Best Gaming Projector

Last updated: November 01, 2019
BEST OVERALL
All-Rounder with Great Video and 3D
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BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS
Excellent Brightness with Short Throw
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BEST 4K
Brilliant Display with Long Lamp Life
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BEST MINI
A Small Wonder with Crisp Video
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable yet Capable
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Your guide

Whether it’s a football field or a battleground, a gaming projector can really bring a landscape to life. The right one can put you right in the middle of a cheering crowd or under a hail of bullets. So it’s kind of unfortunate that many people fall for some myths about projectors. For instance, many people think (like I used to for a long time), that projectors don’t provide a quality image in a bright room.

Or, that using a white wall is the same as using a projector screen. Yes, many projector manufacturers would like you to believe this. The reality is that bright projectors with a high lumen rating can provide excellent video quality even in well-lit spaces. As for the white wall, it’s not the same as a projector screen. Investing a little money on a projector screen is way better. It’ll not only reduce white hotspots but also significantly enhance color saturation and contrast.

Most of us gamers are eagerly waiting for games like the new Call of Duty or WWE 2K20. FIFA 20 just released last month.We want to be one scoring against Barcelona in FIFA or take that headshot in Call of Duty. With a good gaming projector, you can do that in a truly immersive and more memorable experience.

But there are so many gaming projectors on the market. How do you choose? What number of lumens should you go for? And what about contrast ratio and resolution?

To keep you from getting bogged down in such questions, we’ve reviewed five of the best gaming projectors here. They will transform your gaming experience, especially group/multiplayer sessions. Read on to see which projector best suits your needs and budget.

Buying Guide

Gaming projectors might look similar but they have different features and capabilities. You don’t buy a gaming projector every day – so do your homework before buying one. We hope this buying guide will help you find the best projector without tearing your hair out.

1. Best Overall - Optoma HD142X

Boasting numerous features and a reasonable price tag, the Optoma HD142X is a solid, all-rounder in the world of gaming projectors. It has 3000 ANSI lumens of brightness, enabling it to be used in any lighting condition, any hour of the day. The Optoma can last for around 8,000 hours so it has longevity on its side.

However, the sound speaker integrated with Optoma HD142X is a 10W mono speaker that doesn’t produce a heavy sound like that of a good home theatre system. But still, the sound is enough to make sure you have a good gaming experience.

Specifications:

  •     Display → 1920×1080 (FHD)
  •     Contrast Ratio → 23,000:1
  •     Brightness → 3,000 lumens
  •     Weight → 5.95 lbs

Key Features:

  •     Two HDMI ports
  •     10-watt speakers
  •     100-inch picture at 5 feet
  •     Picture size up to 120 inches

Beautiful, Sleek Design

The Optoma is a stylish projector and doesn’t take up much space. This is perfect if you have a small room. Even though it is on the heavy side, you can still carry it under your arm. The back panel of the Optoma HD142X may seem empty but it contains two HDMI ports (which also includes a port for 3D viewing). This is enough for most gamers.

A 12V trigger and 3.5mm audio output lets you use it as a home theatre and a USB slot for firmware updates are also nearby. The remote control of the Optoma isn’t really impressive; it’s small and the buttons are also poorly placed. However, the backlight of the remote is blue (easy on the eyes) and it’s very responsive.

Basic Menu, Impressive Projection

The Optoma HD142X contains a basic menu system. Some might consider it too simple for a projector this good. The image projection of the Optoma starts at 27 inches to a huge 305 inches that provide you with the ultimate gaming experience, especially when you have planned a multiplayer setup with your friends.

Even the split-screen option makes for a huge viewing and enhances the gaming experience. The image distortion on the HD142X isn’t much and image resolution is clear enough for gaming. Picture presets include vivid, cinema, gaming, bright, sRGB and reference and the lamp life of the projector is around 8,000 hours.

High Performance and 3D Feature

HD142X is bright and can be used at any time of the day. The HD142X never gets louder than 65dB and it provides a decent sound.

The Optoma projector also has a 3D feature that’s not available in many other projectors and built-in-speakers area an added bonus that many projectors do not provide. Yo don’t need to buy additional speakers. But I’m guessing many gamers would.

Pros
  • 3D feature
  • Built-in speakers
  • Bright screen resolution
Cons
  •  Cheap-looking remote

2. Best for Small Rooms - BenQ TH671ST

BenQ TH671ST is one of the best gaming projectors for small rooms, offering a short throw. The gaming projector contains 3000 lumens, a 16.4 ms input lag (ideal for gaming) and a 1080p resolution. The projector has a suitable contrast for gaming and good color accuracy. It is small and very lightweight and that can be easily transferred from one place to another.

Specifications:

  •     Display → 1920×1080 (FHD)
  •     Contrast Ratio → 10,000:1
  •     Brightness → 3,000 lumens
  •     Weight → 5.9 lbs

Key Features:

  •     5-watt speakers
  •     Lamp life up to 15,000 hours
  •     100-inch picture at 5 feet
  •     Picture size up to 120 inches

Low Lamp Mode

The economic mode of the projector is wonderful and reduces the brightness by around 36%. The other two features, LampSave and SmartEco are appealing modes that lengthen the lamp of the projector.

Uniformity of Brightness

The brightness of the projector is around 63%, which is very surprising. This is because many short throw projectors and mini projectors have issues maintaining uniform brightness, a feat that the BenQ TH671ST manages easily. The variation of the brightness is easy enough to see with a 100% light-colored image and white image.

Video Optimized Lumes

Optimizing settings for video can be done through Sport and Cinema Modes and they both provide an accurate and realistic looking range. Compared to the Cinema mode, Sports Mode provides brighter shades of yellow and higher ANSI lumen measurements that produce a more accurate image.

The yellow-green color of the Sport Mode can be tweaked to a neutral color in a default setting, which does not affect the ANSI brightness setting. The color management settings of BenQ has saturation and an adjust hue for all six primary and secondary colors.

Color Modes Best for Gaming

The BenQ TH671ST has color modes that are usable and effective for gaming with different degrees of color accuracy. However, the issue with the bright mode of the projector is the loss of gradations to the point of having posterization in high-resolution pictures. Other than that, the bright mode of the projector is quite impressive and helps create an immersive gaming experience.

Excellent Contrast

The projectors maximize shadow details and highlights separation even in a dark room. It’s impressive how at a reasonable price you get such great shadow detail, black level and contrast in this projector.

Decent Sound

The projector’s audio is pleasant enough for a short-throw projector. The 5-watt mono speaker provides enough sound and volume to fill more than just a small-large room and make sure that you are transported from your living room into the game.

The company claims to use digital audio enhancement algorithms to make sure that the treble and bass of the projector provide a rich sound.

Pros
  • Uniform brightnes
  • Built in speakers with pleasant sound
  •  Good color contrast and resolution
Cons
  • Loss of gradation provides posterization in high-resolution pictures.

3. Best 4K - BenQ HT2550

One of the best 4K gaming projectors to hit the market recently is the BenQ HT 2550. The 4K gaming projectors sell for less than $1500 and have a 0.47” UHD DLP chipset. Compared to other 4K projectors that sell for up to $2000, the BenQ HT2550 is capable of providing 3D images and an impressive screen resolution.

Specifications:

  •     Display → 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160
  •     Contrast Ratio → 10,000:1
  •     Brightness → 2,200 lumens
  •     Weight → 9.3 lbs

Key Features:

  •     Cinematic color technology
  •     Smallest and lightest 4K HDR projector
  •     4K UHD resolution
  •     5-watt speakers

Brightness

The brightness of the best 4K gaming projector, BenQ HT2550 is rated at 2200 lumens and the brightness calibration has a noticeably green bias. The brightness option of the projector carries presets labeled Cinema, Vivid TV, Sports, and other adjustable user modes.

The economic lamp mode of the 4k gaming projector reduces the lumen output by 34% after updating the projector with the new firmware. The overall brightness of the projector is cut by 47% when the brilliant color setting is switched off after activating the economic mode.

Zoom Lens Light Loss

The BenQ HT2550 has a 1.2x zoom lens that loses no light at all and a loss of 1.5% was also measured which makes the picture clearer.

SDR Picture Quality

In the default setting, a blue shift with SDR pictures in Cinema Mode was noticed and after tuning the flesh tones, the bluish hue was reduced. Cinema Mode also provides a reference image with the new firmware and produces clearer picture quality.

HDR Picture Quality

The 4K gaming projector has a color accuracy of HDR subject matter that may be similar to SDR but with contrast features. The HDR picture is highly visible in contrast with SDR and this is one feature that sets the BenQ HT2550 from its competitors. The HDR image is naturally balanced and is not over-processed with an attractive high contrast.

Brightness Uniformity

In its extreme zoom lens settings, the HT2550 provides a measurement of 73% of brightness uniformity. With the updated firmware, the brightness uniformity was measured at 66% and that gives an even brighter and clearer picture compared to the other projectors in the market.

Input Lag

A 50ms input lag was measured in the HT2550 and this is fine for the most casual gaming. Lag beyond this level would be an issue for most gamers.

Lamp Life

The lamp life of the BenQ HT2550 is around 4,000 hours in Full Lamp Mode, 8,000 hours in SmartEco Mode and 10,000 hours in Economic Mode which gives it a high lamp life.

Pros
  • Uniform brightness
  • 3D Setting
  • Impressive lamp life
Cons
  • A blue-ish hue can be seen in the picture resolution

4. Best Mini - Vankyo Leisure 3

One of the best mini projectors in the market is the Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector, which uses a white LED as its illumination source. It’s is also a single chip LCD projector that is quite unique and provides a rainbow effect that gives it a different brightness compared to other projectors.

While the Leisure 3 Mini doesn’t have LED modulation, it’s understandable considering the price point. It does have high black levels like most inexpensive projectors.

Specifications:

  •     Display → 800 x 480 resolution, supports 1920 x 1080 content
  •     Contrast Ratio → 2,000:1
  •     Brightness → 2,400 lumens
  •     Weight → 2.4 lbs

Key Features:

  •     Built-in speakers
  •     2-watt speakers
  •     SD card support
  •     Can run up to 1080p resolution

Fair Screen Resolution

The resolution of the best mini gaming projector is around 800 x 480 but content up to 1080p can be played on this projector. This allows for a good gaming experience. The screen size can be adjusted diagonally from 32 inches to 170 and it has a throw distance range from 4.9 to 16.4 feet.

Lens shift 

Like other inexpensive projectors under $1000, the Leisure 3 also does not have a lens shift. However, the projector does have vertical keystone corrections to compensate for geometric distortions from less than ideal placement in the vertical direction.

Probably Need External Speakers

The built-in speakers in the projector are powered by 2 watts. It’s not anything, but not too much either. External outboard speakers might be in order. You can easily connect the external speakers to the projector with a 3.5mm analog and the projector can also send audio wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers.

Inputs are located on the backside and the ports include a VGA input, 1.4 HDMI, a 3.5mm AV input and a USB port. A TF card slot is also available and micro SD cards can be inserted easily. Compared to the many features the projector offers, the remote is very simple compared to the other projectors and only offers basic control.

Mirror Your Devices 

Another interesting feature of this projector is that it can easily mirror a smartphone, tablet or computer with a wired connection. A wireless mirroring feature would have been better but this feature is not available in most other projectors.

Pros
  • In-built speakers
  • Bluetooth feature for audio
  • Can mirror a tablet, smartphone or a computer
Cons
  •  A very simple remote

5. Best Budget - iDGLAX iDG-787W

For under $100, the iDGLAX iDG-787W Mini Portable Projector is your ideal budget pick. And for this price range, this projector has a gigantic projection size. It can be snared to various gadgets, and the ability to easily take it with you is an extra advantage.

iDGLAX has made many projectors, and this is one that adequately balances price and performance. Their multi-year warranty is a cherry on top.

Specifications:

  •     Display → 640 x 480
  •     Contrast Ratio → 1,000:1
  •     Brightness → 2,000 lumens
  •     Weight → 2.5 lbs

Key Features:

  •     1080p projection
  •     Less than 2-watt speakers
  •     Good for night gaming
  •     4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios

Good screen resolution 

A durable 300 lumens bulb shafts clear and bright pictures in low light conditions. And you get two built-in speakers that create a rich sound to enhance any gaming experience. In contrast to most standard models, hence, you needn’t bother with third gathering speakers to utilize this affordable video projector. IDGLAX iDG-787 has a local resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, with 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, and accompanies free help support and a limited warranty. 

One issue with the projector is that you can’t easily adjust its height. There’s a little handle on the base that unscrews to lift the projector, but it’s not very precise or stable.

Price and Performance: Reasonably Balanced 

At around $88 dollars, the iDG-787 is a reasonable purchase with matching features and capability. Don’t expect it to do things like providing a clear project in the sunshine. If you want to play video games in low light conditions, you’ll be fine. Considering the price, it’s understandable.

An advantage of a projector with a lower-controlled lamp like this one is that it uses less energy. All things considered, it is a decent little projector that’s great at its price.

Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Lamp can last 20,000 hours
  • Works with most gaming consoles
Cons
  •  Very low sound

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Gaming Projectors

Do projectors have input lag?

Yes but that doesn’t necessarily mean a problematic delay. The expression "lag" can refer to any time difference. Be we're talking about input lag and it’s measured in milliseconds.

This is the time difference between when a video signal lands at your projector and when that image is shown on the screen.

Every advanced projector, regardless of their details or expected use, will bring about some measure of input lag.

That is only the idea of computerized video processing - the projector needs to take a surge of ones and zeroes and reconstitute it as a picture.

At the point when that picture isn't in the projector's native resolution, it must be scaled, and that can include some processing time.

If you're utilizing advanced features like frame addition or smart sharpening, those frames of the video must be examined in the arrangement and changed before arriving at the screen.

Input lag in projectors is inevitable and up to 50ms, it isn’t an issue. Beyond that, the lag starts becoming noticeable and problematic for gamers.

Are projectors bad for gaming?

Not at all. A big screen is incredible when gaming alone. However, it truly makes its mark for split-screen gaming.

Playing a 4-player race in Mario Kart 8, for instance, means that every player had a part of the screen that was bigger than an independent 32-inch TV.

It's ideal on the off chance that you need to have the option to place together without compromise. The BenQ publicizes that the speakers in the HT2550, for instance, offer 'Film Master Audio+', and the sound is exquisite and ideal for gaming.

What should I consider when purchasing a gaming projector?

Here are a few crucial things you should consider when buying a gaming projector:

- Native Projector Resolution

Since video games are becoming increasingly cinematic, a resolution is becoming increasingly important. Those classroom and meeting room projectors with SVGA and SGA technology just won’t cut it for gamers. So go for HD projectors capable of producing 1080p resolution.

- Refresh Rate

This is the speed at which a projector processes the video. A higher refresh rate provides smoother and detailed imagery. Don’t choose a projector with a refresh rate lower than 120Hz. 240Hz is even better for gaming.

- Brightness

Two factors determine a projector’s brightness: your room’s ambient light, and your desired size of the projection. If you’re playing in a room with a good level of sunlight, you’ll need a projector with higher brightness.

As a file of thumb, go for projectors with 3,000 lumbers or more if you’re using it in a space with a lot of natural light.

With screen size, there’s a similar rule. Larger screen sizes need brighter projectors. If you need a huge display for your game (who doesn’t?) you'll need a brighter projector.

If you’re talking 100+ inches, go for 3,000 lumens or higher. For 50-100 inches, 1,000 to 2,000 lumens should be enough.

- Contrast Ratio

This ratio measures the colour contrast and is important since most games have diverse colour ranges. A good gaming projector needs to be able to process dark and bright areas properly.

The higher the contrast ratio, the better. In a dark room, you should have a contrast ratio of at least 1,000:1. 2,000:1 and above is excellent. For brighter rooms think 10,000:1 and beyond.

Which is the best gaming projector for PS4?

Optoma HD142X is one of the best overall gaming projectors around with great image quality, very short lag time and high resolution.

For a wonderful gaming experience with your buddies on your PS4, the Optoma would be your best bet.

Are projectors better than TVs?

Projectors are better if you want to play on a larger screen and want a good gaming experience with your friends.

Playing a multiplayer or split-screen game with your friends will give each one the same benefit and gaming experience you will not forget. The screen resolution and contrast on a good projector is also much better compared to a TV screen.

Is 7000 lumens good for a projector?

One of the best gaming projectors under $500 is the iDGLAX iDG-787W. It is better for those who can’t shell out thousands of dollars on a projector.

What is the best gaming projector under $500?

One of the best gaming projectors under $500 is the iDGLAX iDG-787W. It is better for those who can’t shell out thousands of dollars on a projector.

What is the best gaming projector under $1000?

The VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector is one of the best projectors under $1000.

It has many appealing and tempting features and ensures an immersive gaming experience. With built-in speakers and 3D option, it justifies its price.

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