Best budget short throw projector 2023

A black projector next to a brown and lighter grey and white version in a black room.
Credit: BenQ

The best budget short throw projector is going to let you enjoy having a shiny new projector without breaking the bank or needing a huge amount of space.

When it comes to finding a top projector, including some of the best budget projectors around, there are a few things you need to keep in mind though. The first is lumens, which is how bright the projector is, next is resolution, so how clear the picture is, and finally there's the throw distance.

Short throw basically means the distance at which it can create a screen. For projectors of this type, you're looking at between 3 and 8 feet, with the shorter range generally counting as an ultra-short throw projector, but these tend to be more expensive.

Now, budget is kind of a loose term here, because projectors are rather expensive. We've done what we can to balance this when compared to the features of the projectors featured here. With that in mind, let's dive in.

Best budget short throw projectors

  1. BenQ HT2150ST
  2. Artlii Energon 2
  3. FATORK Mini 5G WiFi DLP
  4. JMGO O1
A white projector with a red light around the lens.
click to enlarge
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Credit: BenQ

1. BenQ HT2150ST

Best budget short throw projector overall

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Lumens: 2200
Throw Distance
: 3-25 ft.
Features: Low Input Lag, Ceiling Mount

For those seeking a versatile projector that offers a well-rounded performance, the BenQ HT2150ST stands out as an excellent choice, albeit it may lean toward the higher end of your budget.

What sets this projector apart is its 2200 ANSI lumen brightness, which is paired with a crisp HD 1080p resolution, guaranteeing a captivating and high-quality visual experience. With a maximum throw distance of 25 feet, it's incredibly adaptable, fitting seamlessly into various setups and environments.

Additionally, the projector features low input lag and specialised game mode settings, making it an enticing option for gaming enthusiasts. While it may not match the image quality of the best budget 4k monitors, the unique thrill of projecting your gameplay onto a wall is an experience in itself.

The BenQ HT2150ST impresses with its combination of potent performance, adjustable throw distance, and an attractive price point, making it a compelling choice for those in search of a feature-packed projector that won't break the bank.

Artlii Energon 2 product image of a light grey projector next to a phone and speaker.
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Credit: Artlii

2. Artlii Energon 2

Best budget wireless short throw projector

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p with 4k support
Lumens: 340
Throw Distance
: 5-27 ft.
Features: 5G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connection, Tabletop Mount, Bag Included

Short throw projectors offer versatile applications beyond just home use. They prove invaluable in a variety of situations, including business meetings or when you're on the move. One outstanding option in this category is the Artlii Energon 2, designed to make projection effortless and cable-free. With a maximum throw distance of 27 feet, finding the ideal projection spot is a breeze.

Equipped with 5G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities too, the Energon 2 ensures you can adjust your projection on the go. Despite its modest 340-lumen count, it doesn't compromise on image quality, delivering a featured HD 1080p resolution and support for 4K content.

The Energon 2's versatility extends to its use within the home as well. It can be easily mounted on a tabletop, making it a convenient addition for leisure and entertainment, eliminating the need for complex setups. So, whether you're in a professional setting or seeking some casual fun, the Artlii Energon 2 is a reliable and user-friendly choice for all your projection needs.

FATORK 5G Wi-Fi DLP product image of a small black projector in a hand featuring orange line details.
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Credit: FATORK

3. FATORK Mini 5G Wi-Fi DLP

Best budget mini short throw projector

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Lumens: 150
Throw Distance: 1.6-9.8 ft.
Features: Dustproof Lens, Remote and Touchpad Control

When it comes to portability, the FATORK 5G Wi-Fi DLP is tough to beat. Its tiny size makes this projector a top-tier choice for transportation, yet it doesn't sacrifice in quality as the FATORK still boasts a 1920x1080p image.

Its small throw distance should not underestimated, as many of us need something that can project from just a few feet. And, if you are considering purchasing one of best mini projectors, this should be high up on your list.

It's perhaps best used in dark environments as it can create a brighter image than standard LCD versions. The FATORK 5G Wi-Fi DLP is simply a great option, and until the day we see a high-power product of this size, it will remain one of the best choices if a mini short throw is what you're after.

JMGO O1 product image of a small white projector projecting an image right in front of it.
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Credit: JMGO

4. JMGO O1

Best budget ultra short throw projector

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Lumens: 800
Throw Distance: 0.8 ft (10 inches) recommended

When it comes to projectors, UST (Ultra Short Throw) models are all the rage. Being able to project from under a foot away from the wall is a valuable quality to possess, and many people will value this feature over the increased power of a regular short throw.

With this benefit, however, normally comes a price increase. Our best choice for limiting this though is the JMGO O1 as it provides full UST accessibility without too much of a hike in cost. The native 1080p resolution is also capable of supporting 4k at 60Hz, so your image quality will be crystal clear and smooth.

The LUNA OS system can project time, weather, calendar, as well as regular images onto your wall, and is fully compatible with phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. For the inbuilt audio, the DYNAUDIO stereo is capable of producing pretty good sound quality as well, and it can create a cinematic experience, even in very small spaces

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

As projectors are not so commonly owned as TVs or monitors, you may find yourself with a bunch of questions. Thankfully, we've got you covered.

What is an ultra short throw projector?

An ultra short throw projector is a special version of a standard short throw that is designed to be used in extremely close quarters. Projecting an image from only a tiny distance away helps to save on space, and these models tend to project vertically, giving them poor maximum throw distance.

Due to not relying on covering a wider area, these projectors will often come with high power, but also a high price. Depending on your needs, a UST may be a better choice, especially if you are primarily focused on creating a high-quality home cinema in a small room.

However, if you are looking for greater portability or simply a better budget option, then a regular short throw will be more up your street. And that's really all there is to it.

Should you buy a short throw projector?

For regular everyday use, certainly not. A projector is best used for creating a home theatre, or for enjoying a unique viewing experience such as playing immersive, story-driven video games.

For professional use, short throw projectors can be utilised both in a business environment to display information during meetings, but also educationally, depending on your school's setup.

A projector is the quickest way of displaying large amounts of information to multiple people, especially if you opt for one of the more portable options out there.

What distance is considered "short throw" for a projector?

The term "short throw" typically refers to projectors that can project a relatively large image from a short distance. While there's no strict universally defined distance, a general guideline is that a short throw projector can produce a large image (say, 60 inches or larger diagonal size) from a distance of around 4 to around 25 feet away (based on this list) from the screen or projection surface.

Ultra-short throw projectors, on the other hand, can project an even larger image (often over 100 inches diagonal) from an extremely close distance, sometimes as close as a few inches away from the surface.

These distances can vary between different projector models and manufacturers, so it's always best to check the specifications of a specific projector to understand its throw distance capabilities.

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