Best Projectors Under $100 – Reviews By An Expert (UPDATED)

Looking to turn your home into a theater where you can enjoy movies on a large screen? And do you want to be able to do that without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars?

Gone are the days when you’d have to part with over 1000 bucks to get a quality projector. Now, you can get a good projector with 1080P resolution and other great features for less than 100 dollars.

But to get a good one, you need to know what features to look for as well as find out if it will serve you well and without too many issues. And that needs lots of legwork!

To save you the trouble of finding the best projector under 100, we’ve put together a list of 15 models worth considering for home use.

We cannot say these will give you the exact same experience as a movie theater’s screens, but it will be something close to that as long as the set-up is good. And, we’ll give you tips on set-up to optimize the picture quality.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Projector and What Are the Benefits of Using It?

A projector is an optical machine that makes use of a lens and a light to project images from another media device like a DVD player, computer, PS4, smartphone or microSD to a background, usually a white screen or wall.

This device is normally used as an alternative to monitors and TVs for a number of reasons. For instance, it’s cheaper and more portable.

Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy by using a projector:

Large screen – one of the reasons why people love movie theaters is that they’re able to see movies in large pictures. That reduces eye strain and improves the watching experience. A projector brings the same experience to your home. You can watch movies on a screen size of over 100 inches.

Low cost – we checked the price of an 82-inch QLED TV on the Samsung website and guess how much it was? 3499 bucks! A good projector for home use can cost you let’s say 90 bucks. Adding the cost of a good white screen (20 bucks), that totals to 110. You’ll view decent pictures, and for a fraction of the cost.

Space efficiency – the average projector for home use is no bigger than 12 inches length. You can mount it on the ceiling or a coffee table where it is completely out of the way and invisible when it’s not in use. You can also use your walls as the monitor or use a roll out white screen, which is also compact. Can we say the same about a 100-inch TV?

Portable movie watching experience – you can take your projector with you when going camping or on a vacation somewhere. Some are even battery powered, making it possible to watch movies on large screen even without access to electricity.

See how useful a projector is? Let’s now jump into the reviews and find a suitable cheap projector under 100 for you.

1. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector

The best projector under 100 for your home should be one that lets you watch movies and do your art projects without issues. Thinking in that direction, you may want to consider is the 1920 x 1080 resolution VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector.

This is a small projector that comes with a power cable, a 3-way video/audio cable, and a HDMI cable. Apart from that, the unit also comes with a remote control and a built-in speaker.

As you’ll find out, the device is compact, and that allows easy installation, storage, and transportation. It also looks a bit cute, so you’ll not have any worries about elegance when using it at home.

The unit also comes with a high-quality carry bag that you can use to store or transport it.

In most cases, projectors in the price bracket of under 100 dollars have to be focused by distance. But this one, albeit being low-priced, doesn’t leave you to rely on the distance alone. You can focus the image without having to depend on the distance.

You’re going to love how easy it is to use this little machine. You just connect the power cable and attach the unit to your PC using the provided cable, and it will run right away.

The menu is conveniently located at the top and it’s amazingly easy to navigate. Its buttons are also sturdy and easy to push.

What about the sound? You ask. The device comes with a built-in speaker that works just fine. We cannot say that the sound is all that amazing, but you can definitely rely on the speakers to listen. Alternatively, you connect external surround speakers for a better experience.

The fan is audible, but not annoyingly. You’ll still hear what is coming from the speakers clearly.

If you’re tech-savvy, and are looking for the best experience, this is not for you. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly but quality little projector for your home, you’ll find it very fitting.

Highlighted features:

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    1920 x 1080 resolution.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Comes with all the important cables.
  • Fan is not annoyingly loud.
  • Speakers are clearly audible.

2. DR. J Professional HI-04

If you’re seeking the biggest bang for your buck, you might want to check out the DR. J Professional HI-04. This one offers you 1800 lumens and numerous other features for a good movie-watching experience at home.

Maybe you need a machine that allows multiple outputs and inputs. You’ll be happy to know that this unit comes with ports for audio, USB, VGA, microSD, and HDMI connections.

The unit’s speaker is good and will let you hear everything clearly. But if you want a crisper sound with a deeper bass, you can use the audio out port to listen from external sound devices.

As experts in the projectors’ niche, we can tell you for sure that most units in the HI-04’s price bracket give you only about 1500 lumens. So, the 1800 lumens that the HI-04 offers you is something truly special.

That’s a whole 300 lumens on top, and though it might not sound like much, it will make the images richer. This projector is able to overpower the wall’s color better than most other units in its price bracket.

If you’re on a tight budget, buying a 100-inch TV might not seem like the best idea. However, if you still want to enjoy the experience of a TV set, this projector will be a good pick. The colors and images are nearly as rich, with the same screen size of 100 inches.

Even at 100 inches, you’ll not deal with issues like blurriness.

Our only problem with the unit is that the remote sensor is on the side. Instead of at the top. This makes changing media a hassle, but it’s not a huge bother, and not at all a deal-breaker.

If you’re looking for the best projector under $100 with great picture quality and good brightness, don’t hesitate to get the DR. J Professional HI-04.

Highlighted features:

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    Excellent image quality with no blurriness even at 100 inches.
  • Compatible with different media including PC, video games, smartphones, etc.
  • 1800 lumens.
  • 1920 by 1080 resolution.
  • HDMI cable included

3. QKK [2019 Upgrade] Mini Projector

For something even cheaper than the units we’ve discussed above, consider the QKK [2019 Upgrade] Mini Projector. This unit may not be the best for PowerPoint presentations, but when it comes to home entertainment, it’s definitely a worthy little device.

Although the QKK is a small and compact device, it has a decent picture and sound quality. When you get it, you’re also provided with a HDMI cable for hassle-free connection to your media devices. The machine is compatible with a whole lots of media gadgets including TVs, tablets, blue-ray players, and PCs.

As said, the sound from the built-in speaker is decent, but if you want better quality, you can use the audio port to connect to a soundbar.

According to the manufacturer, the projector supports screen sizes starting from 32 inches to 176 inches wide. At lower screen width sizes, going from 32 to about 90 inches, the picture quality is great. Nonetheless, the room has to be slightly dark for you to see clearly.

But as the screen size starts going up from there, the picture quality reduces, and you need to make the room totally dark to be able to enjoy what you’re watching.

The QKK [2019 Upgrade] Mini Projector comes with a tripod for support. Unfortunately, the tripod is not high-quality, and it leans to one side when you place the projector on it.

Other than that, the unit is a good budget-friendly option with a good image quality.

Highlighted features:

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    Works with a wide variety of media.
  • High-grade full HD images.
  • Small and compact – easy to handle and transport.
  • 2 USB ports.

4. TOPVISION Video Projector

For a projector capable of displaying colors correctly, try the TOPVISION Video Projector. If you’re looking for the best cheap projector under 100 that you can connect to your smartphone or tablet, as well as numerous other media devices, this one will be a good pick.

The unit is compact and looks very nice. As it is compact, handling and storage are a piece of cake.

One of the joys of getting this projector is that when you want to connect it to your mobile device, you don’t even need to buy an adapter; it comes with that. And, you can connect even to an iPhone or iPad. You just need to hit “trust” and the connection is complete.

When looking for the best mini projector under 100, one of the things you want to know is if you’ll be able to enjoy movies and games well. You can rest assured that the projector is build for that. The image quality is good even when the room is not dim, and when you dim the room, the images are crisp and clear.

At the center, the sharpness is really good, but as you move outwards, the sharpness reduces. The main issue with this unit, but at its price level, it is acceptable.

With an illuminance of 2400 lux, the unit is able to emit bright light for high image clarity. There are two ways in which you can adjust the image. You can either adjust the focus ring or adjust the keystone correction.

If there’s something that can take away your movie watching experience when using a projector, it’s the fan’s noise. But the Topvision doesn’t have that problem. This device uses a modern, innovative fan with features to dramatically reduce the noise. Yes, there’s still some noise from the fan, but it’s too low to disrupt your experience.

Highlighted features:

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    Sturdy-built and good-looking.
  • Supports smartphones, both android and iOS.
  • 2400 lux illuminance – brightness is great.
  • Relatively quiet fan.

5. Artlii 2019 New Pocket Projector

Thought projectors had to be large items that could not be carried in the pocket? Well, you were wrong. Introducing the smartphone-sized Artlii 2019 New Pocket Projector. This little unit is not any bigger than an iPhone 8 and it’s only slightly thick.

If you’re looking for something that you can take with you to your camping escapade, this might be a good pick. You don’t need electricity, as the little device coms with batteries. Again, you can charge it with a power bank.

All you need to do is connect it to your phone and project onto a white sheet/background and you’ll get to enjoy your movies from anywhere.

The Artlii offers you a brightness of just 600 lumens. That might not seem like much, and it definitely won’t work in a well-lit area, but in a dark room, decent images will be displayed.

What about the screen size? The unit is able to display images with a screen width of between 24 and 60 inches. The smaller the width, the better the clarity.

One thing that totally blew us away was the sound. It was nice and clear even at high volumes. And of course, you can connect to an external speaker.

For sure, the projector is nowhere near perfect, but it works in situations that other units cannot, like when you don’t have a power connection. Also, you can carry it easily even in your pockets.

And have we mentioned it’s one of the cheapest options going for under 50?

Pssst…this unit would make a great gift for a kid.

Highlighted features:

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    Small and lightweight.
  • Easy to carry – even in the pocket.
  • Built-in speaker produces a nice sound.
  • Supports different media devices.
  • One of the cheapest options.

6. APEMAN Mini Portable Projector

If the APEMAN Mini Portable Projector has one thing going for, it is the exceptional image clarity. For a unit costing well under 100, this is really awesome.

What’s more, the image clarity is high even when the room is lit. That is made possible by the fact that the device gives out 3500 lumens, which is almost twice as bright as most other projectors at this price level. And besides, the unit has a contrast ratio of 2000:1.

If you love viewing movies from a large screen, this is the projector for you. It allows you to enjoy a screen size of up to 180 inches without ruining the image quality dramatically as other projectors do as the screen size gets to such high levels.

And by the way, the fact that the unit allows you to watch films on a large screen size means heathier eyes as you don’t stain them to see what is going on.

A projector with a noisy fan can be quite a pain, keeping you from enjoying your movies. Fortunately, now you can use a projector that will never disrupt your watching experience. The Apeman is fitted with an innovatively-designed fan that keeps it from heating up while keeping the noise to a minimum.

As you increase the volume on some projectors, the sound starts getting distorted and gets weird. That’s not something you’re going to face when using the APEMAN Mini Portable Projector. This one has a high-tech dual speaker system installed that sounds great even at high volumes.

There’s virtually nothing negative to say about this unit. The picture quality is great, the sound is amazing, and the price is unbelievable.

For certain, the projector is worth getting.

Highlighted features:

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    3500 lumens – brilliant images even when the room is lit.
  • Great picture quality – sharp.
  • Small and relatively slim.
  • Amazing sound quality.
  • Supports multiple inputs – HDMI, VGA, microSD, USB, etc.

7. Meyoung Portable LED LCD Projector

We must say that when it comes to design, the Meyoung Portable LED LCD Projector is rather unique. It’s a small unit shaped like a stereo and with a really cool and classy design. The device also has a carry strap attached at the top for easy transportation.

Compared to most other low-price projectors, this unit is a victor, in that it offers excellent quality while remaining affordable. With it, you can watch shows and football and you can also play video games without a hassle.

You will like how easy it is to use this device. At the top, the unit has the control panel, allowing you to conveniently regulate the sound, image, and other factors. And the side, you’ll see all the input and output ports.

There are ports on there for HDMI, USB, and microSD. There’s also a port for connecting an external audio system.

These ports allow you to connect the projector to a range of media devices, including TV, smartphone/tablet, laptop, digital camera, and so on.

You’re looking to watch videos that have good quality, right? You’ll be glad to see that the unit has you covered. The brightness offered is better than what most other models offer, and the contrast ratio of 800:1 means that the image clarity is good.

With the unit, you get to watch on a screen size of 24 to around 70 inches, and from a projection distance of 2 to 10 feet. At a projection distance of 3 to 4 feet, the image rendered is crisp and clean, giving a great viewing experience.

Highlighted features:

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    Nice design.
  • Carry strap at the top for easy moving.
  • Good image quality.
  • Easy to use.

8. QKK Portable LCD Projector

Great sound, great picture, great price – that’s how we’d describe the QKK Portable LCD Projector in a nutshell. It’s definitely one of the finest budget-friendly model, and here’s why.

First off, you can use it with a whole range of media devices including your fire tv stick. That means you get to enjoy an unlimited assortment of movies watching from a wide screen.

And talking of the screen, the unit lets you watch on a screen size of between 40 and 170 inches. What you’ll find impressive is that even at wider sizes nearing 170. 

As mentioned, the picture quality is really good. That is made possible by a few aspects. First off, the illuminance is better than average. The unit is able to give up to 2800 lux while some models out there hardly offer half of that.

Again, the 2000:1 contrast ratio makes the images crisp. 2000:1 basically means that every white image displayed is 2000 times brighter than its black counterpart. The large gap is what brings a good clarity.

You know how some projectors can only be used in a dark room to be able to give good pictures?

This unit isn’t one of them. You can use it in a lit room and the image quality will still be good. And, you can even use it outside, of course in the evening or at night.

As for the sound, it’s surprising to see that such a small and compact unit could offer something so good. The sound is clear and cool even at higher volumes and the fan sound isn’t disturbing.

And finally, when you get this unit, you’re given a free screen! The screen is thin and high-quality, displaying the images beautifully.

Highlighted features:

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    Compatible with fire tv stick and many other media devices.
  • Screen size of up to 170 inches without downgrading the image quality.
  • Good speakers with a nice sound.
  • 2800 lux – high illuminance.

9. DBPOWER RD810 Portable Mini Projector

For someone who needs a smaller projector that is only slightly bigger than one palm, the DBPOWER RD810 Portable Mini Projector would be a good pick.

This unit is small and lightweight, though not enough to be termed ‘pocket-size’. Carrying it around will definitely be very easy.

One of the reasons why people love this projector is that it is easy to use. You just connect the power and the HDMI cable to your computer or any other compatible media device. The entire set up process can take less than a minute.

This unit comes with a built-in speaker. The speaker doesn’t really give an impressive sound but then, it’s not that bad. The volume goes up as much as most laptops.

If you prefer an external audio device for better sound, you can use the headphone jack output of the audio out port to connect to an external speaker.

One of the biggest problems with budget projectors is ghosting. However, there’s no ghosting with the DBPOWER RD810 Portable Mini Projector. The pictures are able to retain quality due to the high degree of sharpness provided.

A 2000:1 contrast ratio ensures the images are clear even at a screen width of 100 inches. The manufacturer says the unit can render good images at a screen size of up to 176 inches, but we find that the quality is not very good when the screen size approaches 150.

But being able to provide great image quality at even just 100 inches is a really awesome thing for a projector priced so low.

Highlighted features:

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    Small and easy to carry around – not much larger than a man’s palm.
  • High clarity images even at 100 inches.
  • Easy to set up and use.

10. POYANK 2800Lux LED Wireless Mini Projector

How would you like to get a projector that comes with built-in Airplay?

Yep, that’s exactly what you get to enjoy with the POYANK 2800Lux LED Wireless Mini Projector. The airplay is an Apple tech that lets you send your mobile device (tablet or phone) over the projector.

The technology uses WiFi, allowing you to connect your mobile device to the projector without having to use any cables.

One thing we loved about connecting the unit to devices through Wifi is that it was easy. Besides, the provided instructions were super easy to follow.

Apart from connecting your devices to the unit via WiFi, you can use other ways to connect other devices. The projector has multiple ports for inputs and outputs, including HDMI, VGA, and audio out. For someone who wants a great gaming experience, the projector will be very useful.

And by the way, if you don’t want to use Wifi to connect your phone, you can use the provided USB.

Moving on, the unit supports a resolution of between 800 by 480 and 1920 by 1080. The supported screen size starts from 32 all the way to around 170 inches. We found that the image remains great with a screen size of up to 130 inches.

Above 130, the images start losing clarity but below that, the displayed images are really nice. If you’re looking for a good viewing experience at home, the projector will undoubtedly serve you well.

There are a few issues but not a deal-breaker for something that costs so low. First, the sound is not all that. It’s not totally bad but you’ll probably need external speakers.

Secondly, the remote needs AA batteries but these aren’t included.

As said, these concerns don’t break the deal considering the price.

Highlighted features:

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    Supports connection with mobile devices via Wifi.
  • Good picture quality up to 130 inches screen size.
  • Nice brightness.

11. Crosstour HD Portable Projector

When buying a cheap projector that costs way below 100 bucks, you might have concerns about the quality. While such products may not generally be the very best with regards to performance and longevity, there are some of them that will exceed your expectations.

One such product is the Crosstour HD Portable Projector. This is a compact unit that performs really well. Before we go into that, we’d like to let you know that it comes with a remote, an AV and HDMI cable, a power cable, and a lens cap.

As you can see, you get most of the items needed to get started immediately.

If the unit has one thing going for, it is the ease of use. You can set it up in under 5 minutes and start watching your favorite shows or playing your video games.

The unit is compatible with a number of devices. You can hook it up to your TV, PlayStation, smartphone, soundbar, and other devices.

When it comes to the video settings, there are different modes to choose from, but we found the standard to be the most appropriate especially for movies.

The only upsetting thing is that to have a good experience, the room has to be dim or dark. Although the 2000 lumens that the unit renders are quite something, they won’t be very useful in a lit environment. But in the dark, the brilliance will be good and the pictures will be vivid.

When you crank up the volume on some projectors, the sound gets distorted. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the Crosstour HD Portable Projector. You can increase the volume to the top level and the sound will still be great. The only situation in which it’s necessary to use external speakers is when you want more volume or bass.

Our only complaint is that the remote doesn’t come with batteries, but for something going for just over 50, the issue is trivial.

Highlighted features:

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    Compatible with numerous devices.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Simple and hassle-free set-up.
  • Good brightness in the dark.

12. RAGU Z498 Mini Projector

Now, we are on the 12th product of our best projectors under $100 review. From the great picture clarity and wide compatibility to the awesome sound quality without noise, the reasons are endless why picking the RAGU Z498 Mini Projector would be a brilliant move.

The first thing you’ll possibly notice when you get the little device is how well it is made. It features a glossy dark finish and looks really elegant. It’s not something you’ll be shy to keep in your living room, office, or anywhere else.

And it’s not just about great looks. The unit also looks sturdy and seems like something that will last a good while.

Again, you’ll see that it is really small and easy to move from place to place. You can carry it in your bag and take it anywhere with you.

When it comes to compatibility, this is one of the top projectors. You can hook it to your PC, fire stick, camera, gaming device, DVD player, ipad, iphone, android phone, and many other devices.

For those who hate the fan sounds that most projectors have, this right here is the innovation you’ve been waiting for. Finally, something that will allow you to enjoy what you’re watching peacefully without hearing annoying fan sounds.

Note, the noise is not totally absent; it’s just so low that it’s unlikely to disturb you.

Lack of color correctness is another issue with projectors. But again, something you won’t be dealing with when using this unit. One of the unit’s top benefits is that the colors stay true. And, the pictures are high-quality and clear.

The only problem you’re likely to notice is that the power cable is very short, measuring just about 5 feet. You might need to use an extension cable.

Aside from that, everything else seems faultless.

Highlighted features:

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    Elegant design with a good finish.
  • Noise is kept to a minimum.
  • Great and sharp images with a screen size of up to 100 inches.
  • Good sound quality.
  • Nice carry case.

13. Auking Mini Projector 2019

Let’s get one thing straight. This is not a cinema-experience unit that will bring the theater experience to your home, letting you watch movies even with the lights on. But that doesn’t mean it has nothing to offer.

For a great experience on ‘movie night’ at your home, and without incurring too much expenses, the Mini Projector 2019 will be a great companion.

As long as the room is dark, you will enjoy a great picture quality.

If you were to try and find a TV set or a projector that renders true 1080P picture quality for less than 300 bucks, you’d probably search for months or years.

Even though this unit’s internal LCD doesn’t actually render 1080P quality, the picture quality you’re going to enjoy on your wall/background will be very close to 1080P resolution. The images will not be crisp as those of a movie theater, but you’ll appreciate how sharp the images are, especially considering this device goes for less than 100.

Compatibility is yet another factor that makes this unit so worth your money. You can connect it to a blue-ray player, and thus enjoy your favorite movies on a large screen.

Moreover, you can connect it to your mobile devices and even to TV and soundbar.

When you order this unit, you’re provided with the cables needed for connecting to different devices. You’re also given a free tripod for supporting the unit. The tripod is not crappy as others that some projectors come with.

Highlighted features:

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    Durable LED bulb – no need to keep purchasing halogen bulbs.
  • Can connect to HDMI, microSD, VGA, and USB.
  • Tiny and easy to handle.
  • Comes with a tripod.

14. GooDee Mini Projector

For a small and cute projector that is straightforward to use without all the fussy features, get the GooDee Mini Projector.

The tiny size and cute design of this unit allows you to take wherever you like. It features white and blue colors with brown buttons and looks truly nice.

But the ultimate reason why this unit is such an ideal pick is that it’s offered at a bargain price. You get to enjoy relatively great quality without parting with too much money.

Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ll find this little machine easy to use. It’s a plug and play unit that you just connect to the power and start using without having to deal with complex features and settings. The device can be connected to a wide range of media items, including a TV, microSD, playstation, external speaker, computer, and more. And in all cases, it’s plug and play.

As you can see in its pictures, there aren’t many controls on there. The focus control is at the right and to adjust the focus, all you got to do is move it up and down.

In fact, because of the ease of use, this unit would be a good selection if you’re intending to give it to a kid.

What about the picture quality? Well, the pictures are not full HD clear as with expensive TVs, but it’s still decent and there’s no ghosting if you keep within 100 inches and below (screen size).

The built-in speaker’s sound also isn’t all that great and it might be necessary to connect a speaker.

Nonetheless, for a projector that costs just about 50 bucks, these issues aren’t a deal-breaker.

Highlighted features:

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    Simplistic, no-fuss unit.
  • Easy to use.
  • Nice design.
  • Versatile – supports HDMI, USE, microSD, etc.

15. Jinhoo 2019

The Jinhoo 2019 is a great upgrade of the previous Jinhoo mini projection versions. For the size and the quality of the picture offered, this unit is a pretty good projector.

Plus, it supports Wifi connectivity and can be connected to any media device that uses Wifi. Although you can also use adapter cables to connect to your mobile devices, Wifi makes it so much easier and makes it unnecessary to buy the adapters.

The process of setting up the Wifi connection for both android and iOS is rather easy compared other projectors we’ve come across, and besides, the guide has pretty helpful info on that.

When it comes to picture clarity, there are three things you need to consider. The contrast ratio, the illuminance, and the resolution.

With a contrast ratio of 2000:1, the projector is able to separate between light and dark colors efficiently, thereby making the images sharp.

As for the illuminance, you get 2800 lumens. That means that your images look bright and colors remain true. For optimal performance, turn off the lights.

The unit’s resolution is 840 by 480. While that might not seem like much, the high contrast ratio and illuminance make up for the quality. Besides, for a unit costing less than 100, the resolution is not bad.

And do you know something amazing? The unit is pretty quiet. Its fan runs a lot more quietly than most other projectors out there.

For a small and lightweight unit that you can take anywhere, go for the palm-sized Jinhoo 2019.

Highlighted features:

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    Support Wifi connection.
  • Super easy to set up.
  • Fan is pretty quiet.
  • Good image quality.

Projector Buying Guide for Beginners: What to Look for Before Purchasing One?

Projectors are increasingly becoming affordable, giving people an opportunity to own them to a greater extend. But still, it is important to know exactly what features to look for or what factors to consider to ensure you get the right one.

The following considerations will help you choose the best projector under 100.

Compatibility with other devices

How are you planning to use the projector? Are you hoping to watch movies with it and play games at times? How about connecting to an external sound device?

These questions will help you get the best projectors under 100.

It’s advisable to go for a versatile option that allows you to connect to a variety of media gadgets, including a TV, laptop, game system like PS4, android and iOS devices, and even a fire stick.

Note that some projectors are compatible with only a few of these media while others are compatible with all of them.

Sound and noise

While most projectors come with a built-in speaker, not all projectors have a useful speaker. Most cheap projectors’ speakers produce a bad sound or get distorted as the volume is increased. But there are some whose sound is clear and high-quality even when the volume is up.

Another aspect to look at is the noise level. To cool down, projectors normally have a fan inside. Most units’ fans are really loud and can disrupt your movie watching experience but some have quiet fans that won’t cause problems.

Picture quality

This is possibly the main feature to look at. You don’t want a projector that creates a ghosting effect or one that gives out bad images with weird colors, right?

Be careful because if you’re going for something inexpensive, you might end up having to deal with these issues.

Look at the contrast ratio, the resolution, and the brightness to know if the picture quality is good.

For the best experience, get a unit with a 2000:1 contrast ratio.

As for the resolution, 1080P is optimal, but get one with at least 840 by 480.

The brightness is indicated by lumens or lux. At least 1500 lumens is what is bright enough to show the images clearly even in the dark. The more the lumens, the better the images.

If you’re hoping to be able to watch in conditions that are not totally dark, go for a model that can give at least 3000 lumens.

Note: the picture quality also depends on the background you’re using. For optimal results, use a white screen.

Portability

Portability is defined by the size. The smaller the model, the more portable it is. Projectors costing less than a hundred are all within the portable range, but even then, some are more portable than others.

While some have to be carried with both hands, others can be carried with one hand.

There are even pocket-sized models that are only as big as the average smartphone.

When finding your preferred unit, you might also want to look at the general design, like the colors and shape. Other factors to think about include the zooming capability, the aspect ratio, the supported screen size, the distance of operation, and the availability of a carry bag.

What Are the Top-Rated Projector Brands on The Market?

One of the best ways of getting the best mini projector under 100 is to know the top brands in the field. Buying from the most preferred brands, you have better chances of getting something high-quality. This can be a clever move especially when you don’t have time for too much research.

Well, here are 4 of the top-rated projector brands:

VANKYO

Vankyo is one of the new-comers in the projectors industry, having gone into business in 2017. Even though the firm is new, it is already leading in the space, producing and selling some of the finest models in terms of quality.

But that is not the main reason that makes this brand so attractive to customers. The main reason is that even though the products are high-quality, they’re some of the least expensive in the market.

Apart from projectors, Vankyo also sells a few other electronic items including TV boxes, projector accessories, and laptops and tablets.

Topvision

Founded in 2016, Topvision is yet another new player in the market. This firm is a consumer electronics brand that has managed to grow a customer base from all over the world, thanks to their online marketing and selling prowess.

Topvision’s line of products includes projectors, nail lamps, power banks, and even drones.

DBPOWER

DBPOWER is an international brand that focuses on digital selling. The brand is recognized worldwide as a leading producer and seller of innovative yet price-friendly consumer electronic products.

Some of the products that this company sells include drones, DVDs, action cameras, jump starters, and projectors.

ARTlii

Artlii is a part of miniprojectors, which, in turn, is a part of the Pricetronic Network. As a web-based comparison-shopping network, the brand is able to present consumers with products from some of the top manufacturers in the market.

Apart from that, the brand offers superior shopping experience with a good and dedicated support team to attend to customers.

Their products include a range of projectors, including pocket-size varieties, tripod stands, and projector accessories. 

Different Types of Projectors

When looking for the right projectors under $100, it’s important to know your options with regards to type. Here are the main types available.

Home cinema projectors

This is the type we gave focus to in our review. A home cinema projector is optimized for home use and comes with great picture quality as well as decent sound.

While this unit doesn’t really give you a feeling as good as what you get in a commercial theater, it can give you a great experience especially if you set it up correctly.

Short-throw projectors

When doing presentations in the office or classroom and the space is limited, a short-throw projector is the most appropriate unit. That’s because it is able to project from a shorter distance from the screen than other projectors.

Large-venue projectors

This is the type they use in auditoriums, staging, and other places where there’s a big crowd watching the presentations.

One thing about large venue units is that they combine the best of features. For instance, the illuminance is at least 5000 lumens.

Also, the picture quality is normally excellent. They even have technology like RGB booster to make every color stand out.

The lens also gives you various options, allowing you to operate in projector in short throw or long throw mode.

And of course, all these features come at a cost. If you want such a projector, you might have to part with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Pocket-size units

These are the most portable of all projectors. A pocket-size unit is no bigger than a smartphone in length and the thickness is also kept low, just to accommodate the light.

Pocket-size models normally have batteries so you can operate them without direction connection to power.

For someone who’s planning to enjoy movies on a camping trip, a pocket-size projector would be a great thing to have, just as long as they take a white roll-out screen along.

How to Use It: Step by Step Guide

Although it depends on the exact model you’re using, the process of setting up and using a projector is easy. In this short guide, we’ll look at how to set up a projector and use it with a computer, DVD or blue-ray player.

It’s all the same with the three media devices.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Start with both the computer and the projector turned off.
  • Position the projector in front of the white screen, with the light facing the screen.
  • Ensuring the air ventilations on the projector are not obstructed, connect the unit’s power cord to the power source.
  • Look for the HDMI port on the projector as well as on the media device (computer). Connect the two ports using the HDMI cable.
  • Turn on the computer if it’s off and press the “Fn” key as well as either F4, F5, F7 or F8 to change the output of video to the external monitor. Note that if you’re using a DVD or blue-ray player, you’ll not be dealing with any such keys.
  • Locate the focus ring on the projector. It’s normally at the top or the side near the light. Turn it until the image on the screen (which is coming from the computer) becomes clear.
  • That was easy, wasn’t it?
  • Note: the image quality on the screen will also depend on the lighting of the room. Be sure to dim the lights or turn them off to get the best experience.

Here’s a helpful how-to video: 

Projector Take Care and Maintenance Tips for Longevity

A cheap projector under 100 might not sound like something that’s going to last decades. However, by taking good care of it, you can enjoy the unit for years.

Here are a few maintenance tips that will help you boost your home projector’s life.

Store it safely

There are three conditions that dramatically reduce the life of projectors – extreme heat/cold, dust, and smoke.

Hence, you want to keep your little machine in a place where it’s safe from these. The ideal place to store or operate a projector from is a cool and dry place with good ventilation especially when in use.

Clean the light glass

One of the common causes of viewing problems that didn’t exist from the very start is dust and fingerprints on the light glass. To prevent these issues, clean the glass on a regular basis.

Get a non-flammable lens cleaner and a soft microfiber towel that will not scratch the glass. Before going forward with the exercise, turn off the unit. Then, don’t pour the cleaner solution directly on the glass. Instead, dampen the towel with it and use the towel to clean the glass.

Clean the filter

The filter is located close to the fan, and its work is to ensure dust doesn’t reach the inner components. Without being cleaned regularly, the filter might accumulate too much dust that it stops working properly and the dust gets through, damaging the inner parts of the machine.

When you get your unit, refer to the manual. It should have info on the right frequency of cleaning the filter. In most cases, this is after 200 hours of use.

If you ever notice that the filter is torn or damaged in a way that it cannot work as needed, be sure to replace it.

Don’t unplug the projector immediately

Your projector depends on the lamp to project pictures. If the lamp keeps failing, you’ll keep replacing it, and that’s an added cost. To prevent your lamp from failing too often, get a unit with LED light rather than halogen lamp to begin with.

Then, each time you turn off the light, allow the lamp sometime to cool down before unplugging the power cord. Keeping the power connected allows the fan to keep working and cool the lamp.

Note: if your unit allows, set it to economy operation. This will reduce strain on the lamp and boost its life.

Common Questions & Answer That You Need To Know

1. How many lumens do I need for a home projector?

Lumens are a measure of the brightness a projector’s lamp is able to give out. For a dark room, at least 1500 lumens is needed for the images to have good clarity. If you want to be able to watch movies with the lights on, get a unit with at least 2500 lumens.

2. Is a projector better than a TV?

When it comes to picture quality, a HD TV is obviously better than the average projector. However, when we consider the price, a projector is way better.

You can enjoy decent pictures on a 100-inch screen using a good projector under 100 bucks, but to enjoy good pictures using a TV, you’ll probably have to part with over 1000 bucks.

3. Does a projector support Wifi?

Some units come with Wifi, allowing you to connect to other devices like PCs and smartphones wirelessly over Wifi. Just check the features of the unit before buying it to ensure it supports Wifi.

4. Will a projector only work in dark rooms?

It depends on the features of the projector. If the machine is able to render a high degree of luminosity, the room doesn’t have to be totally dark. It could be dim or the lights could be on as long as they are not very bright.

Nevertheless, the optimal conditions for operating a projector is a dark room. That way, you’ll enjoy great picture sharpness and nice brightness.

5. Must I have a screen to watch movies using a projector?

No. You can use a white wall or sheet. However, for optimal results in terms of picture quality, it’s good to have a screen. And, it will cost you just about 20 bucks.

Alternatively, you can buy a projector that comes with a free screen. There are a few options on the review above, such as the QKK Portable LCD Projector.

Final Word

So, you may not be able to enjoy picture quality to the level that movie theaters offer, but with the best projector under 100, you’ll definitely have a wonderful watching experience at home. And of course, that also depends on the set-up. A dark room and a white screen will improve the picture quality.

When choosing your unit, the main features to look at include the luminosity (lumens), resolution, and contrast ratio.

Follow the provided links in the review to ensure you get the correct product and from the right seller.

Donald S. Cochran
 

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