Cheap projectors really means projectors that are a good value for the money you spend. That’s the point of this article. We weren’t looking for cheap projectors. We were looking for inexpensive projectors for the quality and features you get. In this case we wanted to get a high-resolution WXGA projector with great looking projected images, many connectivity options, and lots of features.
First, you may be wondering; why do we want WXGA? If you’re just planning to show plain old PowerPoint presentations then WXGA digital movie projectors may be overkill. If, like us, you want to display movies, the internet, videos, and the like, then WXGA home theater projectors are the perfect solution. 1080p projectors are wide format projectors that are perfect for high-resolution movies and videos and a wide variety of other applications.
Looking for outdoor projection screens to go with your new projector? See our article Outdoor Video Screens: Create Some Backyard Movie Theater Excitement.
Why $400 you ask? It’s tough to find WXGA HDMI projectors below $300 and most you will find will be truly cheap projectors with features and quality that may not be up to your expectations. Don’t misunderstand us; $400 for quality WXGA HD projectors is still a really good value. You can easily spend up to $1000 and more on this type of projector.
What is DLP? DLP stands for Digital Light Processing (DLP) and is a display device originally developed by Texas Instruments in 1987. Its longevity is a testimony to technology. DLP contrast ratio is inferior to LCD and Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) which will provide crisper images. LCD and LC0S projectors cost much more than DLP and you may not need to spend a thousand dollars or more for a projector. Only you can decide, but if you’re looking for cheap projectors, DLP is the only way to go. LED projectors describe the light source more than they do the projector technology. DLP projectors can actually be LED projectors. The advantage of an LED-based projector is the lamp life and the energy savings. If you want to know more about each technology see the article Understanding the Differences between LED, LCD and DLP Projectors.
What about portable projectors? If you’re going to use your movie projector at home or the office where you won’t have to move it around much then you probably shouldn’t pay extra money for a highly-portable video projector. On the other hand, if you travel, need to move the projector from room to room, building-to building, or floor to floor, then the extra money you pay for the portability might be well spent.
Do you need 3D capability? It seems that 3D in flatscreen TVs has been supplanted by the new 4K specification and likewise, 3D for projectors is not as popular as it once was. That being said, all of the video projectors in our list are 3D capable with optional accessories.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these WXGA video projectors is one of the best home theater projectors or office projectors for your needs!
Cheap Projectors: 5 Top Rated WXGA Video Projectors Under $400
Optoma is known for their hiqh-quality projectors and the Optoma W311 WXGA DLP Multimedia Projector is no exception. Loaded with features and with a powerful 3200 lumens of brightness you can project your multimedia content in stunning detail and with a sharp, crystal clear image. It also has two HDMI v1.4a ports with full 3D compatibility and 1080p compatibility. Here’s what you need to know about this great projector.
- WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels) resolution for XGA quality in widescreen format
- Powerful 3200 lumens lamp can project images from your laptop, PC, or Blu-ray player perfect for medium-sized conference rooms, training rooms, classrooms, and houses of worship
- Optoma projectors use BrilliantColor multi-color processing technology with an exceptional 20,000:1 contrast ratio to deliver incredible clarity and vibrant, accurate colors
- Capable of displaying true 3D from almost any 3D source including 3D Blu-ray players, 3D broadcasting, and the latest generation of game consoles
- Support for 144Hz rapid refresh rate delivers ultra-smooth flicker-free images
- Remote with USB mouse
- 1.2X zoom lens
- Built-in 2W speaker
- Ultra-long lamp life of up to 10,000 hours
- Whisper-quiet fan
- Lightweight and portable design with carry bag
- 2 – HDMI v1.4a input ports with full 3D and 1080p compatibility to display digital HDMI sources
- 1 – USB type-A 5V/1A
- 1 – USB mini-B (remote mouse)
- 1 – Audio out jack
- 1 – RS-232 connector
- Very user-friendly
- Amazing picture quality
- Works great in bright rooms
- Great value
- Poor sound quality
- Operates very warm
The Optoma ML550 WXGA Portable DLP LED Projector is a palm-sized, lightweight unit with the brightness, contrast ratio, and color of a much larger unit. You won’t believe how small this powerhouse is measuring an incredible 4.1 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches or how lightweight at only about 14 oz. It is truly a palm-sized projector. It has the best of both worlds displaying bright color images with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio using DLP and LED technologies. DLP gives this projector great color accuracy and the LED lamps provide long-life and outstanding brightness. Obviously designed for the traveling professional, it will also be right at home in the classroom or family room. Here’s what you need to know.
- Incredibly small, palm-sized projector measuring only 4.1 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches and weighing in at only 14.1 oz
- This native WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels) DLP LED projector delivers 500 LED lumens and a standout contrast ratio of 10,000:1 for clear, crisp focus and wonderful color accuracy
- Provides WXGA resolution through VGA and HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixesl) through HDMI
- LED light source is rated to last over 20,000 hours which is many times longer than a traditional lamp and will use much less energy
- Innovative on-screen menu makes this projector easy to use
- 3D-ready it will display XGA resolution 120HZ thru the VGA port (the equivalent of 3D-PC)
- 1 – HDMI/MHL in
- 1 – VGA in
- 1 – microSD
- 1 – USB
- 1 – Universal I/O for VGA/audio out
- AC power adapter
- AC power cord
- Universal-to-VGA cable
- Carrying case
- Remote control with battery
- Very bright picture even in lighted areas
- Highly portable and lightweight
- Easy to setup and use
- Crisp detail and great contrast
- Poor quality sound output
- Take microSD card, not standard SD card
- No height adjustment built-in
- Some reports of difficulty focusing
- Limited inputs
The InFocus IN116A WXGA DLP Projector is one of the short throw projectors that can fit an image into a tighter space than many models. Perfectly designed to display widescreen laptops and HD video, the IN166A projects with the power of 2700 lumens and provides sharp, crystal-clear images even in brightly lit rooms. With lots of inputs and 3D capability, it has the flexibility to meet the needs of most business, school, and home users. Here’s what you need to know about one of the great projector for movies.
- WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels) resolution, short-throw, 2700 lumen projector displays crisp, detailed images even in bright rooms
- Short throw with wide screen is the perfect solution for interactive whiteboards and other close-to-the-wall requirements (fills a 60-inch whiteboard from only 2.5 feet away)
- 3D capable
- Optional InFocus LiteShow III wireless adapter converts your projector into a wireless and/or networked display
- Long lamp life of up to 6,000 hours
- Built-in 2 watt speaker
- Secure your investment with the built-in Kensington lock and the secure user PIN
- Filter-free DLB Technology means to filters to clean or replace
- Industry-leading 5-Year limited warranty
- 2 – VGA input
- 1 – HDMI 1.3 input
- 1 – S-video input
- 1 – Composite video input
- 1 – RS232
- Great value
- Great resolution
- Very bright with high contrast
- Very quiet operation
- Outputs a lot of heat
- Limited zoom
- Long shutdown time
AAXA claims that the AAXA P300 WXGA Pico/Micro LED Projector is the world’s brightest battery-powered HD pocket projector. It contains a new, state-of-the-art compact optical engine capable of delivering 300 peak lumens at an HD resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It also uses Vibrant Color Technology to produce stunning color quality and its LEDs have an amazing 15,000 hour operating life expectancy. Here’s what you need to know about one of the brightest pico projectors and pocket projectors.
- WXGA native (1280 x 800 pixels) DLP LED projector with a revolutionary compact optical engine producing 300 peak lumens at HD resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, 2000:1 contrast ratio, , and Vibrant Color Technology
- World’s brightest battery-powered pocket projector
- Instant on and off LED projection uses only 25 watts of power
- Battery power means no annoying cords to deal with and a long battery life of over 60 minutes helps you make it through meetings and presentations anywhere without having to find an outlet
- Long LED operating life expectancy of 15,000 hours
- Capable of projecting images up to 120 degrees
- Built-in 1W stereo speakers
- Comes with an adjustable tripod
- Measures a compact 5.9L x 3.9W x 1.6H inches and weighs only 1.3 lbs
- 1 – HDMI in
- 1 – VGA in
- 1 – MicroSD
- 1 – 5 pin mini USB 2.0
- 1 – Composite A/V (3.5mm jack)
- 1 – Audio out (3.5 mm stereo headphone jack)
- 1 – Tripod
- 1 – Composite A/V cable
- 1 – Wall charger
- 1 – Remote control
- 1 – VGA adapter cable
- Handy built-in media player
- Highly portable
- Great value
- Very clear, crisp, detailed video
- Menu interface not very intuitive
- Some reports of noisy fan
- Poor speaker sound volume and quality
- Not great in bright light
At the top of our list is the BenQ MW526 WXGA 3200 Lumens Projector which features WXGA resolution, 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness, an amazing 13000:1 contrast ratio, and a super long 10,000 hour lamp operating life expectancy. This projector is not only fully capable of producing stunning full-screen presentations with crisp, detailed images, it is also a very cost-effective projection solution for that puts WXGA in the hands of more users. Here’s what you need to know about one of the best WXGA BenQ projectors.
- WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels) native resolution, class-leading 3200 lumens, high 13000:1 contrast ratio, DLP projector is perfect for small to medium spaces and provides detailed, crystal clear images even in bright light
- Colorific Technology delivers vibrant, true-to-life, optimized images for presentations, movies, spreadsheets, and photos
- A 13000:1 contrast ratio provides high contrast for the best in clarity, impact, and legibility
- SmartEco Technology provides dynamic power saving reducing costs by up to 70%
- Blu-ray full HD 3D support
- Long 10,000-hour lamp life expectancy
- Built-in 2W speaker
Dimensions are a compact 11.14 x 3.74 x 8.74 inches (283 x 95 x 222 mm) and the weight is a lightweight 1.9 kg
- 2 – Computer in (D-sub 15 pin)
- 1 – Monitor out (D-sub 15 pin)
- 1 – Composite RCA video in
- 1 – S-Video (Mini DIN 4 pin) in
- 1 – HDMI in
- 1 – Audio in
- 1 – Audio out
- 1 – USB (Type B)
- 1 – RS232 (DB 9 pin)
- Remote Control w/battery
- Great value
- Very bright, excellent, crisp, detailed picture
- Easy to use
- Amazingly compact and portable
- Low sound volume
- Optical zoom is not useful
- Some reports of rainbow effect
Cheap Projectors Comparison Chart
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