The 5 Best Projectors Under $100 in 2020 [Buying Guide]

Buying a new projector could turn out to be one of your best or worst experiences. To end up with a good cheap projector under $100 isn’t an easy task. There’s a lot to consider to end up with something that leaves you satisfied. Also, there is a wide variety of projectors on the market that are made for different reasons.

So, in this article, we will talk to you about the best projectors under $100 that you can get in 2020, and we will tell what each of them can do best. And without any further ado, let’s get things started.

List of The Best Projectors Under $100 in 2020

  • Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector
  • DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Supported
  • APEMAN LC350 Mini Projector
  • DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector
  • RAGU Z498 Mini Projector

Our Favorite Picks for Projectors Under $100

ProjectorVankyo Leisure 3 Mini  DR. J Professional HI-04 APEMAN LC350  DBPOWER L21 RAGU Z498 Mini
Native Resolution800 x 480 1280 x 720800 x 480  1280 x 720 800 x 480 
Contrast Ratio2000 : 12000 : 1 2000 : 1  3000 : 1  3000 : 1
Image Brightness3600 lumens2000 lumens 3800 lumens5000 lumens  100 ANSI lumens
Display TechnologyLCD LCDLCD LCD  LCD
Projection screen size32 – 170 inches 32 – 176 inches34 – 180 inches 40 – 200 inches  28 – 180 inches

The 5 Best Projectors Under $100 in 2020

1. Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini is one of the projectors that stands out between counterparts of the same price range. It can provide a resolution of 1930 x 1080 pixels with a contrast ratio of 2000:1.

The resolution, together with the previously mentioned contrast ratio, make the projector one of the ideal options for home entertainment but not the best when it comes to presentations and office use.

The projector is equipped with an innovative cooling system, as well as heat dissipation. Furthermore, there is a noise reduction technology that makes the fan sound half as loud.

It also has two built-in speakers for a better viewing experience.

All these features make the projector a good option for movies and football matches, sharing photos, as well as playing video games.

What we like

  • Portable and compact
  • High Definition image quality
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Easy to set up
  • All the necessary cables are included in with the projector
  • Good quality for money

What we don’t like

  • Lacks Dolby Digital support
  • Shouldn’t be used for more than 4 hours straight to be able to cool down and avoid damaging its components

Final Verdict

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector provides a great value for its price. The projector comes with its carrying bag and with all the video cables needed to set it up, included as well as the remote control. It has a good deal for functionality and usability, and you can definitely depend on it for your home theater or weekend games with the guys.

2. DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P Supported

DR. J Professional HI-04 1080P

This projector has everything that you are looking for! Let’s take it from the top. The projector comes with an included screen in the package. You don’t have to exert any effort finding a good screen.

DR. J Professional HI-04 has a native resolution of 1280 x 720; however, it supports 1080p resolution. The contrast ratio is 2000:1. This makes the projector an excellent choice for home theatre, whether it is indoors or outdoors, as well as video games.

Moreover, the projector is supported by two silent fans with an impressive cooling system and a built-in stereo speaker. Yet, it is better connected to an external sound system for a better viewing experience.

You can connect this projector to your PC, laptop, or even your Android or IOS device, and you will enjoy a big screen ranging from 32 to 176 inches.

What we like

  • There is a screen included in the package
  • The native resolution is high considering the price range
  • The projector is compatible with TV Stick and Roku Stick

What we don’t like

  • A little expensive as it might be exactly $100
  • It is not suitable for office presentations

Final Verdict

DR. J Professional HI-04 is a small and portable projector. From the packaging to the durability, it is worth what you will pay. It is not the best choice for your office, but it is absolutely an affordable choice for your home theater.

3. APEMAN LC350 Mini Projector

APEMAN LC350 Mini Projector

It shouldn’t be a surprise that APEMAN LC350 is on our best affordable projectors list. It has a lot of specs that make it an excellent option to go with, especially for gamers. For starters, the projector has a dual speaker system, so you don’t need to connect it to any external speakers.

Also, the screen is a 4.0 LED and is made with a technology that prevents eye strain when you use it for longer durations.

Furthermore, it has one of the best cooling systems, and it has an incredible mute fan.

It supports full HD 1080p resolution, and just like the previously mentioned models, the projector has a contrast ratio of 2000:1.

What we like

  • Easy to set up and user-friendly
  • Dual speak system
  • Compatible with Chromecast and TV stick

What we don’t like

  • Cords that come with the projector are extremely short

Final Verdict

APEMAN LC350 is an excellent mini projector under 100 for gaming. It can be connected to Video game consoles. You will end up getting a good image quality with a dual speak system and all at a reasonable price.

4. DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector

DBPOWER L21 LCD Video Projector

DBPOWER L21 has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, but it supports full HD 1080p resolution. The image provided by the projector is one of the brightest not only under $100 but all over the market with the different price ranges.

It has a contrast ratio of 3000:1, which allows you to get a sharp image even in bright places. Furthermore, the projector can provide a screen ranging from 40 to 200 inches. This is a wider range than what most counterparts can project. It makes it possible to use the projector in small rooms as well as backyards.

Lastly, the projector has several connectivity options; however, it lacks the HDMI port most projectors have.

What we like

  • Portable
  • Easy to set up
  • Bright image with excellent resolution and a sharp image
  • Supports different video and photo formats

What we don’t like

  • No HDMI port
  • The power cord is short

Final Verdict

This projector has an amazing image quality considering its price range. It’s a perfect option if you want to start your home theater, and you are on a budget, and you will be able to use it both indoors and outdoors.

5. RAGU Z498 Mini Projector

RAGU Z498 Mini Projector

RAGU Z498 Mini is considered an improved model of its previous Z400 version.  If you compare it to its previous model, you will find that this model is capable of giving you a much brighter image in addition to a lower noise level to almost 80%, not to mention that it has the latest innovative cooling system.

The native resolution of the projector is 800 x 480 pixels, but it supports full HD 1080p resolution, and it comes with a contrast ratio of 3000:1.

The lamps of the projector are made with LED technology, which makes them durable.

What we like

  • Improved image brightness
  • Durable bulbs
  • The fan is quiet with a minimal noise level
  • Comes with its carrying bag

What we don’t like

  • A low resolution that is only suitable for dark rooms
  • Bad speakers
  • Only one HDMI cable

Final Verdict

RAGU Z498 is a good projector considering its price. You should get this projector if you are looking to find a projector for movie nights that you will be watching indoors in a dark room away from ambient light. The projector is not a good option for your office or business data presentation.

What to Expect from a $100 Projector?

A compact, cheap projector can be used to start your home theatre or maybe show your kids some learning videos. This is great because if that’s the reason why you are going through this list, then you can easily pick any of the projectors we talked about, and you will end up getting exactly what you want.

Also, some of the projectors we talked about above make an excellent choice for gamers. However, you should expect some compromise with the projector you are getting at this price range. One thing that you will notice is none of these projectors is suitable for your office or training purposes.

So, if you want a projector for your business, then it is better to invest in something a little more expensive. Actually, you can find models on the market that need little maintenance and will be used for years before you need to spend money to upgrade or fix them.

What To Look For When Buying The Projector Under $100

Buying a reliable projector at this price range is not an easy task. So, there are some criteria to keep in mind for you to end up with a good device.

Resolution

The resolution is the most important thing to make you decide to get a projector or not. No one wants to pay money and not end up with a clear and bright image, whether it is for movies, matches, or even gaming.

You should know that there is a big difference between the native resolution of the projector and the resolution it supports.

Most of the projectors under $100 won’t have an HD native resolution. However, the higher the resolution of the projector, the better, and you should always go with a projector that supports full HD 1080p.

Application

What do you want to use this projector for? You shouldn’t expect a projector under $100 to handle everything so smoothly. So, before you decide that this projector is good enough for you to buy, make sure it is what you need.

For example, you could be looking for a projector for gaming and decide to buy a projector with a higher resolution over one with a slightly lower resolution because the screen looks better.

However, the model with the higher resolution heats up fast, and you have to allow it an hour rest every 3 to 4 hours, which makes it bad for gaming, although  3 or 4 hours is enough time to watch a movie or match.

Brightness and Bulb Life

The brightness of the screen is essential to consider if you are planning to use the projector outside. Most projectors do a very decent job in a dark room, but they’re really put to the test in ambient light.

Also, it is better to invest in LED light bulbs because they are more durable, and it will be a long time before you need to replace them. It doesn’t make sense to pay less for a projector and then spend tons of money on changing burned out bulbs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where to Place the Projector?

Most people like to attach the projector to the ceiling. However, some people put it on a tripod stand or a table.

What Type of Lamp Is In a Projector?

There are four different types of lamps that could be used inside a projector. The most commonly used type is the LED, and it happens to be the best.

LED bulbs are more durable and much more affordable than the other types. The other three types are laser lamps, Hybrid projector lamps that combine laser and LED and Metal Halide lamps.

How Long Can a Lamp of a Projector under $100 last?

Surprisingly, just because your projector is under $100 doesn’t mean that you will end with a bad quality lamp. You can buy an affordable projector and still get an average lamp life of 50,000 hours just like any other expensive projector.

What to Do When the Lamp of the Projector Dies?

Once the lamp of the projector dies, the only way to use it again is to replace it. However, on the Brightside, a projector lamp life will last for a good 30,000 to 50,000 hours, so it will be a long time before you worry about that part. 

Final Verdict

Finding the best projectors under $100 is a little tricky. At this price range, you should expect some compromise, whether it is with the image quality or the bulb life or maybe the fan.

However, you can still end up with something that gets the job done. If you are looking for a projector for your office, then look for a more sophisticated projector than the ones we discussed.

If you are looking for a cheap projector under 100 dollars for gaming then we recommend APEMAN LC350, however, all the projectors mentioned above will do great in your home theater.

You might want to stay away from APEMAN LC350 and Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini if you are planning to use the projector outdoors. These projectors have the lowest resolution and contrast ratio and won’t do a decent job outside. In that case, DR. J Professional HI-04 and DBPOWER L21 are better options although, we must say that DBPOWER L21 is the best projector under $100 in 2020.

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