Note: This is a guest post by Chloe Cao
If you are looking for the best projector, but do not have time to undertake extensive research and yet make the best possible and sensible purchase decision, you have come to the right place. Because we have already carried out extensive research and summarized the best models of LCD, DLP and LED projectors for you.
Which projector is suitable for which application?
First of all, there are two different types of main types of beamers.
LCD projectors: deliver very strong and natural colors and also provide good color gradients without artifacts. Compared to other methods, black saturation is not optimal.
DLP Beamer: are now more popular than LCD devices. Here, the picture is thrown on the wall by millions of mirrors. The color depth in this process is very good and the image quality is excellent. The contrast is good and the blacks are also full. However, it comes to the rainbow effect. If you move your eyes quickly back and forth or against the movement on the screen, the three basic colors flash up briefly.
LED projectors: project the image of the DLP or LCD models to the wall via LEDs. There is no lamp installed, but many small LED lights. The advantage is the very long life of up to 20,000 hours (compared to 3,000 to 6,000 hours with conventional bulbs) as well as the fact that LED models do not require cooling as the bulbs do not get hot.
Attention: Some LED beamer only support the LEDs and still use a conventional lamp. This makes sense mainly for price reasons. You can recognize this by means of the existing cooling.
What to consider when buying a projector
Compatibility and resolution
The beamer of your choice should be easily and quickly connected to the devices you use. Make sure you pay attention to suitable connections, because not every projector supports RGB cable or scart cable, if you want to use even older devices. Older projectors still offer XGA resolution with 1024 x 768 pixels. Although these devices are outdated, but can be easily connected thanks to the old interfaces even with business laptops, etc. and are also usually very inexpensive. So, if you’re looking for a low-cost business device, it might still be worth your while to buy a cheap XGA model.
Otherwise, HDMI is the default for the video ports, as most devices have an HDMI port. With the resolution Full HD has established itself as standard, while 4K devices, thus those with a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels, are to be found ever more frequently on the market.
Before purchasing, you should think carefully about the purpose for which the device should be used. All in all, a Full HD projector with a contrast ratio of 10,000 to 1 or higher is well suited for both home theater and presentations. Also pay attention to the brightness values even in ANSI lumens. The brighter the projector is, the better the result will be in partially darkened rooms.
With a low contrast ratio of less than 5,000: 1, the device is actually only suitable for completely dark rooms. A low-cost projector with a contrast ratio of 1,000: 1 will project an image that is barely perceptible in brighter rooms. You must, however, be aware that between the image quality and sharpness of such a low-cost entry-level device compared to a high-contrast full-HD beamer worlds.
Depending on where the model is placed later, it is also worthwhile to pay attention to the noise level during operation. Too loud a device, which is directly behind you, can be very disturbing.
Meaningful functions and price range
There are many additional functions – which ultimately make sense to you, of course you have to decide for yourself. While it may make sense to have a 3D function in the home cinema area or for playing, you will be able to do without it in the business area.
Universally important properties are the interfaces. Thus, in addition to HDMI and RGB also a USB interface and a card slot should be present. A DVI connection is also recommended. However, of course, the connections are also based on your needs and the way the projector is connected to existing devices such as AV receivers, system or external players. Whether the beamer has to be WLAN-capable depends on whether you need it. Many devices also play video, image or audio files directly from the USB stick or an SD card. If you want to use it, pay attention to the supported formats.
Best Budget projector 2018
1. BenQ DLP
The best projectors were the 31.2 x 24.4 x 10.4 cm DLP projectors from BenQ. The projector is priced already in the upper midfield for the private sector and is thus the most expensive among the test winners, with 3D Full HD technology at 2,200 Ansi lumens and a contrast ratio of 10,000: 1 but also sizable values even for very high standards , The image quality was consistently convincing to the testers, so that it looked good both as a projector for home theater and as a business projector.
The variant with 2,200 Ansi lumens provided sufficient luminosity even in rooms that were not completely darkened. This feature, coupled with the high compatibility with mobile devices thanks to optional WiFi and MHL compatibility, made the device the best combination for home and mobile office use. Thanks to lens shift, 1.3x zoom and keystone correction with very good sharpness performance, the projector brings sharp and clear images to the wall even under conditions that are not perfectly adjusted, which is especially true in rooms where optimal conditions are not used and make the operation a lot easier.
It has 2 HDMI ports with MHL compatibility, RCA, Component, S-Video, D-Sub and USB. This allows content from older sources to be played as well as the latest third-party devices. A wireless kit is also available separately, so wireless data transfer is no problem. However, this is not possible with the standard version and there is an extra charge if you want to make the projector wireless capable.
If you want the projector to support Full HD resolution in 3D, be easy to set up and connect, and have a very good contrast ratio with good picture quality thanks to DLP mirror technology, you should definitely get the BenQ device more accurate look at. However, you must also be prepared to invest a few dollars more.
The test winner among the best beamers of the year 2018 could convince in the test on the whole line. If you are still undecided as to whether the investment is worthwhile for you, a short comparison of the advantages and disadvantages may help you further.
3D: Thanks to 3D Full HD technology, you can also use the device as a 3D projector.
Contrast and brightness: With a contrast ratio of 10,000: 1 and a brightness of 2,200 ansi lumens, a very decent picture quality can be achieved even in rooms that are not completely darkened. The DLP mirror technology completes the very good picture quality.
Compatibility: You can connect your smartphone to the projector and integrate it into your WLAN (with wireless adapter). MHL compatibility is also available.
Lens: As the line supports 1.3x zoom and keystone correction, you can easily compensate for slight skews and non-ideal distances, making installation easier in mobile use.
Connections: With 2 HDMI connectors with MHL, RCA, component connector, S-Video, D-Sub and USB, the device is well equipped.
Price: As mentioned in the review, the device is priced in the upper midfield and is certainly not for everyone in question.
2. Optoma HD142X
Especially in home theater use, the 3D Full HD DLP projector with features like 3,000 Ansi lumens convinced with a contrast of 13,000: 1 and 1.3x zoom. He also works with 144 Hz Tripple Flash, which leads to flicker-free and very good results, especially when playing 3D content in full HD. Thanks to the possibility of buying the device as a standard and short distance version, you can use the projector equally in smaller and larger rooms. Overall, the device offers a very good picture quality, excellent keystone correction and all the connectivity you expect from a modern projector (HDMI, D-Sub, Component, Composite, S-Sub Out, USB and jack).
A remote control is also included in the delivery of the 4 kilogram device, which completes the overall very successful and intuitive operation. Especially for home theater systems and game consoles the device is recommended. If you want to combine a good 3D experience with a very good picture quality and high compatibility as well as a very good contrast ratio, you should use the Optoma HD142X model. The price-performance ratio for such a solid DLP device is very good.
As a very good projector for use in home theater, the device supports 3D playback in Full HD and offers a very good overall equipment. Whether the purchase pays off for you, you can use the comparison of advantages and disadvantages to quickly weigh.
Functions: The DLP projector offers the possibility to project 3D content, masters full-HD resolution and offers overall very good features.
Operation: Thanks to the remote control and good controls, the device can be controlled intuitively.
Image quality: Thanks to a high contrast ratio of 13,000: 1 in conjunction with 3,000 Ansi lumens, 144 Hz Tripple Flash and 1.3x optical zoom results in a very good picture quality.
Standard or short distance: Depending on the application, you have the option of purchasing the device as a standard variant or for use at a short distance.
Connections: With HDMI, D-Sub, Component, Composite, S-Sub Out, USB and Jack the device is very well equipped.
Value for money : The relatively low price combined with good facilities, the price-performance ratio bottom line is very good.
No WLAN: There is no possibility to retrofit a wireless adapter with the device, so it must be wired.
Not compatible with MHL: Since the model is not compatible with MHL, it is not designed for use with mobile devices.
3. Acer H7550ST
The DLP projector from Acer impressed in particular by an outstanding light intensity of 3,200 ANSI lumens with a contrast ratio of 20,000: 1. This allows the projector to be used both in the business area for presentations, as well as in the home cinema area. For this he is via the HDMI 1.4 port also directly 3D-capable. Thanks to MHL compatibility, remote control and integrated 3-Watt speaker, the device is also well-equipped for mobile use.
In conjunction with the compact design (30.8 x 21.1 cm) with a weight of 3.7 kilograms, this results in an overall excellent all-round device for a reasonable price with actually only one weakness: the resolution. Because here the device works with a maximum native resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, which is not enough for today’s standards for most applications. However, if the resolution is sufficient and who is not dependent on Full HD or HD resolution, gets the device from Acer an excellent bright Allrounder with a rich color display, 3D compatibility, keystone correction for easy installation and overall good workmanship.
Alternatively, an optional wireless module can be connected to the HDMI / MHL port so that you can easily transmit signals wirelessly to the projector.
The bottom line is the experience with the projector has shown that he is quite suitable for home cinema, even if the resolution is a bit lower. By comparing the strengths and weaknesses, you can quickly weigh whether a purchase is worthwhile for you.
Bright: With 3,200 Ansi lumens, the device brings a high-contrast image to the wall, even in rooms that are not completely darkened.
Contrast: The contrast ratio is very good at 20,000: 1, making it equally suitable for movies and presentations.
3D-ready: Thanks to HDMI 1.4, the device is 3D-capable, so that even 3D movies can be played.
Equipment: The projector is MHL-compatible, has a built-in speaker and can also be used very well mobile, since it can be made WLAN-enabled.
Construction: With a weight of 3.7 kilograms and the small, robust housing, the device is very well suited for mobile use.
Resolution: The resolution is no longer up to date with 800 ﾃ・600 pixels in 4: 3 format.
4. Goobangdoo T22
The device works as a true full HD projector with 2400 lumens 1. This allows the device to be used for presentations and is a good all-rounder altogether. In particular, he was able to convince the testers by the functionality as a 3D beamer
Colors were shown well in films and also in not completely darkened rooms still good results could be achieved and the keystone correction worked very well in the test, the picture remained pleasantly sharp.
Weaknesses, the model shows only in terms of color representation at high-contrast moving transitions in the image. Here, the device produces a rainbow effect that some testers did not like. Nevertheless, the model was able to convince due to the good light output indoors and the 3D capability as well as high resolution overall and is absolutely recommended for home use.
The maximum resolution is 1080p, so even Bluerays or HD movies from the USB stick or other source via HDMI can be played easily. Total power consumption is very low and the brightness of 2400 lumens with a contrast ratio of 2,000: 1 is sufficient for small rooms.
The optimal distance of the device is 2 meters. From this distance, a 60-inch image is projected onto the wall. Thus, the device is particularly suitable for smaller rooms as an alternative to the large TV for a cozy movie night. However, you should not have too high demands on such price.
Compact design: The projector weighs just 1.6 kilograms and is very compact with a size of 15 x 8 x 21 cm.
Value for money : The passable equipment combined with a very reasonable price leads to a good price-performance ratio.
Long Lasting Lives: Thanks to the New technology, no bulbs need to be replaced because they allow up to 50,000 operating hours.
Connections: You have the option of transferring content via USB or HDMI to the device.
Brightness: Since the LEDs are not so bright, the projector can only be used for home use. The contrast ratio is 2,000: 1.
5. LG Electronics PW1500 LED Projector
The portable LED projector from LG was especially convincing because of the very high contrast ratio of 100,000: 1 and the built-in DVB-T tuner (optional). In the test, images between 20 to 100 inches could be clearly and clearly projected, and with HD resolution (up to 1280 x 800 pixels) the image was sharp enough for both movies and one or the other presentation.
In addition, video material in all popular formats can be played directly via USB. In addition, the device can play 3D content at 120Hz, but the projector plays 3D content only in 1024 x 768.
Overall, it is a very well-equipped device with a good color representation. Due to the compact design, a good image display and the ability to play 3D content, you get the device but a good all-rounder for a reasonable price.
Price: The price of the Beamer is located in the boarding area, so the bottom line is a good price-performance ratio.
LED light : Since the projector is equipped with LED lamps, a lamp replacement is unnecessary, because the life is very long.
Construction: The device weighs less than 1 kilogram and is very compact with 7 x 16 x 21 cm.
Equipment: There are both Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB and a SD card slot and AV and VGA connection available.
Data formats: The projector plays both MP4 and MOV, MKV, AVI, MP3 and 3GP files.
No Dolby audio: files with Dolby audio formats are not supported or no sound is output.
Light intensity: Due to the LED lamps, the light intensity is low, so that the projector can only be used in dark rooms.