I will admit that I’m not the biggest fan of very cheap devices but I know that a few people will be interested in looking for the best projector under 100 dollars. And that’s exactly what we’re here to do.
However, I must also mention that I have written a couple of articles on some other cheap models.
I wrote an article looking for the best projectors under $150 and I recommend checking that one out if you want to see what slightly more expensive options offer.
For now, let’s get back to reviewing some of the best projectors under 100 dollars.
Table of Contents
Best Projector Under 100 Dollars
When we are looking for cheap projectors under $100, there are a few things we must pay attention to and keep in mind.
These are not devices from which you can expect outstanding quality. And they look a bit like toys.
If you go in with high expectations, there’s a high chance that you’ll be disappointed.
Personally, my lower spending limit for projectors will be around $500-$700. That’s the price level where I can know that I can get full HD native resolution, a reputable brand and overall great quality. These are devices like the Epson Home Cinema 880 and Optoma HD146X.
Even HD 720p resolution can be good enough. And, thankfully, we’re going to come across that kind of native resolution when we’re looking for projectors that cost around $100 or slightly less.
These cheap devices will support 1080p videos so they will play 1080p movies even if their native resolution is considerably lower, like 800 x 480 pixels.
That’s the difference between native resolution and max supported resolution when it comes to projectors.
The native resolution is the one at which the content is played. The max supported resolution is the resolution of the content we can play. Thus, 800 x 480 pixels native resolution will play 1080p movies. That’s still good enough.
Another thing I want to mention is that you should use a small projector screen, like 40 inch, 50 inch or 60 inch so that we don’t make those small numbers of pixels spread out over a very large surface.
Last but not least, check out the negative reviews because there will be many.
1. DBPOWER L22 Mini Video Projector: Overall the Best Projector Under 100 Dollars
I am obviously not saying that the DBPOWER L22 is perfect or that it will satisfy everyone. There are plenty of negative reviews that you should check out.
However, if you’re looking for the best projector under 100 dollars and you are sticking to this price limit, the DBPOWER L22 would be my top recommendation, followed by the AuKing Mini Projector.
Overall, I can say that for the price, I am satisfied with the DBPOWER L22. It’s not awe inducing but we’ll have to have a budget significantly higher for that to happen.
Surprisingly, we get a 1820 x 720 p HD native resolution.
This HD native resolution is actually the main reason for really liking the DBPOWER L22.
It’s not the greatest but HD can still be good enough.
If you pair it with the right projector screen, it can be quite nice. We can enjoy movies and TV shows because it can play 1080p content.
I just recommend getting a smaller screen to enjoy the HD native resolution better. A 60 inch projector screen can be great but you can also choose an 80 inch if we want a bigger size. 60 inch would be my recommended size.
On their website, the manufacturer mentions 7500 Lux as brightness.
However, a proper brightness for any projector is only measured in ANSI lumens because that’s the international standard. And that’s how we can compare projectors and see which could have the brightness we’re looking for, based on whether we want to watch content in ambient light or we just want to enjoy it in dark rooms.
However, most cheap projectors under $100 never measure their brightness in ANSI lumens, which is a disappointment.
Surprisingly, the DBPOWER L22 stands out once again amongst a sea of cheap projectors by actually mentioning the brightness in ANSI lumens.
We get a 200 ANSI lumens brightness. It’s very low, there’s no doubt about it.
But this is a LED projector so we can’t compare it with lamp-based projectors.
If I were to compare it with something, it would be devices like the LG PF50KA, another LED projector. It costs about 6 times more than the DBPOWER L22 and it has a Full HD native resolution but the brightness is 600 ANSI lumens.
And that’s how we can estimate that the 200 ANSI lumens that the DBPOWER L22 is capable of is not such a small volume. It’s quite decent, which is awesome.
If you want to check out how the DBPOWER L22 performs and see what image quality is capable of, check out this YouTube video.
Cheap projectors are always LED projectors. And they’re always tiny. Instead of wanting to do a ceiling mount, I recommend getting a projector tripod stand.
At least that means that we don’t have to change any lamps.
We get the classics: HDMI, VGA, AV, USB, Audio. That’s great.
We also get a built-in 3W dual stereo speaker.
It also includes WiFi smartphone synchronize screen technology.
However, the Mirror display function doesn’t support protected videos because of copyright (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime video).
So, while connecting our phone will work, I recommend getting a streaming device like Roku if you want to enjoy content from streaming services, like Netflix and the rest.
The accessories included are: remote control, AV cable, HDMI cable, power cable.
Where to Buy?
2. AuKing Mini Projector: Good Value for Money
It’s very popular.
But it also has a pretty high number of negative reviews that you should check out.
It only has a 480p native resolution. Obviously, this is one of the main reasons for preferring the DBPOWER L22 over this AuKing.
I guess it can work if you just watch it on a 40 inch projection screen. However, if you want to watch content on a 100 inch screen, you absolutely need a projector with Full HD 1080p native resolution. Nothing lower would look good. Too few pixels across a too big space.
I can’t tell you anything about this spec because there is no relevant information to be found on it.
On their website, they mention 7500 lumens.
As you can see they don’t mention ANSI lumens so those 7500 lumens I don’t know what they want to be.
Well, on their website they also mention that a 170 inch large projection screen brings an immersive viewing experience.
I can agree to that, if you own a true 4K device not this AuKing Mini Projector with its tiny 480p native resolution. Stick to a 30-40 inch screen.
It can be good enough for children and even for adults who will understand that we can’t spread out such a small amount of pixels on some big screen.
It also has a 2000:1 contrast ratio. At least this number I can definitely accept.
Of course, it’s another LED device. There won’t be any lamp that needs changing.
However, that 55,000 hours lifespan is unheard of. The best we can hope for is up to 20,000 hours.
We get all we need: HDMI, VGA, microSD, USB, Audio out.
There’s also a built-in speaker.
Where to Buy?
3. PVO LED Pico Projector
I first reviewed the PVO LED Pico as one of the best projectors for cookie decorating. It was my last recommendation for that article but it was also the cheapest. While my top recommendations cost around $200 or something like that, the PVO LED Pico has a price under $100. It’s very cheap.
There are many people who could choose the PVO LED Pico as the best projector under 100 for their children.
I think it would also be a nice thing letting children try to figure everything out. It can be a cheap introduction to these wonderful devices.
It looks a bit like a toy and it’s quite tiny. I like the white and yellow design, it certainly looks like a projector for children.
Its dimensions are: 5.63 (L) x 3.78 (W) x 2.13 (H) inches.
It only weighs 0.70 pounds.
We get a 800 x 480 pixels resolution. It’s a tiny resolution and I totally recommend going only for a 40 inch screen because this tiny amount of pixels won’t look good on a big surface.
It plays Full HD movies and content so we’re not limited in that area.
We get everything we need: HDMI, micro USB, U Disk, Audio, Micro SD, and AV.
Connecting our source device via HDMI is the easiest way to do it.
It also includes a tiny built-in speaker but I don’t imagine that most people, even children, would be satisfied with that tiny speaker. I recommend getting an external speaker. You can connect via the Audio out port or, if you have a Bluetooth speaker, connect via Bluetooth to your phone, laptop, etc.
Where to Buy?
4. ViewSonic PA503
I am totally aware that reviewing the ViewSonic PA503 in this article where we’re looking for the best projector under 100 shouldn’t be done but I wanted to offer you an alternative that is not extremely expensive.
Of course, the ViewSonic PA503 is about 3 times more expensive than our limit but, at prices around $300, it can still be called pretty affordable.
So, I believe that it’s good to know what we could get for a higher price.
There are 3 resolutions that belong to the ViewSonic PA503. All three models have the same brightness and similar features but they matter in two perspectives.
The most noticeable difference is the price. However, there’s not a huge price difference between the three so that’s why I enjoy including all three when I review them. They’re all priced around $300 so that’s great.
The PA503S has SVGA resolution (800 x 600 pixels).
Next, we have the PA503X with XGA resolution (1024 x 768 pixels).
And there’s the PA503W with WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels).
Thus, if we were to make a classification closer to what we recognize, we would say that SVGA is a bit lower than 600p.
The WXGA is a bit higher than 720p.
These are actually data projectors that can be used for business and education purposes. Most people might buy them for business presentations. They’re awesome for business, education, and house of worship uses.
However, there are also a lot of people who buy the ViewSonic PA503 for entertainment at home.
Thus, all these three ViewSonic PA503 models are amazing both for business and for home theater settings.
While the resolution is not incredibly high, all three native resolutions, SVGA, XGA, and WXGA are decent resolutions that can be amazing if we don’t buy a very big screen.
Thus, I recommend buying a good projector screen around 60 inches if we want to enjoy high quality enjoyment of our favorite movies and content.
All will play 1080p content.
I actually included the ViewSonic PA503 in my reviews for the best projectors for daylight due to their impressive brightness.
They’ll do great in different lighting conditions, which is amazing.
The 3,800 ANSI lumens brightness is the top spec for the ViewSonic PA503.
It projects 120 inches from 15-feet 8-inches. The throw ratio is 1.96 – 2.15.
Thus, it can project on very big screens, as well. However, for a higher pixel density, I recommend using smaller screens.
Of course, while the 3,800 ANSI lumens brightness is fantastic, watching movies in a dark room will be best.
We only get +/- 40% vertical keystone.
In this price range we can’t expect horizontal lens shift or even vertical lens shift.
There are also 5 preset viewing modes: Brightest, Presentation, Standard, Photo, and Movie Mode.
It’s a DLP projector, which can affect some people with the rainbow effect. It’s not guaranteed who will notice the rainbow effect and you won’t know until you watch a DLP projector.
Estimated lamp life is pretty great: 5,000 hours on Normal and 15,000 hours on Eco.
There’s a HDMI port that is solely for watching 3D content. It’s nice that such a cheap model can also play 3D content. You’ll just have to buy the 3D glasses needed for the ViewSonic PA503.
We can play 3D content from 3D Blu-ray players or from gaming consoles that can play 3D movies.
We get the basics: HDMI, dual VGA, mini USB, Audio out.
And a speaker of 2W.
Where to Buy?
All in all, while the ViewSonic PA503 is quite a bit above our price limit, I wanted to offer it as an alternative to our picks for the best projector under 100 dollars so that we can make a comparison and draw some conclusions if we’re inclined to.
Best projector under 100 FAQs
Let’s see what other questions we should answer related to our search for the best projector under 100.
1. Are mini projectors worth it?
If we’re only looking to spend $100, then we might say that looking for such a cheap projector can be worth it if that’s all we’re willing and able to spend. Of course, our expectations shouldn’t be all that high and we should also consider that we should buy a 40 inch projector screen to increase the chances of our enjoyment. On the other hand, if you’re willing to increase your budget, I would recommend the Epson Home Cinema 880, the ViewSonic PA503 series or the LG PF50KA, which is an excellent portable projector.
2. What is a good cheap projector?
If we’re looking for the best projector under 100, my top recommendation is the DBPOWER L22 Mini Video Projector, followed by other cheap recommendations like the AuKing Mini Projector, the PVO LED Pico Projector, and the ViewSonic PA503 series as a much better alternative for people who are willing to spend a bit more to get a much higher quality device.