Best Projector Under 600

Movies, shows, and games look better with a home theater projector. The colors are brighter and more realistic. The only downside consumers often face is the price. To find an affordable projector you often have to give up some features. However, things have changed. Now you can find affordable models that come with everything you want.

The Optoma HD28HDR was created for gamers. Along with two gaming modes, you also get a bright, immersive picture. It’s hard to beat the image quality you get with the Epson Home Cinema 880. You don’t even have to worry about ambient light interfering with image brightness. If you’re looking for an easily portable projector for work, home, or school, the Optoma DH351 is a breeze to set up, comes with plenty of connectivity, and only weighs a little over 6lbs (>>> Find the current price on Amazon).

Before you bring one of these affordable projectors home, it’s a good idea to review each model. This way you know that you purchased the best projector under 600.

Best Projector Under 600 – Top Options for 2022

 Optoma HD28HDREpson Home
Cinema 880
Optoma HD146XBenQ GS2Epson EX5280Optoma DH351
Resolution1920x10801920x10801920x10801280x7201024x7681920x1080
Contrast Ratio50,000:116,000:125,000:1100,000:116,000:122,000:1
Brightness (Lumens)3,600 ANSI3,300 ANSI3,600 ANSI500 ANSI3,800 ANSI3,600 ANSI
Throw Distance3.3' - 32.2'2.2' - 34.0'3.3' - 32.2'2.8' - 9.5'3.6' - 29.6'3.3' - 32.2'
Screen size28" - 301"25" - 386"28" - 302"30" - 100"30" - 300"28" - 302"
Included Lens1.1x manual zoomFixed focal length1.1x manual zoomFixed focal length1.2x manual zoom1.1x manual zoom
Internal Speakers3.0 Watts Mono2.0 Watts Mono3.0 Watts Mono2.0 Watts × 22.0 Watts Mono5.0 Watts Mono
Price

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Gaming Quality

There’s nothing like playing your games on the big screen. You’ll feel like you’re in the game. Details are sharp and images clear, even in dimly lit scenes. The only problem gamers faced was the slow input lag and refresh rates.

Projector technology has advanced to compensate for input lag. Now most models come with gaming modes that dramatically reduce lag times. While 23ms is okay for casual gamers, avid players need something faster. Some models, in enhanced gaming mode, have input times as low as 8.4ms.

Best Projector for Gaming: Optoma HD28HDR

Image Quality

There are several aspects to look at when you’re determining image quality. Brightness, rated in lumens, and resolution are two things to look for. The lumens also let you know if ambient light is a problem. You also want to check the contrast ratio. Lower ratios can result in faded blacks and whites.

Most budget-friendly projectors produce quality images. However, some are better than others due to higher lumens and contrast ratios. The higher the specification numbers, the better the image looks on the screen.

Best Projector for Image Quality: Optoma HD146X

Ease of Use and Portability

Not all home cinema projectors are easy to move around. Some projectors can weigh around 30lbs. A flexible installation is something else to consider. Rooms have different configurations, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time setting the projector up.

Features like keystone correction and lens shift allow you to easily align onscreen images even when the projector isn’t centered on the screen. A high lumens light source is also key for counteracting ambient light.

Best Portable Projector: Optoma DH351


Optoma HD28HDR Review

Optoma HD28HDR

Get ready to see your games in a new light. The HD28HDR was designed for avid gamers. It comes with an enhanced gaming mode that drops input lag to a fast 8.4ms. Even multi-player games are smooth without interruptions. A 120 Hz refresh rate prevents blurring on fast-paced scenes. To ensure you can see everything, including foes in dark scenes, turn on the game display mode.

Images are bright and clear during the day and at night. 1080p resolution with 4K support produces realistic and vivid images. A contrast ratio of 50,000:1 produces inky blacks and bright whites. The 3,600 lumens lamp ensures ambient light won’t affect image quality.

It is a surprisingly lightweight projector at 6.2 lbs. However, you might not want to move it around once it’s installed. It does not come with a lens shift, and the manual focus is limited to 1.1x. It also only comes with digital vertical keystone correction. The HD28HDR is not the most flexible home projector to install.

Pros

  • Low input lag
  • Fast refresh rate
  • 4K support
  • Dynamic contrast

Cons

  • Installation isn’t as flexible as other lightweight home theater projectors


Epson Home Cinema 880 Review

Epson Home Cinema 880

Anyone that wants larger onscreen images will want to take a look at the 880 from Epson. All you need is a blank wall or compatible screen to cast 320” images. You’ll feel like you’re at the theater when you’re watching movies at home. You will need plenty of space to throw large images. The Epson Home Cinema 880 is not a short-throw projector.

With 3LCD chip technology combined with 10-bit color processing, you’ll see bright, clear images. A 3,300 lumens rating is more than enough to balance daylight. You don’t have to close the curtains to watch a movie. The contrast ratio is a little low at 16,000:1. Whites and blacks aren’t faded, but they are lacking some brightness and depth.

You’ll love the projector’s flexible installation. It opens up the possibilities of where you can install it. Horizontal and vertical keystone correction, along with digital zoom make it easy to align images even when the projector is placed at an angle. If you’re still having problems centering onscreen pictures, the geometric correction function will make it easier.

Pros

  • High lumens rating
  • Flexible installation
  • Large on-screen images
  • 1080p resolution

Cons

  • The dynamic contrast ratio is lower than in some models


Optoma HD146X Review

Optoma HD146X

One of the reasons consumers install home projectors is for image quality. The Optoma HD146X doesn’t disappoint when it comes to onscreen pictures. Along with 1080p full-HD resolution, the projector boasts a 25,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Whites are brilliant and blacks deep without any greying. A 3,600 lumens lamp keeps images bright and clear in daylight.

Along with impressive image quality for the low price, the HD146X also comes with a dedicated gaming mode. With lag times of 16ms, and a fast 120 Hz refresh rate, you can keep up with most fast-paced games. Multi-player ones may not run as smoothly, but casual gamers won’t have a problem.

Lightweight at 6.2lbs, the projector’s almost ready to go out of the box. You do have to be careful about where you place it. You’re a little limited on flexibility. The projector only allows for vertical keystone correction. It also does not come with lens shift. Click here if you want to read a more detailed review of the Optoma HD146x.

Pros

  • Immersive images
  • Low input lag
  • Lightweight
  • Dynamic contrast

Cons

  • The small 3-watt internal speakers are not enough to fill a room with sound


BenQ GS2 Review

BenQ GS2

The BenQ GS2 is a portable projector that comes with a travel bag. It doesn’t get any easier to take a home projector with you. It also comes with a rechargeable battery that will power the projector for up to three hours. With iOS and Android support, you can cast movies from your compatible devices.

The resolution is 720p but it supports full HD. The lumens rating is low at 500, but this projector is designed more for nighttime use outside. It’s perfect for getting together with friends and family and having an impromptu movie night. Along with the battery, the projector comes with a power cable and Bluetooth stick. Everything you need to watch movies outside.

The small projector features a durable construction. It’s designed to withstand a little wear and tear. It’s splash-resistant and semi-drop proof. Anything higher than 1.6 feet will damage the projector.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easily portable
  • Bright images
  • Durable design

Cons

  • The low lumens rating makes this projector best for nighttime use


Epson EX5280 Review

Epson EX5280

Whether it’s for home, office, or school use, the Epson EX5280 delivers. It produces bright images in most lighting situations. The projector is also a breeze to set up and use. With Epson’s award-winning customer service part of the package, you always have hands-on help if needed.

A 3,800 lumens light source ensures onscreen images never appear washed out. The bright light source also allows you to use the projector in most board and classrooms. Spreadsheets and videos are crisp and clear, thanks to the XCA resolution. Three-chip 3LCD technology produces accurate colors without the distracting rainbowing effect.

The EX5280 has everything you need to quickly set the projector up. It’s incredibly lightweight at a little over 5lbs. The onboard picture senor automatically corrects vertical image alignment. You also have a horizontal slide bar and a 1.2x zoom lens function. Connecting your devices and streaming content is a breeze. Simply connect your device to the built-in HDMI port and start displaying your content on the screen. You even get onboard speakers to take care of the audio.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Built-in speakers
  • Bright light source
  • Flexible installation
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The projector’s lower contrast ratio can affect the quality of some images


Optoma DH351 Review

Optoma DH351

The Optoma DH351 has everything you need to put on amazing presentations. It’s lightweight and compact, making it easily portable. You also aren’t going to have any problems setting the projector up.

Weighing a little over 6lbs, it offers a flexible installation. Along with 1.1x lens zoom, you can take advantage of the +/-40 vertical keystone correction. The projector doesn’t need to be elevated to keep images centered on the screen. You also have plenty of connectivity options for your external devices. The projector comes with an HDMI port, USB-A power out, and an input for audio. You will need to connect external speakers for audio.

With 1080p, onscreen images are crisp and clear. The resolution may be a little too low for home use, especially if you are used to 4K, but it’s more than enough for presentations. Add in the 22,000:1 contrast ratio and you get dynamic whites and blacks. A 3,600 lumens light ensures ambient lighting isn’t a problem.

Pros

  • Flexible installation
  • Easy portability
  • 1080p resolution
  • Bright light source
  • HDMI and USB ports

Cons

  • The lack of horizontal image correction can make it a little harder to align pictures with the screen


Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a home cinema projector. You can find one that’s perfect for your needs priced under 600. Gamers will want to look at the Optoma HD28HDR. It comes with an impressive 8.4ms input lag and a fast refresh rate. You also can’t complain about image quality, though the Optoma HD146X does produce a better picture.

The HD146X produces one of the best pictures for a projector under 600. Colors are accurate and images are bright and clear in ambient light. If you want a projector that can go to work and school with you, the Optoma DH351 is your best option (>>> Find on Bhphotovideo). It’s lightweight, produces bright images, and comes with plenty of connectivity. Its easy portability makes it easy to move around and share with others.

With several top-rated home theater projectors to choose from, at affordable prices, you can find the best one no matter where you want to use it.

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