In terms of playing video games, turning on a weekend football match, or watching movies, not much can rival a large, top-notch display. Gladly, you don’t have to break the bank on pricier and hefty LED televisions because of projectors that can be used to make a theater-style display at the comfort of your home with minimal cost.
Projector technology has developed drastically in the previous years, so much that many present cheap projectors can rival the resolutions and screen size of top-of-the-line TVs out there.
That said, we want to bring you our top 5 best cheap projectors under $100. If you’re excited to learn more, read on!
What Are Projectors?
To put it simply, a projector is a tool that utilizes a series of color wheels, lenses, chips, and different other gizmos and gadgets in order to take a beam of light and turn it into your favorite TV shows and movies in glorious HD detail.
Though the thing is, it wasn’t always like that. The current projectors in today’s era barely even resemble with the original concept which was invented around 1894 by Charles Francis Jenkins. These original projectors worked by simply blasting light through celluloid film, and stringing together the sounds and images using techniques that seem downright primitive in today’s digital age.
Contemporary projectors are considerably more complicated in both implementation and design, utilizing a number of different core technologies in order to give a range of options to the prospective purchasers.
Best Cheap Projector under $100 Review
1. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector, Full HD 1080P and 170” Display Supported, 2400 Lux Portable Movie Projector
This mini projector promises a very high performance all thanks to its enhanced LED lighting technology. With around 2200 lumens, it can display better projection output with 40% more brightness. In addition to that, this projector comes with a contrast ratio of 2000 is to 1.
Furthermore, this mini projector from VANKYO supports ceiling projection, rear projection, and front projection outputs. It is also incorporated with a projection size that ranges from 32 inches to 170 inches. This projector is also ideal for photo sharing, football matches, videos, playing TV series, and more.
And lastly, you can easily link it to your PS3 or PS4, X-Box One, Wii, or your smartphone to enjoy a realistic gaming experience on a large screen. Aside from that, this projector comes with a customized bag particularly engineered for you to carry and store the projector with better convenience. Also, with an extended bulb lifespan of around 40,000 hours, this mini projector would be able to serve you for more than 15 years.
- 4000 hours lamp life
- 2200 lumens power and multi-pixel support up to 1080p
- High versatility and very affordable
- Upgraded lightening technology
- Easy to set-up and compact construction
- It comes with a noisy fan
- Not so great sound quality
2. DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Supported 4Inch Mini Projector with 170″ Display – 40,000 Hours LED Full HD Video Projector, Compatible with HDMI,USB,SD
The DR. J professional HI-04 1089P mini projector is so compact that it is around the size of your palm and surely gives you exceptional portability unlike other heftier projectors out there.
It comes with grill openings to get rid of excess heat in order to improve its durability. Consumers will also get a fan that helps in heat expulsion. Nevertheless, its impressive technology is capable of doing that efficiently without generating too much noise. You get a number of connectivity choices such as support TF cards, smart TV, and HDMI for your PlayStation.
And lastly, you can also link flash drives through its USB port. In addition to that, it comes with a standard 3.5 millimeter headphone jack support. In fact, the best thing about this mini projector is its innovative lens technology. The 3rd generation short-axis optic unique technology delivers vivid and better picture penetration and quality. You don’t have to bring any extra speaker either. It comes with a superior stereo sound that can aid to get both crisp volume and clarity.
- Its LED feature makes it ideal for gaming and theaters
- Diffused light doesn’t get you strained even after hours of binge-watching
- Precise colors with 2000:1 color contrast ratio
- It features an advanced LCD lens that comes with 5 layers
- Highest 1080P resolutions supported
- Its fans are quite noisy
3. Mini Projector, TOPVISION 2400Lux Projector with Synchronize Smart Phone Screen, Supported 1080P, 176″ Display, 50,000 Hours Led, Compatible with Fire TV Stick/HDMI/VGA/USB/TV/Box/Laptop/DVD
The top-notch technology found in this TOPVISION mini projector throws out awesome pictures that are way superior to anything you’ve ever seen. This projector comes with a mirror display which is a greater technology compared to conventional projectors.
In addition to that, its +/- 15 keystone is easily adjustable along with its focus ring and the utilization of the tempered glass lens ensures thermal stability. Also, because of its exceptional cooling system and noise minimization, you can keep it cool and maintain a peaceful environment.
And lastly, you can even project whatever is on your iPhone or Android through this excellent projector. As it comes with a remote control, its speakers will surely enrich any sound output.
- It adopts a contrast ratio of 200:1 and 16:10 aspect ratio
- It has upgraded to 2400lux
- The lamp life is more than 50000 hours
- Comes with AV and HDMI cables
- Incorporated with advanced fan cooling system
- Sharp at the center area but a little bit blur out of the center
4. Projector APEMAN Mini Portable Video Projector 3500 Lumen LED with Dual Built-in Speakers 45000 Hours Support HD 1080P HDMI/VGA/Micro SD/AV/USB, Laptop/TV Box/Phone/PS4 for Home Theater Entertainment
The APEMAN mini portable video projector is one of those budget-friendly projectors in the market today. It costs only a fraction of what other projectors of this class and size do, and yet it’s still very good quality device, easy to use, and reliable.
This particular mini projector comes with HD 1080P resolution quality content and has a brightness of 3500 lumens and supports. It also gives a 2000:1 contrast ratio and will become the ideal addition to your own home theater, permitting you to watch your favorite series and movies on a larger screen.
Its projection size can be adjusted from a 34” diagonal to a bigger 180 inches. With the aid of its keystone correction option, users can guarantee that the projected image will be an ideal rectangle.
The projection size can be adjusted from a 34 inch diagonal to a huge 180 inches. With the help of the keystone correction option, you can ensure that the projected image is a perfect rectangle.
- Supports wide range of multimedia connection with many devices including smartphones, game console, Laptop, and PCs
- Equipped with advanced built-in dual speakers system
- Supports 1080P full HD with 800 by 480P native resolution
- Support wireless connection with Chrome cast and TV stick
- Its cooling fan is very quiet
- It doesn’t come with any optical jack
5. [Wireless Projector] POYANK 2800Lumens LED Wireless Mini Projector, WiFi Projector Compatible with Smartphones, Video Games, TV Box Full HD 1080p Supported (WiFi Model)
The 2000 lumens of POYANK mini projector works well both outdoors and indoors. This mini projector from POYANK is not really ideal for PowerPoint and business presentations, but it is recommended for video games including PS3, PS4, Wii, and XBOX. In addition to that, it works great with PCs, laptops, Blu-ray DVD players, TV box, amplifier, Amazon Fire TV stick, and Chrome cast. A wireless dongle links the device to Android Smartphones.
Its native resolution is 800 by 400. Also, it can be strengthened to 1920 x 1080p. Its projection image is 32 inches to 170 inches from distances ranging from 1.2 to five meters. On the other hand, its aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3 can support 480P, 720P, and 1080P. Its lamp life is 50,000 hours.
As it comes with a lamp life of 50,000 hours, this mini projector is categorized as one of the most durable projectors in 2019. Moreover, it’s one of the most versatile units out there.
- Adjustable of 1.2M-5M
- Comes with two high-fidelity speakers
- Designed with latest upgraded LED lighting source
- Features an HDMI input for DVDs, laptops, PCs, Chrome cast, game consoles, Fire TV stick, and more
- Comes with keystone correction function, upwards 19 degrees, and downwards 10 degrees
- Doesn’t come with 2 AAA batteries
- Built-in speakers don’t sound that great
Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Cheap Projectors under $100
Certain considerations are super important in order to acquire the right projector under $100 for your needs, though $100 is not that much when it comes to projectors, it’s still wise to spend your hard-earned money the right way.
That said, here are the necessary factors you must consider if you want to get the right projector for your needs:
This factor defines how far your projector needs to be on a wall or a screen in order to generate an image of a particular size. Most projectors today come with a range of suggested screen throw distances, with a maximum range somewhere in the middle. When pick a projector, just think about what room you’re likely to use it in and calibrate the distance from where you will keep the projector to the wall – this can hand you a guide for what maximum screen throw you’ll need. For small spaces, seek for a short throw projector so that the projected picture will not be smaller compared to what you expect according to the optimal screen size.
Even though portability can be a second factor to consider for certain consumers, it plays a crucial role in the projector design. A lot of miniature projectors like star projectors are engineered to be just bigger compared to the size of your palm and weight less than 2 lbs. making them effortless to toss in a backpack and take on a vacation or to a friend’s.
In addition to that, these mini projectors also normally suffer from overheating problems due to their compact design. Keep this trade-off between limited continuous use and portability in mind when considering about how you are most likely going to use your new projector.
This factor is one of the best single numbers for obtaining how vivid and clear a projected video will look. In simpler terms, the contrast ratio is the difference in light between the darkest and brightest pixels. In short the greater the contrast ratio means darker blacks and brighter whites. The output is that the colors in between are also more vibrant with a higher contrast ratio. Now, for projectors under $100, contrast ratios greater than 1000:1 are way above the competition.
There are 3 primary technologies utilized for projecting images. The first one is the DLP or digital light processing projectors which normally provide the best quality out there but come at a considerable price premium so you won’t really find units for under $100.
On the other hand, LED and LCD projectors are two other kinds of imaging technology and they are far less pricey and are relatively comparable. Most projectors in this round-up utilize LCD technology, and in particular, the latest TFT LCD technology – it generates brighter screens and vivid colors compared to LEDs. Nevertheless, LCD projectors also produce more heat, which can cause problems with overheating during constant use.
Another crucial technical specification that affects video playback is the brightness factor. For all you know, brightness affects how bright the projected picture is. This determines how effortless it will be to see in a well-lit space. Moreover, less bright projectors in the 1000 to 1,200 lumen range can generate images that are hard to see clearly in lit spaces. Nevertheless, some consumers find that brighter projectors which are around 2000 lumens need turning on some lights in order to avoid eye strain from the brightness of the content.
For the most part, the projector technology has come a long way these past few years, making it practically comparable but far cheaper option compared to purchasing a brand new smart television.
And while pricier projectors are out there in the market, we feel that you’d get impressive video quality from a lot of projectors that sell for under $100 only.
This buying guide and review will provide you everything you need to learn in order to make a good decision about which of the many cheaper projectors on the market will be the most ideal one for your needs.
Table of Contents
- What Are Projectors?
- Best Cheap Projector under $100 Review
- 1. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector, Full HD 1080P and 170” Display Supported, 2400 Lux Portable Movie Projector
- 2. DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Supported 4Inch Mini Projector with 170″ Display – 40,000 Hours LED Full HD Video Projector, Compatible with HDMI,USB,SD
- 3. Mini Projector, TOPVISION 2400Lux Projector with Synchronize Smart Phone Screen, Supported 1080P, 176″ Display, 50,000 Hours Led, Compatible with Fire TV Stick/HDMI/VGA/USB/TV/Box/Laptop/DVD
- 4. Projector APEMAN Mini Portable Video Projector 3500 Lumen LED with Dual Built-in Speakers 45000 Hours Support HD 1080P HDMI/VGA/Micro SD/AV/USB, Laptop/TV Box/Phone/PS4 for Home Theater Entertainment
- 5. [Wireless Projector] POYANK 2800Lumens LED Wireless Mini Projector, WiFi Projector Compatible with Smartphones, Video Games, TV Box Full HD 1080p Supported (WiFi Model)
- Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Cheap Projectors under $100