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The 5 Best 4k Projectors - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best 4k Projectors

If you're looking for the best 4k-capable projector, many choices are available, although true 4k projectors are extremely expensive and out of reach of most shoppers. For that reason, all of the projectors on this list use pixel-shifting technology, which outputs multiple 1080p images and shifts the pixels in such a way as to cause them to overlap. With the help of image processing, the resulting projection is much sharper than a traditional 1080p projection, and the technology allows for much cheaper products than native 4k projectors with comparable image quality.

We've bought and tested more than 35 models, and below, you'll find the best pixel-shifting projectors to buy. If you're shopping for something less expensive, check out the best cheap projectors, the best projectors under $500, and the best projectors under $1,000. You can also vote on which projectors you want us to purchase and test.

  1. Best 4k Projector

    If you're looking for the best 4k projector, get the BenQ X3000i. This projector excels in its versatility, delivering advanced home theater features while catering to gaming enthusiasts and content streamers through its integrated Android TV 10 QS01 dongle. With the help of pixel-shifting technology, it projects a crisp image that shines in various lighting conditions, especially in dim surroundings where its outstanding contrast produces deep blacks. What sets this model apart is its remarkable out-of-the-box accuracy; even perfectionists in color representation will be satisfied with this unit's performance without needing to calibrate the projector. HDR10/HLG compatibility adds another layer of versatility, making it a truly adaptable product.

    Not only does it impress with its display capabilities, but it also excels in streaming content. The included QS01 dongle supports Google Cast, making it fully cast-capable, and offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 support. The projector is fantastic for gamers with two HDMI 2.0b ports capable of accepting 4k @ 60Hz or 1080p @ 240Hz signals. The third HDMI port, hidden behind the top cover, is designed for use with the bundled dongle but can also be used with any HDMI device. The BenQ X3000i is the most versatile pixel-shifting projector we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Premium Home Theater 4k Projector

    If you're a home theater enthusiast looking for the best, no matter the cost, consider the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB, the best 4k home theater projector. Unlike the feature-rich BenQ X3000i, this model is single-minded: it focuses on delivering the best possible movie-watching experience. With a slight advantage in image quality over the top pick, the Epson has slightly higher peak brightness, albeit with a minor trade-off in brightness uniformity. It also has better contrast than the BenQ, so it excels in dimly lit or dark rooms. Furthermore, the Epson's out-of-the-box accuracy is excellent, and for purists, the extensive calibration features allow you to improve the unit's accuracy further. Its wide color gamut and ample brightness help it project a vivid, colorful image. It's also HDR-compatible and decently colorful when in that color space.

    However, those seeking additional features may need to look elsewhere. It doesn't have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a built-in smart OS, so if these features matter to you, you'll need to invest in an external streaming dongle. It includes a 2.0A USB port primarily for powering this dongle, which helps address the unit's connectivity needs. The two HDMI ports let you connect external devices to the projector, although, regrettably, advanced gaming features like those on the BenQ are absent from this model. A 12V trigger out port facilitates the automation of projector screen deployment. Overall, the Epson is the best projector we've tested when it comes to delivering optimal image quality, making it the definitive choice for enthusiasts aspiring to have a cinema replacement in their basement.

    See our review

  3. Best Gaming 4k Projector

    If you mostly care about gaming and don't need home theater-level image quality or streaming features, you can save money with the Optoma UHD35. It's a barebones projector without any smart features and doesn't have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support. However, it accepts 4k @ 60Hz or 1080p @ 240Hz signals for a much lower price than the BenQ X3000i. While its image quality doesn't approach the top two picks, it's still quite decent; its brightness is alright, and its contrast is great, even slightly better than the top picks, so the Optoma looks good in a dark room. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about its colors, as it has a narrower color gamut, and its colors look rather dim overall, especially in HDR.

    Its pre-calibration accuracy is okay but nothing special. Unfortunately, the projector's calibration features don't work well, and improving its color accuracy is impossible. If you're a color purist, stick to the BenQ or the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB, as these models are significantly more accurate than the Optoma. Finally, the projector offers two HDMI ports on the back and a 1.5A USB port for power delivery, so you can power a streaming dongle directly from the projector. Ultimately, while this unit doesn't offer the same image quality as the more expensive models, it has satisfactory performance and great gaming features for a lower price.

    See our review

  4. Best Streaming 4k Projector

    If you're shopping for a versatile pixel-shifting projector bundled with great streaming features, then the XGIMI HORIZON Pro is better than the Optoma UHD35. While the Optoma is a barebones projector without any smart or wireless features out-of-the-box, the XGIMI comes fully featured with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support and the Android TV smart OS with Chromecast and AirScreen built-in for casting. Its two HDMI ports are limited to 60Hz signals in 4k or 1080p, but one of them is also an eARC port, so the unit can pass through advanced audio formats from DTS and Dolby. Overall, it's certainly a more versatile unit than the Optoma.

    However, this model offers slightly worse image quality than its competitor. While it has impressive brightness uniformity, its peak brightness is just okay. Its contrast is good, so it offers a pleasant viewing experience when watched in a dark room, but it's just not as good as the top three picks. Unfortunately, its pre-calibration accuracy is inadequate, and most of its colors are oversaturated out-of-the-box. Thankfully, you can improve its accuracy with some light calibration. This projector is a solid choice if you care most about streaming features. Still, if you're willing to buy a 1080p projector, the base XGIMI HORIZON is a better value overall, as it offers image quality that is almost as good as the Pro but for a much lower price.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap 4k Projector

    If you want a cheaper pixel-shifting unit, consider the best budget 4k projector, the ViewSonic PX701-4K. It offers the worst image quality on this list but is still adequate, and this model is also significantly cheaper. This model has two HDMI ports capable of accepting 4k @ 60Hz or 1080p @ 240Hz signals, which is a great gaming feature at this price. It's decently bright, certainly enough to look very vibrant in a dark room, and its contrast is great even though it doesn't have very inky blacks. Unfortunately, this unit has one big flaw regarding image quality: the color accuracy is very poor out-of-the-box, and you can barely improve it through calibration. This model does offer a ton of performance for the price, but it's not for color purists, as many of its colors look off.

    It's the lightest projector on this list, and at 6.2 pounds, you can move it easily if needed, although it still needs to be plugged into an outlet due to the lack of an internal battery. It even has automatic vertical keystone correction, so it can fix any geometry errors automatically on the vertical axis. While it supports HDR10/HLG, its color gamut and output brightness aren't good enough to project a pleasant HDR experience. It also lacks any smart OS or wireless features, so connecting an external streaming dongle is necessary if you want any streaming features. Thankfully, the unit has a USB service port that you can also use to power the dongle, removing the need for an external power source.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • BenQ HT4550i: The BenQ HT4550i is a great projector, but it's expensive and outshined by its cheaper sibling, the BenQ X3000i. Both projectors have similar brightness and contrast levels, but the X3000i is much more accurate out-of-the-box, making it easier to set up and watch. It's also much cheaper. See our review
  • Epson Home Cinema 3800: The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is a great product and would be the best 4k home theater projector if it wasn't for the BenQ X3000i or the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB. It's noticeably brighter than the BenQ, although the BenQ is more accurate out-of-the-box and has a wider color gamut. Still, the BenQ has way more features, giving it the edge over the Epson. See our review
  • XGIMI HORIZON Ultra: The XGIMI HORIZON Ultra has more modern features than the BenQ X3000i, as the XGIMI has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and Android TV 11. It's brighter than the BenQ and uses a dual LED + Laser light source, making it the best pixel shift laser projector we've tested. However, the BenQ has better contrast, is much more accurate, and has vastly better gaming features, making it a more versatile product overall. See our review
  • Hisense C1: The Hisense C1 is one of the best 4k laser projectors and directly competes with the BenQ X3000i. The Hisense has a wider color gamut and Dolby Vision support, making it a better choice for HDR content. However, the BenQ is much brighter, more accurate pre-calibration, and has advanced gaming features, making it the better choice overall. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 09, 2024: Verified that our picks are still available and modified the text to improve clarity.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best pixel shift projectors for most people to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper projector wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no models that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of the best pixel-shifting projectors. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no projector is perfect, many are good enough for most uses; however, avoid the worst models to ensure adequate quality.