12 Best Projectors for Under $1000 of 2020 bang for your buck!

by Matthew Wilson

Last updated on May 5th, 2020

Last updated on May 5th, 2020

We have a fail-safe method for choosing the best projector for under 1000 dollars. Just learn what we have to teach you about the specs and pick a projector that meets all of your minimum requirements. How easy is that?

We studied what the specs are and what makes each one important. Then we ran all the projectors under 1000 dollars through the ringer. We were left with 12 that we feel good about recommending to you.

Let’s get to it. Read the reviews, then learn all about what makes an awesome projector.

Our Top Recommended Projectors Under $1000

ViewSonic 4K Projector

ViewSonic 4K Projector with 3500 Lumens HDR Support and Dual HDMI for Home Theater Day and Night (PX747-4K) (Renewed)
  • Our Rating
  • Resolution: 3840x2160 UHD

    Throw: 3-38 feet

    Contrast: 12000:1

    Zoom: 1.2

    Connectivity: Dual HDMI

Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector

Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector for Movies and Gaming, Super Bright 3300 Lumens, Long 12000h Lamp Life, 3D Support, Easy Setup with Zoom and Keystone Adjustment
  • Our Rating
  • Resolution: 1920x1080

    Throw: 1.47:1-1.61:1

    Contrast: 23000:1

    Zoom: 1.1

    Connectivity: Dual HDMI, 3D sync port and 3.5mm audio in and out

AAXA 4K LED Home Projector

AAXA 4K1 LED Home Theater Projector, 30,000 Hour LEDs, Mercury Free, Native 4K UHD Resolution, Dual HDMI with HDCP 2.2, 1500 Lumens, E-Focus, Portable Size
  • Our Rating
  • Resolution: 3840x2160

    Throw: 1.2:1

    Contrast: Approximately 12000:1

    Zoom: 1.1

    Connectivity: Dual HDMI, USB and TF card

Top 12 Projectors Under $1000 on the Market:

ViewSonic 4K Projector with 3500 Lumens HDR Support and Dual HDMI for Home Theater Day and Night (PX747-4K)

What reviewers are saying:

People who have one of these projectors use phrases like “best bang for the buck” and “great all-around affordable projector” to describe it. In fact, all of the great customer reviews have led us to believe that this is the best 4K projector under 1,000 bucks.

We were hard pressed to find any complaints about this one. Most negative comments come from people who don’t really understand how to set a projector up. There were a few complaints from people who didn’t understand the limitations of profectors when they bought it, too.

All in all, everyone was happy with their purchase and would make the same decision again. That’s why ViewSonic has such a high customer loyalty rate. People get a good product like this, and they return for the quality and value.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 3840×2160 UHD
  • Display technology: DLP chip
  • Throw: 3-38 feet
  • Image size: 100″ @ 10-½’
  • Zoom: 1.2
  • Contrast: 12000:1
  • Brightness: 3500 lumens
  • Connectivity: Dual HDMI

ViewSonic 4K Projector with 3500 Lumens HDR Support and Dual HDMI for Home Theater Day and Night (PX747-4K) (Renewed)

Pros/Cons

  • Good value
  • Fantastic picture quality
  • Very good sound
  • The price is higher than 1000 dollars, but you can get this one on sales for a more affordable price.

Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector for Movies and Gaming, Super Bright 3300 Lumens, Long 12000h Lamp Life, 3D Support, Easy Setup with Zoom and Keystone Adjustment

What reviewers are saying:

People who like the possibilities of 3D and gaming have voted this the best home theater projector under 1000 dollars. They like that, even if they aren’t quite ready for it yet, they can have 3D entertainment in the future.

Some have noticed a little rainbowing around the edge of the image when they throw a large picture from a long distance. This is just a minor annoyance for most.

A more worrisome complaint is the warranty claims because of dead pixels. This can really affect the picture quality, but Optoma has been great when it comes to making their customers happy with replacement projectors and repairs.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Display technology: DMD DLP chip
  • Throw: 1.47:1-1.61:1
  • Image size: 28’-301”
  • Zoom: 1.1
  • Contrast: 23000:1
  • Brightness: 3500 lumens
  • Connectivity: Dual HDMI, 3D sync port and 3.5mm audio in and out

Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector for Movies and Gaming, Super Bright 3300 Lumens, Long 12000h Lamp Life, 3D Support, Easy Setup with Zoom and Keystone Adjustment

Pros/Cons

  • Great color
  • Brightness is enough for high-light rooms
  • 3D-capable
  • Easy to set up
  • Low latency
  • Possible rainbow effect around the edge of the picture when running a large image size
  • There have been complaints about dead pixels after only a couple months of use

AAXA 4K1 LED Home Theater Projector, 30,000 Hour LEDs, Mercury Free, Native 4K UHD Resolution, Dual HDMI with HDCP 2.2, 1500 Lumens, E-Focus, Portable Size

What reviewers are saying:

Customers like that they can toss this projector in a small bag and bring it with them to parties or even on vacation. And it’s so easy to get focused using the remote, there’s no problem getting a good picture wherever they use it.

Some people say the fan is too noisy. Those LEDs must run pretty hot.

There have also been some gripes about latency. The lag seems to be higher than 80ms. That can cause some frame skipping. There are much better 4K projectors under 1000 dollars for gaming.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Display technology: DLP chip and LED lamp
  • Throw: 1.2:1
  • Image size: Up to 200”
  • Zoom: 1.1
  • Contrast: Approximately 12000:1
  • Brightness: 1500 lumens
  • Connectivity: Dual HDMI, USB and TF card

AAXA 4K1 LED Home Theater Projector, 30,000 Hour LEDs, Mercury Free, Native 4K UHD Resolution, Dual HDMI with HDCP 2.2, 1500 Lumens, E-Focus, Portable Size

Pros/Cons

  • Very portable
  • Long-life lamp
  • Remote focus capability
  • On-board media player
  • Not the fastest processor
  • Noisy fans

Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector, by Anker, Palm-Sized 200 ANSI Lumen 720p HD Portable Projector with Wi-Fi, DLP, 8W Speaker, 100 Inch Picture, 5,000+ Apps, Movie Projector, Home Entertainment

What reviewers are saying:

People are amazed at this compact Android projector under 1000 dollars. It really is incredible. They like that they can take it anywhere and stream their favorite shows onto a wall with an image of up to 100 inches.

Many have commented on how this thing starts tech conversations. It really is a cool gadget that can provide hours entertainment almost anywhere. Most wish that it was brighter, though.

You’ll have to pull the shades on a sunny day to be able to see the image clearly. But you have to remember that this works off of a lithium battery, so you can’t really get that much light without sacrificing battery life.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1280×720
  • Display technology: DLP chip
  • Throw: 1.38:1
  • Image size: Up to 100”
  • Zoom: Automatic
  • Contrast: 12000:1
  • Brightness: 200 lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB type A, WiFi, Bluetooth and Chromecast

Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector, by Anker, Palm-Sized 200 ANSI Lumen 720p HD Portable Projector with Wi-Fi, DLP, 8W Speaker, 100 Inch Picture, 5,000+ Apps, Movie Projector, Home Entertainment

Pros/Cons

  • Portable
  • Works with thousands of apps and devices
  • Long battery lilfe
  • Incredible wireless connectivity
  • Very simple setup
  • Maximum 720p res
  • Needs to be used in a darkened room

VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector, 1080P and 170'' Display Supported, 3600L Portable Movie Projector with 40,000 Hrs LED Lamp Life, Compatible with TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, TF, AV and USB

What reviewers are saying:

What people talk about most is the price. Some people who thought they couldn’t afford a projector until they found this super affordable home cinema projector under 1000 dollars.

As far as performance goes. most everyone is satisfied. They like that the brightness is good enough to use in any room. Some have lamented that more contrast would be better, but there really aren’t many complaints about that either. The picture has a very good quality with bright colors and true whites and blacks.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Display technology: LCD with LED lamp
  • Throw: 1.3:1
  • Image size: Up to 170”
  • Zoom: None
  • Contrast: 2000:1
  • Brighhtness: 3600 lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, TF card, micro USB and AV cables

VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector, 1080P and 170'' Display Supported, 3600L Portable Movie Projector with 40,000 Hrs LED Lamp Life, Compatible with TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, TF, AV and USB

Pros/Cons

  • Very good price
  • Very bright
  • Multiple connection options
  • Lower contrast than comparable models
  • Even though setup is pretty easy, the lack of throw adjustment and zoom make it hard to fine tune the picture

ViewSonic 3600 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone and 1080p Support (PA503S)

What reviewers are saying:

This projector is so bright, that some people have used it to watch movies outside in the daytime. That’s one of the features that make it the best business projector under 1000 dollars. The intuitive menu is another one. People have said that they were able to navigate to all corners of the menu on the first try.

People talk about the picture quality. It’s good enough not only for meetings, but for entertainment as well. The resolution isn’t so great, especially at larger image sizes. But it’s pretty good when you consider the price.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 800×600
  • Display technology: DLP chip
  • Throw: 1.96:1-2.15:1
  • Image size: 30”-300”
  • Zoom: 1.1
  • Contrast: 22000:1
  • Brightness: 3600 lumens
  • Connectivity: Mini USB, HDMI, VGA, composite and 3.5mm audio in and out

ViewSonic 3600 Lumens SVGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone and 1080p Support (PA503S)

Pros/Cons

  • Very affordable
  • Low latency of about 16ms
  • Easy to set up
  • Very bright
  • Works with older and newer source devices
  • Not very good resolution

Epson Home Cinema 2150 Wireless 1080p Miracast, 3LCD projector

What reviewers are saying:

Some savy shoppers went looking for a wireless full HD projector under 1000 dollars. And they were pleased when they found this one. Many projectors actually lose enough resolution when connected wirelessly that they fall below 720p. But everyone loves the MHL port that allows the quick data transmission needed for high HD streaming without wires.

Some wish the brightness was a little higher, but most are happy with it the way it is.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Display technology: DLP chip with LED lamp
  • Throw: 1.3:1
  • Image size: Up to 132”
  • Zoom: 1.6
  • Contrast: 60000:1
  • Brightness: 2500 lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI and wireless high definition port (MHL)

Epson Home Cinema 2150 Wireless 1080p Miracast, 3LCD projector

Pros/Cons

  • Good value
  • Awesome colors
  • Really crisp contrast
  • Maxumum brightness still requires a somewhat dim room – You have to pull the shades or reduce room lighting for the best experience
  • Limited connectivity

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector | Enhanced Gaming Mode for 1080P 120Hz Gaming at 8.4ms | 4K UHD Support | Play HDR for 4K and 1080P | High 3800 lumens for Day & Night Gaming, White

What reviewers are saying:

Gamers who have experience say that this one offers a better image for games than even the best Epson projector under 1000 dollars. Many of them didn’t know that a latency of less than 9ms was available in a projector, let alone at this price.

The colors get rave reviews as well. It’s all about the six-segment color wheel. That’s what enables such a great contrast and depth.

Gamers often pay well over $1500 to get such a low latency and high refresh rate. And many comparable projectors at higher prices do not have the wide range of colors or the 3D capabiltiy that this one has.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Display technology: DLP chip
  • Throw: Approximately 2.2:1 (not adjustable)
  • Image size: Up to 120”
  • Zoom: None
  • Contrast: 50000:1
  • Brightness: 3800 lumens
  • Connectivity: Dual HDMI and VGA

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector | Enhanced Gaming Mode for 1080P 120Hz Gaming at 8.4ms | 4K UHD Support | Play HDR for 4K and 1080P | High 3800 lumens for Day & Night Gaming, White

Pros/Cons

  • It’s the best gaming projector under 1000 dollars
  • Breathtaking colors
  • Nice speaker
  • Although great for smaller rooms, it’s hard to adjust for longer throws in bigger rooms

Mini Projector, Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector 1080p Supported HD DLP LED Rechargeable Pico Projector with HDMI, USB, TF, and Micro SD Supports iPhone Android Laptop PC Projectors for Outdoor

What reviewers are saying:

Not many people had ever even seen a projector this small before they bought this one. And most everyone was happy with their purchase.

This isn’t the best gaming projector under 1000 dollars, but it can be connected to gaming consoles. Gamers like that they can put this one into their pocket and go to a friend’s house to play.

Hardcore entertainment buffs aren’t really impressed with the picture quality or brightness, but those who just wanted a small, portable projector were thrilled at his price.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 800×420
  • Display Technology: LCD and LED lampo
  • Throw: 1.4:1
  • Image size: 15”-132”
  • Zoom: None
  • Contrast: 12000:1
  • Brightness: 1800 lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Mini USB, micro SD and TF card

Mini Projector, Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector 1080p Supported HD DLP LED Rechargeable Pico Projector with HDMI, USB, TF, and Micro SD Supports iPhone Android Laptop PC Projectors for Outdoor

Pros/Cons

  • Very small and light
  • Awesome price
  • Connects to many types of devices
  • Not very bright
  • Low resolution

 

BenQ HT2150ST 1080P Short Throw Projector | 2200 Lumens | 96% Rec.709 for Accurate Colors | Low Input Lag Ideal for Gaming | 2D Keystone for Flexible Setup

What reviewers are saying:

The colors are a big hit. All those vivid hues really come out with that nice contrast. This is a great movie projector under 1000 dollars, and people have responded to that.

There haven’t been any complaints about the relatively low brightness. In fact, people say that the image quality is great, and they often recommend this projector to their friends.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Display technology: DLP chip
  • Throw: .60:1-.83:1
  • Image size: Up to 300”
  • Zoom: 1.2
  • Contrast: 15000:1
  • Brightness: 2200 lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, VGA and USB

BenQ HT2150ST 1080P Short Throw Projector | 2200 Lumens | 96% Rec.709 for Accurate Colors | Low Input Lag Ideal for Gaming | 2D Keystone for Flexible Setup

Pros/Cons

  • Good price
  • Nice sound
  • Very good colors
  • The brightness may be a problem in very high ambient light

Epson PowerLite 1781W WXGA, 3,200 lumens color brightness (color light output), 3,200 lumens white brightness wireless 3LCD Portable Projector

What reviewers are saying:

It’s described by people as being as thin and portable as a laptop. That feature makes it a popular choice for business people as well as those shopping for TV projectors under 1000 dollars.

Many have commented on how easy it is to get a good, centered image at home and the office. That’s been a major selling point

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1280×800
  • Display technology: DLP chip and LED lamp
  • Throw: 1.04:1-1.26:1
  • Image size: Up to 270″
  • Zoom: 1.1
  • Contrast: 12000:1 minimum
  • Brightness: 3200 lumens
  • Connectivity: Wireless (built-in high speed LAN), HDMI and audio/video cables

Epson PowerLite 1781W WXGA, 3,200 lumens color brightness (color light output), 3,200 lumens white brightness wireless 3LCD Portable Projector

Pros/Cons

  • Easy to set up and center image
  • Bright enough for rooms with overhead lighting
  • Thin design
  • Connects to mobile devices in one step
  • Resolution not high enough for true HD entertainment

ASUS P3B Portable LED Projector with Speakers 800 Lumens WXGA (1280x800) HDMI VGA Wireless 12000mAh Battery Up to 3 hours | Media Player | Remote | 2 Years Warranty

What reviewers are saying:

This is the best ultra short throw projector under 1000 dollars. And it’s so easy to figure out the distance needed between teens and surface that you’re throwing to. Everyone says that the distance is equal to the screen size. And with a throw of 1:1, they’re right.

The main complaint is that the brightness is automatically reduced to 50 percent when operating on battery power. The room has to be darkenwd. But its somewjat bright wheb plugged into an outlet.

Specifications:

  • Resolution: 1280×800
  • Display technology: DLP chip and LED lamp
  • Throw: 1:1
  • Image size: Up to 200″
  • Zoom: Automatic
  • Contrast: 15000:1
  • Brightness: 800 lumens
  • Connectivity: Wireless, HDMI, USB, micro SD and VGA

ASUS P3B Portable LED Projector with Speakers 800 Lumens WXGA (1280x800) HDMI VGA Wireless 12000mAh Battery Up to 3 hours | Media Player | Remote | 2 Years Warranty

Pros/Cons

  • Long battery life
  • Can charge mobile devices
  • Good connection options
  • Not very bright, especially when running off the battery
  • Low resolution for a home cinema projector

Factors To Consider When Buying A Projector Under $1000

Decide on the minimum specs you need. Then picking the best home theater projector for the money will be easy.

Resolution

The higher the resolution is, the clearer, sharper and more detailed the picture will be. It is generally agreed that high resolution begins at 720p. Ultra high definition, or UHD, is above 1080p.

Let’s keep it simple. When the res is described as two numbers separated by an “x”, the first number is the important one.

That number, when used to define a projector’s resolution, is the highest res that the projector is capable of reproducing. The higher it js, the better. But higher res uses more data. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to support the res you’re trying to reproduce, you’ll encounter a lot of buffering.

It’s best to get the highest resolution picture that your sources will support and your bandwidth will allow.

Display Technology

This is the hardware that makes the image. In projectors under $1000, it usually consists of a chip and a lamp.

DLP chips are the most common and the best in this price range.

LED lamps last longer, but they add more to the price of the projector. Regular lamps are cheaper, but need to be replaced sooner.

Brightness And Contrast

Brightness is expressed in lumens. For dedicated home theaters with controlled lighting, any brightness will do. For rooms with high ambient light, you need at least 3,000 lumens.

Contrast refers to the sharpness between colors. Higher ratios are more crisp, but are often found in more expensive projectors.

Throw And Zoom

The throw ratio helps you calculate what the image size will be at any given distance. Multiply your desired image size by the throw ratio. That tells you the distance to put between the projector and the surface you’re projecting onto.

 

For a 100″ image from a 1.4:1 throw projector, that distance is 140 inches. A 5′ image requires seven feet.

Most projectors have adjustable throw ratios and zoom capability. Both of these features allow you to adjust the image size and focus in case you can’t have exactly the distance you need for the picture size you want.

Connectivity

Check to make sure you’ll be able to connect the projector to the source components you have now and the ones you want to get in the near future.

Projectors Under $1000 FAQs

What Is Rainbowing?

Rainbowing refers to the prism effect that occurs around the edges of the image at larger image sizes. It’s a common problem with projectors. It can be solved by moving the projector closer to the surface you’re projecting on and adjusting the throw ratio and zoom to make the image bigger.

How Are Projectors Mounted?

They can be mounted from a ceiling or to a wall. Many manufacturers make mounting kits especially for their projectors, but universal kits are also available. All projectors can be simply placed on a table instead of being mounted.

Does The Room Have To Be Dark To Watch TV With A Projector?

Projectors with low image brightness, 1000 lumens and below, require a dark room for the best viewing or gaming experience. Projectors with brightnesses of 1500 to 2700 lumens do well in most rooms with some ambient light. Bright rooms need a projector with a brightness rating of at least 3000 lumens.

Do Projectors Have Speakers?

Most home video projectors under 1000 dollars do have integrated speakers. Of course, almost all of them have audio out jacks for adding additional speakers or a sound bar. A 10-watt integrated speaker provides great sound. Two watts is the lowest you should go if you won’t be adding additional speakers.

Conclusion

The ViewSonic PX747-4K 4K projector is the best all-around home projector under 1000 dollars. It gives the best image and has the greatest value.

Optoma’s HD243X can save you some money of you are OK with a lower resolution of 1080p.

For a tiny and totally portable projector, take a look at AAXA’s projector. It’s almost small enough to fit in your pocket.

Don’t wait until the prices go up. There’s some really awesome projectors out there for under $1000. Get one today.