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The best projectors under $500 are some of the latest projectors that implement Digital Light Processing technology and are a great option for home theatres, PlayStation 3 and Xbox games. The best projectors under $500 also excel in portability and Mac compatibility.

In fact, $500 is great for some of the best budget projectors in the market which strike a neat balance between cost and features.

Browse All Top Projectors Under $500 »

Optoma ML550

Optoma ML550 Mobile Projector


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Optoma ML550
BenQ Joybee GP2
ASUS P1
Sanyo PLC-XK2600
Optoma D 339
Optoma ML550 Mobile Projector
BenQ GP2 Projector
ASUS P1 Projector
Sanyo PLC-XK2600 Projector
Optoma DW339 3D Projector
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Release Date
Jun 2013
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Aug 2012
May 2012
Contrast Ratio
10000:1
2400:1
2000:1
2000:1
5000:1
Display Technology
DLP
DLP
DLP
3LCD
DLP
Image Brightness
500.0 ANSI lumens
200.0 ANSI lumens
200.0 ANSI lumens
2600.0 ANSI lumens
2600.0 ANSI lumens
Platform
PC and Mac
PC, Mac
PC, Mac
PC
PC, Mac
Type
DLP Projectors
DLP Projectors
DLP Projectors
LCD Projectors
DLP Projectors
Form Factor
Portable
Portable
Portable
  • Rating Unavailable

    If you are looking for a small portable projector for the road to watch movies with or play files from a compact flash drive or SD card, then this could be the solution for you. If you need real clarity and you plan on spending many hours using this projector with groups, then make sure the content you are showing is large and graphical. It is definitely not the best choice for demonstrating financial planning in an excel spreadsheet. Read below for a recap of the pros and cons of the Optoma ML500.


  • The emerging new category the ML500 is part of, and the ML500 in particular, fills a niche that needs filling, with an appealing balance of size, weight, price, and brightness. Compared to pocket projectors, it's only a little bigger and heavier, but it's a lot brighter. Compared to traditional lamp-based portable projectors, it's significantly lighter and smaller than all but a few, and less expensive. And although it isn't as bright as most lamp-based projectors, it's bright enough to throw a reasonable size image that can stand up to ambient light.


  • I found the Optoma ML500 to be a very interesting projector to use. It compact size makes it fairly easy to set up and it offers a variety of source inputs, as well as having its own built-in speaker. The ML500 also makes a great traveling companion as it and its accessories easily pack up it in its provided carry bag. You can also take a camera tripod along and use it mount and place the projector more easily in a variety of environments.

    In addition, its light output and video performance is adequate for general use, but it does fall somewhat short as a dedicated home theater projector.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The Joybee GP2 raises the bar in the mini-projector category with optional battery operation, a broad range of source connections, and Apple iPhone/iPod docking. It also has an ample internal memory for many applications. It is not the brightest or least expensive mini-projector, but it does redefine the word "versatility" in its class.


  • The BenQ Joybee GP2 is a versatile palmtop projector that packs an iPhone dock and has a solid suite of connectivity choices.


  • BenQ's tiny GP2 is a jack of all trades and master of few, but given the size, price and versatility of this LED mini projector, there's not much that can compete. Added to the fact that none of its flaws are fatal, it's a worthy investment whether you want a highly portable home cinema projector or business presentation device. As long as you're aware of its limitations, we highly recommend it.

  • Rating Unavailable

    With a $499 list price and little in the way of street price discounts, the ASUS P1 is not the least expensive projector in the 200-lumen category. However, it is one of the smallest and lightest, and that goes a long way when lugging a projector around. It lacks a built-in speaker and has no HDMI input, but it does a nice job with both data and video images. The P1's two-year warranty is double that of its closest competitors. It should be considered seriously by mobile presenters.


  • The ASUS P1 Portable LED Projector delivers a bright and sharp image in a compact design. Business travelers need a projector that's small enough to carry, but big enough to lend impact to their presentations. The $499 ASUS P1 Portable LED Projector fills those needs well, offering a bright image and easy-to-use controls in a sturdy, subdued package.


  • The design could be improved, but for businesses, or home users looking for a small form-factor PC, the Pundit is worth considering.

  • Rating Unavailable

    When you use projectors in classrooms, you want ruggedness and reliability with minimum maintenance. You also want to set up and go with no delays for image adjustment. That is exactly what you get with the PLC-XK2600, and the added bonus is excellent data and video performance. You can find XGA projectors for less money, but you will have a hard time matching the PLC-XK2600's knockout images and low cost of ownership.


  • The Sanyo PLC-XK2600 is a decent general-purpose projector. It doesn't have any killer features and doesn't excel in any single area. Nor is it especially portable. Nonetheless, the £450 price tag is modest, and if you want an all-rounder with sufficient brightness to let it work in light rooms, the PLC-XK2600 is a safe buy.


Top 5 projector under $500:

  1. Optoma ML550 Mobile Projector
  2. BenQ GP2 Projector
  3. ASUS P1 Projector
  4. Sanyo PLC-XK2600 Projector
  5. Optoma DW339 3D Projector