Best projector 4K, Full HD, portable, short-throw BenQ, Epson, Optoma

Best projector 4K

Best projector 4K, Full HD, portable, short-throw BenQ, Epson, Optoma

Best projectors Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s round-up of the best projectors – Full HD, 4K, portable, and short-throw – that you can buy in 2021.

Nothing says home theater quite like one of the best projectors that money can buy. There’s no need to rely on your local movie house. Recreate the big-screen experience at home with one of the best 4K projectors that we’ve ever tested.

With picture sizes greater than 100in, not to mention the requisite ‘lights off’ setting, a projector can bring the movie theatre experience right to your lounge. And you don’t need a huge room to benefit – today’s short-throw models can turn even a modest-sized lounge into a movie theatre.

Add in an AV amp and surround sound speakers, and you’re good to go.

We’ve rounded up the very best projectors out there to give you a big screen whatever your budget. There are even portable models that make great bring-along additions to a pool party for an outdoor movie experience.

Naturally, a great 4K projector will cost more than a Full HD one, and real, actual native 4K costs even more than those which use pixel shifting to create that top-end resolution. Just remember to save some money for the projector screen and the popcorn!

1. Epson Home Cinema 3800

A brilliantly well-judged and affordable 4K projector


Type: 3LCD | Resolution: 4K pixel shift | HDR: Yes | Contrast ratio: 100,000:1 | Inputs: HDMI 2.0 (x2), USB 2.0 (x2) | 3D: Yes | Lamp: 3000 lumens | Lamp life: 5,000/3,000 hours (eco/normal)

Reasons to Buy

Excellent contrast handlingBalanced, nuanced colour paletteGood connectivity options

Reasons to Avoid

No 4K motion processingToday’s Best Deals CHECK AMAZON

It’s a shade pricey for an entry-level device but, make no mistake, this is the king of affordable 4K projectors. It’s easy to set up and install, and produces a picture that’s reminiscent of what you’ll get at the cinema.

You’ll get a great image right out of the box without needing to be any kind of expert at tinkering with the settings. All the preset modes are very well judged and it gives an excellent level of black depth and dark detail for a projector at this price. Colours are balanced and motion is naturally smooth.

That said, it’s as much the convenience of this machine that makes it so good. Bluetooth allows for direct connection with a wireless speaker or soundbar, and the high luminance means that it’s usable in moderately lit rooms. In other words, an AVR, speaker package and home cinema room are not entirely necessary. How’s that for a superb family projector?

Read the full review: Epson Home Cinema 3800

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2. Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB

A powerful 4K projector with a bold picture to match.


Type: 3LCD | Resolution: 4K pixel shift | HDR: Yes | Contrast ratio: 1,200,000:1 | Inputs: HDMI 2.0 (x2), USB 2.0 (x2) | 3D: Yes | Lamp: 2600 lumens | Lamp life: 5,000/3,000 hours (eco/normal)

Reasons to Buy

Motorised and adaptable lensHandles HDR wellVibrant colorsExcellent sense of depth

Reasons to Avoid

Noisy at full power

If you want the best picture possible, but don’t want to pay the extra for native 4K projection, this is the projector for you. It might not offer quite the same level of detail as a native 4K model, but in terms of color accuracy, contrast subtlety and HDR handling, it certainly delivers.

The picture is stunning, more involving than any rivals at this price, and so absorbing you’ll pick up details you never noticed before.

It’s eminently practical, too. The picture goes from 50-300in, which should suit most house sizes, and it can be thrown from a good variety of distances, so it will work in your lounge regardless of your setup. It has a motorized lens too, so you can set it up from there comfort of your couch using the fantastic, backlit remote. Kick back and enjoy.

Read the full review: Epson Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB

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Yet another high performing premium projector from JVC


Type: D-ILA | Resolution: native 4K | HDR: Yes | Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 / 400,000:1 (native/dynamic) | Inputs: HDMI 2.0 (x2) | 3D: Yes | Lamp: 1800 lumens | Lamp life: 4500 hours (eco)

Reasons to Buy

Deep blacksExcellent HDR handlingBrilliant colour control

Reasons to Avoid

Add-on required for 3DNo full-screen SD upscaling

JVC’s D-ILA devices are some of the best home cinema projectors in the business. They offer exceptionally good contrast handling, effortless smooth colour blending and the best black levels around. The N5 may be the baby of this famed native 4K family but it’s still an absolute belter.

Its bigger, pricier siblings are better and blacker but there’s easily enough shading skill and depth of darkness even here to produce an incredibly involving and three-dimensional feel whether at 4K or Full HD. What’s more, JVCs ongoing upgrades to its HDR capabilities just make that picture better and better as time goes on.

The motorised lens, simple menu system and excellent choice of usable preset picture modes make it surprisingly easy to set up. It might not compete with the others here for value but it’s the best performing projector on this list.

Read the full review: JVC DLA-NX5

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4. Epson Home Cinema 3200

An entry-level 4K projector done right


Type: 3LCD | Resolution: 4K pixel shift | HDR: Yes | Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 | Inputs: HDMI 2.0 (x2), USB 2.0 (x2) | 3D: Yes | Lamp: 3000 lumens | Lamp life: 5,000/3,000 hours (eco/normal)

Reasons to Buy

Strong 4K and HD detailExcellent use of HDRFlexible for positioning

Reasons to Avoid

No 4K motion processingSDR settings can varyToday’s Best Deals CHECK AMAZON

This entry-level 4K projector is the baby brother of the Epson at No.1 in the list. The chassis and most of the features are the same apart from the missing internal speakers on this model which are a bit of waste of money anyway.

There are differences on the inside, though. It’s still a 3LCD machine but the projection technology will only allow for a picture with a stated contrast ratio of 40,000:1 compared to the 100,000:1 on the TW7100. That said the picture performance is still excellent and very fair for the money.

HDR handling and dark detail are very good and, considering the price point, this projector is capable of some brilliant detail. Black depth and motion processing isn’t a patch on more expensive models but the results are very appealing nonetheless and give a wonderfully naturally cinematic feel for very little outlay – a masterclass in budget projection.

Read the full review: Epson Home Cinema 3200

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5. Epson Home Cinema 1060

This brilliant budget projector brings the magic of cinema to your lounge.


Type: LCD | Resolution: Full HD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Contrast ratio: 15,000:1 | Inputs: Composite, HDMI (x2), VGA, USB | 3D: No | Lamp life: 11yrs

Reasons to Buy

Sharp, clean pictureImpressive brightnessRealistic colors

Reasons to Avoid

Slight issue with image stability

Projectors at the lower end of the market vary wildly in merit – some are Adam Driver quality, some are more Adam Sandler. But this small, talented Epson model shows that budget models can still provide plenty of thrills.

This LCD panel model has short throw capabilities of between 1.35-1.64m, so it’s perfect for those with small movie rooms and even tighter budgets. It skilfully handles brightness, color and detail, showing an even-handedness and level of restraint we wish that similarly-priced rivals would display. 

True, it’s Full HD rather than 4K, but at this price, we’re not complaining. And neither will you once you’ve seen it in action. (That’s especially true if you’re running standard DVDs and Blu-rays rather than 4K discs or streaming 4K-capable services like Amazon Prime Video or Netflix.)

Is it the most capable projector around? No. But if you want movie nights without the cost, look no further.

Read the full review: Epson Home Cinema 1060

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6. Epson Home Cinema 4010

Epson’s ‘4K’ projector is a talented all-rounder for the money.


Type: LCD | Resolution: Full HD with ‘4K enhancement’ | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Contrast ratio: 200,000:1 | Inputs: HDMI (x2), VGA, USB | 3D: Yes | Lamp life: 5000 hours

Reasons to Buy

Punchy, dynamic pictureRich, refined colorsElectronic lens shift

Reasons to Avoid

Not full 4K3D glasses aren’t includedToday’s Best Deals CHECK AMAZON

It might only have a Full HD chip, but the Epson Home Cinema 4010 still supports 4K and HDR content thanks to its clever ‘4K-enhancement’ tech. True, it’s not native 4K, so will look a little wanting compared to a ‘proper’ 4K model. But this model is a lot cheaper, and still delivers an exceptional picture for the money.

The image is pin sharp ad very colorful, while also popping with punch and dynamism. The Epson digs out plenty of detail in dark scenes too – useful if moody, moonlight-lit thrillers are your bag. Plus it’s a cinch to operate thanks to the motorised lens and handy remote control.

If you’re ready to take the step up from a big-screen TV, but don’t want a native 4K projector (which tend to be prohibitively expensive), this is a great middle ground. Invite people round for a movie night, and you won’t hear any complaints.

Read the full review: Epson Home Cinema 4010

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7. Sony VPL-VW550ES

A stellar performing 4K HDR projector even at this price.


Resolution: Native 4K | Panel: SXRD | HDR: Yes | Max image size: 300in | Connectivity: HDMI 2.0 (x2), LAN, PC, USB | HDCP 2.2: Yes | Brightness: 1800 lumens | Lamp life: 6000 hours | Contrast ratio: : 350,000:1

Reasons to Buy

Realistic colorsImpressive SD and HD upscalingEasy set-up and controls

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing noteworthyToday’s Best Deals CHECK AMAZON

Here we go – a true, native 4K projector, meaning the best picture quality outside of a proper movie theatre. In fact, this image actually looks better than some movie theatres we’ve visited in our time. Its color palette is more about realism and accuracy than pure, eye-catching saturation. There are no candy-bright hues here, thankfully. Just realistic skin tones and impressive shading.

In other ways, though, the VPL-VW550ES is a bit of a showboat. But then it is made by Sony, who has plenty to showboat about – its native 4K projectors are some of the best money can buy, and this model wears its heritage proudly on its sleeve. Justifiably so, we say.

Unlike some high-end models, it’s simple to set up and work, too, so you won’t need any rocket science qualifications to get it up and running. And once it’s on, you won’t want to shut it off.

Read the full review: Sony VPL-VW550ES

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8. LG CineBeam HU80KSW

An all-in-one, do-it-all portable projector that has it all and does it all well.


4K capability: Yes | HDR: Yes | Speakers: 2 x 7W | Brightness: 2500 lumens | Lamp life: 20,000 hours | Contrast ratio: 150,000:1 | Max image size: 150in | HDCP 2.2: Yes | Connectivity: HDMI (x2), USB (x2), 3.5mm, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Miracast | Streaming apps: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer

Reasons to Buy

One-box, truly portable systemImpressive 4K HDR pictureEasy to build a system around

Reasons to Avoid

Lacks a little detailMotion could be betterBuilt-in speakers only adequateToday’s Best Deals CHECK AMAZON

One of the most feature-complete projectors you’ll ever find, the LG CineBeam is a really fascinating box of tricks. It may not be the finest on this list in terms of pure picture quality, but it presents a very decent 4K HDR image from a larger array of sources – both smart and local – than any other here. And for that, we commend it.

It’s blessed with LG’s excellent webOS platform, which means direct access to all your video apps over Wi-Fi, and its Miracasting and Bluetooth abilities make for easy and intuitive ad-hoc connections to whatever mobile device you’d like to play back from. These can provide external sound, too.

So is it expensive? Maybe. But for those who want the flexibility to throw a movie up on their wall whenever and however they choose, it’s just the ticket, with decent sound and a very solid picture as well. One of the best outdoor projectors you can buy.

Read the full review: LG CineBeam HU80KSW

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9. Nebula Mars 2

More fun than the average portable projector.


Resolution: 720p | Brightness: 300 lumens | Streaming apps: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer | Connectivity: AirPlay, Chromecast, Miracast, HDMI, USB, Bluetooth speaker mode | Operating system: Android 7.1

Reasons to Buy

Fun, quick and easy to useSolid image quality in darker roomsUseful built-in speaker

Reasons to Avoid

Somewhat crude colourRequires careful light controlNot the sharpest lensToday’s Best Deals

51,999VIEW AT FLIPKARTCheck Amazon

Like the LG above and the other Nebula below, the Mars 2 is a smartbox style portable projector which offers both convenience and a good dollop of fun. It’s an excellent pick up and put down mini-movie night in which ever room in the house you happen to be.

It offers a picture size of up to 150in (you’ll need very low lighting to appreciate it) and it’ll run for four hours on its internal battery before it needs plugging in again – not bad for a summer evening’s outdoor cinema, then. It also has a 2 x 10W speaker system built in.

Obviously, it’s not the last word in picture quality but it delivers enough of the goods to be worth your while.

Read the full review: Nebula Mars 2

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10. Nebula Capsule

A hugely convenient and fun way to get your portable big-screen kicks.


Resolution: 854 x 480 | Brightness: 100 lumens | Streaming apps: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer | Connectivity: AirPlay, Chromecast, Miracast, HDMI, microUSB, Bluetooth speaker mode | Operating system: Android 7.1

Reasons to Buy

Neat designSolid soundPassable pictures

Reasons to Avoid

Doesn’t like dark scenes or lit roomsNeeds fuller range of appsShort of connectionsToday’s Best Deals

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31,999VIEW AT AMAZON178 Amazon customer reviews

Three stars!? In a Best Buy? What’s going on? Let us explain.

This is a bit of an odd one. It’s a tiny, tin-shaped projector with a big picture and even bigger ambitions. It’s ingenious, really – a portable projector with built-in Android-esque app store. And when you want to discuss the movie after? The Capsule can also be used as a dedicated Bluetooth speaker. So stick on some tunes and have yourself a (socially distanced) party.

Its picture is surprisingly impressive, given the size and price. Admittedly it’s not going to rival a native 4K model, but at this money, we wouldn’t expect it to. It’s great for streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or YouTube (all of which are very easy to access using the built-in app store).

If you’re looking for something a bit different from your projector, and you want a model to carry round to other people’s houses, or just move around the garden, and you don’t mind a picture that’s a bit rough around the edges, you’ll find plenty to like about the Nebula Capsule.

Best projector 4K
Best projector 4K

List Of Top 4K Projectors – Best For Movies & Gaming

  • BenQ TK800M 4K UHD Home Theater Projector.
  • Optoma HD27HDR 1080p 4K HDR Ready Home Theater Projector.
  • Epson Home Cinema 4010.
  • LG HU80KA 4K UHD Laser Smart TV Home Theater.
  • Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector.
  • ViewSonic True 4K Home Theater Projector (PX727-4K)

Is it worth buying a 4K projector?

4K is superior in terms of quality, details, sharpness and all other aspects you look for in creating your home cinema experience, and nowadays it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment, as 4K projectors are increasingly more affordable.

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Are 4K projectors as good as 4K TV?

4K projectors might cost more and offer a better movie-viewing experience but a 4K TV can be used right out of the box, in any room whatsoever. 4K projectors are portable but all 4K TVs come with in-built sound systems even though they aren’t as portable.

Factors You’ll Need to Consider before Purchasing a 4K Projector

  1. Is it True 4K Technology? Generally, a projector will tend to use LCD, DLP, or any type of image chips in order to show you a clear image of what you are trying to see. …
  2. Business vs. Entertainment. …
  3. Portability. …
  4. Image Quality. …
  5. Brightness Level. …
  6. Contrast Ratio. …
  7. Sound. …
  8. The Technology Used.

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