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The 5 Best Projectors Under $1,000 - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best Projectors Under $1,000

If you're looking for the best projectors under $1,000, there are quite a few options, although most of the best projectors in this segment are significantly cheaper than that. The projectors here are certainly good enough for most consumers. These models deliver a decent viewing experience, and many have great smart features, eliminating the need to spend more on an external streaming device. Typically, the more portable a projector is, the worse its image quality, so keep that in mind when shopping for the best projector for your needs.

We've bought and tested more than 35 projectors, and below, you'll find the best models to buy for under $1,000. You can also look at our best cheap projectors and the best projectors under $500. For higher-end products, look instead at our best 4k projectors. You can also vote on which ones you want us to purchase and test.

  1. Best Projector Under $1,000

    The Epson Home Cinema 1080 is the best projector under $1,000 that you can buy. It projects a very bright 1080p image, so it can easily handle moderately lit rooms, and it looks bright and relatively punchy in dark rooms due to its okay contrast. Unfortunately, it doesn't have vibrant colors, but they're good enough for a pleasant viewing experience and are well-calibrated out-of-the-box. The projector doesn't support HDR, but HDR support on projectors tends to be sub-par anyway, so it isn't a great loss.

    It's only 5.9 pounds, so it's easy to carry around if you need to, but it's too big and unwieldy for you to throw it into a bag, and you need to plug it into an outlet. It has automatic vertical keystone correction, so it adjusts the image automatically if you change its projection angle, and its optical zoom lets you adjust the projected image's size without moving the unit further. The projector has two HDMI 2.0 ports and a USB-B port, allowing you to control the projector through a computer. Unfortunately, the unit doesn't come with a smart OS. Still, it does have Wi-Fi 5 and Miracast for screen mirroring, so all it's missing for full streaming functionality is an external streaming dongle, which you can power through the unit's USB-A port.

    See our review

  2. Best Value Projector Under $1,000

    If you're looking for the absolute best value under $1,000, look no further than the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01. While it doesn't have any HDR support, it projects an extremely bright 1280 x 800 resolution image that is perfect for bright offices, and the projector's no slouch for watching movies; its bright image makes content pop, and the projector looks great when watching content in a moderately lit room. Unfortunately, the projector's contrast is inadequate, so this projector is going to look its best when a few lights are on. Its color accuracy is decent out-of-the-box, certainly good enough for most people, but color purists can greatly improve it through the projector's 2-point white balance calibration.

    Like the Epson Home Cinema 1080, this projector isn't made for portability, but it's pretty light at 5.4 pounds, which is light enough to be carried around if needed, although you need to plug it into an outlet. Unfortunately, unlike the Home Cinema 1080, it lacks any auto keystone correction and autofocusing, so you must manually adjust the image to fix any geometry issues. It also lacks any smart OS and doesn't even have Wi-Fi, so an external streaming dongle is necessary. It does have a USB-B port to let you control the projector with a PC, and you can project a few file formats through the unit's USB-A port, but overall, it's rather barebones when it comes to ports, especially as it has only one HDMI port.

    See our review

  3. Best Streaming Projector Under $1,000

    If you'd prefer a smaller unit with more smart features, consider the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12. What it lacks in brightness, it makes up for in sheer versatility. Its cubic shape is small and compact, weighing only 4.7 pounds. While it doesn't have an integrated battery, meaning you still need to plug it into an outlet, it has full auto keystone correction and autofocus, making it easy to set up or move around. It also has built-in Android TV with full Chromecast integration, so you don't need to worry about getting an external streaming dongle. Like the Epson Home Cinema 1080, this model projects a sharp 1080p image.

    The projector supports HDR10/HLG, but it's too dim to take advantage of. Indeed, it's significantly dimmer than the Home Cinema 1080, but it does have better contrast, so make sure to turn off the lights when using this model. It's even more accurate than the already accurate Home Cinema, especially after slightly adjusting the color temperature. It has two HDMI ports, one of which doubles as an ARC port. You can connect a computer to the unit through its mini USB port, and the projector comes with full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. It has worse picture quality than the slightly bigger Epson but is more compact and versatile.

    See our review

  4. Best Portable Projector Under $1,000

    If you're looking for a model you can easily carry without plugging it into an outlet, the best portable projector under $1,000 we've tested is the XGIMI Halo+. It's a very small unit and weighs only 3.7 pounds, so you can easily throw it into a backpack. Plus, it has an integrated battery promising up to 2.5 hours of uninterrupted playback, long enough to watch most movies. It has many image correction features: full auto keystone, autofocus, intelligent screen alignment, and obstacle avoidance, so this is truly a projector you can easily take on the go. To round up the package, it comes with the Android TV smart interface, with Chromecast and AirScreen support, and has Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities.

    The projector is dim but is significantly brighter than most competitors. It'll project a pleasant image if all the lights are off or the moonlight isn't too strong. Fortunately, it does have great contrast, emphasizing its dark room capabilities. It also has a very wide color gamut and HDR support, but it's not bright enough to take advantage of them. Its color accuracy is quite poor, and while you can improve it somewhat through calibration, this isn't really a product for color purists. However, color accuracy doesn't matter too much when projecting a movie on the side of a barn or van. It has one HDMI port, which also doubles as an eARC port, and a USB port through which you can play video files directly to the projector.

    See our review

  5. Best Gaming Projector Under $1,000

    The ViewSonic PX701-4K is the best gaming projector under $1,000 we've tested if your primary use is gaming. This model has two HDMI ports capable of gaming at 4k @ 60Hz or 1080p @ 240Hz. While it's not a true 4k projector, as it uses pixel shifting to achieve a higher resolution image, it does project an image that's sharper than the others on this list. It is decently bright, certainly bright 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: its 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.

    Like many other projectors, it's not exactly portable, but it's also light at 6.2 pounds, so you can move it easily if needed. 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 a USB device, so you can connect a dongle to the unit and have it powered by its USB port.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • XGIMI Elfin: The XGIMI Elfin is a small and light projector, even smaller than the XGIMI Halo+. It doesn't have an integrated battery, and it has lower peak brightness and worse color accuracy than the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12, but the Elfin is a bit cheaper than both. Unfortunately, it's not as widely available, but XGIMI readily sells it on their website. See our review
  • Epson EX3280: The Epson EX3280 is a good productivity projector. It is very bright and has excellent color accuracy, but it projects a 1024 x 768 image, which is a 4:3 aspect ratio. That's a great aspect ratio for work, but it's not optimal for watching movies, making the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 the more versatile product due to its 16:10 aspect ratio, on top of being the cheaper product of the two. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best projectors under $1,000 to buy for most people. 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 projectors that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of projectors available under $1,000. 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.