When you want to set up a home cinema for a movie theater-like experience, even the biggest widescreen LED TVs won’t cut it.

To get a screen larger than 75 inches, you will need to splash out some serious cash. But did you know that you don’t have to break the bank to take your home entertainment to the next level?

2018 has been good for the electronics market, and new gadgets are being churned out each and every month. This has forced manufacturers to slash prices on various electronic items, and projectors are no exception. As a result, there’s now more variety than ever before, making this year the most opportune time to shop for a projector.

But there is a major problem. With so many options available, it is hard to tell which brands offer the best quality and absolute value for money. Cheap imports have flooded the market with substandard quality and misleading specs.

This has complicated the whole buying process, forcing some consumers to stick to high-end projectors – it’s the only way to be guaranteed of quality.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can find a high-quality projector at an affordable price. You just need to know what to look for.

To help you choose the best cheap projector for home entertainment and office presentations, here’s is a list of ten best pocket-friendly projectors in 2018.

Best Cheap Projectors To Buy In 2018

Don’t let the size fool you – this two-inch Cube projector can project up to 120 inches of high-quality display.

The body is made of light aluminum for easy portability and the lens project images with a throw ratio of 1.99:1 and a resolution of 854 X 480. Despite having decent picture quality, the RIF 6 CUBE is not the best cheap projector for brightly lit rooms – it has a dim display of 50 lumens of brightness.

But there’s a silver lining to this. The dim display extends the battery life of this projector, allowing you to use it for one and half hours without charging. 90 minutes of battery life may not seem significant, but it’s difficult to find a projector with the same battery capacity and price range of the CUBE.

As for connectivity, you can only use the RIF 6 CUBE with HDMI/MHL devices. But even with this connectivity limitations, the CUBE remains to be one of the most portable and practical projectors out there.

RIF6 Cube Full LED Mini Projector - 1080p Supported Portable Projector...
  • ULTRA PORTABLE PROJECTOR SCREEN - This 2-inch mini projector lightweight, portable and can be easily carried for a movie...
  • COMPATIBLE with HDMI DEVICES - This small handheld and wireless projector is designed with an HDMI cable port to mirror...

While many projectors in its price range skimp on connectivity, the Fugetek FG-857 LED comes with dual HDMI slots and component ports. It also has an easy keystone adjustment that allows you to skew the image to your liking without tilting the whole projector.

However, the Fugetek FG-857 LED projector is not the best cheap projector when it comes to brightness. It’s suitable for low light environments only.

Dihome Di005B

Cranking out just 1200 lumens of brightness, the Dihome Di005B may not have the brightest of images, but its price makes it an absolute steal. If you don’t have a problem with making your home entertainment room nice and dark every time you want to fire up your favorite video games or movies, this projector is worth a look.

With a high contrast ratio, it provides high-quality images with a display of 20 and 120 inches. It also has a built-in SD card reader.

The only shortcoming with this projector is that it can get noisy at times. That aside, the Dihome is a decent, portable projector for both home and office applications.

If for some reason, you can’t get your hands on the Dihome Di005B, the OCDAY 2800 lumens projector should be a good alternative. Weighing 4.6 pounds with dimensions of 13.2 x 4.6 x 10.3 inches, this is an ultraportable projector with awesome features.

The OCDAY emits 2800 lumens of brightness, which illuminate 720p HD images. Its display power ranges between 50 and 200 inches. Even better, it comes with a 3-way projection (rear, front, and ceiling). Although this projector has built-in speakers, you might want to supplement the sound output with something more powerful.

Fortunately, you can do this through the various connection ports available, which include the USB, HDMI, YPbPr.La, VGA, and AV ports.

Smart Android 6.0 Projector, Gzunelic 4000 lumens WiFi 1080p Video...
  • 1.Better Picture Quality Video Projector: 4000 lumens led light utilization efficiency, 30% more than similar...
  • 2.Higher Power 1080p Android projector: Size 13.20*10.35*4.65 inch, weight 7.7 pounds. To take full advantage of the...

The Elephas FBA ELE YG400 is the best cheap projector for people who are always on the go. It comes in a compact design with VGA, infrared, and power ports located on the back. The HDMI, SD, and USB slots are placed on the side.

This configuration reduces the amount of space taken by the whole unit. It is also lightweight (3.7 pounds) making it an ultraportable package. So if you are looking for a projector that won’t take up a lot of space and won’t weigh you down when you move around with it, this is a good option.

The set-up for the whole unit is also pretty fast, making it ideal for office presentations.

ELEPHAS LED Mini Video Projector, Support 1080P Portable Pico...
  • COMPACT & PORTABLE ---- Small Size and Light Weight of ELEPHAS YG400 Home Theater Projector enables you to take it to...
  • EXCELLENT PICTURE QUALITY ---- You can adjust the picture size from 50 ~ 130 inch ( Best for 100 inch ). Projection...

Sometimes when shopping for budget projectors, you will have to make a few concessions. In most cases, you will have to sacrifice the resolution or lumen quality.

For this iDGLAX projector, the resolution is the sacrificial lamb. It comes with a mere resolution of 800x480. Although it’s still compatible with 1080p files, it doesn’t offer the full pixel count.

However, this iDGLAX device compensates for its shortcoming with reliable brightness display. It sports 2000 lumens of brightness, which is just amazing for a projector of its price. This feature allows you to project your favorite movies and videos in brightly lit rooms. For best results, use it in low light environments.

The iDGLAX IDG787W projector also offers users a great degree of flexibility as far as adjusting screen resolution is concerned. You can project media through an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 4:3, and adjust mount locations by 15 keystone correlation degrees.

iDGLAX iDG-787W LCD LED Video Multi-Media Mini Portable Projector with...
  • Smart and affordable, portable design, machine size:8.19*6.62*3.07Inches, machine weight: 2 Ib, FREE HDMI cable,easy to...
  • Native Resolution 800x480, Compatible with 1080i/p, Aspect Ratio 16:9/4:3, Contrast: 1000:1.NOT RECOMMEND for PPT or...

The Epson VS250 is the best cheap projector on the list when it comes to brightness. It emits 3200 lumens of white and color brightness. Although its 800 X 600 resolution is not the best on the market, the VS250 is HDMI-compatible for digital audio and videos.

While it’s also not the most portable projector of the bunch, its 5.3 pounds and dimensions of 3.2 x 11.9 x 9.2 inches are decent enough for easy moving.

It also comes with a one-touch OFF button as well as a sleep mode option that allows you to pause movies and presentations without turning the whole thing off.

Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 lumens color brightness (color light output)...
  • More accurate, vivid color, even in well-lit rooms - 3,200 lumens of equal color and white brightness (1). Fan Noise-ECO...
  • SVGA resolution (800 x 600) - ideal for projecting everyday presentations and graphics. Projected distance- 30 inch- 350...

The Epson Home Cinema is surprisingly well-endowed for a budget home theatre projector. It displays 1280 x 800 HD images and projects 3000 lumens of color and white brightness, making it ideal for environments with ambient light.

It comes with built-in speakers, a contrast ratio of up to a 15,000:1, and a throw ratio that ranges between 1.30 and 1.56:1.

The Epson Home Cinema is the best cheap projector on this list when it comes to connectivity. It features a Type-A USB port, an HDMI port, a set of audio inputs, a Type-B USB port, an S-video connection, and a PC monitor input. It is also compatible with Blu-ray or DVD players, satellite boxes, as well as streaming sticks such as Chromecast or Roku.

On top of all that, the Epson Home Cinema 740 HD comes with a two-year warranty.

Epson Home Cinema 740HD 720p, HDMI, 3LCD, 3000 Lumens Color and White...
  • Screen Size Range: 84-inches from 8 feet; 126-inches from 12 feet
  • White Brightness: 3000 Lumens; Color Brightness: 3000 Lumens

The APEMAN Mini is the best cheap projector for backyard parties and camping trips. This handheld miniature display kit comes with a 3400mAh battery to ensure that you enjoy your favorite movies and videos for several hours without charging.

But the long battery life is not all there is to the APEMAN mini. This ultraportable handheld package offers amazing picture quality. It is also equipped with DLP technology, which offers better digitally rendered images than LCD technology. APEMAN pictures are crispier and have more striking colors than most projectors in this price range.

Being less than an inch thick and weighing just over a pound, this miniature package can easily fit into your backpack and not weigh you down on the go. It also comes with a low-noise cooling fan, HDMI and USB inputs, and a bottom-oriented tripod stand.

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The Optoma HD142X offers great performance for its price range. With its 1080p HD resolution, 3000 lumens of brightness, and a display size range of 66 to 107 inches, it can handle both 2D and 3D content.

For connectivity, the Optoma has one USB port, two HDMI ports, an audio output, and a 3D sync port.

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Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Cheap Projectors

Shopping for the best cheap projector can be quite overwhelming especially if you don’t know what to look for. To ease the burden, consider the following pointers:

1. Resolution

This represents the degree of detail in a projected image. A good projector should display large and clear images, and this can only be possible with a high resolution.

2. Brightness

The brightness of a projector is the amount of white light projected on a screen. It is measured in lumens. A good projector should have at least 1000 lumens.

3. Display Technology Type

Today’s projectors display moving images through three types of tec​​hnology - LED, DLP, and LCD. While most of the projectors reviewed above use DLP and LCD technology, LED is better, and therefore, more expensive.

4. Connectivity

The best cheap projector should have several input ports. It should have at least two USB and HDMI ports for convenience. But if you have to compromise on inputs, ensure that you have at least one type of each.

5. Integrated Speakers

Always go for projectors with good built-in speakers, especially if you are planning on using your projector on outdoors. This eliminates the need for an external sound system.

Nonetheless, it wouldn’t hurt to have a projector with an audio port just in case you need to supplement your sound output.

6. Zoom Range

The zoom range of a projector is an important factor to the projecting capability of a device. A wide zoom range is always recommended as it allows you to set your projector in all kinds of zooms— long, short, or wide.

7. Contrast Ratio

This defines the difference between white and black levels delivered by a projector. A higher contrast ratio means better picture quality, hence, better viewing experience in both dark and bright light environments.  

8. Display Size

The display size of a projector defines the size of images it can create. It is directly proportional to its resolution. The best cheap projector should have a display size of at least 100 inches.

9. Color Quality

Also known as color light output or color brightness, this specification denotes the balance between blue, white, and red light in a projected image. The number of lumens and contrast ratio of a projector will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of picture quality.

10. Other Features

Secondary parameters such as power inputs, menu options, modes, support for 3D content, and remote control are subjective. You certainly should consider them if they are important to your projection needs.

Comparisons

The Final Verdict

There are lots of useless specs on modern projectors and marketers will use them to try to make you spend more.

The golden rule when shopping for the best cheap projectors is that you shouldn’t spend on specs you rarely use. For instance, if you are shopping for a projector that will be permanently installed in your home entertainment room, why should you spend money on portability?

With these 10 choices, you’ll certainly get a projector that will suit your needs and budget.  

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