Trying to find a high quality projector on a sensible budget? We have been looking for the best projector under $300 and we have identified some top picks for you. All of these high quality AV gadgets are ideal for creating a home theater, for showing work slides or for enhancing your video gaming experience. They retail at less than $300 each, and offer a variety of features to suit every user.
Choosing a projector: what to consider
The modern projector is compact and versatile. While traditional overhead projectors were usually bulky and heavy, today’s AV devices are small and easily portable. Instead of the fuzzy, distorted images we used to associate with home projectors, you can now get sharp cinema-quality pictures in your own living room or back yard.
Projectors can display laptop and PC screens, movies, video games and more onto a special screen, or onto a white wall or sheet. Some projector models attach to the ceiling or wall, while others are placed on the floor or a table. They can be used for many different functions, from watching your favorite movies to making business pitches and presentations.
Choose a projector that fits your budget, can be set up where you need it and has the connectivity you need. Take a look at our reviews below for the year’s top AV tech picks.
Optoma S341 3500 Lumens SVGA 3D DLP Projector with HDMI
- Size: 9.1 x 11.7 x 3.8 inches; 4.8 pounds
- Display info: SVGA 800 X 600; 3500 lumens
This neat and compact projector gives superior image quality using in-built Rec709 color accuracy and a 22,000:1 contrast ratio. This provides that high quality and sharpness you need for movies, photographs and video game content. It is a great choice for home cinema set-ups, as its size makes it more suited to a fixed position than to frequent moving around. If you need a heavy-duty projector but your budget is tight, this model is a top choice.
Unlike many other projectors around this price point, the Optoma model also includes an audio in jack – so you can play sound and video through the one unit. Use the HDMI port to connect televisions and video devices, laptops and even tablets. As well as home movie screenings, this handy little projector makes for a great piece of office kit. Use for your work presentations, training and pitches, or simply to display graphics and clips to large audiences.
Philips PPX4010 Portable LED Pocket Projector with USB and HDMI Connectivity
- Size: 2.1 x 3.8 x 0.7 inches; 9.6 ounces
- Display: 120″ projection; HD LED display; 100 lumens
You can connect this cute little projector to any audio output device – from DVD players and PCs to your smartphone or tablet. The Mini-HDMI to HDMI cable and the Micro USB to USB-Y-cable adapt to just about any piece of tech and allow you to stream your video content directly through the projector itself. However, you will need to connect to your own speakers or rely on your computer’s sound output when playing videos.
LED technology and its patented Smart Engine create brilliant colors and high contrast, at a distance of anything up to 120 inches. A tiny box around the size of your computer mouse and smaller than your cell phone, this great little projector will actually fit in your pocket – perfect for those who spend life on the go. It won’t break the bank and the tough case means it can withstand plenty of journeys. Set it up anywhere and project your work screen, the film you are watching or the game you are playing.
L5A LED LCD (HD 720p) Video Projector – International Version
- Size: 13.7 x 10.6 x 5.7 inches; 6.5 pounds
- Display: 3000 lumens; HD 1280 x 768 pixel resolution; 50″-200″ image output
One of the most versatile home projectors on the market today, this great model can take on just about any function – at home or at work. It can be fitted to the ceiling or stood on the floor or a small table, and it will project clearly at a screen size of between 50 inches and 200 inches as preferred. You can link it with a console or a computer, and it will even play your movies directly from your USB flash drive.
Stream apps like Netflix and Hulu straight to your projector and enjoy TV shows and movies in your own home theater. Although slightly bulkier than the mini-projectors we have featured, this L5A device is still small enough to be portable and it can be used comfortably even in smaller rooms and spaces.
LG Electronics PV150G LED Minibeam Projector with Wireless Screen Share
- Size: 4.3 x 4.1 x 1.7 inches; 9.6 ounces
- Display: WGVA 854 x 480 pixel resolution; 100 lumens; 100 inch screen size
This wireless mini-projector is designed to work best with your tablet or cell phone. It includes Android compatibility as standard, but can also connect to iOS devices through an adapter. The two hour battery life should last through most movies or give you a good bit of time on your favorite games, and the 100 inch screen size is perfect for smaller rooms.
This is a cool piece of kit for on the go – with just a plain white sheet and your phone or tablet, this pocket-sized projector can become an outdoor movie theater or entertainment hub. It is also great for the office and at school: connect instantly to your PC with the USB port to stream your screen for an audience or class. There is also a HDMI input for connecting larger audio-visual devices.
Ideas for using your new home projector:
- Hold a film festival in your own backyard – set up a sheet or point at a plain white wall
- Take video gaming to the next level with big screen tournaments at home
- Share your screen in your meetings and classes quickly and simply
- Create an impressive home theater with a specialized projector screen and speakers
- Make use of graphics and images in concerts, shows and performances
All prices correct at time of writing, as per Amazon.com listings
Lead photo credit: Steven Tourond via Flickr