Best Projectors in 2023
By Julie James · Aug 14, 2022
7 Best Projectors in 2023
Best value for money projector
Best budget compact projector
Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Best portable projector
Xgimi MoGo Pro
Product available at:
Best premium projector
Best for home theater
Epson Home Cinema 3800
Best projector for smaller rooms
Best budget 4K projector
Optoma True 4K Projector
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The images and videos that you project will vary based on how far away this projector is from the screen. You can enjoy a 120-inch image from nearly 10 feet away and see an image of 100 inches when the projector is more than 10 feet away. Adjusting the zoom allows you to get closer to the action.
This BenQ projector is compatible with many other devices. It works with HDMI and VGA cables as well as USB cables. You can pair it with any type of computer or a MAC and use the projector with mobile devices, televisions, and game consoles. Just make sure you have the right cable for the job.
Though BenQ claims you can use this projector with any type of light, it works better at night than it does during the day. The lumens it produces are below the amount recommended for daytime use. You will find that it works well both at night and later in the day as the sun goes down.
The HT2050A has a Game mode for gamers. This mode reduces blurriness and lag times. The SmartEco mode cuts down on the brightness during darker scenes to make the lamp last longer. You can also stick to the Normal mode, which is the mode it uses right out of the box. This gives you up to 3,500 hours of lamp use.
Buying the HT2050A gives you a limited warranty. It starts on the day you buy the projector. You can also file a claim as long as you did not use the lamp for more than 2,000 hours. The BenQ official website shows you what information you need to file your warranty claim.
Pros & Cons
- With 2,200 lumens, the projector works in most situations and conditions
- You can see more than 700 colors due to the high contrast ratio and color wheel
- It reduces lags and blurry spots when you use it for gaming
- You can project images and videos onto screens at sizes up to 120 inches
- A built-in speaker provides all of the sounds and noises you want to hear
- The zoom feature may not get as close as you would like
- You will likely see some rainbows that appear on your screen as the projector changes colors
- Though it has a lens shift, it’s not as good as those on more expensive projectors are
Anker Mars designed this projector to work at different distances. It has a throw distance of 8.73 feet if you want an image of 100 inches. Using it around 7 feet away will reduce the throw distance to 80 inches. You can also use it just 3.48 feet away from your screen and still enjoy an image of 40 inches.
The Nebula Pro II is compatible with any device that uses a USB 2.0 cable or an HDMI cable. This includes the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. To watch content through streaming apps, you need to download the apps from the Anker Mars store and sign in to your account through the projector.
This projector is best for nighttime use and conditions where there isn’t a lot of natural light. It produces fewer lumens than you need to see clearly on a bright day. You may have a difficult time seeing the projection in a room with a lot of artificial or natural light, too.
Though the Nebula Pro II has different modes, each one affects the battery. The High Brightness mode amps up the number of lumens and drops the battery life down to around 1.5 hours. You can also use Auto mode to let the projector change itself as needed or the Standard Mode or Battery Mode to reduce the power it uses.
Anker Mars does not offer a warranty that covers the lamp or any other parts for a certain number of hours. Your warranty only lasts for one year and begins when you order the projector. Similar projectors have warranties that cover the lamps for 2,000 hours or more and other parts for two years or longer.
Pros & Cons
- Our pick for the best budget projector because it costs so much less than other models do
- Has built-in speakers that are louder than speakers of the same size are
- The lightweight and portable design makes it perfect for use outside
- You can mount or use the projector on any flat surface like a coffee table or cabinet
- Has a battery life of more than three hours and works with external batteries
- Lacks some of the high contrast and brightness of other projectors
- Does not work with all of the apps that you may want to download
- You might find that it doesn’t display some of the colors you expect to see
Despite its small size, the MoGo Pro projects images quite a distance away from your screen. When it is less than two meters from the screen, it lets you view a 60-inch image. Moving it a little further back to around 2.5 meters will increase the size to between 80 and 100 inches.
Using this projector with other devices is easy because it has so many built-in ports. The headphone jack lets you watch movies or play video games without blaring music and sounds. With the HDMI and USB ports, you can plug in game consoles and mobile devices. The MoGo Pro also works with Bluetooth devices.
You should not buy this projector if you want to play games outside or watch movies in the middle of the day because it does not produce enough lumens for those activities. The 300 lumens it produces are best for nighttime use. Even lights in your yard can interfere with its projection.
Though it costs less than similar projectors do, the MoGo Pro lacks some of the modes that those models have. It has a Standard mode, which is what it uses right out of the box. You’ll also find an Eco mode that produces fewer lumens to reduce the amount of power needed to run the projector.
You have 15 days to return the projector for a complete refund or exchange it if you find any defects. The brand’s warranty covers the whole projector for a year. You must go online and visit the official website to register your projector if you think you may need to use the warranty.
Pros & Cons
- Works great with Android devices like phones and tablets
- Includes a durable lamp that can last for up to 30,000 hours
- Uses manual four-point keystone correction to identify and fix contrast and saturation issues
- Projects videos and images of up to 100 inches in size on a dedicated screen
- Has multiple USB ports for working with your cables as well as wireless features
- One of the lightest projects on the market, which makes it highly portable
- Does not have a card reader to let you project from a memory card
- Delivers only 300 lumens, which may reduce where and how often you use it
- Similar portable projectors cost a little less
This Sony projector has a throw distance of 12.5 to 30.5 feet. You can use the Sony throw distance calculator to see how it will perform in your home based on the ambient lighting and screen size you have. The image size you get ranges from around 140 feet up to more than 280 feet.
As it works with HDMI cables, you can connect almost any device to this projector. We recommend that you use streaming boxes and video game consoles. An HDMI cable allows you to connect a PS4 or Xbox One to the projector or use it with a Nintendo Switch. It’s also compatible with many Roku boxes.
If you live in a home with limited ambient lighting, this Sony projector works well for you. You may need to cover some of your windows or adjust the lighting in the room. It is heavy enough that you may not want to use it outside. The projector can also run during the day as long as you reduce some of the surrounding light.
With nine modes available, you should not have any problems getting the picture that you want from this projector. The Game mode adjusts the lumens from 888 to 1,233 as you progress through each level. Some of the other helpful modes include Bright TV mode for watching television when there’s a lot of light and Photo mode for displaying still images.
Sony offers free online tech support if you need help using your new projector. Tech support can also help you file a warranty claim. Sony covers the lamp and all other parts for three years, which is longer than other brands. You must register your projector online to use the warranty.
Pros & Cons
- Works great right out of the box with no adjustments on your part
- Uses a TRILUMINOS display to help you see richer and brighter shades
- Delivers true 4k resolution when you use the projector with an HDMI cable
- Motionflow reduces motion blurs when you watch sports and action films or play video games
- With Reality Creation, you can upscale the content that you watch to improve its resolution
- The price is well outside of most shoppers’ budgets
- It doesn’t produce enough brightness for use when there’s a lot of light or you have a large screen
- You may find that it doesn’t show dark colors as well as it should
The Epson 5050UB has a throw distance of 27 feet and 11 inches. This allows you to project an image of up to 183 inches across and 103 inches tall. The throw distance drops slightly when you use the projector in a room with more natural or bright light and rises in a room with less light.
As this Epson projector works with an HDMI cable, it’s compatible with all devices that use the same cable. You will have no problem using the included HDMI cable clips to keep the cables in place when you pair the projector with a video game console or a streaming device that lets you download apps.
Though you can use the 5050UB projector during the day, it usually works and looks better at night or in conditions where there isn’t a lot of light. You might try closing the curtains on the windows and turning off any lights in the room to make sure you get the brightness and clarity you want.
Epson gives you eight color modes on this projector. While the Dynamic mode is the brightest, the B&W mode is the best option to use if you love older black and white movies. With the Digital Cinema mode, you can turn your home into a theater and get the full movie-going experience. Other modes include 3D Cinema and 3D Dynamic, but they are only available if you have a 3D signal.
The 5050UB comes with a limited 90-day warranty that covers just the lamp and a two-year warranty that covers most of the other parts. Epson gives you access to its PrivateLine, which lets you get priority when you call customer support with a problem. You get replacement parts within two days, too.
Pros & Cons
- Functions as a wireless projector when it detects a Wi-Fi signal and also works with an HDMI cable
- Has brilliant contrast and tons of brightness to pull you deeper into your videos
- Ranks as the best projector for your home theater system
- Uses advanced technology and three chips to project images and videos faster
- Projects a large image on any flat surface like a wall in your home
- Can produce some artifacts that interfere with your videos as you run the projector
- Has some restrictions that can prevent you from streaming with the clarity that you want via Hulu and Netflix
- One of the more expensive home projectors on the market
The throw distance of this BenQ projector is just three feet. When you use the projector three feet away from the screen, it projects an image of up to 100 inches. Moving the projector to other areas of the room and further away from the screen will increase the image of up to 300 inches.
As one of the best projectors for gamers, it is compatible with most game consoles, including the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PS4. The D-Sub port lets you connect to other devices like some computers and computer monitors. You can connect other devices to the BenQ projector with a VGA cable.
Though the BenQ projector will work during the day, it depends on how much is nearby. The 2,200 lumens it produces are enough to handle a small amount of light, but you may want to use blackout curtains or turn off the lights. It performs better in rooms with less natural or ambient light.
Choose from two different modes when playing video games with this projector. The Game mode is perfect for use when you have some night around you, but the Game (Bright) mode is even better for situations when you need your screen to appear brighter. It also has both a Day mode and a Night mode.
Thanks to the one-year warranty, you have a full 12 months to use this BenQ projector and work through any bugs it might have. BenQ has a website where you can both register your projector and file a warranty claim. You need to use the email address you attached to the projector when you file a claim.
Pros & Cons
- Offers sharper contrast and better clarity than similar projectors do
- Works great in small rooms and spaces where you need to keep the projector close to your screen
- Gives you more time to react and improves your response time when gaming
- Mounts onto the ceiling to save you space
- Uses DLP technology to let you enjoy the benefits of theater tech
- Works with an internal color wheel to help you see more colors and shades
- Lacks any support for HDR viewing
- Limits the resolution to 1080p, which is less than other projectors
- Costs a lot of money given that it lacks some of the features and support you might need
Though budget projectors often require that you sit close to the screen, this one allows you more freedom. It can project an image of 120 inches from 13.1 feet away from the screen when you choose the 4k mode. If you select the UHD mode, you can project a 300-inch image from the same distance.
Designed for people who love movies and games, this 4k projector is compatible with most of the devices you own and any you plan to buy. You can connect a Mac or a PC to the projector and use it with streaming boxes. It is also compatible with video game consoles and mobile devices.
With 3,600 lumens, the True 4k Projector works equally well during the day and night. You may need to adjust some of the features for daytime use though as it’s so bright that you may have a hard time seeing the projection when there is a lot of light. For nighttime use, it works as-is right out of the box.
Optoma gives you nine modes to ensure that you can use this projector whenever you want. The Bright mode comes in handy when you want to play a game outside in the middle of the day. Some of the other modes you might like include 3D, HDR, and Cinema, which recreates the settings that theaters use.
Buying this warranty allows you to take advantage of a one-year warranty. This warranty covers the projector and any parts it might need. It also covers the light source for up to five years or 12,000 hours, whichever comes first. Optoma also offers extended warranties that cover your projector for three years or five years.
Pros & Cons
- Has a strong refresh rate of up to 240Hz when you use it with video games
- Offers sharp and gorgeous 4K resolution for games, TV shows, and movies
- Mounts to your ceiling for convenient use anywhere in your home
- Includes keystone correction to prevent color mistakes
- 1.1X zoom allows you to get as close to the action as possible
- Works at a distance of up to 13 feet away from your projection screen without losing clarity
- Produces some blurry images when you project in 3D
- Doesn’t have as sharp of contrast as other projectors in this price range do
- Costs more than other projectors designed for gamers and movie buffs
List of all Best Projectors in 2023 for your needs
|BenQ HT2050A||08/2022||$ 749.00||Buy|
|Anker Nebula Mars II Pro||08/2022||$ 399.99||Buy|
|Xgimi MoGo Pro||08/2022||$ 499.00||Buy|
|Sony VPL-VE325ES||08/2022||$ 5495.00||Buy|
|Epson Home Cinema 3800||08/2022||$ 1499.99||Buy|
|BenQ HT2150ST||08/2022||$ 899.00||Buy|
|Optoma True 4K Projector||08/2022||$ 1348.00||Buy|
What Are the Different Types of Projectors?
Though you might remember the old projector that your teacher used in the classroom, these electronic devices came a long way over the years. You’ll now find some that let you recreate the feeling of a drive-in movie theater in your living room or backyard and others that let you show family movies in a fun and new way. Make sure that you look at all of the different types of projectors to find the best option for your home and needs.
Whether you plan on inviting over friends to watch a new movie or you want to stream your favorite show, you might go with a 4k projector. These projectors often use a USB hardware interface that makes it easy to connect one to your TV. As they offer 4k resolution, they can pull you into a video and make you feel like you’re a part of the action. You can choose a portable model or opt for one that you can mount to the ceiling in your home.
If you want a convenient projector that you can use in different ways, consider a nebula projector. You can use one as-is and connect it to your TV or another device with some type of cable like a USB cable. Many models allow you to connect to a Wi-Fi signal and download apps to watch videos. You can even log into your Netflix or Disney+ account and stream videos through it. Nebula projectors are lightweight and easy to carry.
If you want a projector that works with your TV but can also connect to other devices, go with an LED projector. These are great for working professionals because they work in most office settings. An LED projector offers the sharp clarity that you need when displaying images or videos. Though they can make a lot of noise due to the interior fan, some models reduce the size of that fan and use soundproofing to reduce the noises you hear.
Some shoppers prefer laser projectors because they don’t want to spend a lot of money on one and a lot of time on maintenance. Laser projectors can last for years and won’t overheat or burn out as quickly as some models do. They use laser beams that adjust the colors and saturation levels as they run.
LCD projectors are similar to the ones you once used in school. They function as both overhead and slide projectors. You place a flat image on the projector and turn on the light, which shines the image onto a nearby surface. Though they do not work as well for moving images, LCD projectors are suitable for business and education uses. The biggest downside is that you may need to replace the crystal panels more often than you would like.
How many lumens do you need?
As you shop for and compare projectors, you’ll notice that most models produce a different amount of lumens. This tells you how bright the projector is and whether it will run as well during the day as it does at night. The term lumen is a type of measurement. It measures how much light a candle will produce in one second. You might think that you need a higher number of lumens because you want a bright image or a lower number because you don’t mind seeing some dark spots. As the 100-watt bulbs in your home put out up to 1,600 lumens, it’s easy to see how bright some projectors are.
The best projects for home use generally produce between 2,000 and 4,000 lumens. A projector that produces 3,000 lumens will project an image onto a flat surface of up to 80 inches without creating any blurry areas or distortions. Distortions often appear around the edges of the image but can also appear near the center of the screen. A projector with a smaller number of lumens will work better in dark spaces, while one with a higher number is better for brighter spaces.
Daytime vs. nighttime use
Keep in mind that brighter projectors are not always better than darker models. You generally need a projector with a higher lumen number if you plan on using it outside or in a room with a lot of natural light. Natural light refers to the sunlight that comes through your windows. You also need to think about ambient light, which can include any lamps in the room or streetlights that shine through your windows. For daytime use, you want a minimum of 3,000 lumens. You can get by with 2,000 or fewer lumens if you plan on using the projector at night when there is less available light.
Indoor and outdoor projecting
The number of lumens you need will also depend on whether you plan to use the projector inside or outside. Outside projectors need a higher lumen count because you have less control over the surrounding lights. You never know when your neighbors might turn on their porch lights or when the streetlights will shine right into your yard. Projectors that produce 2,200-2,500 or more lumens are the best ones for outdoor use. They are bright enough that they can compensate for any lights nearby. For indoor use, you can invest in a projector that produces less than 1,000 lumens. Projectors with 300-1,000 lumens can work nicely outside as long as you limit the surrounding light.
What features matter the most when choosing a projector?
Shopping online is a great way to get a look at all of the top projectors, but you might need some help comparing those models. That’s why we encourage you to take a look at some of the best features to look for in a projector.
You likely have an idea of where and how you want to use a projector, but have you considered where you will mount it? Ceiling mounts are one of the more common types. These projectors come with accessories that help you attach the projector to the ceiling. You just need to make sure that the lens points in the right direction as projectors have either front or rear lenses. Table mounts are another good option because you can use one on any flat surface. You might mount the projector to your coffee table or a sofa table behind your couch. You need to make sure that you mount it far enough off the ground that walking or moving around the projector won’t interfere with the image. Portable projectors do not require mounting and are lightweight. Some even have a built-in handle.
Older projectors tend to burn out quickly because they use lamps that feature old forms of technology. Modern projectors can last much longer, especially when you choose one with a long lamp life. Basic lamps usually last for a minimum of 3,000 hours and can survive for 5,000 hours or longer when you take care of them. You have the option of replacing the lamp to get more life out of your projector. A handful of modern projectors use laser bulbs that last for as long as 20,000 hours. These are a great choice if you want to host movie marathons or game for hours.
Most of the projectors we found have either 4k or UHD resolution. Though you can find some SD projectors, they usually aren’t worth your time or money unless you love watching old movies that studios didn’t enhance. HD projectors have 720p and more than 921,000 pixels. They project the same type of images that HD TVs do. Full HD projectors are more popular today because they increase the pixel count to more than two million and give you 1080p. A full HD projector gives you more than twice as many pixels as an HD projector will. If you own UHD movies or have a streaming plan that offers this resolution type, go with a 4k UHD projector. Between the 2160p and eight million pixels, you’ll see every little thing that happens in the background. You might even pick up on jokes or scenes that you missed in the past. There are also a few 8k UHD projectors on the market, but many customers find that the technology isn’t quite good enough yet to justify the high prices.
Do not buy a projector unless you’re sure it will work with all of your devices. When we picked the best projectors, we included information on what devices work with them. You usually want at least one USB port because USB cables let you plug in your cell phone and other mobile devices. VGA and HDMI ports are helpful for gamers because most consoles use one of those cables. Bluetooth and wireless projectors are also available. Once you connect it to your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal, you can stream content or share data from a linked device. Several projectors let you use a Wi-Fi connection to download apps, too like HBO Max and Discovery+.
A projector’s throw distance tells you how far it can “throw” or project an image. Many brands have online calculators that let you input data about the distance between your projector and screen to tell you how large of an image it can create. A ratio of 1.5 is common, which tells you that the projector will give you one foot of the image for every 1.5 feet you move it away from the screen. Measure your screen to find out how big of an image you want. You can then compare throw ratios to find a projector that delivers a big enough image for the screen but will also fit in the space.
Have you ever watched a movie at home on an old TV and noticed that you didn’t see the whole picture? That is due to the aspect ratio of the film. While movie theaters let you view films the way the directors intended, your TV at home cuts off some of the image. If you want to make sure that you don’t miss a thing, a 4k UHD projector is your best option. It allows you to see every square inch of the video on your screen. Projectors with an XGA aspect ratio only show you a small fraction of the image, which is often 10 percent of it. WXGA, SXGA, and WUXGA aspect ratios are also available. These projectors cut some of the image but show more than XGA does.
Looking at the projector’s contrast ratio lets you see how darker and lighter colors play against each other. Some of the cheaper projectors have a contrast ratio of 3,000: 1 or less. This means that the lighter scenes will appear up to 3,000 times brighter than the darker scenes do. It also applies to the colors within a scene. The brighter and lighter colors have a sharper contrast to the darker colors, which can eliminate shadows and help you see everything in the movie. Some of the more expensive projectors have a contrast ratio of 15,000:1 or more.
Other features to consider
You might also consider features like 3D compatibility and speakers. If you don’t have a surround sound system or have a TV that is softer than you would like, built-in speakers are a must-have. You can compare speakers in terms of the watts they have and how much sound they produce. Projectors with 3D capabilities allow you to watch 3D films at home and get the same experience you would have in a theater, though you may need to invest in 3D glasses to use this feature. Projectors that come with remotes give you more convenience, too. The remote allows you to cycle through modes and turn the projector on and off. Don’t forget to look for projectors that have the modes you want and need either like daytime and nighttime modes as well as game and eco modes.
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Last updated on Aug 14, 2022