What’s that? You’re still watching movies and playing video games on that puny 70-inch screen? Time to go big, people! Today’s multimedia projectors can produce HD images up to 250 inches, to give you a truly immersive theatre experience or make you feel like you are actually inside the game. We checked six of the best multimedia projectors out there for the five P’s: price, power, portability, and performance. OK, that last one we sort of made up, but are we here to nitpick about grammar, or are we here to find the best projector? Let’s dim the lights and start the show.
VANKYO Leisure 510 Projector
• Bright lamp projects images at 3,600 lumens
• Doesn’t make much noise
• Comes almost fully assembled
• Can be used even in daylight
• Native resolution is somewhere around 1280×768, so some images get stretched
• The text doesn’t display clearly
• Doesn’t show PowerPoint slides well
You probably haven’t heard of VANKYO before, but this upstart tech company made some serious headlines when their new Leisure 510 project came out in August 2018. The low noise and bright lamp made it a popular seller on Amazon. The easy to use dial made it even more popular with those who may not have much of a technical background.
All of VANKYO’s documentation is in plain English. As a result, you should be able to have it up and running in only a few moments after unboxing it. It supports both VGA and HDMI input, the Leisure 510 should work with almost any laptop. While it may not be very good at displaying presentation slides, it’s certainly one of the best projectors under 200 geared toward the home theater market. Since it weighs less than six pounds, you’ll be able to carry it to all of your friends’ homes too. You might even want to throw it in your laptop’s bag due to the small size.
KISDISK Overhead HD Projector
• Takes less than a minute to put together
• Easy to change the aspect ratio
• Onboard stereo speakers are quite loud
• Rather fragile compared to other projectors
• Lacks an SD card slot
KISDISK made sure that its 1080P HD movie projector was compatible with any number of different devices. It’s designed to work with Amazon Firestick, Xbox game consoles, and countless other tech toys. A pair of HDMI ports coupled with VGA, USB, composite, and Y/Pb/Pr inputs gives you plenty of options when it comes to connecting this projector to all of your gadgets
Supported resolutions include 1920×1080, which is more than enough for most users. Best of all, the onboard fan is quiet enough that most people won’t even hear it. You normally don’t see respectable 3000:1 contrast ratios out of projectors that are this small and inexpensive either. This makes it every bit as useful for showing presentations as watching movies.
Unfortunately, some people have complained about build quality issues. Users who handle their KISDISK projector with care shouldn’t have any issues. The lamp itself is exceptionally sturdy. It’s rated to burn for around 30,000 hours.
Vamvo Ultra Mini Projector
• Extremely low weight at around 0.6 lbs.
• Onboard battery lasts for over two hours
• Generates almost no fan noise
• Focus wheel tends to be really sensitive
• Doesn’t have any control for keystone correction, so you’ll need to prop it up
If you’re looking for a mini projector that you can take with you camping, then you might fall in love with the Vamvo Ultra. The frame is only 5.7×3.2 inches, which lets it easily fit into any oversized laptop box. Support for AirPlay, DLNA, and Miracast allows you to easily connect the unit While it might not offer the best resolution on the market, it can project an 80-inch screen from a distance of around five feet. This means it should be more than sufficient for most uses.
Vamvo’s offering comes with a price tag that’s a bit higher than most of its competitors. However, it includes a 5200 mAh battery and a TF card reader in the kit. This might make it attractive to those who are looking for an all-in-one solution they can drag around with them anywhere.
ABOX A2 Home Projector
• Supports both front and rear projection
• Works great with inexpensive wireless dongles
• Relatively dim lamp
• HDMI port is a bit sensitive
Even though it might seem a tad dark, the A2 offers remarkable color reproduction in a home theater with the curtains drawn. The newly redesigned version comes with a bulb that’s some 50 percent brighter than previous models. It costs much less than a comparable ViewSonic model, but it still offers the same native 1280×720 resolution and five-layer LCD technology you’d expect out of a more expensive competitor. It comes with a wide variety of connectivity options. HDMI, VGA, composite, USB, and microSDHC jacks should offer more than enough I/O for most users.
It even produces much less noise than the average home projector. The official specs sheet claims it makes only 15 dB. Depending on the type of surface you have it on, the A2 might make even less noise.
WiMiUS T4 Home Theater Projector
• Can display over 16.7 million colors
• Extremely flexible 50-200 in. projection size
• Consumes around 125 watts of power
• Vents must remain uncovered at all times to prevent overheating
WiMiUS completely overhauled its venerable T4 projector last year, and one of the more noticeable changes comes in the form of drastic fan noise reduction. Users used to complain that the T-series whined when the bulb started to get too hot. You’ll be able to hear the onboard stereo speakers just fine because of the new design, however. Add to this the uprated 3,500-lumen lamp and 3000:1 contrast ratio and the new T4 starts to look like a professional-grade movie projector.
Unfortunately, this kind of power does come at a cost, but it still costs less than most comparable units. You’ll more than likely not have to do much maintenance to it either, because the lamp is rated for over 50,000 hours of service. If you’re just looking for a portable projector that does its job well, then the T4 might come with some features you don’t need. Hardcore cinema fans will love the ±15° Keystone correction control, however.
Kaysn HD Theater Projector
• More energy efficient than most other projectors
• Comes with most cables included
• Doesn’t work with tripod mounts very well
• Won’t work with screens >200 in.
If you’ve been following projectors for some time, then you might notice that Kasyn’s offering is a rebranded version of another model. They’ve upscaled an existing mini projector and made it compatible with 1080p video streams. While this has forced a bit of a price increase, the newer unit is still quite affordable compared to the competition.
Conservation-minded users will appreciate the fact that it uses relatively little electricity. While you might have some trouble mounting it, it’s light enough at 6.9 lbs. that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The manufacturer has heavily promoted the fast heat dissipation system, which keeps fan noise down. You’ll still want to watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t overheat, however. While it comes with a few fine adjustment controls built into the case, it’s focused fairly well out of the box. This means you might never have to use them.
WiMiUS’ T4 theater system might very well take home the title of the best home projector in this price range. While some fans have said that previous models have been a little lackluster, the manufacturer put everything into this redesign. With support for everything from iOS and Android devices to Amazon’s Fire Stick, the T4 can help you watch movies with every device you have. It’ll make them look pretty good too.
Some fans have likened the T4’s image to that of an actual cinematic projector. At least one movie buff even wrote they considered buying one a money-saving experience since they didn’t have to rush off to the theater each time they wanted to watch something. While your mileage may vary, the powerful 3,500 lumen HD lamp is certainly designed to impress. This is the kind of projector you wouldn’t mind pulling out when all your friends are over for the big game.