Last updated on February 26th, 2021
If you are looking for the best projector under $200, you have reached the right place. In this article, we will review the available models and the most important features to check.
Projectors have come a long way from the time when they only existed in offices and schools for presentation purposes to modern times that they are offering a makeover to your drawing room by instantaneously transforming it into a mini-theatre.
And paired with the high prices of big-screen TVs, more and more people are opting for projectors to feel the bliss of enjoying a bigger picture.
Today we will look in detail ten of the best projectors priced under 200$.
We will also take you through some of the important features which need to be considered for making the most out of your projector buying decision.
Top 7 Best Projectors Under $200
Last update on 2021-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
You can enjoy a projection size ranging between 44 to 200 inches coupled with this projector from a distance of 4.9 to 18 feet although you can bring the picture to focus from the shortest distance of 4.9 feet.
However, 10 feet is considered as the best viewing distance as it projects a 98-inch image for helping you in bringing home the big screen experience.
The brightness of the bulb serves as one of the preconditions while purchasing a projector as the brightness level needs to be higher than that of the room for benefitting out of vibrant picture quality.
With 3600 lumens of brightness, the GooDee video projector promises wider and brighter viewing even while being used outdoor such as in the garage or backyard.
LED lighting used by this home theater projector further adds to its lifespan in stark contrast to conventional bulbs.
You can easily achieve multi-directional projection by simply adjusting the text direction for meeting various needs.
Advanced cooling technology implemented by this versatile projector paves the path for faster heat dissipation so that it doesn’t get excessively heated in spite of being used for long.
Be it your favorite TV shows, movies, games or music concerts, VIVIMAGE can help you make the most out of the same with its C580 projector which guarantees a tremendous visual experience.
4000 lux brightness delivers 80% more illumination in comparison to the ordinary projectors coupled with which you can enjoy stellar images even in the presence of ambient light.
The VIVIMAGE projector supports display sizes ranging from 44 to 176 inches from a distance of 1.5 to 5.6 meters although 6.5 feet is considered to be the ideal viewing distance.
The innovative cooling system of this dynamic projector leads to effective heat dispersion while its noise suppression technology brings down the projector noise to an exact half so that you can concentrate fully on the audio-visual extravaganza without getting disturbed by interferences.
This also extends the projector’s lamp life to 60000 hours to keep you protected from having to replace the bulb frequently.
However, it is advisable to take a break over a stretch of every 3-4 hours for preventing chances of overheating.
You can also bid adieu to the requirement of costly external speakers coupled with its dual stereo speakers which render top-notch audio effects to match the projected videos.
With a plethora of connectivity options in the form of VGA, HDMI, USB and AV, you are bound to feel spoilt for choice while using this VIVIMAGE projector.
You can now enjoy big screen extravaganza seated at the comfort of your home with the WiMiUS projector which can light up the room with 4000 lumens of brightness.
This is backed by a screen resolution of 1080P and a contrast ratio of 4000:1 for true to life visuals having extraordinary detailing.
Such attributes make it the perfect choice for viewing pictures, playing games and even watching movies on the go.
Although you can watch videos even in the presence of ambient light, it is advisable to draw out the curtains for a better feel.
The built-in dual stereo speakers of the WiMiUS projector can easily fill in a medium-sized room with bombastic audio which can help you enjoy the real flavor of the movie viewing experience.
The sheer clarity of the projector makes it redundant to attach an external speaker while watching or playing indoors.
An improved LED life of 50000 hours can keep the projector running for long without facing any requirement of lamp replacement.
Thus, while ordinary LCD projectors last get lackluster within just 3 years, the WiMiUS projector can have your back over a span of 10 long years.
Bring the large screen experience of going to a theatre within the comfort of your home with the Wsky video projector which has already garnered a niche for itself in the market of entertainment enthusiasts.
Coupled with a contrast ratio of 2000:1 and 90% greater illumination than its contemporaries, this projector can suffice your movie and gaming needs to the greatest possible extent.
You can take your pick amongst the various color modes such as Warm, Cold etc. while enjoying the rich graphics on the projected surface.
This 2020 Upgrade Projector has been built by keeping the modern apartments in mind which mostly suffer from lack of adequate floor space.
The Wsky projector can cater to all those problems with its compatible watching size of 32 to 176 inches from a distance of just 4 to 16 feet and with a 165 degree of wide viewing angle.
Its efficient cooling system can further add to its longevity while you enjoy your favorite shows without having to worry about the projector getting overheated.
Its low-voltage technology helps the projector in consuming less energy which in turn ushers in more money-saving benefits.
Last but not the least, a complete cinematic experience is delivered by the dual forces of its built-in speakers and Dolby Audio technology which can tag along with the breath-taking effects of movie scenes and gaming sequences.
Coupled with the world’s smallest DLP projector manufactured by Magnasonic, you can bring video games, presentations, pictures and your favorite movies to the big screen.
This high-performing projector paves the path for 25 lumens of light output along with a picture resolution of 640×360 pixels and a contrast ratio of 1100:1 to provide you with crystal clear imagery spread over 60 inches.
The built-in 2100 mAh battery keeps the projector running for two hours before feeling the requirement of being charged again for about three to four hours through the phone charger or computer. The projector can also be used while being charged.
You can connect the device with external speakers using the headphone jack to enjoy a holistic audio-visual experience. Up to 1080p of signal is accepted by the MHL compliant HDMI input which aids in establishing connectivity with the compatible smartphones.
There is also an MHL adapter, a micro-HDMI-to-HDMI adapter, a short standard HDMI cable and a 5-pin/11-pin converter meant especially for the Samsung Galaxy phones.
The straightforward controls guarantee simple setup and operation where you just need to plug in an HDMI cable meant for input and audio cable or headphones meant for output which can also be adjusted using the onboard volume controls.
For the price, this handy-dandy projector will blow you away. Its screen size is a staggering 200 inches long and displays extremely bright, true-to-life colors, ensuring you receive a fab viewing experience.
The cooling system is surprisingly quiet thanks to the noise-reducing capabilities. The built-in speakers also work well to mask any sounds from the fan and enhance the dialogue or soundtrack of the film/game/YouTube video you’re watching.
Plus, the crazy 5500 lumens will ensure you get the most bang for your buck. It’s a steal, trust us.
This projector under $200 is brighter than the majority of mini projectors on the market. The resolution is a decent 1280*720p. This gives you a wonderfully clear image. Not to mention that you’ll receive a huge 100-inch screen with your purchase. What more could you want?
It is compatible with a wide variety of streaming services and media players to bring you the ultimate gaming or viewing experience.
Alongside all of this, you’ll receive a technologically advanced cooling system, a good contrast ratio, and keystone correction.
Projector Buying Guide
Points to Consider While Buying a Good Projector Under $200
When purchasing a projector, you should not judge its quality based on the price but rather based on the features and specifications that are most relevant to your needs.
There are some attributes such as the contrast ratio, aspect ratio, resolution and Lumen (Brightness) that are rather technical but knowing the fundamental concepts of these terms can help you select the best projector for the money under the same price range.
For example, if there are two lumen options, let’s say 1000 and 2000, most people will go for the 2000, provided that they can afford it. This approach is wrong because it is the environment and the condition where you are going to use the projector that should be the deciding factor. If you are going to use the projector only in a dark laboratory or classroom, 1000 lumen will be sufficient.
So let’s get familiar with these terms one by one.
1. Contrast Ratio
Contrast Ratio is the ratio between luminance (or brightness) of the brightest( white) and the darkest( black) color. These are mostly in the form of 1500:1, 2000:1 etc.
This form signifies that the whites are 1500 or 2000 times brighter than the blacks respectively. The higher the ratio, the better the image quality of the projector.
Think of a picture of a city at night. A TV, a projector or a monitor with excellent contrast ratio will show the night sky along with the details of the city light. If the contrast ratio is low, they will show washed-out details with dull star, background, and features.
Similarly, if you watch movies that are often in dark background or night scenes, like Star Wars, the contrast ratio becomes very important since only a high contrast ratio can give you the right feel and taste.
2. Aspect Ratio and the Resolution
These two-term are much related and dependent so, I am going to discuss it together.
Resolution is the number of pixels that the projector can project out. While aspect ratio is the shape, the projector will project the screen, whether it would be a rectangle or a square.
There are different kinds of resolution, for example, the popular ones are XGA, WXGA, and HD( High definition).
Now, the first one XGA is almost square with an aspect ratio of 4:3, you can think of a 4*4 square. It is the oldest resolution in the market that is still popular. Its resolution is 1024*768, 1024 on the horizontal axis and 768 on the vertical axis. This resolution is mostly famous for PowerPoint presentation projectors church, and business application. The main reason for its popularity is its low cost. Also, it’s light in weight and quite portable too. So, for business people, these features are quite supportive.
Now, coming to the next one WXGA. It has a resolution of 1280*800, much higher than XGA. So, you can get more information on it something great of spreadsheets. It has an aspect ratio of 16:10, so it’s more like a rectangle. Thus, you get better resolution, large screen size, and it all comes at a little higher price.
The last one is the HD that everyone loves, and each one of you wants HD. It offers 1920*1080 resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:9, so it a little narrow rectangle giving you a high depth. It’s great for home theaters, conferences, photography, Auto CAD application where you need lots of detail, and lots of quality in the picture output. Now, the downside is the size, and weight, it’s a little heavy. Also, the price is higher.
Resolutions in Projector
3. Types Of Projection Technologies
The amount of light emitted by a projector plays a big role in regulating the quantum of the brightness of the displayed image. We usually seek out the best lumen degree in order to avoid soft and muddy images. A minimum of 1000:1 ANSI Lumens is necessary if you want your projector to transform your drawing room into a mini home theater. The size of the screen you wish to use for the projector, the size of the room and the ambiance light also serve as determining factors since bigger rooms call for projectors having higher ANSI Lumen.
5. Fan Noise
Projectors come with in-built fans which help in alleviating the heat produced by the lamp. LED projectors generating less heat make less noise but even amongst the LED ones, there are some which are quieter than their competition.
How Much is Appropriate Brightness (Lumen) for Projector?
Always make sure to look at the colour brightness specifications of your projector. It will be mentioned in the form of 1000, 1500, 2000, 5000 or something like that. The rule of thumb is the higher the better (and more expensive too).
With high brightness levels, the images will have more vivid, vibrant and detailed colours. But, with low light, colours can look dull and washed out and essential details may be lost. Many manufacturers of low brightness levels avoid publishing or talking about the projector’s brightness number. And you know the reason why. Make sure to check the Lumen reference before you buy your projector or you may end up buying one with low brightness.
I tested three different projectors inside my room on my home theatre. And the difference of picture quality was tremendous. I checked in complete darkness and with natural light (without curtains covering the window). In the latter case, the performance of the low lumen projector decreased awfully. I noticed an apparent increase in quality with an increment of 1.000 Lumen. If you don’t any projectors to test, you can search Youtube for comparison videos of the projector’s brightness.
Lumens and Room Light Condition for Projector
How to Connect a Projector with Different Devices?
Let’s look at the various types of connection options available. These are HDMI, component cables, DVI, VGA, S-Video and composite cables.
It stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. It is the best of the available options providing the best sound and picture output (both audio and video). It is well capable of displaying out a 1080p resolution.
This is the best and also most expensive in price when compared to the other cables.
Video Graphics Array or VGA is one of the most commonly used connection methods. VGA port is available on older PCs and laptops. HDMI is a newer technology compared to VGA. The picture quality from VGA is lower than that coming out from HDMI. Remember that VGA only transmits video signals so you have to get a separate connection for audio.
It stands for Digital Video Interface, it falls somewhere in between the HDMI and VGA cable. It was developed after VGA cable but, was soon overtaken by the HDMI technology in most computers.
However, it is less expensive than HDMI and it is much better in picture quality output than the VGA (but worse than HDMI). It can provide high-quality HD output.
This technology also came out before HDMI. You have probably seen it and you may recognize it from those three coloured round input ports mainly in red, blue, yellow and white. These can also to be seen in your DVDs and video games. They are known as component cables.
These are capable of high-quality video transmission like the 1080p HD resolution. They seem complex as you have to deal with three different cables. And that’s the reason they are not the preferred choice, although they are the cheapest ones.
S-video is also known as Super Video or Separate Video cables. These do provide good quality but are not capable of HD video. They are present in various devices like game consoles, DVDs, camcorders, and computers. There are multiple variations of S-video cable since they come in nine, seven and four-pin types. Also, these are available for S-video type and non-S-video type devices.
These are the wired options available in the market, although the new projectors are also coming with wireless options like WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
Types of Projectors
Projectors can be divided into four main types:
All these types of projectors perform different functions and have different areas of application but still, they all have some common advantages and disadvantages, which are mentioned below.
Other Features To Consider When Buying A Projector
1. Maintenance requirements
Nobody wants to spend their time repairing their projectors after spending their money on buying one, you should firstly check the maintenance requirements of the model you want to purchase.
When it comes to projectors, one of the most important requirements is long lamp life. Most projectors offer lamp life from 3000 to 6000 hours, while some offer lamp life even beyond this range. Knowing your requirements before making a purchase will definitely help you later on.
Projector manufacturers offer different features in order to to make them low maintenance and easy to use. One of these features is the choice between laser or LED technology. LED projectors do not require bulb replacement and this makes their lamp life longer, i.e. ranging from 16,000 to 20,000 hours. Laser projectors also do not need any kind of bulb replacements and their lamp life can last even longer, ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 hours.
So depending on how much you are going to use your projector and how many lamp hours you would need, decide which one is the right choice for you.
2. Wireless connectivity and sharing capabilities
Most buyers prefer wireless over wired products because of the mess wires create. When it comes to wireless projectors, they offer the opportunity to connect and display multiple screens all at once, thus simplifying the process.
If the projector you like does not come wireless, you don’t have to worry about it, as you can always make your wired projectors wireless by simply adding a wireless module. For example, Epson’s wireless module can be used to make 100 different projectors wireless.
3. Ultra-Short Throw Projectors are ideal for presentations
If you ever had the chance of making a presentation, you must have faced that blinding effect on the image because of your shadow. Ultra Throw Projectors provide a solution to this problem and this is why they are becoming more popular nowadays.
Also, thanks to their simple mounting features, they can save you from the extra mount cost and space requirements. Another advantage of UST projectors is the potential for full interactivity.
The size of the projector may not be a big issue, but a suitable size can make a difference. Always consider the size of the projector before buying it. Keep in mind in what area you’re going to use it and how much size you need. Otherwise, the projector will look misplaced and unappealing.
Maybe, at some point, you will face some malfunctioning in your projectors. Therefore, you should consider buying those projectors that provide good and long term warranties.
Some warranties will repair the damage in a day or two. So, if you’re working in some office where there is constant need of the projector, you might want a reliable warranty that will replace your projector within a short amount of time.
6. Compatibility of connection inputs
Make sure that your projector is coming with all the desired products that you need and that those products are compatible with your computer. Most people overlook this part before making the purchase and face the consequences later on.
For example, a lot of projectors have old school VGA inputs so if your computers are lacking such inputs, this will create connectivity problems.
Pros of Projectors Compared To TVs
1. Create Your Own Home Theatre
Not everyone buys a projector just to watch movies, but some cinephiles are willing to spend money on projectors just to multiply their movie experience on a screen that is even bigger than a large TV. Also, projectors give brighter image quality compared to the TV so you can wash away all the dark scenes in your movie.
Projectors offer a large picture size so you can have a film theatre at your own house. Most projectors have a size range of 90” to 120” and this range is far more than the range that flatscreen TVs offer.
Apart from watching movies, other reasons for buying home theatre projectors is to watch your favourite team playing on a bigger screen. Personally, if my friends are coming to watch the final game at my place, there is no way I’m going to watch that game on a TV.
In sports, you don’t have to worry about dark scenes, but in a number of other programs that you will watch, it is unavoidable and dark scenes will be there. However, you should not worry for dark scenes if you buy new, brighter projectors with more lumen power.
2. It is more affordable than you think
Getting a projector might sound expensive, but in reality, this is not true. It is way cheaper than installing a 70 inch or a bigger TV which can cost you a couple of grands. You can actually buy a 4K projector at half of that price.
Also, projector prices have come down in the last couple of years. So, instead of buying a TV and putting a strain on your pocket you could instead set up a home theatre.
3. It Is Easier On The Eyes
You may think that the big screen hurts the eyes but on the contrary, it’s quite relaxing to watch as not only the brightness range increases in projectors but also there is a larger surface of visual fields which makes your overall experience more real.
4. Minimum Space Requirements
Projectors take a minimum of your space as they are mounted on the ceiling with the screen hanging on the wall. Nowadays many companies also manufacture a retractable screen in which goes inside the ceiling.
Cons of Projectors Compared To TVs
1. Limitations on where to place the projector
The most common issue in projectors is the issue of where to place them. So, make sure you have the answers to the following questions before buying a projector.
How far will the projector be placed from the screen?
If it cannot be placed in the desired spot, can the projector shift its zoom range to give a clear view? Does it contain the lens shift feature so you can view it from the off-axis? Does it have sufficient features to deal with the obstacles that can change the angle of projection of the image?
In some new models of projectors, you can change the image by simply using a remote control. This provides a great advantage as you don’t have to climb on a ladder every time you want to adjust your projector.
2. Insufficient LUMENS
Projectors give a clear image only when lights are turned off. This might become a problem at some point as it is not always possible to close the lights when projecting. You must ensure that the projector can work under different scenarios and have a level of brightness that can face a decent range of light. So you should test the lumens of the projector before buying it.
Projectors normally fall under three categories:
- Under 3000 lumens
- 3000 to 4000 lumens
- Over 4000 lumens
For example, if you’re buying a projector with 3000 lumens, you should firstly test it in the room you’re going to use it. Maybe in that room the 3000-lumen projector is not suitable and you need something with more power. So, if you know the usage and the power you are going to need, you can select a projector suitable for your needs.
3. Additional Cost for Screen
If you want to get the most out of your purchase, there is another expense that you must add on your list and that is the screen. Using just a plain wall will not give you the experience that you can enjoy with a screen. Because if the wall is smooth and it has reflecting properties, you will then experience the light reflecting back to your eyes.
Therefore, it is worth spending money on a good screen. Screens also offer various features, for example some can offer more brightness or can make the black level better. The cost of a screen varies from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousands.
4. Additional Cost for Speakers
Another expense you’re going to have while buying a projector is an additional set of speakers. Adding speakers to a projectors is essential and it could add a strain on your pocket if you want high-quality sound.
Projectors commonly come in 20 DB and 40 DB range. A 20 DB projector would be inaudible, whereas with a 40 DB projector you might hear a little whisper. If you’re buying projectors for small spaces, a 33 to 39 DB range projector at full power might be sufficient for you. But that mainly depends on your preferences and the size of the room. A room of larger size with a greater distance between the projector and screen will need a larger volume range.
5. High Noise Levels
Some projectors generate a fair amount of heat so they use fans and this results in the production of noise. The amount of noise created varies according to the type of projector. Inexpensive and small projectors can be quite loud, whereas larger and more expensive projectors have features that limit the noise production.
If you’re going to place a projector right above your head, then definitely go for a projector that will produce minimum or no noise. If the projector will be away from your sitting area, then there isn’t much to worry about.
6. Too much heat output
Projectors produce too much heat output. The operation of a projector in a small room can result in a suffocating environment. To avoid this issue, go for LED, LCD or laser projectors as they have a minimum heat output and will not ruin your room atmosphere with their excess heat emission.
We often come face to face with making the tough call between price and quality while purchasing electronic gadgets. At the end of the day, all of us wish to bring home a gadget loaded with features without shelling out much from our pocket. A projector paired with a decent level of brightness and resolution can get the job done in most of the cases.
In order to fulfill the large variety of requirements we have, the market has filled up with specialized projector models with some earmarked for well-lit rooms whereas others are tailor-made to get your cinematic experience going strong in dark surroundings. The key lies in choosing which one shall serve you best to take the audio-visual extravaganza to the next level.
Eva is Cartbig’s editor in chief and she has worked on everything Cartbig covers, from beyblades to lawn mowers. In her previous life, she held editorial positions in iEssent and BHP.
She loves reading, she has a daughter and a poorly behaved havanese dog.
She resides in Utah and she works remotely from a desk piled with post-it notes, science fiction books and all kinds of cameras. Even broken ones.