optoma HD146X
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Philips Neo Pix Ultra
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BenQ TH585P
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Optoma S334E

best 1080p projector under 500 dollars

The Optoma S334E is a good combination of features and value, with good picture quality and long lamp life. It’s bright enough for a large meeting space and portable enough to keep up with the flow, and it’s ideal for budget-conscious buyers who need a projector for office or classroom use.

It has HDMI, VGA, and composite inputs, plus a USB connection for charging mobile devices. The built-in speaker isn’t that great, and there’s no audio output, so you’ll need a soundbar, headphones, or external speakers for a more powerful audio experience.

The lack of wireless HDMI made it too easy for the projector to get confused, though Optoma has acknowledged this issue and is working on a firmware update that should address the issue.

However, firmware updates don’t always go smoothly, so buyers may want to make sure they purchase from a reputable dealer. At 3,800 lumens, the S334E is brighter than most other budget projectors in its class. It has the biggest throw distance at 15 feet 6 inches.

The vertical keystone correction isn’t as flexible as we’d like, and there’s no horizontal adjustment. The manual offers limited setup instructions. The S334e also has two HDMI ports, so you’ll need to be careful not to oversaturate a room with multiple sources.

Features We Like

Better Image Quality
Easy to Set Up
Throw Distance
Integrated Speaker
Projects 120″ Image from 15’6″ Away
Long Lamp Life
10-Watt Built-in Speaker for Sound

Optoma H184X

best 1080p projector under 500 dollars

Optoma’s HD Ready H184X offers a bright, crisp image with an adjustable lamp life of up to 15,000 hours, and with a 1.1x zoom it can be placed almost anywhere.

We loved the large, bright picture that the H184X created — it was among the brightest we’ve seen, and, thanks to the lamp life, could remain on for several hours at a time. We found the projector relatively easy to set up — a unique feature among projectors in this price range.

The remote is well-designed, with large buttons, several control options, and a light that turns on and off with the projector (so you don’t wake up the room). We also liked the power-saving mode, which dims the image without cutting off all light.

Its 3,600-lumen brightness rating qualifies it as a “bright” projector, but it only hits that mark in well-lit rooms and with a bright screen. For a full home theater experience, we recommend pairing this projector with a 100-inch screen, and for viewing on a 70-inch screen it’s a bright gray area, but if you’re using it in a room with 30-inch-to-40-inch matte white walls, it’ll get the job done.

Features We Like

Energy Efficient ANSI Lumen Output
Portable, Lightweight Design
Easy To Use
Mounting Options
Long Lamp Life
Multiple Input Connections

Optoma HD146X

best 1080p projector under 500 dollars

The Optoma HD146X provides a solid 1080p (1920×1080) picture with impressive color right out of the box. The projector’s D-ILA technology provides impressively high native contrast.

The HD146X also features native 120Hz upscaling, so it has a smoother image than projectors at its maximum native resolution. The projector has a 1. 1X zoom, and unlike most models, it has a brightness range that begins at 300 lumens, so you can be a bit more aggressive about adjusting your picture projection for a darkened environment.

It also has a lens shift that lets you shift the image by 40 degrees horizontally or vertically. The HD146X is a little heavy, but it’s solidly constructed, and it’s both wireless (via HDMI) and USB-powered. The HD146X also shines at dealing with motion: Its rapid response time means moving objects look smooth and lifelike.

Features We Like

High quality HD projector
Low price
Great for gaming
Easy to setup
Great picture
Multiple inputs

Philips Neo Pix Ultra

best 1080p projector under 500 dollars

Philips Neo Pix Ultra is one of few portable projectors on the market today capable of displaying true 4K content, thanks to an HDMI 2.0 input.

At resolution of 3840 x 2160 Neo Pix Ultra is capable of handling 4K content giving you up to four times the resolution of current 1080p projectors. Beyond its 4K display support Philips Neo Pix Ultra is capable of displaying true 1080p content at 150 inches.

It’s capable of producing bright and sharp images in 1080p resolution. When pairing it with two 4K screens Neo Pix Ultra is capable of displaying an image that spans nearly 100 inches. Unfortunately Philips Neo Pix Ultra only supports 4K resolution if the source is HDMI equipped.

Audio output of Neo Pix Ultra is crisp and clear through included 5.1 speaker system which can deliver high-quality audio for listening experience that rivals any home entertainment system. Philips Neo Pix Ultra is unique among portable projectors we tested in that it supports decoding of Dolby Vision video through HDMI connections, making it ideal for viewing of HDR content.

HDR support makes Philips Neo Pix Ultra not only capable of displaying true 4K content but also capable of presenting a viewing experience that surpasses quality of any home entertainment system. That being said while Philips Neo Pix Ultra is capable of displaying 4K HDR content.

It is only capable of displaying HDR content when source is HDMI equipped meaning that if you have content on USB storage device your audio output will be limited to an SDR experience.

Philips Neo Pix Ultra is capable of producing high-quality images for both 4K and 1080p content. While screen may be large this projection system weighs in at just over 8 pounds making it practical for portable use.

Features We Like

Adjustable Screen
Built In Bluetooth
Built In Wi-Fi
Large Screen
Works Great
Built In Speakers
Easy to Use

BenQ TH585P

best 1080p projector under 500 dollars

The TH585P’s robust feature set and versatile connectivity make it a worthy upgrade from the BenQ 4K projector we tested earlier in this guide. While that model excels at color and contrast, the TH585P is better for gaming and shows slightly better black levels in movies and games.

It has an 11,000:1 contrast ratio, which is good for images and video, but not for games, which prefer more contrast. This projector is also brighter (3500 lumens vs. 2,200), and though it doesn’t offer 4K resolution or native 4K video support, it offers excellent image quality at 1080p resolution, with 10,000:1 contrast.

It also supports a wider range of refresh rates (from 24 to 120 Hz) than many comparable projectors. Its 3-year warranty beats our former pick’s 1-year warranty, and it offers better customer support.

Features We Like

Brand New
High Contrast Ratio
Good Brightness
1080p Resolution
Power Saving Mode
Built-in Speaker
3 Year Warranty
Built-In VGA

How We Pick & Test best 1080p Projectors Under 500 dollars?

Panel testing

We test projectors with an expert listening panel, and we conceal the identities of the projectors to eliminate bias.

Scientific testing

We conduct CTA-2010 output measurements of all projectors to obtain an objective comparison of their capabilities.


A good projector has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and at least 3300 lumens of light output.

Price range

For testing purposes, we limited our testing to projectors in the $300 to $800 price range to keep the number of competitors manageable.

Size matters

The smallest projectors usually lack the brightness, resolution, and color accuracy to produce a satisfying big-screen image.

Minimum specs

We only tested models with at least a 720p resolution and 300 lumens of light output to ensure adequate detail and brightness.

Portability is key

For convenience and portability, we put a high priority on models with a good built-in streaming platform and battery power.

Objective testing

We measured each TV’s brightness, contrast, and color accuracy using Portrait Displays’s Calman software and light/color meters.

Things to Consider for Best 1080p Projectors Under 500 dollars


For the best screen size, choose a projector that can produce at least 2,500 lumens, but you’ll probably want a brighter one to watch in most lighting conditions.

Media compatibility

All projectors can accept input from a computer, tablet, or phone. But some also offer connectivity for gaming consoles and other devices.


A 1080p resolution is ideal for a projector of this size, but it’s possible to get higher-quality images with a 4K projector.

Ease of setup

Setting up a projector can seem like a big hassle, but the best projectors make it easy. Look for one that lets you project from nearly anywhere, from a wall, ceiling, or floor and that has a simple setup process.


A one-year warranty is a good baseline for a projector. But if your projector costs more than $500, we recommend spending a little more to get a longer warranty.

Conclusion – Top 5 best 1080p Projectors Under 500 dollars

I hope this article helps you pick the best projector for your needs. Let me know if you have any questions or you want to discuss about a specific projector. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for reading!

Topline Projector
We're a small team of reviewers and authors who are passionate about projectors. We've been in the business for over 10 years, and we know what it takes to find the topline projector for your needs. We take pride in our work, and we're always looking for ways to improve. We understand that choosing the right projector can be a daunting task. That's why we're here to help.