When 4K projectors first hit the market, they were priced out of most consumers’ budgets. If you did find an affordable model, it was lacking in features. Things have changed and now you can find 4K projectors, loaded with features, and at prices that won’t empty your bank account. The Optoma UHD50X is our pick for the best overall 4K projector but it’s not the only model we reviewed. (>>> Find current price on Amazon) Each of these projectors offers something that can make it the perfect choice.
Best 4K Projector Under $2000 – Top Options for 2021
|Optoma UHD50X||BenQ HT3550i||Epson 3800||BenQ TK810||Optoma GT1090HDR||Optoma UHD30|
4K w/pixel shifting
|Brightness (Lumens)||3,400 ANSI||2,000 ANSI||3000 ANSI||3,200 ANSI||4,200 ANSI||3,400 ANSI|
|Throw Distance||4.0' - 26.6'||3.2' - 16.4'||6.2' - 28.8'||3.5' - 32.3'||1.3' - 10.9'||4.2' - 33.0'|
|Screen size||34" - 303"||30" - 200"||40”-300”||30" - 300"||36" - 301"||34" - 302"|
|Input lag||16ms||No data||16.7ms||No data||16ms||16ms|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Image clarity is paramount in a 4K projector. Without stunning, onscreen images, there’s no reason to invest in a home projector. Gamers are concerned about input lag, and some models are designed with this in mind. You also want a projector that’s easy to setup. You don’t want to spend time trying to align images when you could be watching a movie on the big screen.
We’ve reviewed 6 4K projectors, each with strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what these are will make it easier to know which projector you want to bring home.
Top Three Projector Features to Consider
There’s a lot to consider when you’re spending money on a 4K projector, but there are three aspects you don’t want to ignore.
Not all 4K projectors produce the same image quality. Brightness, contrast, and color-processing technology all affect image clarity. The projector’s lumens rating determines how bright images are, especially in ambient lighting. Anything over 2,400 lumens will counteract most ambient light.
Higher contrast ratios are something else to look for. It ensures crisp whites and rich blacks. While you’ll be able to see lower contrast images, colors are often faded when the ratio is 100,000:1 and below. 3LCD color processing technology gives you accurate colors on all your games, movies, and shows.
Best Projector for Image Quality: Optoma UHD50X
There’s something amazing about playing your games on the big screen. However, it only works if the projector has a fast refresh rate and low input lag. Some models come with a dedicated gaming mode, and this can speed up input lag. It can also reduce image resolution from 4K to 1080p. The lower resolution won’t affect gameplay but images aren’t as sharp and detailed.
The refresh rate can also slow down on some projectors when it’s in gaming mode. Frame by frame action is jerky or delayed, and this can result in you having to repeat a game level. Casual gamers are fine with an input lag around 25-27ms. Avid gamers will want a faster one at 15-17ms. Refresh rates at 240Hz ensure smooth frame by frame activity in fast-paced games.
Best Projector for Gamers: Optoma UHD30
Ease of Installation and Set-Up
Even a 20+lb projector doesn’t have to be hard to install or to setup. A wireless design gets rid of annoying cables. Simply connect the projector to your Wi-Fi network. Streaming apps make it a breeze to watch movies, sports, and shows, along with familiar Android operating systems.
Automatic lens shift and keystone correction make it a breeze to align images. It also gives you more options on where you install the projector. With the ability to align on-screen pictures vertically and horizontally you don’t have to place the projector in front of the screen.
Included remotes and the ability to install an operating app on your smartphone ensure that you won’t have a problem operating the projector.
Best Projector for Flexible Installation: BenQ HT3550i
With a true 4K UHD resolution and a 500,000:1 contrast ratio, you’ll enjoy immersive images whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game. The 3,400 lumens rating allows you to clearly see images even when the lights are on. You don’t have to darken the room or wait for nighttime to use the UHD50X.
An enhanced gaming mode drops the input lag to 16ms. You do have to switch from 4K resolution to 1080p. Otherwise, the input lag is around 25ms. A fast refresh rate provides smooth frames without annoying distortion or interruption.
Along with a flexible installation, the UHD50X boasts plenty of connections. You’ll find a port for almost any device you want to connect. It is a standard-throw projector so be prepared to have at least 10-feet of space to cast 100” on-screen images. Click here for our more detailed review of the Optoma UHD50X.
- 4K resolution
- Dynamic contrast
- Low input lag
- Flexible installation
- You do lose some image clarity when you switch to the enhanced gaming mode
- The fan can drown out the volume when it’s starting up or winding down
Anyone looking for a 4K projector that’s almost ready to go out-of-the-box will get that and more with the BenQ HT3550i. With both digital keystone correction and lens shift, you can easily align images even if the projector is placed at an angle. Add in the remote, Chromecast, and airplay, you’re ready to start watching movies almost as soon as the projector is plugged in.
4K resolution produces stunningly clear images. It also uses cinematic color technology to give you realistic colors. It also comes with an optimized movie mode that automatically brightens images when you’re watching shows in the dark. Add in CinemaMaster video and audio settings and you’ll feel like you at the theater.
Even though the projector is easy to install and setup, it does weigh 28lbs. It’s not a projector you want to take outside or to another room. However, it is a short-throw projector so you don’t need a lot of space. With only one-foot between the projector and screen, you can throw 100” images.
- 4K resolution
- Night movie mode
- Cinematic color technology
- Easy to install and use
- It is a heavy projector and not designed to be moved around
- Input lag is barely acceptable, even for casual gamers
Epson Home Cinema 3800
The 3800 is lightweight making it easy to move it to different rooms when desired. It uses 3LCD, a true 3-chip design, and supports HDR10 technology. By having both horizontal and vertical adjustments, it is easy to set up and align. There is also a lens zoom feature that helps with fine-tuning the image’s focus.
Black levels leave a little to be desired but the images are extremely bright and sharp. It also has Bluetooth capability that makes listening to movies with a headset when everyone else wants quiet easy to do.
This projector is not true 4K. It actually takes two 1080p frames and shifts pixels to produce the appearance of 4K. That said, the image quality is really very good.
- Low lag time (16.7-27 ms) makes it great for gaming
- Good internal sound quality
- Supports high-performance 3D glasses
- Lack of streaming apps
- Loud fan noise
- Needs to be at least 12-13 feet away from the scree
Great image quality, streaming app ready, and with built-in support for Bluetooth. The BenQ TK810 is the perfect addition to your home theater setup. 4K UHD resolution produces vibrant images, and 3,200 lumens ensures ambient light isn’t a problem.
Controlling the projector is a breeze. You can use the included remote or download the BenQ Smart Control app to your smartphone or tablet. Browse content, adjust the volume, and play movies without getting up off of the couch. With built-in Android OS, you won’t have any problems operating the projector or finding something to watch.
You also have the bonus of Bluetooth connectivity built-in. Connect an external speaker for surround sound or a pair of wireless headphones when you want to watch a show without disturbing others.
- Bright, vivid images
- Bluetooth enabled
- Android operating system
- 10-bit color technology
- Flexible installation
- Gamers will have problems with the high input lag
- The built-in Bluetooth range is limited to a few feet and can make speaker placement difficult
The Gt1090HDR is one of the first laser gaming projectors from Optoma. It comes with an Enhanced Game Mode that drops that normally slow input lag of 49.8ms to a fast 16.4ms. Even avid gamers won’t complain about input lag, but you do have to sacrifice a little on image quality. It drops from 4K resolution to 1080p in gaming mode. The refresh rate is a little slower than newer Optoma models at 120Hz.
You do have HDR support for 4K images. The projector also boasts Dynamic Black technology and a high contrast ratio of 300,000:1. Blacks are inky and rich, easily distinguishable from darker grey shades. Whites are brilliant and crisp, even when the room’s lights are turned on. When you add in the 3,600 lumens laser, even external light won’t interfere with image quality.
The GT1090HDR is a short-throw projector. From only 4’-4” you can throw 120” images on compatible screens. It makes the laser projector ideal for dorm rooms and other areas where space is limited. Along with plenty of ports for your connected devices, the projector is also compatible with most streaming apps. Click here for our more detailed Optoma GT1090HDR review.
- Bright laser light
- 4K resolution
- Dynamic Black technology
- Enhanced gaming mode
- 3D support for most sources
- The refresh rate is acceptable, though it is slower than some other projectors from Optima
- There are occasional problems connecting an Amazon Fire TV stick to the projector’s USB port. The device isn’t always recognized by the projector
Gamers can finally stop feeling left out when they’re looking for a home theater projector. The UHD30 from Optoma resolves all of their complaints about slow lag times and refresh rates. Optoma designed this projector for dedicated gamers. It has a fast 240Hz refresh rate for smooth frames, even in the middle of a battle. Even GTA at it’s fastest pace won’t slow down on this projector.
You will lose a few pixels when you switch to gaming mode but it’s not that noticeable. You still have HD resolution with crisp, clear images. You can choose to stay with 4K images, the lag time only slows down to 26ms. It’s still fast enough for casual gamers and you get to see your characters in 4K.
When you combine it’s 8.6lb weight and 3,400 lumens rating, you have a projector ideal for use inside or on the back patio for movie night. Even bright moonlight won’t interfere with image brightness. HDR10 and HLG support ensure accurate colors. Combined with a dynamic contrast ratio, images are vivid with clear, crisp details. Click here for our full review of the Optoma UHD30.
- Fast refresh rate
- Low input lag
- Dynamic Black
- Gaming mode
- Flexible installation
- It can take a little while to fine-tune image alignment, along with the color modes
- Red colors have an orange tint if you don’t spend some time adjusting the colors
The Optoma UHD50X is our favorite 4K projector under 2000. (>>> Check current price on Amazon) It comes with everything movie lovers and gamers are looking for in a home cinema projector. You get both a fast refresh rate and low input lag when you’re in enhanced gaming mode.
Image clarity is also impressive, thanks to dynamic contrast and a high lumens rating. External light won’t affect picture quality. The downside is the projector’s weight. Even though it’s a breeze to set up, you don’t want to carry it around.
There is also something to recommend with the other five projectors. Some have a budget-friendly price, while others focus on ease of use or overall picture quality. Whatever you’re looking for in a 4K projector, one of these models will fit perfectly in your home entertainment setup.
A final tip, before you bring a 4K projector home make sure you have all of the gear you need to connect it to your devices. You may need to purchase another HDMI cable to connect your components.