Best Budget Projectors under £200

When the home cinema experience first became possible for the home market, projectors were prohibitively expensive for many people. Today, there is a range of projectors available at prices to suit all budgets. As with all appliances, the prospective buyer should do their own research to find the model most suited to their needs and the space they have available. However, whilst projectors retailing for under £200 can give great results it would be unreasonable to expect them to perform to the standard of more expensive units. The following reviews should help.

1 - Crenova home projector 2800 Lumens

Crenova home projector 2800 Lumens

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Clear display
  • Picture resizing for a sharper image

Cons

  • Sound link to external speakers recommended
  • Quite noisy
  • Blues and greens not always vivid

Our Review

This black, A4 size projector will enable you to create your own HD cinema in any room in the house. Connect to a laptop, PC, TV box or DVD player. What is more, with a Wi-Fi display dongle you can connect to i player or a smart phone. The projection distance from lens to screen is 1-4 metres; 3 meters projection will give you a 120” screen. Because this LCD projector is 2800 lumens you don’t have to watch in the dark as the picture is bright enough to work in a room with ambient lighting. This is a great starter projector for the money. It can be ceiling mounted and comes with HDMI and VGA cables, instruction manual, remote control and a two-year warranty which includes free replacement.

2 - Ragu RG–01 projector 1280*768

Ragu RG–01 projector 1280*768

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Mountable
  • Supplied with HDMI and VGA cable

Cons

  • Some of the fittings are not very sturdy
  • Internal audio can be heard even when external speakers are used

Our Review

For the price, this gives a real screen experience and with a resolution of 1280x gives really good image definition. Screen size options range from 60” to 120”, depending on the projection distance. The recommendation is a projection of 2.5 metres for an 80” screen. The unit projects to the front, back and ceiling and can even be used outside, perhaps after the family BBQ. The unit connects to PCs, laptops and more. Play your favourite DVD on the big screen. The RG-O1 is energy-efficient and the LCD lamp will give 30,000 hours of service. Supplied with full 12-month warranty and hassle free return within two months if not satisfied.

3 - Elephas multimedia LED mini projector

Elephas multimedia LED mini projector

Pros

  •  Can handle all types of resolutions without issue
  • The remote is easy to use
  • Small and compact

Cons

  • Short power cord – 30cm
  • Top edge out of focus and bottom clear or vice versa
  • Exterior speakers required for best sound

Our Review

This compact projector is fitted with the latest LCD technology that cuts down radiation emissions to virtually nil aided by a low energy, long life LCD bulb. The unit can be free-standing or mounted, and in addition to great movie and TV projection it connects with ease through 2 RCA terminals to gaming devices like PS4 and Xbox. The Elephas multimedia mini is ideal for people giving presentations or holding business meetings in peoples’ homes. A lens to screen distance of between 2.5 and 2.6 metres gives a picture size of 80” to 120”. The unit is supplied with HDMI, AV cable, remote control and instruction book. Guaranteed for 12 months.

4 - Crenova XPE650 HD Projector

Crenova XPE650 HD Projector

Pros

  • 2 x HDMI & USB ports
  • Ceiling mountable
  • Films can be played from USB stick.

Cons

  • Loud fan
  • Colour sometimes requires manual adjustment for best result
  •  No image size reduction, so projector had to be moved to change size.

Our Review

At 2800 lumens and a resolution of 1280*768 this updated version of the Crenova XPE600 includes latest LCD 24bit colour and provides a real large screen experience for the home. Best viewing results are on an 80 inch screen, achievable by projecting from 2.8 metres away. Like many projectors in this price range it works best in a darkened room. The unit is supplied with following connectors, a 3 in 1 AV, 1xVGA, 1x HDMI. Smartphones and i Pads can be accessed through a Wi-Fi display dongle. Carries a 12 month warranty.

5 - Elephas full colour 130” portable LED Pico projector

Elephas full colour 130” portable LED Pico projector

Pros

  • Great picture whatever device the unit is connected to.
  • 130” screen at 4 metres projection
  • Weighs less that 1kg

Cons

  • Short power cord
  • Needs a dark room for good results
  • For watching in a large room with company, external speakers are required

Our Review

The viewer can expect crystal clear imaging and rich colours from this portable projector which makes it ideal for people who are unable to leave it out permanently. A projection distance of between 1.6 metres and 4 metres provides a screen size ranging from 50”-120”. The unit is fitted with a screwball leg for ease of angle adjustment and keystone connection, which adjusts the projected image so that it displays flat on the screen. Easily links up to a PC, laptops, PlayStation, OneWi-Fi and a range of other devices. Pack contains HDMI cable, 3 in 1 AV cable, remote and manual. The projector is backed by Elephas 12 month guarantee.

Projectors £200-£500

Those prepared to pay in the £200 to £500 bracket for a projector should also do their research. Projectors are like most other things, you get what you pay for. So in this price range, it is not unreasonable to expect a good 3D experience and wireless connectivity to a range of devices. It should be easy to connect devices such as Xbox’s, iPhones, PS4 etc. Buyers should expect a flawless performance in terms of brightness, colour, sound reproduction, build quality, ease of adjustment particularly when approaching the top of the price range. The following reviews should help inform choice.

1 - Optoma HD141X Full HD 3D

Optoma HD141X Full HD 3D

Pros

  • Projector is the size of a cereal box
  • 2x HDMI ports
  • Maximum screen size 200”

Cons

  • Framerate sometimes stutters
  • Comes without lens cap which, given large size of lens, are difficult to source

Our Review

The Optoma HD141X enables the user to create an immersive cinema experience which combines high-definition resolution with 3000 lumens. The colour processing technology in this projector is manufactured by Texas Instruments and colour is balanced, vivid and vibrant. Whether watching movies or gaming, this is one projector where low contrast dullness is not a problem.

At 2.45kg, the HD141X is one of the smallest on the market so moving between rooms or even onto the patio is easy. The unit is fitted with two 10w speakers which provide sufficient volume in most situations without the need to hook up to external speakers.

This projector connects to smartphones, tablets, TV and games consoles and HDMI components makes switching between appliances easy.

2 - Apeman LED Pico Projector

Apeman LED Pico Projector

Pros

  • Mirrorcast from a mobile phone or tablet
  • Shop on-line
  • Supplied with AV triple line

Cons

  • Unit is a little noisy
  • Not well suited to presentations
  • Needs a dimly lit room to give best results

Review

A native resolution of 1780 x 800 and 700 lumens, the Apeman LED P110 produces bright 3D images of excellent quality for a superb viewing experience and real cinema feel.

The unit is fitted with Android 4.4 OS which makes surfing the Internet, downloading apps and streaming films by Wi-Fi or Ethernet easily achieved. Additionally, Bluetooth 4 enables sound to be routed through Bluetooth speakers.

This projector is portable and can be ceiling mounted and the LED lamp lasts up to 5 years of regular daily use, so owners need not worry about regular, expensive bulb replacement. The unit has a projection size of 0.5-5.5 metres, benefits from Keystone correction and has 8GB on memory. The USB port takes a memory stick and the HDMI port can be utilised to connect to a range of appliances.

3 - Epson EH-TW 5210 Home cinema/gaming projector

Epson EH-TW 5210 Home cinema/gaming projector

Pros

  • View in daylight
  • Up to three times brighter colours than other projectors in price range
  • No rainbow effect

Cons

  • Bluetooth disabled on UK models
  • Auto-iris is noisy
  • No vertical lens shift

Review

If you buy an Epson projector you are guaranteed a quality experience because they are regarded as one of the worlds leading manufacturers and have the largest share of the market for 500 lumens and higher projectors. This projector provides high white and colour light images which are bright, sharp and smooth and deep blacks. Whether watching in 3D or 2D, the colours remain vivid even in brightly lit rooms and playback is smooth and stutter free. With a maximum screen size of 300” the film experience provided is phenomenal and watching sport or major national pageantry provides a real sense of being there.

The unit is fitted with vertical and horizontal Keystone correction and lamp which. When used in eco mode provides for up to 11 years or regular use.

4 - EUG LED LCD Wireless Projector

EUG LED LCD Wireless Projector

Pros

  • Works well with Wireless Broadband and mouse
  • Easy set-up
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Doesn’t support Blu-Ray 3D
  • Not recommended for office/educational purposes

Review

With great colour reproduction which is rich in detail, a Dolby digital decoder and a projection distance of between 1.2 and 5 metres for a screen size ranging from 50”-200” this projector is a great choice for your home theatre or cinema. Projection can be from the front, rear or ceiling; the unit is easily mountable and suitable for use with a tripod. Enjoy the benefits from Android 4.4 OS with Wi-Fi, 1GB of RAM and 8GB RAM storage. The projector connects easily to a range of appliances, including, iOS devices, iPads, Macs and smartphones with Xbox and PS3 working particularly well.

The 2000 LED bulb provides for 5000 hours at 4200 lumens. The projector is supplied with 1 x HDMI cable, 1 VGA cable, 1 X AV cable and a remote control.

5 - Epson EB-U04 Full HD 1080p home cinema/gaming projector

Epson EB-U04 Full HD 1080p home cinema/gaming projector

Pros

  • Great for gaming
  • Very quiet in eco mode
  • Split screen option

Cons

  • There is simply no downside to what is a fantastic device for a projector in its price range

Review

With Epson you are buying a projector manufactured by a market leader who has won best manufacturer of projectors for 14 years running. WUXGA resolution provides brilliant picture reproduction whether watching the latest blockbuster or showing your latest holiday photographs. As with all Epson projectors, the colours are three times brighter than most other projectors in the price bracket with crystal clear images and easily visible fine detail projected on to a screen of up to 300”. This provides a unique 3D viewing experience with that all the family will enjoy. The unit benefits from vertical Keystone correction which can also be manually operated by a slider behind the lens.

The projector is fitted with a 10,000 LED light for 15 years use in economy mode. There are two HDMI ports to facilitate easily switching between different sources and wireless internet connectivity is possible and requires an ELPAP10 wireless adapter. The Epson EB-U04 is also suitable for office use including business presentations.