Televisions just keep getting bigger and bigger, but you’ll pay a pretty penny to get a few more inches of screen size if you go the traditional TV route.
A projector, on the other hand, can give you a variable screen size that goes a lot bigger than even the largest TVs you can find in the store—and you can get one for a lot less than you might expect.
We’ve watched hundreds of hours of TV, movies, and test patterns, testing dozens of projectors to figure out which model best fits your needs.
Whether you’re outfitting a small space for an occasional movie night, upgrading your living-room home-entertainment system, or building a dedicated home theater, we’ve got a projector recommendation for you.
What to Look for in the 1080p projectors?
- Brightness – Perhaps the biggest consideration when shopping for a projector, brightness is measured by lumens. While this feature can drive up the price quickly, you should look for a projector that produces somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 lumens, though your actual need will depend on how dark the room is.
- Contrast – Contrast is determined by a combination of black levels and brightness. The higher the contrast ratio, the better the picture quality.
- Resolution – 4K projectors produce amazing picture quality, magnifying details much better than a 1080p projector will. You’ll be able to notice details like strands of hair and blades of grass, and the image will come through much more smoothly too.
Do You Need Audio, or 3D Support?
Not all projectors have audio capability, and for those that do, the audio is sometimes all but useless—particularly with highly portable projectors.
If you need sound for your presentations or for watching video, make sure that the built-in audio, if any, is both of high enough quality and loud enough to meet your needs. Alternatively, consider using a separate sound system, like powered external speakers.
Showing images in 3D for educational, business, home video, and game applications is one of the leading-edge features for projectors today, and more and more projectors are claiming to be 3D-capable.
Several 3D schemes are available, so just because a projector is 3D-ready doesn’t necessarily mean it will work with the 3D source you want to use.
For example, a given projector may work with TI’s DLP-Link, which requires a computer with a quad-buffered, OpenGL, 3D-compatible graphics card, but not work with a 3D Blu-ray player.
5 Best 1080p projectors for 2020:
|BenQ TK850||19 x 15.1 x 8 in||9.3 pounds|
|BenQ HT2150ST||4.8 x 15 x 10.9 in||7.93 pounds|
|InFocus IN119HDXA||12.4 x 8.8 x 4 in||5.51 pounds|
|Sony VPL-HW45ES||23 x 20 x 11.5 in||20 pounds|
|ViewSonic PX700HD||5.3 x 13.1 x 10.3 in||7.94 pounds|
1. BenQ TK850
The BenQ TK850 is a 4K projector for your living room, with boosted audio, intense 3,000 lumens brightness, and a focus on sports broadcasts to help it stand out from the piles of other projectors out there.
It’s not the first BenQ projector that’s caught our eye: we gave a glowing review to the BenQ HT3550 last year, even if that model is more angled towards die-hard cinephiles than the TK850.
But with its similar pricing, exceptional HDR, and the addition of a motion-smoothing and contrast-heightening Sports mode for those wanting to watch the football on a large projection, the TK850 make a strong argument as the best BenQ projector we’ve seen – especially as it amends HT3550’s biggest flaws by drastically upping the brightness, and adding a lens shift tool to elevate or lower the height of the projection.
The BenQ TK850 can output 3,000 lumens of brightness, making for vividly-realized colors and immediately visible detail, even in daytime or with some level of ambient light in the room. For that, it get a thumbs up from us.
There’s some video noise in gray shadows or dark scenes, and the lack of streaming apps may disappoint some, but overall the TK850 is a fantastic projector for your home.
- Support for 4K and HDR
- Incredibly bright picture
- No streaming apps
- Some fan noise
2. BenQ HT2150ST – Best for Gaming (1080p)
While plenty of projectors offer a superb gaming experience, few do it as well as the BenQ HT2150ST gaming video projector. It features a native Full HD 1080p image experience with 2,200 ANSI lumens, a 15,000:1 contrast ratio and 6x RGBRGB color wheel for pictures that are truly lifelike.
The BenQ offers an excellent short-throw projector experience requiring just 1.5 meters of distance from a screen up to 100 inches.
Additionally, the BenQ offers two 10W built-in speakers with their Cinema Master Audio+ technology for a heightened audio experience.
Whether it’s Halo, Grand Theft Auto or Overwatch, the BenQ’s slow input lag helps ensure a high level of responsiveness on-screen, so you won’t miss a second of the action.
The two BenQ modes adjust according to available ambient light to help deliver a visual experience that’s not impeded by the time of day. Game Mode brings out blacker blacks and brighter highlights if you’re in a dark room while Game (Bright) mode offers no loss of image details regardless of how well lit the external environment is.
- 3600-lumen high brightness
- 15,000:1 high contrast
- HDMI and VGA connectivity
- Excellent for home and office use
- Sub-par built-in speakers
Another projector designed to make every business presentation clear and engaging is this one, this projector from InFocus promises to make your life easier and is definitely among the best 1080p projectors under $1000 that you want to be aware of. Not only is it priced right, but it is also enriched with a long-life lamp that will display your HD content without any filters.
It comes with a great HD resolution, and it has a great brightness of 3,200 Lumens designed to make every picture look great, especially because the contrast ratio of 15,000:1 delivers bright whites and darker blacks. Thanks to these features, along with its 16,7 million colors, this projector makes every content engaging for its audience.
When it comes to the sound, it is supplemented with built-in speakers and a 3,55 mm audio port, able to provide clear messages. It really does let you reach to your public with its true-to-life colors and DLP technology, clear audio, and good brightness, don’t you agree?
Finally, this is not only efficient and easy to set-up, but it also has a practical size and weight – offering you the chance to prepare and host nice events.
- Bright image with vivid colors
- Low lag for gaming mode
- A variety of available ports
- Color accuracy could be better
- It can get quite hot
This Full HD home theater projector has advanced SXRD panel technology that is combined with Sony’s Super Resolution processing technology.
Such combination results in a detailed image with subtle colours and textures. Sony VPL-HW45ES has 1800 lumens, high contrast ratio and 6000 hours of lamp life.
Although it’s more a home-theater projector it can also show a nice performance in well-lit rooms for business purposes. It is provided with MotionFlow technology, which guarantees minimal blur, and has the panel’s super-fast response rate.
There is also a manual zoom lens with a 1.6x zoom ratio and wide lens shift range to make its installation a more flexible process.
- Advanced SXRD panel technology
- Sony’s Super Resolution processing technology
- MotionFlow technology
- Manual zoom lens
- No 3D glasses
- Lamp life
Another great projector with cinematic effect is ViewSonic PX700HD. It comes with unique Super Color technology which guarantees a wide range of colors.
What is more, its brightness level reaches up to 3,500 lumens. ViewSonic PX700HD has Full HD 1080p resolution and a high contrast ratio which means accurate and bright image in absolutely different conditions.
This projector has a user-friendly and intuitive design, so you won’t face any difficulties during its setup or adjustment. Besides, it looks quite stylish thanks to its sleek white body.
Note that ViewSonic PX700HD has great connectivity options which include dual HDMI and USB power inputs. It is also compatible with different devices such as media players, mobile devices, gaming consoles, Macs and, of course, PCs.
ViewSonic PX700HD is a long-lasting projector with 15,000-hour lamp life in Super Eco mode. Thanks to its low 16ms input latency this projector delivers fast-by-frame action and as a result is a great option for intense action-packing gaming.
- Low input lag
- Gaming mode
- Super Eco mode
- USB-C connection with power
- No USB type-A power
- A bit bulky
As we’ve seen, if you aren’t ready for 4k projectors, 1080p projectors offer a worthy substitute for you. All the top 5 best 1080p projectors we’ve discussed are quite affordable compared to the amazing features being offered.