Best Short Throw Projector Under $500-Buyers Guide

Introduction

Thanks to the advent of technology, entertainment and the way professional work is being carried out have reached completely new heights. Today, if you like a particular program, you don’t have to watch it on your small televisions anymore. Connect your TVs to a projector and bang! Your entire living room lights up when the projector throws up your favorite movies on the walls. Turn your home into a theatre with the help of projectors. Are you looking for the best short throw projector under $500?

If yes, it is important for you to understand what they actually mean and some basic concepts involved with short throw projectors. Let us get to the basics in the following sections:

What is a short throw projector

As the name indicates, when the distance between the projector and the projector surface is very short, it is a short throw projector. Gone are the days when you had to keep the projector at the last row of the room to get better throw quality on the screen when you were presenting something.

These are widely used in classrooms and offices today. They are portable as well, which means that the short throw projectors are the best bets for people who frequently travel on business. Now you don’t have to rush to a meeting room, try hard to get the projection angles right and work through the hundreds of cables to present your session. Connect the projector to your laptop and start presenting right from your workplace, provided you have a flat surface in front of the laptop for projecting the images and videos.

Throw Ratio

When you are looking for the best short throw projector under $500, you should be well-aware of the factors that you have to look for in a particular model. One of the most important factors that you should be aware of while choosing short throw projectors is the throw ratio.

According to experts, the throw ratio of short-throw projectors is in the range between 0.4 and less than 1. In simple terms, throw ratio is calculated using the formula D/W, where D is the distance between the lens of the projector and the projection screen and W is the width of the screen’s image. So, when a short throw projector has a throw ratio of 2, it means it has to be placed at a distance of 2feet away fro the projection screen for every single foot of the image width (2/1).

For an image width of 5 feet, a 2.0 throw ratio projector should be placed at a distance of 10 feet away from the projection surface (10/5=2). This is why it is important to understand the concept of throw ratio. It is this factor that will help you learn more about the image quality and clarity that you are able to get at a very short distance.

With this brief idea in mind, let us proceed to learn more about 5 of the best short throw projectors under $500 in the market today. We have explained each one of them in detail for you to read through and understand their features and then decide if it would suit your needs or not.

Best Short Throw Projector Under $500

ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMI/MHL with Speakers| Ultra-short throw | Up to 3 hours Battery | Power Bank | 2 Years Warranty
Optoma S343 SVGA DLP Professional Projector | Bright 3600 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Home | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable Size
LG Electronics PH30N Portable CineBeam Projector with connectivity Bluetooth sound, Built-in Battery, and Screen Share
ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone (PA503W) , White
Viewtech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector Wall Mount Fully Adjustable: 16"-32"
ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMI/MHL with Speakers| Ultra-short throw | Up to 3 hours Battery | Power Bank | 2 Years Warranty
Optoma S343 SVGA DLP Professional Projector | Bright 3600 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Home | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable Size
LG Electronics PH30N Portable CineBeam Projector with connectivity Bluetooth sound, Built-in Battery, and Screen Share
ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone (PA503W) , White
Viewtech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector Wall Mount Fully Adjustable: 16"-32"
$199.00
$349.99
$396.99
$459.00
$118.00
ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMI/MHL with Speakers| Ultra-short throw | Up to 3 hours Battery | Power Bank | 2 Years Warranty
ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMI/MHL with Speakers| Ultra-short throw | Up to 3 hours Battery | Power Bank | 2 Years Warranty
$199.00
Optoma S343 SVGA DLP Professional Projector | Bright 3600 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Home | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable Size
Optoma S343 SVGA DLP Professional Projector | Bright 3600 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Home | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable Size
$349.99
LG Electronics PH30N Portable CineBeam Projector with connectivity Bluetooth sound, Built-in Battery, and Screen Share
LG Electronics PH30N Portable CineBeam Projector with connectivity Bluetooth sound, Built-in Battery, and Screen Share
$396.99
ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone (PA503W) , White
ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone (PA503W) , White
$459.00
Viewtech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector Wall Mount Fully Adjustable: 16"-32"
Viewtech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector Wall Mount Fully Adjustable: 16"-32"
$118.00
Sale
ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMI/MHL with Speakers| Ultra-short throw | Up to 3 hours Battery | Power Bank | 2 Years Warranty
  • Built-in 6,000 mAh rechargeable battery delivers up to 3-hour projection time and doubles as a power bank to charge your mobile devices
  • Advanced DLP Technology with 30,000-hour LED lifespan, 200 lumens brightness, 854x480 native resolution and big screen size up to 100 inches (in low-light conditions)
  • Palm-sized and .75 pounds lightweight for maximum portability with the best-in-class 1:1 short-throw ratio.
  • HDMI/MHL port ensures compatibility with a variety of sources, USB port for charging only. Built-in ASUS Sonic Master enhanced-speaker for authentic sound reproduction
  • To connect with iPhone/iPad(Lightning port only), purchase separately the Lightning Digital AV Adapter from Apple. To connect with Samsung devices, purchase separately a Samsung specific MHL cable(5 pin to 11 pin) for video output.

Overview

Are you looking for a short throw projector that is portable, personal and professional at the same time? The Asus S1 Portable Mini Projector is the one that is designed to cater to your needs. Many people consider it the best short throw projector under $500 because it is one of the most user-friendly models ever, in this price range.

Features

Here are some features that have made the Asus S1 one of the most-loved short throw projectors under $500:

  • Comes with a highly-powerful rechargeable battery embedded inside it; thanks to this, you can use your projector for about 3 hours continuously

  • Embedded with sophisticated DLP technology, due to which you can be guaranteed of these services when you invest in this projector:

    • DLP LED lifespan of 300,000 hours

    • Brightness power of 200 lumens to project bright visuals even in dim-light conditions

    • Picture resolution quality of 854 x 480 pixels

    • Screen size that can be extended up to 100 inches, regardless of the lighting of the ambiance

  • 41-inch diagonal projection possible when the projector is just 1m away from the screen; compatible to be used with any flat surface as a projection surface

  • Comes with the classic throw ratio of 1.1, which is considered as one of the best in the industry for short throw projectors

  • Weighs only 0.75 pounds and it can easily fit inside your palm; these, when combined with the embedded battery, make this projector one of the best portable short throw projectors under $500 today

  • Comes with an HDMI/MHL port to connect the projector with any device of your choice and a USB port that can be used for charging

  • Comes with an in-built Sonic Master Enhanced Speaker from Asus to add more value to the imagery and presentations that you project

  • Compatible to be connected with Lightning Digital AV Adapter and Samsung MHL cable (both to be bought separately) for connecting with iPhones and Samsung devices respectively

  • Comes with an automatic Keystone Correction feature; with the help of this, blurred or distorted images that arise due to incorrect projection angles are distorted; every single time, the imager of this projector fits into the rectangle perfectly

  • Comes with instant on and off features, thereby reducing the waiting time of the users

Pros

  • Rechargeable battery also performs the role of a 6000mAh power bank for charging your mobiles
  • High-accuracy projection and a good quality speaker make this projector a great choice for students, businessmen, professionals and many others; great for personal use as well
  • One of the brightest short throw projectors that you can find today to deliver a 3-hour presentation when your battery is fully charged, without any compromise on the image brightness or accuracy

Cons

  • Some users noticed that the brightness wasn’t enough if the room was completely dark
  • Resolution is not very accurate as per the claims
Bottom Line
The Asus S1 Portable Mini Projector is the best short throw projectors under $500 for you, if you are looking to make presentations on the go!
Optoma S343 SVGA DLP Professional Projector | Bright 3600 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Home | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable Size
  • PICTURE QUALITY: Designed for meeting rooms, classrooms, and other small-medium sized rooms, the S343 provides vibrant and sharp, clear text and graphics enabled by its SVGA resolution (800x600) and 22, 000: 1 contrast ratio
  • HIGH-BRIGHTNESS: Enjoy an incredible 3, 600 lumens of brightness in well lit environments
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: Enjoy up to 15, 000 hours of lamp life enabling an average of 4 hours of viewing time every day for 10 plus years
  • INTEGRATED SPEAKER: A 10-watt built-in speaker enhances presentations with sound and simplifies the set-up without the need for external speakers; loud enough for small-to-medium classrooms and meeting rooms
  • THROW DISTANCE: Project a 120" image from approximately 18 feet away with the S343's 1. 94 – 2. 15: 1 throw ratio

Overview

Optoma is one of the reputed companies in manufacturing projectors of various throw ratios. The S343 is a short throw projector that doubles up as a speaker as well. It is rated as the best short throw projector under $500, for people who are looking for a complete package when they buy a projector. Durability, consistent performance, affordable pricing, ease of use – you name it and the S343 delivers the same to you with absolute class and elegance.

Features

What makes the Optoma S343 one of the best short throw projectors under $500 that you will ever find? What are the features that make it what it is today? Keep reading to know more about the features that make this projector a highly-efficient one.

  • Comes with an amazing picture quality that makes it suitable for any type and size of the room (classroom, conference room, meeting rooms and more)

  • Bright and vibrant color feature that projects the blacks deeper and the hues more vivid than before, thanks to the contrast ratio of 22000:1; brightness of images, especially in well-lit environments, is simply awesome

  • Clear, crisp and detailed visuals that are projected in 3600 ANSI Lumens Power; textures are more marked, shadows are more detailed and graphics are clearer than ever thanks to the bright & accurate color feature of this projector

  • Comes with an energy-saving lamp that has an estimated life of around 15000 hours; so you can use your projector for 4 hours every day for 10 years, before you have to replace your lamp

  • Comes with an inbuilt 10W speaker that gives the much-needed sound & effects to your presentation; now you don’t have to worry about spending a large sum on external speakers

  • With a throw ratio of 2.15:1, you can get an image projection of 120 degrees when the projector is around 18 feet away from the projection surface

  • Comes with an automatic Vertical Keystone correction feature and a 1.1x zoom feature, thanks to which you can place the projector anywhere you want for accurate imagery, regardless of the lighting of the environment

  • Comes with many connectivity options such as HDMI, VGA and composite; you can use these to connect to any smartphones or wireless devices of your choice to enjoy unlimited entertainment

Pros

  • A bevy of connectivity options helps you run your presentation from any source with utmost ease
  • Very easy to install in any kind of space
  • Bright and detailed imagery with attention to detail guaranteed at all times
  • Speaker’s output is clear and crisp without any distortions

Cons

  • Some users noticed unclear image projections when they adjusted the keystone correction features
  • Lamp doesn’t come with an extended life of 15000 hours as promised
Bottom Line

Yes, there are a few flaws with this projector from Optoma, but this is the best short throw projector under $500 for you, if you are passionate about the colors and textures of the images projected.

Overview

The LG Electronics PH30N Short Throw LED Projector is regarded as the best short throw projector under $500 for people who are brand-conscious. It is a great choice for people who are looking for high-quality products at an affordable price, but from a reputed brand. What better brand than LG to satisfy your requirements? Why can’t users stop posting rave reviews about this projector? What has made this projector so popular today? You will get these answers after you have read through the features.

Features

You can now enjoy excellent imagery right in the comfort of your home thanks to these features of one of the best short throw projectors, the LG PH30N:

  • Provides excellent and accurate imagery even from a very short distance from the surface of projection; even when the projector is just 3inches away, the imagery you get is 40” wide with bright and clear images; when projector is placed at around 13” away, you get 80-inch imagery with incredible accuracy

  • No need to worry about taking extra cables for charging your battery anymore! This comes with an embedded battery that works uninterruptedly for 2.5 hours

  • When you have a smart device that supports WiDi or Miracast, you can use it for mirroring a wireless functioning on this projector; now you can pair your projector with your smartphone, tablet or any other smart gadget and enjoy movies, photos and whatever you like

  • Compatible with Bluetooth connections; therefore, you can connect the projector through Bluetooth to your smartphones and stream audio clearly; the audio output of the projector is similar to what you would get on high-quality audio speakers

  • LED lamp of the projector comes with 450 lumens of power and is designed to express natural lights and colors without any distortions; estimated lamp life is around 30,000 hours totally when used for 8 hours every day, which means you need to replace your lamps only once in every 10 years

Pros

  • Even when the lighting in your ambiance is not great, this projector gives you crystal-clear picture quality
  • Long life of the embedded battery makes it a great travel companion, especially for professionals who frequently travel on business to make presentations
  • Throw projection is beyond par for short distances and even small text characters are visible clearly in the projected imagery
  • Very easy to install and comes in a compact design as well; therefore, it doesn’t occupy too much space in your home

Cons

  • Sometimes people noticed that the image warps at times when the projection distance is very short
  • It would have been great if the projector came with an auto-focus feature
Bottom Line

The LG Electronics PH450UG Short Throw Led Projector is considered as the best short throw projector under $500, especially for people who travel a lot. If you frequently travel on business or if you are required to make presentations right from your workplace frequently, this projector is a great investment. It is compact, stylish and reliable. More importantly, it comes from a reputed brand; so, you can trust this projector to perform well.

ViewSonic 3800 Lumens WXGA High Brightness Projector for Home and Office with HDMI Vertical Keystone (PA503W) , White
  • VERSATILE PROJECTOR: Advanced visual features ideal for use in education and small business environments
  • BIG SCREEN PROJECTION: Projects 120 inches from 15-feet 8-inches in 3800 lumens
  • EASY SETUP: Simple setup and control; just plug & play your presentations, videos, and pictures
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: Super Eco Mode allows the lamp to shine bright for up to 15, 000 hours
  • INDUSTRY-LEADING : 3-year limited parts and labor coverage, 1-year of lamp coverage, and access to our US-based customer service team

Overview

Have you ever wanted a professional projector that you could use at home and office with equal ease but at an affordable price? Do you expect your projector to give you excellent image quality in all types of environments? Have you always wanted a projector that provided you maximum throw even in a small room, so that you could use it effectively for various purposes? If you answered “Yes” to one or all of these questions, you need to buy the ViewSonic 3800 Lumens Projector right now.

Features

Are you wondering if this projector from ViewSonic is worth the hype that we have created above? Keep reading these features to know why this is rated as one of the best short throw projector under$500:

  • Comes inbuilt with unique SuperColor Technology, thanks to which it comes with a color wheel with 6 divisions and impressive customizations to control lamp features; these help to make your pictures sharp, accurate, colorful and beautiful

  • Lens with a short throw ratio of 0.61 helps to give you large-sized projections even in small rooms

  • Helps to create large images regardless of the size of the room; light source of the projector is close to the surface where the images are projected, thereby eliminating all the blind spots and hot spots on the screen

  • Comes with a light power of 3500 lumens with an excellent contrast ratio to provide you with bright and accurate projection of pictures and videos even in dim environments

  • Comes with an HDMI port that can be used to connect any wireless dongles of your choice (such as Amazon Fire TV Stick) and a USB cable that you can use for charging

  • Comes with a DynamicEco feature of the lamp, which means it is designed in an energy-saving fashion; estimated lamp life is up to 15000 hours while power usage is reduced by a whopping %

  • To make it an interactive unit where multiple users can collaborate, this projector can be easily connected to an Interactive Whiteboard Module (to be bought separately)

  • Comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years for parts and labor and a one-year warranty for problems related to the lamp

Pros

  • Sleek, stylish and elegant with a superior white chassis
  • Great for students, businessmen, professionals and personal use as well
  • Compatible with 3D Blu-Ray compatible HDMI inputs, thanks to which you can enjoy beautiful videos with 3D glasses

Cons

  • Technological sophistication could have been than what it is currently for a more seamless experience
  • Doesn’t you give you the best quality when you are viewing 1080p or 4K images
Bottom Line

At around $500, this is definitely the best short throw projector under $500 if you are looking to use it for multiple purposes. However, this unit may be slightly pricey for you if you are on a tight budget. Nevertheless, go for it for an interactive experience and you will not be disappointed at all.

Viewtech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector Wall Mount Fully Adjustable: 16"-32"
  • ① Fully extracted, the mount is 16" from the wall, can bring your projector as close as to 16" from the wall. Fully extended, the mount is 32" from the wall, can bring your projector as far as to 32" from the wall. Package size: 19.5" x 8" x 10.4"
  • ② Universal Projector mounting plate with 4 adjustable spider mounting arms ,which can be extended or retracted to suit various projector mounting patterns: 3 or 4 mounting holes, fits most ultra short throw projectors. Maximum distance between mounting holes on back of projector must be less than 12.5”. Highly recommended for projectors with throw ratio: 0.18 to 0.35.
  • ③ The mount offers adjustments in 3 directions: 3" vertical image adjustment & 1.7" lateral image adjustment & 16" extension length (16"-32") in image size adjustment and 3 fine tune adjustment knobs: roll: ±5 degrees, pitch: ±5 degrees, yaw: ±5 degrees, making the aligning of the image into a rectangle extremely easy, quick and accurate
  • ④ Hollow compact telescopic arms for hidding cables, ensuring a clean and simple look after installation. Fits 16-inch wood stud spacing.
  • ⑤ In accordance with both the US UL and German TUV safety standards for projector wall mount, certified weight capacity up to 33lbs(15kg), high-grade steel materials providing durable and heavy duty construction, enusring there is no any image wobble after installation and no adjustments needed after setting everything up the first time

Overview

Are you looking for a short throw projector that gives you an extremely accurate view at a very pocket-friendly price? If yes, the ViewTech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector is the right choice for you. Priced at a little over $100, this one surely deserves to be on the “best short throw projector under $500” list because of its sophisticated features. ou will not hesitate to agree with us after reading these features.

Features

Here are some features that have enabled this projector to qualify as the best short throw projector in this price range:

  • Mount can be brought as close to 16” or extended to as far as 32” from the wall as per your convenience; extension and extraction is a very simple process

  • Universal Mounting plate comes with 4 adjustable spider mounting arms; can be used for any short-throw projector that comes with a throw ratio of 0.18 to 0.35

  • Image alignment made easier than most other models in this price range; three adjustments such as a 3” vertical alignment, 1.7” lateral alignment and 16” length alignment to give you accurate quality images

  • 3 Adjustment Knobs available to make the images clean and crisp; these adjustments are plus or minus 15 degrees for pitching, rolling and yawing to fit the image into the rectangle perfectly

  • Mess-free look can be accomplished after you have installed the projector; the unit comes with telescopic arms that are quite hollow and have compartments for concealing the cables neatly

  • Designed to fit into a 16-inch wood-constructed stud space perfectly

  • Made from heavy-duty and industrial grade materials which speak volumes about the durability and reliability of the product

  • Maximum weight that it can accommodate is 15kg; constructed in compliance with various US and German safety standards

Pros

  • One of the very models that can fit perfectly in the mount, thanks to the flexibility it offers in horizontal and vertical adjustments
  • Comes with an exhaustive fixing kit that is replete with various useful accessories such as a connecting screw, anchor bolt, spacers, nuts and more
  • Very strong and reliable mount; doesn’t break away at all even when you extend it to the maximum possible extent

Cons

  • Mounting plate is not “universal” as per the claims; some adjustments are needed to this before you connect it to other projectors
  • Slightly heavier when compared to other short throw projectors
Bottom Line

Your search should stop here when you are searching for the best short throw projector under $500, because the ViewTech Universal Ultra Short Throw Projector gives you everything that you expected out of it. A great choice for people looking for a robust model at a pocket-friendly price, this projector also surprises you with its customization features.

The alignment and adjustment options on this one are way more than what you would find on other models. Also, the mount that comes along with this projector is one of the sturdiest ever you can find in this price range. So, there is no reason why you shouldn’t invest in this right now.

Summary

After reading these reviews, were you able to decide on the best short throw projector under $500 for your needs? That’s a great sign! However, what good is it to know about the market leader but not about the overall industry as such? So, here we have come with a list of simple tips and tricks that will help you when you set out to buy short throw projectors. You can apply the tips that we are going to talk about in this guide and then compare the 5 products that we have explained above to make a qualified decision.

What to note while buying short-term projectors

Size of the room – This is definitely one of the first points that should be on your list. While short-throw projectors are essentially designed for small rooms, you should buy the ones that are suitable for any room size. Almost all the projectors that we reviewed above provide excellent, accurate, detailed and crisp image quality in all types and sizes of rooms (classrooms, conference rooms, small workplaces, meeting rooms and so on)

Brightness of the lamp – When you are buying a short throw projector for your professional use, you may be required to present from any area. Therefore, you need a projector that gives you a great quality of throw regardless of the lighting of the ambiance. Whether indoors or outdoors, whether bright or dark, whether the ambiance is well-lit or dimly lit, your projector shouldn’t compromise on the quality of its brightness and accuracy. Therefore choose a projector with a good lamp power.

Ease of use – Needless to say, the main idea of using short throw projectors is to simplify the process of presentation. The entire purpose of investing in one will be defeated if you don’t choose a projector that is easy to use. It is highly recommended that you choose a short throw projector with an embedded battery, so that you don’t have to deal with messy cables and wires. Also, it is a good idea to choose projectors that come with certain automatic features such as keystone corrections, autofocus features and more.

Speaker functionality – When your job involves speaking at and listening to various presentations, you need a multi-purpose short throw projector. In these cases, it would be a good idea to invest in a projector that comes with an embedded speaker. When the speaker is not in use to make presentations, you can connect your projector to your smartphone and listen to music through the speaker.

Compatibility to various devices – Always choose a short throw projector that comes with two or more ports to connect to various devices. HDMI ports, USB ports for charging, wireless or Bluetooth connectivity, compatibility with 3D videos, etc. are some features that you have to look for to get good value for your money when you are investing in the best short throw projector under $500.

Watch out for these things when buying a short throw projector and you will never go wrong in your decision.

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