When it comes to watching movies, turning on a weekend football game, or playing video games, not much beats a huge, high-quality display. Thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank on expensive and heavy LED televisions – projectors can be used to create a theater-style display in your home at a fraction of the cost. Projector technology has advanced tremendously in recent years, so much so that many are capable of matching the screen size and resolution of top-of-the-line televisions. And best of all, many high-quality projectors are available for less than $100.
Here, we bring you 10 best projectors for under $100 we could find. Our recommendations are based on pouring through hundreds of projector reviews and comparing features head-to-head, and the result is a list of projectors that stand out for their combination of technology and price point.
This guide also offers a little something for everyone – there are projector picks for those on an even tighter budget, those looking for the most cost-efficient, feature-packed projector, and those who just want an all-around performer at an attractive price. The table below summarizes our picks, and we’ve included detailed product descriptions for all 10 projectors. Plus, check out our Buying Guide to find out what features we recommend looking for in a projector.
Crosstour has been able to make this projector which represents incredible value for money. The quality is impressive and you’ll love the big picture which can be sized anywhere from 32-170-inches which is supported by a throw distance from 3-12 feet.
The projector gives you all of the compatibility you need with many different options available. The only downside here is that the projector can be quite loud. That being said, you’re barely going to notice this when you have your speakers on as it’s easily drowned out by whatever you’re watching.
The picture quality is impressive and you’ll be able to love using it, whether that is for cinema, gaming or anything else. On top of that, the projector is also very easy to set up and you’ll be able to start watching in no time at all. It’s impressive for the price and you’ll love your new watching experience.
One of the best value for money projectors coming for an under $100 price, the PONER SAUND GP16 has an HD-ready quality with wireless technology. When scaled, it offers a full HD resolution of 1280 x 720p and 1920 x 1080p.
The mini projector has a high luminosity of 5,500 lumens and a strong contrast ratio of 5,500: 1. This makes it ideal for use in daylight. Depending on the projection distance, there is a projection surface diagonal between 40 and 210 inches possible. According to the provider, the built-in LED light unit can provide 80 percent more brightness.
The mini projector delivers a clear, dynamic, and colorful image. It has image optimization and with the high-definition glass lens, the image quality is not disturbed by a dark image edge. Focusing and Keystone Correction can be done manually. The projector is equipped with integrated steel speakers for sound reproduction without headphones or external speakers.
It’s compatible with an Android and iOS system. It can be used to mirror movies, apps, videos, games as well as photos on mobile phones to any big screen available. The projector comes with a lifetime warranty.
Although the DR.J projector doesn’t use the newer TFT LCD technology found in many other projectors on this list, it makes up for it in the quality and design of the projector lens. The high-quality lens produces a crisp image, which when combined with the solid brightness rating and high contrast ratio makes for a vibrant and theater-like image quality even in moderately lit rooms. However, one minor downside to this projector is the focus adjustment. Many users found that the focus adjustment was sometimes difficult to tune in perfectly, making it hard to get that crisp image that the projector is capable of every time.
Another nice and unique feature of this projector is that the lens is designed to take advantage of diffuse reflection technology – a special lens design that reduces how much light bounces directly back from the screen into your eye and in turn reduces eye fatigue.
In addition, the cooling system is well-designed for a projector of this size and brightness. The unit includes two fans, which are quiet enough to not impede the audio experience and prevents the unit from overheating after hours of use. Plus, the 40,000-hour lamp life is attractive, since most users will never have to replace the lamp.
While the projector claims a three-year warranty, beware that several customers did have problems with the projector they were sent. In some cases, customers complained that the projector was far less than the advertised 7,500 lumens and produced a dim image even in dark rooms. This appears to be a manufacturing quality control issue, covered under the warranty, but can create a hassle for buyers who need a projector quickly.
The PVO Portable Mini Projector is the perfect Christmas or Birthday gift for children. It is small, simple to use, and portable. Children can simply set it up in their rooms, outside while camping, or in the yard. The recommended projection distance is 60 to 100 inches but can reach up to 150 inches. It produces clear quality 1080P HD images. You can stream video games, movies, cartoons, and presentations.
The PVO Portable Mini Projector is IOS and Android compatible. It includes the following ports: USB, audio, Micro SD, AV, and TF. It supports a micro-USB interface. You can connect the mini projector to multiple media devices. It includes a power adapter. The mini projector does not have a built-in battery and requires a plug-in. However, if you enjoy the outside, you can simply hook up the mini projector to a power pack or car charger.
The PVO Portable Mini Projector is the best mini projector on the market. After running a few tests, we found it is extremely user-friendly. You will be pleased with the PVO Portable Mini Projector’s price tag if you are on a budget. Unlike similar models, it is much cheaper and provides the same quality images (1080P). However, you cannot hook up your smart device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You will need an audio/video adapter chord that fits from your smart device to the port of the projector.
Whether you’re looking to display presentations or use it as a substitute for a large TV, you’re going to love this projector. It will support a screen size up to 180 inches and has a throw distance between 5 and 8ft. Therefore, everything should be displayed clearly.
It has a max supported resolution of 1080p to give you a crystal clear image with its LCD technology. Many mini projectors can overheat fairly quickly but with the innovative cooling system this model uses, it will run efficiently and with no issues.
There are several input types available, and it’s very easy to set up. It helps to add to general ease of use which is very high, and you’ll be able to use it without any frustrations. The image can be a little dim in a bright room, but overall this is excellent value for money and a very impressive projector.
Do you need a compact projector that you’ll be able to travel with? For the likes of business professionals, this ticks all the right boxes. The projector is quite small and easy to pack away while also being lightweight and easy to carry. Despite those smaller dimensions, it still has some excellent qualities.
With a brightness of up to 3800 lumen, it’s a projector that’s not going to be short on power. That’s proved by it having a throw distance of up to 5-meters which means that you can have a screen size of up to 170” which is fantastic on such a compact device.
A 3-year warranty is included with the projector and that should give you plenty of peace of mind regarding its build quality. The audio isn’t the greatest but that is a common theme among projectors but there are many compatibility options and that includes being able to hook it up to external speakers.
Here we see another projector that comes in a compact size, making it easily portable. Despite that smaller size, the specifications are on the same level as the biggest projectors. It’s perfect for those looking for a balance between size and power output.
One of those specifications that blow you away is the maximum screen size. It’s able to project up to 200″ and that’s a lot more than many of its rivals. The throw distance range is also very wide which will give you incredible flexibility on where you can place it.
The overall construction of the projector is very impressive and that is lacked by it having a lifetime warranty along with a 2-month money-back guarantee. It’s very easy to use and you’ll be able to have it set up and playing in no time at all.
If you need to have a projector on the go then you not only want it to be easy to carry but also cope with the stresses and strains of traveling with it. In that respect, this projector hits all the right marks and will be a trusted companion for years to come. For those that want a static projector, it’s also brilliant.
The lumens on this model aren’t the highest with a maximum of 2600. While that would be fine for most situations, it can struggle in brighter rooms. The specifications here are impressive with a wide throw distance range and screen size.
A great feature here is the tripod thread underneath the device to allow a greater range of projection options. It’s also very easy to start up and use, with a remote control that makes getting the right settings easy. The LCD technology gives a clear image and the whole unit is backed by a 2-year warranty.
This projector from ELEPHAS is another great choice for portability. The projector itself is just larger than the palm of your hand and the unit weighs less than 2 pounds. Another nice feature is that it comes with a remote control.
While the video quality of this projector is nothing to scoff at, it does lack the technical specifications that we’ve seen in other projectors at this price point. In particular, the brightness is rather low – rated at only 1,200 lumens output. That means that the projector will only produce a fully clear picture in blacked-out rooms.
Like other miniature projectors designed for portability, this one also has some difficulty with cooling. The fan is quiet during use, but the projector can also be used for 3-4 hours at a time before overheating becomes a concern.
For those looking for a versatile projector, they’ll love the range of features that you get here. The throw distance to 3-12 feet and the possible screen size from 36-150” shows that it can be used anywhere that has a power outlet.
There have been some quality control issues with the projector but it’s backed by a 1-year warranty should anything go wrong. Aside from that, there are many impressive qualities to be found here such as the wide range of connection options for any device.
The speakers are impressive as they are much louder than many other types of projector. While the speaker may be loud, the fan isn’t. It remains quiet and won’t be a distraction. On top of that, the remote control it comes with is brilliant and allows you to easily get the settings you’re looking for.
Now that we’ve shared our 10 favorite projectors under $100, it’s important to think about what factors really matter to you in a new projector. Here, we’ll share some more information about the main features that we look at in determining whether a projector makes the cut or not.
There are three main technologies used for projecting images – digital light processing (DLP), liquid-crystal display (LCD), and light-emitting diode (LED). DLP projectors typically offer the best quality but come at a significant price premium, so you won’t find any for under $100. LCD and LED projectors are far less expensive and are relatively comparable. Most projectors in our round-up use LCD technology, and in particular the newer TFT LCD technology, since this produces brighter screens and richer colors than LEDs. However, LCD projectors also generate more heat, which can cause issues with overheating during continuous use.
Another important technical specification that affects video playback is brightness. Brightness affects, as you might guess, how bright the projected image is – which determines how easy it will be to see in a well-lit room. Less bright projectors, in the 1,000–1,200-lumen range, can produce images that are difficult to see clearly in lit rooms. However, some people find that brighter projectors, around 2,000 lumens, actually require turning on some lights to avoid eye strain from the brightness of the image.
The contrast ratio is one of the best single numbers for capturing how clear and vivid a projected video will look. In a nutshell, the contrast ratio is the difference in light between the brightest and darkest pixels – so a higher contrast ratio means brighter whites and darker blacks. The result is that the colors in between are also more vivid with a higher contrast ratio. In projectors under $100, contrast ratios greater than 1,000:1 are above the competition.
Screen throw defines how far the projector needs to be from the screen or wall to produce an image of a certain size. Most projectors have a range of recommended screen throw distances, with an optimum range somewhere in the middle. When choosing a projector, think about what room you’re likely to use it in and measure the distance from where you’ll keep the projector to the wall – this should give you a guide for what optimum screen throw you will need. For small rooms, look for a short throw projector so that the projected image is not smaller than you expect based on the maximum screen size.
Although portability can be a second consideration for some people, it plays an important role in projector design. Many miniature projectors, such as star projectors, are designed to be just larger than the size of your palm and weight less than 2 pounds, making them easy to toss in a backpack and take to a friend’s house or even on vacation. However, these tiny projectors also typically suffer from overheating issues because of their compact design. Keep this trade-off between portability and limited continuous use in mind when thinking about how you are most likely to use your new projector.
Projector technology has come a long way in the past few years, making it a visually comparable but far more affordable option than buying a new Smart TV. And while expensive projectors are out there, we feel that you can get terrific video quality from a number of projectors that sell for under $100. Our round-up and buying guide give you everything you need to know to make an informed decision about which of the many inexpensive projectors on the market is right for your needs.