6 Cheap True 4K Projectors – Buying Guide (2021)

Cheap True 4K Projectors

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Are you planning to get yourself a 4K projector and don’t know where to start?

4K projectors though costlier than standard HD and Full HD projectors, offer a lot more value for money in terms of image resolution, graphic detail, brightness, and contrast.

As a result, they are best suited for turning your living room into a mini auditorium or entertainment hall, and you can have the best entertainment you can possibly imagine at close distances.

If you cannot decide between a 4K TV and a 4K Projector, we can say that a projector has a clear advantage over a TV. A 4K Projector can easily project a 100+ inch image which you can perhaps get from a TV, too but at exorbitant costs.

Add to it the cost of decoration and furniture to give the TV unit a complete look, and you are looking at a couple of more grands gone.

On the other hand, all you need are translucent window curtains (for daytime viewing) and a decent sound system if you choose to turn that newly painted entire wall as the screen for your projector and your room into a mini theatre.

Lest you forget, here is the best part. You can change the screen size as per your requirement.

Today we will look at some projectors that are True 4K in nature.

We are reviewing some cheap yet highly rated 4K projectors that can elevate your home entertainment and gaming experience to the next level.

Affordable 4K Technology

Technology space is ever-evolving, and we see devices with just six months old technology tagged as ‘last generation’.

When 4K technology was just in, and its application found its place in a host of display-centric devices, costs were high. 4K at that time was considered as a technology only the uber class could afford. However, the picture is a lot different now.

With new players and competitive markets, even the latest technology is affordable, and 4K projectors are no different.

Many True 4K projectors are indeed cheap and within reach of the proletariat.

True 4K Projectors

So, where do we start?

First, it’s essential to know that there are two types of 4K projectors.

There are True 4K projectors with 3840 x 2160 discrete pixels in their imaging chips and can produce True 4K images.

Then there are upscaled projectors with the processing power of 720p or 1080p, but in post-processing, the imaging chips shift each pixel diagonally to double the resolution. This technique of upscaling is called 4K Enhancement Technology.

Cheap 4K Projectors Compared

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector on Amazon
VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre ProjectorSpecs: 150-inch projection, 25,000 Hours lamp life
Brightness: 2500 ANSI Lumens
HDR: HDR10
Extra Features: Harman Kardon Sound Bar, ALPD 3.0 Light Source Technology, Android OS
Check on Amazon
BOMAKER 4K UHD Laser TV Projector on Amazon
BOMAKER 4K UHD Laser TV ProjectorSpecs: 100-inch
Brightness: 2500 ANSI Lumens
HDR: HDR10
Extra Features: 3 Channel Laser, Dolby Audio, Wireless Connectivity, MEMC Technology
Check on Amazon
ViewSonic True 4K UHD PX 701 Home Theatre Projector on Amazon
ViewSonic True 4K UHD PX 701 Home Theatre ProjectorSpecs: 200-inch
Brightness: 3200 ANSI Lumens
HDR: HDR10
Extra Features: 240Hz refresh rate, Super Color Technology
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BenQ TK850i True 4K Home Entertainment Projector on Amazon
BenQ TK850i True 4K Home Entertainment ProjectorSpecs: 200-inch projection, 15,000 Hours lamp life
Brightness: 3000 ANSI Lumens
HDR: HDR10
Extra Features: Android TV support, HLG Support, Cine Master Audio
Check on Amazon
Optoma UHD38 True 4K UHD Gaming Projector on Amazon
Optoma UHD38 True 4K UHD Gaming ProjectorSpecs: 100-inch projection, 15,000 Hours lamp life
Brightness: 4000 ANSI Lumens
HDR: HDR10
Extra Features: HLG Support, Dynamic Black Technology, 240Hz refresh rate
Check on Amazon
BenQ TK800M 4K UHD Home Theatre Projector on Amazon
BenQ TK800M 4K UHD Home Theatre ProjectorSpecs: 200-inch projection, 15,000 Hours lamp life
Brightness: 3000 ANSI Lumens
HDR: HDR10
Extra Features: HLG Support, Cine Master Audio
Check on Amazon

Let’s look at our 4K Projector picks in detail.

1. VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

There are ample reasons to choose VAVA 4K UHD Laser Projector as our top pick.

Design

It is hard to spot this box as a projector if kept in a room due to its build. It moves away from conventional projector designs and operates on Laser Light Source Technology.

It has a futuristic design, and it’s hard to imagine that this little box, sitting just 7 inches away from your wall, can project a gigantic 100-inch True 4K display.

The device has a 0.233:1 ultra-short throw ratio, and the image projected can be further increased by 50 inches if needed. The set-up is quick and easy and has an Android 7.1 user interface.

It has an in-built storage of 32GB and a RAM of 2GB.

Quality

The lamp uses a 6000 Lumens light source that translates to 2500 Lumens projection brightness which is just adequate for daylight viewing but excellent for nighttime entertainment.

The lamp has a 25,000 hours lifespan which amounts to more than 15 years with 4 hours daily usage. The image quality is crystal clear thanks to HDR 10. The operating noise level is less than 32 decibels and comes with a remote.

A stand-out feature of the VAVA 4K Projector is its immersing audio provided by 60 watts dual Harman Kardon speakers.

In addition, there are ample options in settings to make adjustments to image, color, and brightness.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the device has Bluetooth in/out connectivity for connecting smartphones and speakers. Wi-Fi conforms to 802.11ac standards.

There are three HDMI version 2.0 ports, AV 3.5 Video In port, a single USB port, one Audio Line out 3.5mm port, and a S/PDIF port. Additionally, there is an RJ 45 input port for wired internet connectivity.

Our Take

The VAVA True 4K projector is a capable device that is well built and uses the latest technologies available to get the job done. Its throw ratio and impeccable design with almost all the standard features like Keystone Correction and Multiscreen Output make it a superb value-for-money projector. Its versatility puts it first on our recommended list.

PROS
  • Laser Projection
  • Extremely Short Throw Distance
  • Vertical Projection
  • 25,000 hours Lamp Life
  • Built-in 60-watt Harman Kardon Speakers
CONS
  • 2500 Lumens Brightness
  • Legacy Android OS
  • Latest Wi-Fi Standards Missing

2. BOMAKER 4K UHD Laser TV Projector

Next, we have another Laser powered True 4K projector from BOMAKER.

Design

Although the brand is less known, the job it does has it sitting right towards the top of preferred 4K projectors in various eCommerce portals.

It has the designs of a legacy VCR player, only a tad smaller, and can produce a 100-inch screen with ease at 11 cm throw distance.

There is Dolby audio for an immersive and surround-sound experience. It has 32GB in-built storage and 3GB of RAM for faster daily operation. The projector comes with a controller for remote operation.

Quality

The image quality is True Polaris 4K and HDR 10 that improves the blacks with added detailing. Built-in MEMC technology provides for smooth gameplay and reduced motion blur.

A single laser and color wheel have been ditched in favor of separate red, green, and blue lasers that enable minimal color loss and improved color combinations, with 193 percent NTSC color gamut compared to 107 percent in other projectors.

Brightness is set at 2500 ANSI Lumens for comfortable indoor viewing in daylight and bright gameplay after dark.

The lamp life of the BOMAKER Polaris 4K Projector is set at a staggering 30,000 hours. There are presents for adjusting the picture quality and brightness.

In addition, there are separate settings for Images that add a lot of customization options to the user.

Connectivity

We find a USB 2.0 slot at the side of the projector and a USB 3.0 at the back to connect removable storage.

In addition, there are a couple of version 2.0 HDMI ports, a micro-USB port, a 3.5mm audio out port, and an RJ 45 port. Audio can also be connected through a S/PDIF port. Bluetooth 4.0 is present, and so is Wi-Fi with screen mirroring capabilities.

The UI is based on Android 6.0 and but the Android TV interface is missing.

Our Take

BOMAKER True 4K Projector is good at projecting contents on your screen at short throw distances, but its UI is too old to be reliable. There is an input lag of over 100 milliseconds, making it a bit cumbersome for fast-paced FPS games. The color projections are accurate and detailed, but the brightness could be more for better clarity. The lamp life ensures it is here to easily stay for more than 17 years and keep entertaining you to the fullest.

PROS
  • Laser Projection
  • Short Throw Distance
  • Vertical Projection
  • 30,000 hours Lamp Life
  • Dolby DTS Surround Audio
CONS
  • 2500 Lumens Brightness
  • Outdated Android OS
  • Input Lag Over 100 Milliseconds

3. ViewSonic True 4K UHD Home Theatre Projector

ViewSonic True 4K projector is the first entrant in our list to have the looks of a conventional projector.

Design

However, the looks are deceiving and do no justice to the power it packs inside its plastic body. The projection lamp shines bright at 3200 lumens and projects a screen measuring up to 300 inches.

The set-up is adjustable with automatic horizontal and vertical keystones. Unlike laser projectors, the throw ratio of the ViewSonic True 4K projector is 1.5-1.65.

The lens allows a zoom of 1.1x. There is a single 10-watt speaker that handles audio without distortion and is best suited for big-screen gaming.

Quality

The projector can display content on enormous big screens at 3200 ANSI Lumens brightness.

HDR 10 and XPR technology embedded in the advanced DLP chip delivers content with impeccable clarity and color saturation. The projector has a refresh rate of 240Hz, which aids in super responsive gameplay with only 4.2ms of input lag.

Super Color Technology produces accurate colors that pop during any time of the day and produce a vivid display. A 12000:1 contrast ratio ensures that the colors are rich and detailed.

The lamp life of the PX 701 is set at 20,000 hours that is sure to last more than 12 years with moderate usage. The settings menu allows advanced image customization options such as changing the color mode, noise filtration levels, and color temperature.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the projector is pretty standard as it comes with a single USB 2.0 port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and one audio 3.5mm output port to connect speakers. Unfortunately, wireless connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are a big miss, and there is no option for wired internet connectivity either.

Our Take

There are few hits and misses with the ViewSonic 4K UHD PX 701 projector, as the lack of internet connectivity options could be a serious turn-off for many. Still, the projector is miles ahead in terms of gaming capabilities. Nevertheless, it is a pretty basic True 4K projector from a reputed brand for those who want to try out their first big-screen experience.

PROS
  • Very High Refresh Rate
  • Value for Money
  • Low Input Lag
  • Very High Contrast Ratio
CONS
  • No Internet Connectivity
  • Conventional Projection Mechanism

4. BenQ TK850i True 4K Home Entertainment Projector

The BenQ TK850Ti is a sleek-looking True 4K projector with 8.3 million pixels and average connectivity options.

Design

It looks like a conventional projector with vents at the side for ventilation.

The operating noise is less than 30 decibels, and it comes with a special Android TV dongle. The brightness of the projector lamp is 3000 ANSI Lumens and has HDR 10 and HLG support.

It has a display refresh rate of 120Hz, which makes it a suitable device for mainstream gaming. CineMaster handles the audio with the help of two in build 5watt speakers.

The throw ratio is set at 1.13 – 1.47, and the device can project a 200-inch image from a distance of 8 feet. The projector has a zoom ratio of up to 1.3X

Quality

With inbuilt MEMC technology, the BenQ TK850i is best suited for gaming purposes. Its high refresh rate coupled with HDR10 provides unmatched gaming performance with fluid motion and immersive graphics.

HDR PRO technology enhances contrast range for improved detailing and deeper shades. Low dispersion lens eliminates alignment issues and disparity in the image. As a result, images and colors come out as accurate and detailed.

There are options to customize the sound and picture through available presets for sports, cinema, music, and gaming.

The projector has a 30,000:1 contrast ratio that lets wider distribution and accumulation of more color shades, allowing Tone Mapping technology to resolve greyscale issues and make the home theatre experience a pleasure.

The lamp has 15,000 hours of life and can project 30 bits of color on the projection screen.

Connectivity

The BenQ TK850i comes with a plethora of connectivity options. A couple of HDMI 2.0b ports, two USB Type-A ports, a single USB Type B mini-port, one 3.5mm, and a S/PDIF port for audio out. We also see an RS232 port added at the back and an IR receiver in the front.

We get an Android TV dongle out of the box that adds support for Airplay and Chromecast and voice assistant support.

We sadly miss wireless connectivity options, and there is support for wireless dongles, but Bluetooth would still be missed.

Our Take

The BenQ TK850i excels in user interface and customization options but lacks multi-display connectivity. The lamp life is less than others. A high refresh rate makes it a good contender for gaming, and Android TV support with a smart remote makes it a great entertainment device. If only it supported wireless connectivity options, it could have been a game-changer in this segment.

PROS
  • Image and Sound Customization Options
  • Superb Image Processing Technology
  • Android TV Dongle Out of Box
  • Very High Contrast Ratio
CONS
  • Native Internet Connectivity Missing
  • Comparatively Low Lamp Life

5. Optoma UHD38 True 4K UHD Gaming Projector

The Optoma UHD38 looks pale and bland from the outside but packs quite a punch on the inside.

Design

It is difficult to apprehend that the projector from a relatively unknown brand has a brightness and refresh rate that exceeds the big boys. It operates at a 26-decibel noise level and is fully 3D compatible. There is an integrated speaker of 10 watts.

The projection is super bright at 4000 lumens and fully capable of daytime usage. The throw ratio is set at a modest 1.5:1 -1.66:1 that allows a 100-inch screen projection.

Keystone corrections are set both horizontally and vertically at 40 degrees, and there is a zoom capability of 1.1x.

Quality

Let’s start with a 1000000:1 contrast ratio that is perhaps the highest you may ever encounter. This high ratio enables the most expansive shade of color reproduction from the projector.

High brightness combines with an integrated Color Management System that displays true, vibrant, and lifelike colors with Rec 709 color gamut.

Optoma promises accurate color reproduction that looks vivid and punchy in any mode of entertainment you use the projector for. An added feature is Wall Color Adjustment that provides six color adjustments for the projection to suit the color of the wall if you decide to make the wall your screen.

HDR and HLG combine with tone mapping to provide deeper shades of colors. Gaming is smooth as butter on the Optoma UHD38 as there is an input lag of fewer than 5 seconds and a refresh rate of 240Hz.

Unfortunately, the lamp life is just 15,000 hours which is low compared to others on the list.

Connectivity

Again, we find a glaring lack of native internet and wireless connectivity support in the Optoma UHD38 as there is no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi support.

There are two HDMI 2.0 ports at the back, one VGA port, and two 3.5mm audio ports, each for input and output. We also find a S/PDIF port at the back and a solitary USB Type-A port.

An excellent addition could have been an RJ 45 jack to add some much-needed connectivity to the otherwise impressive True 4K projector.

Our Take

While we liked the image quality and technology used in the Optoma UHD38, we were left wanting in terms of a better UI and internet connectivity. The projector is a boon for users looking for daytime usage due to its high brightness and contrast ratio. Low input lag and high refresh rate make it an excellent contender to be used for big-screen gaming.

PROS
  • 4000 Lumens Brightness
  • Password Protected UI
  • Good Color Reproduction
  • Very High Contrast Ratio
CONS
  • Native Internet Connectivity Missing
  • Just 15,000 Hours Lamp Life
  • Bland UI

6. BenQ TK800M 4K UHD Home Theatre Projector

Our final pick for today is the BenQ TK800M True 4K projector.

Design

The plastic body is rugged and sturdy and houses a DLP 4K UDH chip that projects 8.3 million pixeled 4K content on the screen. It uses conventional projection technology with a throw ratio of 1.50 – 1.65, enabling a 100-inch projection from almost 11 ft.

The zoom ratio is set at 1.1X, and it operates at 33 decibels. The projection shines bright at 3000 ANSI lumens, but the contrast ratio is painfully low at 10,000: 1.

A single CineMaster powered 5-watt speaker finds its way into the TK800M. Keystone adjustments are possible only vertically up to 40 degrees.

Quality

The projector uses similar technologies as its elder sibling with HDR and HLG support that is hyper-realistic and optimized for projectors.

It offers more excellent brightness, contrast range, and image optimization in a single step, bringing out every detail in 4K video content. High brightness ensures vivid colors and sharp contrasts in well-lit environments.

Through built-in presets, the display quality can be further enhanced according to the content being projected. CineMaster audio provides deep bass and clear vocals. Unfortunately, the lamp life is just 15,000 hours which could be a deal-breaker considering other downgrades.

Connectivity

Wireless connectivity options are missing again, but there is support for dongles through a couple of HDMI ports, of which one is version 1.4 and the other conforming to version 2.2.

There is a PC D-Sub input port and a couple of 3.5mm audio ports for input and output. Also finding their place are two USB ports and a RS 232 port.

On the front, we see an IR receiver for operations with the remote.

Our Take

The BenQ TK800M is a 4Kprojector suitable for your living room for personal and family entertainment. It is certainly not something you could flaunt for some brownie points. It does the basics correctly but misses on a host of features like wireless connectivity and android support. Internet connectivity option and screen mirroring are badly missed.

PROS
  • 3000 Lumens Brightness
  • HDR and HLG Supported
  • Good Color Reproduction
CONS
  • Native Internet Connectivity Missing
  • Just 15,000 Hours Lamp Life

Choosing a 4K Projector – Our Buying Guide

When choosing a 4K Projector, there are some factors that you should study in detail to get the one that serves your purpose.

Every projector is different in terms of specifications and features offered. Some have longer lamp life, but the brightness might not meet your expectations. Some might have enough illumination for daytime operation but are not Android compatible. Some might have Android OS in them but not enough connectivity options.

The same follows in terms of the disparity between contrast or graphics quality.

Here are the intricate details you must consider.

Resolution and Graphics Details

We touched the topic of True 4K and 4K Enhancement Technology earlier already, and it becomes the single most crucial factor while deciding the projector you want to bring home.

To understand this better, let us take the example of some smartphones that use pixel binning to produce 64MP images.

The sensor is not True 64MP, and through pixel binning mechanism, a 16MP photo is increased to 64MP in post-processing. This way, the picture does look detailed than a 16MP but still lacks the pristine quality of an actual 64MP camera.

The clarity from a projector is somewhat lesser than a real TV as some detailing is lost in the projection. Hence to make up for the loss, it is always advised to go for a True 4K resolution projector that packs more pixels in their imaging chips and brings out the intricate details in every content you project on the screen.

Brightness and Contrast

The brightness of a projector decides how clearly you will be able to view the projection.

Since the content has to travel a distance from the projector to the screen before you can watch it, there is ample scope of ambient light to creep in and ruin your experience. The brightness of a projector, usually measured in lumens, fights the ambient light to display vivid and clear content on your screen.

The projector placement must be correct to prevent any ambient light interference with the projection.

You must also decide the brightness based on how you plan to use the projector. If it is to be used during the daytime, then it must have more than average brightness. If it is to be used after dark hours, then ambient light would not be an issue.

The contrast ratio is an essential factor to consider as it controls the brightness between blacks and whites. Usually, a high contrast ratio gives a lot of clarity in dark and white segments of an image. It also allows the accommodation of more shades of a single color. Hence the color reproduction of a projector with high contrast ratio would be more accurate to life.

Lamp Life, Zoom and Throw Ratios

Of the various components inside a projector, the lamp is perhaps the most critical piece that has a big say in the cost of a projector. If it gets damaged or reaches its end of life, you would end up spending several hundreds of dollars getting a replacement.

A good projector is one whose lamp life is adequate to recover the costs involved in getting the projector. It is futile to spend a four-figure sum for a projector whose lamp life adds up to just six months of moderate use.

Next comes the Zoom and Throw Ratios. As the name suggests, the Zoom ratio is the projector’s adjustment ability to zoom in or zoom out the projection and fill the projection area. If it is a wall, you could zoom a little to fill the entire wall for bezel-less entertainment. The throw ratio is a bit more technical than this. In short, the throw ratio determines the distance between the projection space and the projector.

Short and Ultra Short Throw ratio projectors allow it to be placed nearer to the screen and cut out intervention. What intervention? Think about people standing up or arriving late in a theatre and ending up throwing their shadows on the big screen.

Price, User Interface, and Connectivity

The price of a 4K projector depends mainly on the technology employed to produce 4K content.

True 4K projector prices are in the four-figure mark, while 4Ke projectors are readily available under $500. The user interface becomes vital if you are getting it as a substitute for a 4K TV.

The UI of a TV is much refined and detailed in comparison to a projector. In recent times, with a considerable number of users opting for 4K projectors, some manufacturers are employing Android OS to make their UI more refined and user-friendly, almost making them replicating a smart TV. Hence it is essential to research adequately on various portals about all the aspects of a 4K projector before deciding to go for one.

Finally, a projector would only serve the purpose if it seamlessly connects with the source from where you want to project. Therefore, there should be adequate upstream ports through which content can be sent for projection. The ports must be compatible with the various gadgets in your home. Some projectors offer Wi-Fi connectivity through which content can be projected.

Cheap True 4K Projectors – Frequently Asked Questions

Do 4K Projectors Cost a Lot?

4K Projection Technology is very affordable and within reach of most users. There are a host of options on different budgets to choose from.

Does Operating a 4K Projector Need a Lot of Expertise?

A 4K projector operates on the same principles as that of a standard projector. A user guide is there with every projector, and carefully going through it would suffice.

Do I need a projector screen for a 4K projector?

Every projector needs a screen where it would be projecting the content. A projector screen is tailor-made for projection purposes, but there are many instances when projections have been made on light-colored walls with good results.

Are Laser 4K projectors better than other 4K projectors that work on conventional mechanisms?

Laser projectors have an ultra-low throw ratio that enables them to be placed strategically close to the projection screen. Barring this and few other minor upgrades, both can meet your requirements.

Do I need a wall mount for a 4K projector?

A projector is a source from where you view your content, and thus it ought to be stable. A wall mount adds stability to a projector taking away the vulnerability of being pushed over if kept on a table or desk. However, it is up to you if you feel that your projector would be stable and safe even without a wall mount.

Do 4K projectors really offer better quality than standard HD and Full HD projectors?

True 4K Projectors use 4K imaging chips with the required pixels to project a 4K image. Thus, resulting in 4 times the quality of a Full HD and eight times the quality of an HD content.

Conclusion

True 4K projectors can elevate the quality of the content you consume. It is a good substitute for a 4K TV if the purchase is made sensibly after sufficient research. You are set to get much more than what a big-screen TV offers at a fraction of its cost.

You might be left speechless and asking for more with its above 100-inch projection size. The vast projection might enable you to add some hours to your professional productivity and help you relax when you are tired.

With the rapid decline in costs due to the advent of the latest technologies, now would be a good time to think about getting a conventional or laser-powered True 4K projector and turn that basement into your personal 4K theatre.

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