Finding a quality projector under $200 is not as impossible as it once seemed. In fact, whether you’re looking for versatility in size or portability, a projector may be your best bet for home entertainment. If you’re also interested in enjoying the pleasant weather while watching your favorite shows and movies – or even playing your console games – an inexpensive projector may just be the best bet.
We reviewed dozens of affordable projectors based on quality, cost, features, and other factors to find the best projector under $200, and the FANGOR Portable Movie Projector emerged as a clear winner. With HDMI, VGA, and USB compatibility, you’ll get plenty of versatility with this projector.
While you’re picking out your projector, you’ll probably want to make sure you understand the difference between DLP and LCD projectors. And before you plan your first big movie night, make sure you have all the essentials for your home theater!
Our Top 5 Projectors Under $200
Here are the top picks. Compare the ratings and features of different models.
|Editor’s Picks||Brand||Rating||Connection Options||Screen Included||Contrast Ratio|
|Best Overall||FANGOR Portable Movie Projector||HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, SD Card port||6000:1|
|Best Budget Buy||AuKing Portable Video-Projector||HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, SD Card port||2000:1|
|Best Outdoor||Jinhoo Hoem Theater Outdoor Movie Projector||HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, SD Card port||2000:1|
|Best Brightness||Dr. J Professional WiFi Projector||HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, SD Card port, WiFi||10000:1|
|Best Mini||ELEPHAS Mini WiFi Movie Projector||HDMI, AV, VGA, USB, SD Card port, WiFi||3500:1|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy a Projector Under $200
- Those who want to create an outdoor theater – Using a projector is the easiest and most efficient way to create the outdoor theater vibe that you want. You can have your movie projected onto a large sheet or your garage door for an epic movie night the whole family will love.
- Frequent movers – If you have to move often or are unsure what kind of space you’ll have in the next few years but still want to maximize your space, a projector is an excellent option to size the screen of your “TV” to fit your space perfectly.
- People who want to avoid computer vision syndrome – For the homeschool students that spend their time in front of a screen all day, it may help your eyes to avoid constant exposure to the blue light emitted by computers and tablets. The ability to do the required work without straining your eyes is invaluable.1
- People who want the biggest TV for your money – A projector will allow you to get the biggest “screen” TV without a huge financial investment. After all, how else would you be able to get a 60″+ screen for under $200? In fact, the larger images will help to prevent eye strain, so it’s a win-win. 2
Who Should Not Buy a Projector Under $200
- Those who don’t have enough space – While a projector can be the easiest way to maximize your space, if you don’t have a suitable area to place your projector and project the video, then it may not be worth the (slightly) increased hassle of setup.
- Those with well-lit homes – While it isn’t a given that projectors have a dimmer lit screen, you can’t simply “turn up the brightness” on the screen as you can on a TV. If your home gets amazing sun, you may struggle with seeing your movies and shows. You can definitely mitigate this with higher-end projectors, but finding one under $200 may prove challenging.
Projectors under $200 will need to have a few features to make them work for your family. Here’s what to consider when selecting a projector:
- Pay attention to lumens – The brightness of your projector is measured in lumens. If you want to use your projector in a brighter environment, you’ll need higher lumens. Don’t go too low, or you won’t be able to make out the picture.
- Compatibility matters – A projector that uses more than one method of connection (i.e., USB, HDMI, VGA ports) offers more versatility. If you plan on using it at different locations and connected to different devices, that adaptability is invaluable.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are convenient, but not always reliable – If you’re counting on a wireless setup, then you will need to make sure your connection is strong and reliable. Since that’s rarely the case, you may find that Bluetooth is better as a sometimes thing.
- Resolution is crucial – In order to maximize the versatility you want in your “screen” size, you’ll want to make sure your projector comes with a high resolution. You can’t expect a projector with poor resolution to give you a large display. Generally speaking, the higher, the better for a crisp, high-quality image at larger projection sizes.
- Don’t forget about sound – The projector may come with its own speakers, but you may find the sound quality better on a separate device. Just bear in mind that separate devices may have problems syncing properly, and poor dubbing can definitely ruin the epic theater experience.
How Much Do They Cost?
Right around $200
Getting a projector that will fit the bulk of your home needs (or wants) for right around $200 is pretty typical. Of course, the price varies based on the quality and features, and there’s a pretty wide range between the two price extremes. You can get a high-quality projector that will give you all the bells and whistles and work for commercial use for a few thousand dollars, and you can pick up a smaller one that will connect to your phone for under $100.
The Best Projectors Under $200: Full Reviews
The FANGOR Portable Movie Projector is a projector that will give you plenty of functionality and a crisp, 1080p resolution that makes your picture clear, even outside. The Wi-Fi connection is compatible with your smartphone or tablet, so you’re just a few clicks away from watching your favorite streamed shows and movies.
Included you’ll also find the connection equipment to make this projector work with nearly any setup you have. Besides the Wi-Fi, you’ll also note that it has USB, VGA, and HDMI ports, making it easy to plug just about any input into it, as well.
- 3 HDMI ports
- Remote, tripod, lens cover, and connection hardware included
- US/EU/UK AC adapters
- Loud fan noise
- Ports are close together, so it’s tricky to use several
The AuKing Portable Video-Projector will give you a picture that is big on quality – a full 1080p resolution, in fact. You can use this mini projector to get a picture up to 170 inches, and you’ll appreciate the built-in speakers that offer a much higher than expected sound quality, too.
Equipped with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, and with 2600 lumens, you’ll very likely be able to use this for your outdoor events, as well. It will connect to your laptop, smartphone, USB drive, tablet, X-Box, and more to enjoy streaming videos, DVDs, or gaming.
- Low fan noise
- Bulb life of 55,000 hours
- 2-year warranty
- 800 x 480 resolution
- Manual adjusting takes some trial and error
Jinhoo Home Theater Outdoor Movie Projector is perfect for an outdoor movie night, providing a 1080P quality picture for up to a 170-inch screen. And for the home theater that requires some customized location and fine-tuning, you can adjust the projector lens to three different modes: Front, Rear, and Ceiling.
You’ll appreciate the versatile connectivity options, too, with an AUX jack, an AV jack, an SD card slot, an HDMI port, a USB port, and even a VGA port, you’ll easily be able to connect to whatever gaming, streaming, or viewing method you choose.
- 2000:1 contrast ratio
- Built-in stereo
- Includes remote
- USB drives only (not USB data transfer)
- Manual focus can be tricky
The Dr. J Professional WiFi Projector has an impressive 7500 lumen LCD bulb that will last an estimated 50,000 hours, making sure you get plenty of use of this projector. You’ll have a minimum display size of 50 inches and a maximum of 300 inches, so you can customize your viewing to fit your space and the image.
Along with that high lumen count, you’ll also notice the increase in contrast ratio, as well; this projector has an 8,000:1 contrast ratio, combining 5 layers of the LCD lens for a professional appearance with your videos.
- 7500 lumen, 8,000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p resolution
- VGA port, 2 USB port, HDMI port, SD card slot, AV, and Aux ports
- 120″ screen included
- Fan noise
- Speakers overdrive amp occasionally
ELEPHAS Mini WiFi Movie Projector has a 3500:1 contrast ratio, giving it a crisp image, and the Wi-Fi capability allows you to stream all your favorites with just a few button taps. You’ll have plenty of other options, too, though – it comes with VGA, USB, HDMI, AV, and SD connections.
Though this mini projector does work best in a dark room or after sunset, you can make out the images on your screen in a lit room, too.
- Compact; fits on even a phone’s tripod
- Screen mirroring function makes projection easy
- Full 1080p resolution with 200″ screen
- Low sound from speakers
- May struggle syncing with Wi-Fi
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a projector and how does it work?
There are projectors that use a bulb to create the image (like an LCD or LED), a liquid crystal (like the LCOS), or a digital light (DLP). You can even find those that utilize lasers to project the images directly to the larger screen. Each method of conveyance has its own perks and pitfalls, but for the price range of under $200, you’ll likely find bulb projectors to be your best bet.
Can you watch Netflix on a projector?
Are higher lumens better for a projector?
How do I play a movie outside with a projector?
Home Life Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Sivaraman V, Janarthanam JB. Computer vision syndrome in the time of COVID-19: Is blue-blocking lens a panacea for digital eye strain? Indian J Ophthalmol. 2021;69(3):779. doi:10.4103/ijo.IJO_3786_20
- Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JS. Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration. BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2018;3(1):e000146. Published April 16, 2018. doi:10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000146