Modern the best projectors under 500 dollars mostly contain LED lamps, which consume little energy and do not require serious cooling. This allowed manufacturers to create units that have the size of a book, which can do all the same as much more cumbersome models. Before a projector buying, you should understand what purposes it will be used for and in what conditions. If you plan to carry it with you, then the priority may be the device’s mass. In this case, do not forget about the cables, remote control, carrying bag, and other accessories because their total weight may be equal to the weight of the projector itself. Make sure that the desired device has sufficient luminous flux to display required scenes under various ambient light conditions.
The size of the room for the projector is a critical factor for choosing. In a small apartment and at a modest screen size (75 inches diagonally) you will probably need no more than 1000 lumens. Most new projectors with abundance provide this minimum, however, in a meeting room of medium size or in a classroom it is better to install a projector with a luminous flux from 1500 to 3000 lumens and big ones – more than 3500 lumens. Here we have four the best projectors under 500 dollars that will not take up much space in the bag and help create a home theater, entertain guests at the apartment, or show a presentation in the office/classroom.
The PJD5134 renders SVGA (800x600) native resolution at 4:3 aspect ratio and sufficient nominal brightness of 2800 lumens. It has a good set of connections: two VGA inputs (which can work with component video), one VGA output, audio input, and output connectors, S-Video, RCA connector for composite video, and a mini-USB type B port for the mouse remote control. All of them work seamlessly. The overall quality of the projected text is satisfactory, although the smallest size of white text on black is somewhat blurred but readable. It has a quick turn-off function and vertical keystone correction that allow you efficiently and easily manage the projector. Thanks to all these peculiarities, the device belongs to top projectors under 500 dollars for home and office usage.
It’s a wireless device with 3600 lumens of brightness and WXGA resolution (1280x800) for demonstrating colorful and vivid images. The unit not only supports the HDMI and MHL but also allows you to quickly connect the tablets/smartphones and project content. The device shows a really bright picture even against a flat wall with some lights on. The soft carrying case is compact and protects all the wires from falling down and being out of pocket. Epson’s body frame combines black and silver colors, but the light part is a fingerprint magnet, even the smallest scratches are visible. The projector is small (9.9 x 11.9 x 3.6 inches), so it’s easy to take it in a bag and use in different locations. It can’t be called the best home theater projector under 500 dollars, but the EX3260 is a decent unit for different purposes.
The device is small (11.6 x 9 x 3.1 inches) and light weighted (5.1 pounds): it also has a firm bag for transportation. All the inputs are visible and reachable; moreover, the image shows without delay. It works with Apple gadgets, but the inbuilt speakers are rather weak, and it’s better to connect the external ones. After the position changing, the Epson EX3210 is able to adjust its angle automatically that simplifies the process of using. The cooling fan works rather loud, but it doesn’t distract the attention during the working process.
The projector has a spacious battery and is able to work 2.5 hours offline. The user can send content to the projector from various gadgets, using Wi-Fi Screen Share technology. It’s also easy to connect the speakers via Bluetooth. The PH550 has a brightness of 550 lumens, so colors are not really saturated and on a sunny day, it might be hard to see everything clearly. The box is white and small, but all the dust and small spots are easy to see. The cooling fan itself works quiet and it’s possible to use the projector even at night in a room with children. Among different projectors under 500 dollars, this model looks reliable due to its solid box and has a decent color reproduction, but, at the same time, it isn’t complemented with zoom, so it’s hard to see all the pictured details.