If you’re tired of viewing movies and playing games on tiny screens, why not use a projector to turn your home into a lively theater. Since you’re here, you will have though of that already, but the question remains: which one is the best projector under 200 dollars? And guess what … you’re about to find out right now!
Our team dove into the research to produce this in-depth list of the best projectors around – and the best part is: they won’t even cost you more than $200 (and often much less!). We made sure to include key features, performance, price, and warranty as main points of interest. So read on to save you time, money, and prevent disappointment.
After reading this article you’ll know:
- What key features to look for in the best projector under 200 bucks
- How to differentiate real quality from marketing tricks
- Both general and specific differences between the 6 best budget projectors
- How to pick the right one for you and your needs
Best Projectors 2017 Compared
- Crenova XPE460 LED Projector
- Reasonably priced projector intended for home purposes. You can project from your smartphone or tablet with this device.
- Performs poorly for presentation purposes. It needs complete darkness. Also, the noise coming from the fan will interfere with your audio.
- Milson Video Projector
- Fantastic little machine. Performs amazingly well considering the size and its low price. Offers 100 inches of great image.
- The sound will not leave you breathless. You will probably need to use your laptop's speakers or external speakers.
- DBPOWER T20 Mini Projector
- This lightweight contestant has captured the hearts of some people.
- Most people are not satisfied with the image or the sound at all, even as an entry-level model.
- XINDA Multi-media Portable Projector
- People seem to find the low price of the XINDA Projector irresistible.
- It doesn’t sport great quality image, but it might do the trick in a smaller room.
- Xinda Mini Multi-media Projector
- This Xinda projector seems to be people's favorite model among that brand. It’s lightweight yet powerful, and preferred for its design and portability.
- It doesn’t support SD cards, which was quite the bummer.
- Crenova XPE470 Mini Projector
- Our favorite pick of the list, it combines amazing price, great performance, and nice design.
- Mediocre image during daytime.
What The Best Projector Under 200 Dollars Must Have
We chose to evaluate the projectors on our list based on 3 things
- The features they offer, which is usually the advertisement part. Different sellers throw various amounts of lumens, inches and resolutions at you, but the truth lies in the actual performance.
- Then, we focused on performance, or how real people experienced the product in real life.
- Finally, the unavoidable money issue, the value you get, and the security that goes along with it.
When choosing the best projector under 200, one of the most important aspects to rely upon is other people’s experiences. With expensive brands that have already proven themselves, the choice might be easier. But if you’re looking at brands you’ve never seen before, things get a bit more complicated.
Here some things to consider before you spend your hard-earned money – and these are true whether you’re looking for a business projector or one for private use:
“Why am I getting a projector?” This is the most important initial question to ask yourself, no matter how silly it sounds. You might be satisfied with a projector with 1500 lumens if it’s for a home theater you’re putting together, while you might want a projector with more than 2500 lumens for office presentations (the higher the lumens, the brighter it projects). So, make sure you decide on those factors before you go searching for the perfect projector.
“What is Lamp Life?” All projectors have an expected operating life span which was initially around 15,000 hours. With newer budget models, it can reach up to 50,000 hours. You will notice a dimming of your image when it’s time to change your lamp. The higher your lamp hours, the longer your projector will last, and the more movies you’ll be able to see.
“How can I make the projector lamp last longer?” Avoid overheating, treat the lamp with respect, and clean the filters regularly.
“Are Lumens really important?” Most marketing companies brag about the amount of lumens (brightness) you get from a projector, but brighter isn’t always necessary. People that wish to enjoy home movies in a dark room would choose between 1000-1200 lumens on a projector. On the other hand, if you’re getting it for office or school presentations, you’d want to go above 2500 lumens. It’s also worth mentioning that different manufacturers might produce different projector qualities. The brightness of “1000 lumens” might be different from brand to brand.
“Is there a difference between 1000 and 1200 lumens?” If someone markets a projector as an improvement only because it has 200 lumens extra, consider it a marketing trick,especially if the price of the newer model is considerably higher. 1000 vs 1200 lumens isn’t that significant.
“How can I create the best viewing experience?” Are you determined to achieve the sharpest and brightest hd image possible? You’ll need to be aware of the different finesse factors that play a role:
- Your ambient light plays a huge role in how the image will look
- The size of the image will affect the end result
- The material of the projection screen you’re using (as a budget-friendly option, we recommend a large canvas painter’s cloth or a smooth, unadorned white wall)
This will help your hd projector actually project a high-definition picture onto your wall. After all, it would be a waste of money if only halt your equipment delivered what you’ve paid for.
So now that you know what to look for in the best projector under 200, let’s get to the reviews!
1. Crenova XPE460 LED Video Projector
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The [easyazon_link identifier=”B016XR7WA4″ locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Crenova XPE460 projector[/easyazon_link] weighs only 3.7 pounds, but expect it to be a bit bulky in size. It supports projection size from 37 to 130 inches, and people find it to be at its best at about 80 inches and projection distance of around 6 feet.
The makers of Crenova promise the latest LED technology that provides more brightness than regular 1000 lumens. Expect a lamp life of 30K hours. This is equal to 15,000 movies at 2 hours per film.
This projector can be connected to your device through USB or an HDMI cable. Old projectors used to connect through a VGA connector, which caused jittering pixels. In this modern day and age, video sources require an HDMI connection. This means you can project from your laptop, you just need an HDMI port.
You can also project from your Android devices with the Crenova. This is known as the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL). All you need is an additional HDMI wireless adapter. If you stick the adapter into a USB port you’ll even be able to project from your thumb drive. Yes, you can watch movies straight from a USB drive!
The XPE 460 is still a huge improvement compared to the previous XPE 450 model, offering better color, picture, and brightness.
You should note that the Crenova was created specifically for home use. You can now project with it outside at night onto a screen but the image will depend on competing lights from outside and the quality of the screen itself. It reportedly does not perform very well in conditions other than complete darkness. So it probably won’t do as well at outdoor screening, compared to inside a room with blackout curtains. To maximize this projector, get your room as dark as you can.
We also discovered that there is a bit of a hum coming from the fan. This can be distracting if you need to listen to clear audio. This brings us to another important aspect. The sound coming from the projector is clear but low at times. Good thing you can use external speakers. Just connect them to the projector through a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Price & Warranty
For a budget projector that falls into the under-$100 category, this little machine does what it’s supposed to. As advertised, it provides decent image and sound. You might not get premium performance, but for that price, you might not find a better option.
The makers of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B016XR7WA4″ locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Crenova XPE 460[/easyazon_link] offer 3-Years warranty, and a lifetime of customer support. You can contact their customer service by email or on Facebook. Easily accessible customer service is always a good thing to have.
- You may enjoy the large 80 inch screen
- Great for the purposes of a home-theater
- 3 year warranty and lifetime customer support
- Budget-friendly price
- Doesn’t perform well when it comes to office presentations
- Do not expect incredible audio sound
- Noisy fan that causes distraction
2. Mlison Video Projector
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With 2000 lumens and a price under $100, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B06WWD8S2Y” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Mlison Video projector[/easyazon_link] proudly holds the 5th place on the Sustanalab list of “20 All-time most popular LCD projectors.” We, here at Best Patrols, also give it the title “Best of the best”.
After extensively researching, we discovered that the brand “Mlison” is not yet well-known, but 96% of its buyers have rated it with 5 stars on Amazon. We’re talking about 620 buyers to be exact. This sounds promising!
Just like the Crenova, this projector can be connected to your Laptop through an HDMI port, PC/laptop, USB drive, iPad, smartphone, PS3, PS4, and XBox ONE. Include some good speakers to that list too.
When it comes to this projector’s performance, looks can be deceiving…
When you first see it, it looks very small and feels lightweight. With roughly the size of a tablet it seems almost fragile. At first you might think it won’t work properly – but you’ll be surprised. What you get is a 100 inches of sharp, bright, and clear image. So worth the money!
You can absolutely plan on watching movies outside at night. We found it works great for most people especially when the sun has completely set. Families that wish to watch movies on a huge bright screen in a low lit room will love the image brightness. You don’t need complete and total darkness to experience its superior image quality.
As for the audio, you can expect good, but not astounding, quality. Sometimes, the sound is too low, and you’ll have to use your laptop or external speakers. Still, compared to the other projectors, the Milson sports above average audio.
It’s important to note that this model offers only 21K lamp hours compared to the 30K of Crenova XPE460. With that said, it’s lightweight but packed with all the necessary features. Customers seem to praise it as well, making it a great buy.
Price & Warranty
The price range for this little beauty received a definite up-vote from our team. Being just below $100, we can definitely say the [easyazon_link identifier=”B06WWD8S2Y” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Mlison video projector[/easyazon_link] is well worth the money.
This brand offers a 5-year warranty which is superior to most projectors. However, due to the lack of brand popularity, as of the moment, customer service may be not be as responsive.
- Amazing 100 inch image that is bright and sharp
- Great for outdoor viewing, recommended to use after sunset for best results
- Budget friendly
- Audio performance is not spectacular
- Nonexistent customer service
3. DBPOWER T20 LCD Mini Projector
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The lightest on our list so far, this [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LZRUY6Q” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]DBPOWER T20 mini projector[/easyazon_link] weighs only 2 lbs! This fact doesn’t mean other features are overlooked. This machine offers 1,500 lumens and an image size of 130 inches with best projector distance of 6 to 8 feet or closer.
A cool feature that most people love on the DBPOWER T20 is the noise suppression. Its fan noise is basically cut in half. This is especially valuable if you’re planning to watch a movie with its built-in speakers. The projector sound is as expected from an entry level projector. On the upside, it does have audio out and a powered USB port. This will allow you to use a small set of speakers for better audio.
Just like the first two on our list, you can use a wireless HDMI dongle to connect your smartphone, tablet, or other gadgets. It does include an HDMI cable and the power cord, but they are quite short, so expect the need for extension cords.
There’s a definite hype surrounding this item on our list, but the reality is not too bright. Our team read hundreds of reviews and they all seem to agree on one thing. It is a reasonably nice projector for people who aren’t too picky on quality.
After reading so many lukewarm reviews, we have to note the underwhelming feeling surrounding DBPOWER. Most people say it’s well worth the money, but not a lot are actually happy with it. For a family projector, it does its job. Just don’t expect to be able to use it for formal presentations.
Price & Warranty
This is another projector that will need you to shell out less than $100. Not bad at all for the value it provides.
The makers of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LZRUY6Q” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]DBPOWER T20[/easyazon_link] offer 3 year warranty, and encourage customers to contact them if they’ve got any issues. In reality, they go out of their way to be professional. They reach out to customers that are dissatisfied offering discounts and returns. Sounds like a pro-active customer team.
- Budget price
- Lightweight model that is easily movable
- Great customer service, always ready to help
- There are complains about blurry image
- Has to be completely dark in the room for decent image
- Entry level sound quality
4. Xinda Multi-media Portable Video Projector
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The [easyazon_link identifier=”B01N6NZ0BA” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]XINDA Multi-media projector[/easyazon_link] is a lightweight projector that fits the bill if you’re looking for the best projector under 200 for your kids. With its 60 to 90 inches of recommended projection size, it really doesn’t scream “home theater” to us, but could be a nice “starter projector”. It comes with the brightness of 1000 Lumen.
The XINDA has several inputs: HDMI, 2 USB, and RCA. Plug a pen drive in the USB ports and it will play the content. (A pen drive, also known as a USB stick, or a memory stick is a convenient way to carry your data around. You can always have it handy for the next presentation, or movie night.)
This model doesn’t come with an HDMI cable, so you have to purchase it separately. But once you have it, you can use it with anything that supports HDMI connection.
This model doesn’t support wireless connection out of the box either, so if you wish to connect your capable device, there are affordable plain USB or micro-USB to HDMI cords that you can purchase as well.
The audio quality of this projector is less than satisfactory, and we highly suggest using external speakers. Otherwise, all you might hear out of the speakers will be some muffled sounds.
Your image and sound will are definitely just entry-level quality. The fan is as loud as the Crenova model, and it can be quite distracting. The LED lamp offers 20K hours of work time, which is the shortest work time so far.
Do not expect great performance out of this model, but if you just need to project your kid’s movie onto a bigger screen, it will get the job done.
Price & Warranty
As a budget option, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01N6NZ0BA” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]XINDA projector[/easyazon_link] comes at the lowest price so far, and is a popular choice for parents that want to gift a projector to their kids. It can also be used with gaming consoles and it creates a decent movie watching experience.
- Perfect gift for the kids
- Lightweight and portable
- Very affordable
- Doesn’t support wireless connections
- Terrible speakers
- Tends to overheat
5. Xinda Mini Multi-media Portable Video Projector
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Overall, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01JVRCQ1I” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Xinda mini projector[/easyazon_link] is a very good projector. The picture is clear at 100 inches, it’s easy to install, and the menu options are very intuitive. You get an HDMI, USB and VGA input, but there is no SD slot on this model, in case you were looking for that. You can connect it to your laptop, notebook, digital camera, or console to enjoy videos or games.
Featuring 1200 Lumens and the latest LED technology, this projector will offer 30K to 50K lamp hours and realistic image size of 50-80 inches. You could actually go up to 120, but you won’t be too happy with the results.
An innovation that got this projector some attention is the multi-chip-coated optical glass lens that performs much better than regular plastic lenses. Plus, it has a 2 fan design that prevents overheating and is not as loud as one would expect.
Since it has long life LED bulb(s) for the light source, it runs much cooler, uses less power, and you probably won’t need a bulb replacement in the lifetime of the projector.
One thing people love about this tiny projector is that it’s super easy to carry it around. We’re talking about a home theater that weighs 2 lbs. We can’t say it performs as well as the Crenova models, but people seem to like the design.
Price & Warranty
Coming at a very cheap price, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01JVRCQ1I” locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Xinda mini projector[/easyazon_link] was close to becoming “Best Bang for the Buck”. We couldn’t give it that title, though, because there’s still a lot of people complaining about its performance and image quality.
The warranty statement on this model is not explicit at all. Apparently you need to make a warranty request from customer service for this model when you get it on Amazon.
- Light weight
- Easy to install
- Lasts a long time
- 2 fan design
- You have to physically move the projector in order to change the screen size
- No SD slot
6. Crenova XPE470 Mini LED Video Projector
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We’re looking at the improved version of the Crenova XPE460 (above) that comes with 1200 lumens which is called (surprise!) the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01FJFTNB2″ locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Crenova XPE470[/easyazon_link]. It also comes with an upgraded LED bulb that’s more subtle, as some people find the bright projector light of the previous model distracting.
You can get 37 to 130 inches display screen size. Realistically, the optimal viewing size seems to be 60 inches, and you can achieve it with only 5 foot distance. Most projectors require at least 7-8 feet to achieve this size.
Another interesting feature is the Keystone correction that is included in this budget package. This awesome feature allows the projector to optically adjust the image. You don’t have to keep the projector dead in the center to get a completely square image. This will save you a lot of time centering the projector.
Another feature that make this projector different from the rest is its surprisingly small and compact size. At 3.5lbs, the projector is no bigger than a small tablet. People interested in moving their projector around a lot will find this feature helpful.
With the XPE470 Video Projector, you can connect to a laptop, desktop computer, or DVD player, via HDMI. It accepts both USB memory (external hard drives or flash drives) and SD cards up to 64 gigabytes. A feature that the Xinda projector doesn’t have.
The Crenova XPE470 is an excellent budget projector. It has a huge screen size that can be adjusted. It is loaded with features that work great together. Daylight viewing is mediocre at best, which is to be expected from a budget projector. But night viewing is where it’s at. It will not disappoint you.
The sound might be the downfall of this projector. The speakers are positioned in the lower corner, creating muffled sounds. But you can always play the audio through an HDMI port into external speakers. The fan noise is not as loud as its predecessor, the XPE 460, but it can still cause headaches. Some people use foam to direct the noise towards the back.
All in all, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01FJFTNB2″ locale=”US” tag=”bestpatrolsco-20″]Crenova XPE470[/easyazon_link] is a good projector for watching movies at home. Make it pitch black in the room and enjoy the extended screen experience! It will hold up to office use or presentations, but not too well. A bit of dim light hurts the quality of the image, but, we can see how a college student can still use this for his presentations.
Offering all these great features (we stated above) and providing more than decent performance at a budget friendly price, we give this item the title “Best Bang for the Buck.”
Price & Warranty
With its budget friendly price, we have to say it offers a great value. What you get is a compact, user-friendly machine.
This projector comes with a full 1 year warranty, which is the shortest so far on our list. This short warranty might turn off some people from buying this projector. They also provide so-so customer service.
- Great value for the money
- Can be used for office and school presentations
- Packs a lot of great features in a small and compact design
- Short warranty period
Questions? Comments? Your Opinion?
So, have you chosen the best projector under 200 bucks for you yet? Did you find our list helpful? Let us know about your experience with budget projectors in the comments section below!