The 7 Best Gaming Projectors for 2021: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
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Most people associate projectors with ancient devices that output a super low-quality image to a white pull-down screen, which you hardly see unless you make the room as dark as a cave.
To help you find the best gaming projectors on the market, the DiamondLobby team and I have decided to take on the challenge and do all of the research for you so that we can provide you with an honest and confident list of recommendations.
The selection process was fairly simple. First, we went out and dedicated a decent chunk of time to research the needs and pain points of the community when it came to gaming projectors. Using those findings, we created criteria to help us identify and pick the best gaming projectors that you will see today.
We found that the average gaming projector had between 60Hz and 144Hz, a display resolution of 1080p, around 16ms in response time, a range of connectivity ports, and a lamp of around 3000 lumens. One thing that differed greatly from projector to projector was the maximum diagonal image that could be achieved. Some could display an image as small as a 30″ TV, while others can display an image in the area of 300 inches.
Note: We noticed that some of the better projectors cost upwards of a thousand dollars, and so we ensured to include only those that we believed are worth their value for money.
With all that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the best gaming projectors on the market today.
The goal of this guide and review is to present you with the 7 best gaming projectors with 100% transparency and confidence in our recommendations.
To do that, we conducted a 2-stage research process to find the exact needs and pain points of gamers who are looking to purchase a gaming projector and those who are already using one.
With those results, we crafted up criteria so that any qualifying product will meet the needs and budget of the average gamer.
Before we started doing any sort of research, we knew that picking the best 7 gaming projectors from hundreds of great products on the market would be a difficult task. To overcome this obstacle, we conducted a 2-step research process.
First, we found out what the customers’ needs and pain points are when it comes to projectors. Then, in accordance with our findings, we created 6-step criteria, which we then used to pick the best products that you will see today.
Below, you can read more about each of the points in our comprehensive criteria.
The price and value for money offered of just about any product are undoubtedly the biggest factors that could influence a customer’s buying decision.
Upon conducting our research, we noticed that gaming projectors aren’t cheap; especially the ones that hosted all the gaming specifications that you need to be able to play on a high level.
So, we decided to include a range of gaming projectors that ranged in price from just a few hundred dollars to over one thousand. This way, without sacrificing the importance of value for money, we would meet the needs and budget of just about any gamer looking to add a gaming projector to their gaming setup.
As gamers, we know the importance of gaming on a high-quality screen. It allows us to perform better and enjoy the games’ visual details that much more.
So, we decided not to include any projectors that displayed a resolution under 1080p, with an exception to our portable pick. On the flip side, we didn’t limit our selection to 1080p as we know that there are plenty of gamers out there that would love to play in 4K. Because of that, within our selection, you will find a wide range of projectors that greatly vary in resolution.
Refresh rate is another very important specification that especially gamers should be looking at. The most popular refresh rates are 60Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz. They refer to the number of times your screen will refresh an image per second. Thus, the higher the refresh rate, the more smooth and more enjoyable your gameplay will be.
As refresh rate is so important to gamers, we have ensured to provide you with a list of great gaming projectors, which feature a refresh rate of as little as 60Hz to as high as 240Hz.
The input lag of just about any screen, regardless of whether it was a TV, monitor, or projector, is super important to gaming. The lower your device’s response time, the quicker the actions you make on your controller or mouse & keyboard will translate onto the screen.
Thus, what we have gone ahead and done is select gaming projectors that featured the lowest possible response time as otherwise, what is the point of playing in 4K resolution when the response time is 50ms? With that type of delay, you simply cannot game properly.
When it comes to gaming projectors, flexibility when it comes to connectivity is super important. While some of us might simply want a gaming projector for our room to display image straight from the PC or console, other’s might want to link up their tablet to the gaming projector and play in the sun in their garden.
So, we ensured that all of the projectors within our final selection offer pretty great flexibility when it comes to connectivity so that any gamer, regardless of their needs and uses, can take advantage of a gaming projector.
Lumens are a tricky subject since not all lamps will show the same results, even if they have the same amount of lumens. Overall, having more lumens is always better; however, laser projectors, for example, will do more with less because their rays are a lot more concentrated.
If the topic on lumens has gotten you a little confused, don’t worry. We have ensured to pick gaming projectors with a suitable number of lumens for their display technology type.
Are you looking for a projector that will give you the best chance at beating your opponents? Then you’d be happy to hear about the Optoma HD39HDR, which is truly a fantastic choice when it comes to gaming projectors.
The price at the time of writing was $798.00.
Visually the HD39HDR is one of our top picks purely because of its sleek and modern looking design. Throughout the entire side of the exterior, this projector features a gridded design, behind which you can find the hidden ventilation system.
The asymmetrical design of the projector is achieved thanks to the super clean-looking zoom lens, which is located to the right, just beneath the zoom wheel.
Besides that, further along, on the surface of the projector, you will find a 9 circular button layout, through which you can customize the projector to your liking.
When performance is concerned, this gaming projector can output a native resolution of 1920 x 1080p at a 120Hz refresh rate. You may be asking yourself, how is this projector any better than the rest to be considered “the fastest“? That is thanks to the 8.4ms response time, which is nearly half compared to most projectors on our list.
This is still slow compared to the likes of thin bezel gaming monitors but compared to other projectors, it’s about the best you’re going to get in modern times.
The 4,000 lumens provide enough brightness so that you can play both inside and outside. The 245W lamp can last anywhere from 4,000 to 15,000 hours depending on the mode that you set the projector on.
One of the coolest features that only a few of the gaming projectors on our list feature is the projection screen size. This model can focus a high-quality image to size as little as a 30″ TV, and stretch it to as high as 301″.
As for connectivity, this projector is pretty flexible. It features 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 3.5mm audio in, 1x VGA, 1x RS-232 series ports, 3.5mm audio out, and 1x USB power out.
After concluding our in-depth research, we can most confidently recommend you the Optoma UHD50X as the best performance-driven gaming projector that is worth every cent.
The price at the time of writing was $1599.00.
When the design is concerned, the UHD50X features a white exterior with rounded corners. It also follows a rather asymmetrical design with the lens placed on the right side of the product, right beneath the zoom and lens shift controls.
The whole projector measures 12.4″ x 4.6″ x 10.6″, and weighs just 8.6lbs, which makes it super compact and easy to carry around should you decide to use it in multiple locations.
On the side of the lens, you can also see the vent that brings in cold air, which is spread throughout the whole right side of the projector. On the opposite side, in the corner to the left of the lens, you will see another, smaller vent, which is used to extract all of the heat from the device.
Directly on the top of the projector, you can also see the built-in controls, which feature a fairly standard layout. There, you will find 9 circular buttons, which you can use to customize the projector to your liking.
In terms of performance, this projector can display a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160p at 60 Hz, which is unheard of in the market for projectors. In case you aren’t here for the 4K resolution, you can comfortably stick to 1920 x 1080p and enjoy 240 Hz frequency for an ultra-smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.
With an input lag of 16ms, you can comfortably play just about any video game title alone or with your friends for up to 15,000 hours with a single switch of your lamp depending on the settings that you project at.
The great thing about this product is its flexibility in terms of usage. Whether you want a 34″ display in your bedroom or a 300″ full-sized screen outside in your garden, with the Optoma UHD50X, everything is possible.
When the brightness is concerned, this projector features a 3,400 ANSI Lumens and a 10-bit color depth, which in other words means that you will get a pretty amazing and sharp image quality, regardless of whether you decide to game in your room or outside in the garden.
As for connectivity, this projector features a total of 4 input ports – 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 1x VGA, and a 3.5mm audio in port. As for outputs, you will find optical audio out and a 3.5mm audio out port.
If you are on the lookout for the projector that will provide you with the most value for money, check out the Optoma HD146X. In our opinion, after reviewing a dozen projectors at different price points, the HD146X is worth its price point the most.
The price at the time of writing was $549.00.
Straight out of the box, the HD146X very much looks like the HD39HDR. It features a minimalistic, gridded design throughout the side of the projector’s exterior, with the lens to the right, just under the lens zoom wheel.
As a whole, this projector measures at 9.5″ x 12.4″ x 4.3″ and weighs just 6.20lbs, and can be installed in a range of different places, should you decide to game outside or in your cinema room.
The reason we love this projector and decided to make it our most value for money pick is because of the feature that it possesses as compared to the price that you can buy it for.
Some of the most notable features are the native resolution that this projector can output; 1920 x 1080p, relatively low input lag, which is 16ms, and a pretty standard 60Hz refresh rate.
The 240W lamp of this projector can last anywhere between 4,000 and 15,000 hours on average, depending on the mode that you decide to use it on. You can switch between bright, eco, and dynamic mode, with eco being around 35% dimmer than the bright mode.
Thanks to the 1.1x zoom lens and 3,600 lumens, you can achieve crystal clear quality from as close as 1m to as far as 9.8m in screen size as little as 28″ to as high as 301″.
When it comes to connectivity, this projector features a single HDMI 1.4a port with 3D support, 1x audio 3.5mm out, and a 1x USB-A power 1.5A.
The Optoma UHD30 is another fantastic gaming projector for gamers who are looking to spice up their gaming experience.
The price at the time of writing was $1099.99.
The Optoma UHD30 very much looks like its bigger brother, the Optoma UHD50X. It features an asymmetrical design with the lens to the right and an air vent across the corner to the left.
The projector as a whole measures at 12.4″ x 4.65″ x 10.63″ and weighs 11.24lbs, which is fairly heavier as compared to most of the projectors in our selection.
On the surface, you will find a lens adjusting wheel, as well as a 9 button layout through which you can customize the gaming projector to your liking.
When it comes to performance, the Optoma UHD30 can display a maximum resolution of up to 3840 x 2160p, which is otherwise known as 4K resolution for anywhere between 4,000 to 15,000 hours thanks to the 305W 3400 lumens lamp.
The lamp’s lifetime will solely depend on the settings at which you decide to run the projector. There are three core settings; brightness, eco, and dynamic.
The reason why we believe that the UHD30 should be placed as the runner up gaming projector in our final selection is purely thanks to the 16ms response time and 240Hz refresh rate that can be achieved on projections ranging from as little as 33″ to as high as 300″.
Keep in mind that the 240Hz can only be achieved at 1080p, so if you are a 4K gamer, you can still take advantage of the projector but will need to play at 60Hz.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the UHD30 features a 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 1x VGA, 1x 3.5mm audio in, 1x 3.5mm audio out, and 1x optical out.
We understand that most projectors aren’t exactly the most portable, and so, we had to include a portable variant that doesn’t fall behind the competition in terms of specs. So, if you are after a portable gaming projector, check out the Anker Nebula Capsule.
The price at the time of writing was $299.99.
Measuring at 3.15″ (W) x 3.15″ (L) x 5.9″ (H) and weighing just 1.5 lbs, the Anker Nebula Capsule II is the most portable gaming projector on this list. It is that tiny that you can physically grab hold of it easily with just your hand.
Visually, the projector looks like a small cylinder covered entirely in matt black through its exterior.
At the base, you will find the vents, which cycle through the fresh air to ensure that the device remains cool during operation. There, you will also find the 360-degree speaker.
As you could imagine, due to its compact and portable design, this projector isn’t the absolute best that you can buy, however, it is significantly better as compared to any other portable projectors that we came across.
The Anker Nebula Capsule II can output a native resolution of 1280 x 720p for over 30,000 hours. The remarkable clarity and contrast that this gaming projector can deliver are thanks to the 100 ANSI lumens, which can output a quality image at a screen size of between 40 and 100 inches.
When it comes to connectivity, you can project media either through Bluetooth 4.0 or HDMI. In terms of compatibility, should you decide to game, you can connect the projector to your PC or console via the HDMI 1.4 port.
One pretty awesome feature that this projector has that no other projector from this list features is an integrated battery. With a single charge of 2.5 hours, you can use this projector to playback video for up to 3 hours or over 30 hours if you use it solely as a speaker.
Other Great Gaming Projectors
Didn’t quite find what you were looking for from any of the above picks? The BenQ HT2050A is another entry-level gaming projector for casual gamers.
The price at the time of writing was $749.00.
Visually, the HT2050A by BenQ features a very minimalistic and sleek design in white throughout the entire exterior of the projector. The overall design of the projector measures 15″ (L) x 11″ (W) x 5″ (H) and weighs 8lbs.
In the front, you will find the super clean-looking lens alongside what seems to be an air vent, which is conveniently placed on the opposite side of the lens. On the surface, right above the lens, you can find the lens wheel through which you can control the zoom settings. Further in, you will find the control panel.
One of the coolest design features of this projector is that it’s super flexible and easy to setup up thanks to the vertical and horizontal keystone correction.
As for performance, from the HT2050A, you can expect a maximum resolution of up to 1920 x 1200p, while the native resolution remains 1920 x 1080p. You can game on this resolution for anywhere between 3,500 and 7,000 hours depending on whether you run your projector on normal, eco, or smarteco settings.
With an input lag of the pretty standard 16.67 ms and a refresh rate of 60 Hz, you can comfortably play your favorite titles on projection screen sizes ranging from as low as 60″ to as high as 300″.
Thanks to the 2,200 ANSI lumens, you can enjoy a great image quality under a range of different circumstances (in your room, outside, or even under direct sunlight).
This project is pretty flexible in terms of connectivity, which is always great news for any gamer. The HT2050A features 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x D-Sub, 1x VGA, 1x Component video, 1x Composite video, 3.5mm audio in. As for outputs, you will find a single 3.5mm audio out.
And last but not least, we’d like to present you with one of our favorites, the BenQ TH671ST, which is another fantastic gaming projector for casual gamers.
The price at the time of writing was $699.00.
Visually the TH671ST is fairly sleek and bulky in nature. The projector itself measures 11.7″ (W) x 8.8″ (D) x 4.7″ (H) and weighs just 5.95lbs.
Design-wise, the projector has followed a pretty modern and simplistic approach, with the lens positioned directly to the right with the air vents taking up the opposite corner and the entire both sides to ensure that the device remains cool during those intense gaming moments.
The TH671ST is one of the best gaming short throw gaming projectors. With native resolution output of 1920 x 1080p, you can play games to the fullest thanks to the 16.67ms response time and 120Hz refresh rate frequency.
The 3000 ANSI lumens 240W lamp can last anywhere from 4,000 to 15,000 hours depending on the mode of operation that you use the projector under.
One pretty cool wow factor is the fact that this projector can project an image of the size of a 100″ TV from as close as 5 feet. Should you decide to take it a little further out, you can increase the screen size output to a maximum of 300 inches.
Another awesome feature is the flexible connectivity that the TH671ST features. It supports most media players, PC systems, gaming consoles, Mac products, as well as mobile devices thanks to the HDMI & USB ports available on the back of the projector.
Who Projectors Are For
Generally speaking, anyone can benefit from having a gaming projector. Whether you want to completely transform your gaming room or host casual gaming tournaments in your garden without sacrificing quality and performance, a gaming projector can do all of that and more.
Besides, you don’t even need to have any similar plans to benefit from such a device. If you are a little tired of gaming on a monitor, you can get rid of those and game on your white wall or a special pull-down projector screen.
How to Pick the Right Gaming Projector
Picking the right gaming projector for your needs isn’t an easy task, especially when you are looking at spending a few hundred or even thousands of dollars on a single piece of technology.
As the initial goal of this guide and review is to supply you with the best gaming projectors on the market, we also wanted to give you a helping hand in making the right decision. Below, we will provide you with two aspects to consider, which will help you with making the right choice.
Determine Your Needs
First and foremost, you need to determine what exactly you are going to use your projector for. Are you planning on hosting casual FIFA tournaments with your buddies or are you looking for a more advanced gaming projector that has low response time and high frequency?
Once you determine exactly what you expect from your next gaming projector, you can allocate a budget and start looking.
Allocate a Budget
After you have determined your needs, you now need to decide on a budget you are willing to spend on a gaming projector. Keep in mind that gaming projectors aren’t the cheapest, especially those with decent gaming specifications.
As a general rule of thumb, the more you spend, the better and higher-quality gaming projector you can purchase.
Now, if you haven’t already decided as to which gaming projector you are after from our selection, feel free to go over them once again and see which one best fits your budget and needs.
Purely judging by the products from our final selection, the more expensive the product is, the better features and gaming specifications it hosts.
Unless you are playing on a high-end PC, there is no reason why you should invest money in a projector that supports a 240Hz refresh rate.
As a general rule of thumb, having more is always better. But, laser projectors will do more with less because the rays are more concentrated.