The following review list was put together in 2016, prices can and do change but our goal is to provide the best projector choices in the under $400 price range. There will also probably be at least a couple models that exceed $400. To provide the best possible choices we thought it would be silly to excluded a very good model only because it may cost $425. You get the drift.

Here, you will find top suggestions in 2016 in the areas of home movies and entertainment, business and classroom presentation, mini and pico projectors etc, etc.

The models that are included here were decided on by our own personal use, customer reviews, reviews and conversations we have read on online forums and lastly, the different qualities and ratings such as resolution, brightness, colors, contrast and input ports and connectivity such as HDMI, all of which can be learned from the specifications of each model.

Home movie and entertainment projectors in the $400 price range

The common theme of our list will be to start with the most expensive model in each category and work our way down in price.

ViewSonic PJD5555W WXGA DLP 

As we said at the start, this list will probably also include models just over $400. The PJD5555W is an example of being just over this price. This is a fairly newer model, hitting the market in the Winter/Spring of 2015. For the price range this model does a very good job in the areas of colors and contrast levels.


Best home movie projector in the $400 price range

ViewSonic PJD5555W WXGA DLP Projector

See price and customer reviews at Amazon

Our experience with it? We do not own this model but over the summer in 2015 we did experience watching more than one movie with this model. These movies were shown outdoors at my neighbors place on the lake. Overall, the brightness of this projector (3200 lumen) is very good.

BenQ MW256 WXGA 3200 Lumens with 3D

This BenQ model is very similar to the ViewSonic PJD5555W both in price and in picture quality and capabilities. They are both DLP projectors with 3200 lumens of brightness. There are minor difference but in comparing the overall picture quality to select a clear winner.

Inexpensive BenQ home movie projector

BenQ MW526 – 3D Ready

See price and reviews at Amazon

Since the ViewSonic model is listed first this may indicate we think its the better projector. Well, sort of. The reason we listed it first is because we spent more time watching movies with that this model. As for the BenQ MW526 are only hands-on experience with it was in a short in-store demonstration.

The one advantage we will give the BenQ is the lamp life provides 10,000 hours. Having seen the image quality of both models it’s very hard to declare a clear cut winner.
 Acer H5380BD 720p Home Theater Projector

This is an entry-level 720p resolution model that can be used to view movies in either 2D or 3D and is a little lower in price compared to the models listed above. It also includes HDMI and mobile link connectivity so you will be able to connect with just about any external device.

Although not a huge deal, one negative we can say is it does not come with 3D glasses so you will need to buy these separately.

Acer H5380BD 720p Home Theater Projector

Acer for Home Cinema

Learn more and see Amazon price

While we are not going to claim this model provides an absolutely amazing image quality but for the price we do recommend it and if you look further into this model you will find it has received some overall good ratings and reviews from current owners.

Read our full review of this Acer model.

Epson Home Cinema 640

OK the Epson 640 is our 4th selection in this price range, compared to the 3 models already listed above this is the cheapest option. There’s no doubt, Epson produces high quality and they are one of the very best companies to buy from. If you have already checked out the price tags on the models listed above and need something cheaper in price this Epson model is one you might want to consider in 2016.

Epson Home Cinema 640 under $400

See the listed price at Amazon

If you are looking to buy a home theater projector in the $400 price range the truth is there’s an enormous number of choices Narrowing the choices down, especially if this is the first time you have bought a projector can be difficult.

Some might disagree with our recommendations above. Mainly because an enormous number of choices in home theater exist in this price range so you there’s opportunity for many different opinions.

And the truth is we agree, there are many different choices that are very comparable in quality to the four we listed above. But we are also quite confident the models we listed here provide equal to superior quality compared to other models that are similarly priced.

Classroom and Business Presentation models – $400 and under price range

Epson VS230 SVGA 3LCD Projector

Without a doubt Epson is the overall leader in presentation projectors for business and classroom educational purposes. One thing they do exceptionally well and this can be seen in their VS230 is produce models that include essential features for people on a budget.

Featuring: Portable design, fast and easy setup, three times brighter colors than the competition (2800 lumens) of brightness.


Presentation projector under 300

Epson VS230 presentation projector

See information on pricing at Amazon

In our opinion, the Epson VS230 is one of, if not the very top presentation projector you can buy in 2016 in the 400 dollar price range. Opinions will very but that’s our opinion. If you research this and read other sources before you buy, we are confident you will find many others who agree with our opinion.

What it lacks? Resolution. The level of resolution is SVGA. So we would not recommend this if your main and primary purpose was viewing home movies and/or gaming. But let’s be real. When making a presentation, much of it will consist of text, graphs and a coupe pictures.  High definition is not needed for this.

If you have spent time in college, conference rooms or worked at a company where projectors are used to give presentations you will not find they use high definition 1080p projectors.

If you are unsure about the resolution level you need, we want to put out a friendly challenge. The next time you are near the projector that is used to make a presentation at your school or the business that employees you, write down the name of the model and Google it. We are confident you will find it’s not a high resolution model.

If you want a little bit higher definition, Epson also produces this same model in XGA resolution, the Epson VS330 XGA.


We want to answer a question asked about the ViewSonic PJD5155, pertaining to, whether or not this model can be used for classroom PowerPoint presentations? And would it would a good choice? 

The short answer would be YES this model is capable of handling PowerPoint presentations.

While its definitely not the top projector on the market you can buy we believe in 2017-2018 this is actually a very decent choice for use in school classrooms or even for businesses.

It’s a great feeling to find others who agree with our advice. Watch the video.

What’s Good for Teachers

Brightness – Provides 3300 lumens of brightness. This is very good when compared against many other options in the price range.

Image Size – sitting 12 feet away from the screen this projector is capable of producing a 83 inch image, sitting 30 feet away the image size produced will be 207 inches. You can go between these distances to best fit your classroom.

Contrast – 20,000:1 contrast ratio. What does this mean? This is the difference between how the darkest and the brightest colors will appear in the image projected. PowerPoint presentations consist of dark text on a white background, contrast level is a very important specification to consider.

Sharpness – In addition to high contrast the ViewSonic PJD 5155 projects a clean sharp image which is great for text in PowerPoint slides

Connecting – HDMI port. From my experience in high school through college every PowerPoint presentation I have sat through or given was by connecting a laptop to a projector and this was thru a HDMI port.

What could be better

Resolution – The resolution provided by this model is sufficient for displaying text on PowerPoint slides. However, this is not high-definition.

Connectivity – As we mentioned above this ViewSonic projector does provide a HDMI port to connect to laptops to run presentations. However, if you are looking for wireless connectivity this model does not provide this capability.

Sucker!!! You bought the ViewSonic PJD 5155?

Although this model is not our top choice in the price range, if we saw this model sitting on a table in a school or business we would not lecture on it being a bad choice because it is not.

The ViewSonic PJD 5155 ranks strongly in three areas important to presentations:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Connectivity to laptops

With that said, personally, we believe Epson projectors are the best choice for school and business presentations.  On average these models are higher priced but offer a higher degree of functionality. Take a look at our top recommendations for PowerPoint before you make a decision.



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