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The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Gaming Projector in 2020


Every gamer knows that gaming is a very social activity. Whether you’re chatting with your buddies over the headset or hosting a gaming party, gaming is a good way to bond with people and build a sense of teamwork.

If you’re hosting a gaming party, you’ll need the best gaming projector out there.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about gaming projectors into this article, including our picks for the best gaming projectors for 2020. However, if you’re having trouble picking a projector for your group hangouts, we suggest going over our buying guide first.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Best Gaming Projector - The Buying Guide

 

Confused about buying a projector for gaming? Don't worry, this guide will help you make the best decision.

What Is a Gaming Projector?

Gaming projectors are specifically designed for gamers. They’re optimized to work with gaming consoles and PlayStations. Moreover, they deliver high video and sound quality. In essence, they act as a bigger and better television screen, one you can use to play games with all your friends.

How do they work? Well, they use LED lasers to project images onto a surface. The lasers are measured in Lumens, meaning the higher the Lumens, the brighter and clearer the projected image.

Why Buy a Gaming Projector?

For gamers, there are many perks to buying a gaming projector, including: 

  • Better pictures and graphics (projectors deliver higher resolution HD than TVs or smartphones)

  • Customizable screen sizes (you can use the zoom in/out options to adjust the screen size)

  • More affordable than TV/Home theatre sets

  • Specifically engineered for gaming (these projectors are designed to deliver fast responses and image qualities, perfect for gaming)

What Features Do the Best Gaming Projectors Have?

If you don’t know what features to look for, here’s our buying guide. We’ve listed all the things for you to consider when buying a gaming projector. However, before you get around to buying a projector, make sure to set up a budget as projectors are generally expensive (though not as much home theatre sets).

We recommend looking for quality products (like the ones on this list). Don’t compromise on quality because of budget constraints as you want something long-lasting rather than something that’ll break/stop working in a few months.

●      Brightness

The level of brightness you want depends on your projection room. For example, if you primarily want to use the projector inside, you don’t need a high Lumens count. However, for outdoor use, you want a Lumens count of above 1000.

For darker rooms, projectors between 200 and 800 Lumens are fine. Moreover, for rooms with bright lights/sunlight exposure, 1000 to 1500 Lumens are ideal. Most gamers like to play in their basements (AKA game caves), so a brightness range between 200 and 1000 is recommended.

●      Resolution

Don’t settle for anything less than 1080p because 1080p is HD resolution, delivering life-like picture quality. 1080p is more versatile than other resolution levels. You can use it for movies, art projects, presentations, and even outdoor parties.

For video games, in particular, 1080p is ideal for dynamic and vivid pictures. Moreover, projectors with higher resolutions are more expensive. 1080p projectors are more affordable, which is why they’re more common in every household.

●      Contrast Ratio

This is a term you’ll hear throughout this review. However, what does it mean? If you understand how projectors work, you know that each image comes in frames. A frame is originally black and white, while the light reflected off the white determines what color the image will be.

A contrast ratio is the level of light reflected from an entirely white or entirely black image sequence. Therefore, if the projector has a contrast ratio of 30000:1, it means the white image is 30000 times brighter than the black, making the image more crisp and vivid.

●      Response Rate

A response rate or input lag is the time a projector takes to display an image. Gamers, in particular, want a fast response rate as every second is precious in a game. Most gaming projectors have faster response rates than normal projectors.

Consequently, you don’t have to worry about out-of-order images. Get a projector with an input lag of 50mm. The lower the input lag, the faster the response rate a projector has. In this list, PIQO and Optoma, in particular, have a very fast response rate.

●      Refresh Rate

Similarly, a refresh rate is the time a projector takes to display videos. It’s different than images because video also has to sync audio with each frame. We recommend a refresh rate of 120Hz and above.

This is because higher refresh rates are better for the eyes, meaning the image is not as harsh and buffers more smoothly. 

Moreover, a pro tip to reduce refresh rates is to send in an image that doesn’t need to be resized. For example, send in a video size of 1080p, 720p, or 1280p, if your projector resolution is 1080p.

Screen Size

This also depends on your projection room/wall. For example, if you’re planning on projecting the game in your basement, you need to measure the size of the wall and the size of the room.

The screen size you pick will be according to the measurements you gather. However, we recommend getting a projector with a sensitive minimum and maximum scale. For example, a screen size range between 40 and 200 is ideal as it gives you a well-rounded figure.

Consequently, you can use the projector for multiple screens.

Setup

There are two types of setups you can do with your gaming projector: a permanent ceiling setup or a portable tabletop one. We recommend the tabletop fixture. If you’ve measured the projection screen and room, you already know the measurements.

Therefore, to set up the projector, you just need to place it on a tabletop with an adequate distance between it and the screen. Moreover, to modify the internal settings of the projector, you can simply use the user manual.

Some projectors like PIQO have touchscreens, meaning the settings are accessible via the menu. However, others work with remote controls, which are also easy to work. Consequently, it’s up to you which one you prefer.

Review of the 5 Best Gaming Projectors for 2020

Now that you’ve gone over our buying guide, we can get to our picks for the best gaming projectors in 2020. All these projectors are top quality products, but our top recommendation is the PIQO 1080p Mini Projector. It’s the most versatile and easy-to-use projector on the market today. Moreover, you can take it with you wherever you go!

We’ll elaborate more on the reviews. However, here’s a brief overview of all the products.

Product Name

Screen Range Size

Brightness

Dimensions

Weight

PIQO

46 to 240 inches

200 Lumens

2.25 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches

210 grams (0.5 lbs)

Optoma

66 to 107 inches

3000 Lumens

9 x 11.73 x 3.7 inches

2495 grams (5.5 lbs)

BenQ

100 to 300 inches

2200 Lumens

4.79 x 14.98 x 10.91 inches

3596 grams (7.93 lbs)

LG

60 to 100 inches

1000 Lumens

12.2 x 5.2 x 4.5 inches

2236 grams (4.93 lbs)

Simplebeam

28 to 90 inches

800 Lumens

7.7 x 6.3 x 3.2 inches

907 grams (2 lbs)


Top Five Gaming Projectors Reviews

Here are some of our top recommendations for the best gaming projectors you can buy for 2020.

PIQO 1080p Mini Projector

PIQO is a relatively new brand, gaining fast popularity in Asia, North America, and Europe. It sells high-quality home entertainment technology, designed for ultra versatility and innovation. The PIQO 1080p Mini Projector is no exception. It’s a great mini projector for movies, art projects, presentations, and of course, gaming.

How so? Well, the PIQO 1080p Mini Projector has a large screen size range (from 46 to 240 inches), making it perfect for both large and small projection spaces. You can call in a few friends or have an entire party using this projector.

It’s very compact and lightweight at 210 grams. Consequently, you can even take it outdoors or to a friend’s house. Moreover, its Hi-Fi speakers are engineered specifically to deliver high-quality, immersive sounds.

 

It’s compatible with all Android and iOS devices. You can access all kinds of apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Additionally, you can easily access any gaming applications or software.

Also, the projector has 16 GB worth of offline storage. Download your games and access them directly from the projector.

If you’re worried about charging, don’t be. The PIQO projector works on an Android battery and charges similar to any other Android device. It has fast charging capabilities, so you can use it for one hour for every 15 minutes of charging. 

Pros:

  • Includes a keystone angle operator
  • Very small and portable
  • High 1920 x 1080p resolution
  • Touchscreen navigation

Cons:

  • The brightness range is a bit small
  • A bit pricey

Optoma HD142X Home Theater Projector

 

A global leader in projection and audio technology, Optoma is a US-based brand. It was founded in 2001 and has expanded its offices to Europe and Asia since then. The Optoma HD242X is a multi-functional home theater projector.

Firstly, it has compatibility with all types of computers, including WXGA, HD, FHD, SXGA, XGA, UXGA, VGA, SVGA, and Mac. It also has dual HDMI support, so you can connect it to two devices at a time.

Moreover, it includes a keystone angle corrector and has a contrast ratio of 23,000:1. This gives you intensely sharp picture quality, which is ideal if you’re playing an immersive video game. 

There’s a 3.5 mm audio output with DLP technology, making the projector highly sensitive to sound changes. Consequently, you get incredible sound quality even without the headset.

Also, the projector can easily be used outside. It is operable in temperatures between 5 to 40 degrees Celsius. Moreover, it can tolerate humidity of up to 85% and an altitude of 3000 meters.

Pros:

  • 8000-hour lamp life
  • Displays high-resolution, vibrant colors
  • MHL connectivity included
  • Has 3D capabilities

Con:

  • Doesn’t have lens shift capability

BenQ HT2150ST Short Throw Projector

Founded in 1984, BenQ is a Taiwanese brand, specializing in projectors, monitors, lighting, and speakers. The company sells high-quality projection equipment all over the world. The BenQ HT2150ST Short Throw Projector is one of their best-sellers. 

Why? This micro HD projector gives you amazing video and sound quality. It has a contrast ratio of 15000:1 and a maximum brightness of 2200 Lumens. This means you can easily navigate through dark forests and castles in virtual games without missing a thing.

Moreover, the projector has a low-input tag, meaning it allows gamers to access game modes more easily. It has several game modes for a more immersive gaming experience. 

Additionally, the DLP technology gives you sharper and clearer images on the screen. Consequently, you can increase the screen size up to 300 inches without compromising on image quality.

Lastly, the projector also has a 1.2x zoom feature, which allows you to adjust the image more easily. This also means you can easily install the projector anywhere you want.

Pros:

  • Three-year warranty
  • Uniform focus (meaning clearer image)
  • Adequate black levels
  • Good images even on textured/uneven walls

Cons:

  • The brightness wavers in ambient lighting
  • The lamp burns out fast

LG PF1000UW Home Projector

If you’re looking for a reliable home entertainment system, you must consider LG. Established in 1958, the company is based in Busan, South Korea. It’s expanded its reach worldwide, with offices in the US, Europe, and other parts of Asia.

Apart from its televisions, smartphones, and home appliances, the company sells state-of-the-art projectors, the LG PF1000UW being one.

The LG PF1000UW is an ultra-short-throw projector, which delivers great image quality. You can set it up to 100 inches from the wall to get a 1080p HD videos. Moreover, you can connect it with other LG appliances, including LG SmartTVs and Smartphones.

It’s even compatible with Magic Remotes. Consequently, gamers can easily transfer their game from the TV to the projector. The 1080p portable projector even has a Bluetooth feature for other types of iOS and Android devices.

You can either connect it to Bluetooth speakers or use the in-built ones. The in-built speakers are engineered to minimize sound echoing and enhance sound waves. Therefore, you’ll have no problem listening to your teammates in the game.

Also, the lamp has a battery life of 30,000 hours, so you don’t have to change it as often. This also makes the projector more cost-effective.

Pros:

  • Easy to connect with LG devices
  • Decent brightness in ambient lighting
  • Good for a medium-sized room
  • Crisp, vivid pictures and sound

Cons:

  • Not HDMI compatible
  • Have to buy the remote separately

Simplebeam V3 Mini Video Projector

Simplebeam is a US-based company that caters to the home entertainment market. It’s been high-grade home entertainment technology for almost a decade. The Simplebeam V3 Mini is part of their DIY Series. 

The projector is highly responsive with a single TFT-LCD, and a high-performance LED light. If you’re looking for sharp images, the Simplebeam V3 delivers a maximum optical resolution, which is ideal for watching movies and playing video games. 

Additionally, the Simplebeam V3 projector is compatible with both AV and HDMI cables. You connect it with a DVD player or Playstations, which is also a plus point for gamers. Moreover, the projector is very compact, meaning it’s easy to take to your camping trips, outdoor parties, and friends’ homes.

You can extend the screen up to 120 inches in a medium/large-sized room. Also, the angle is easy to set as long as you’ve aligned the projector with the wall correctly.

Pros:

  • Fast customer service
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Multi-functional (for both outdoor and indoor use)
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • The color display distorts blues and reds
  • The controls aren’t very intuitive

FAQs

What other things do I need for gaming parties?

There are many things gamers need, but the basics simply include the projector, PlayStation, and gaming console. Of course, if you’re having a gaming party, you’re going to need multiple gaming consoles and perhaps even headsets.

However, as a pro tip, make sure you have more than one device to connect to the projector. For example, if you’re connecting the projector to your laptop, have another device (with the game installed in it) as a backup.

You never know when one device may fail you (or be incompatible with the projector). Consequently, it’s smarter to have a plan B.

How to set up a gaming projector?

As mentioned above (in the buying guide), there are two main ways of setting up a gaming projector:

  1. Permanent ceiling fixture
  2. Tabletop fixture

If you’re looking to make a permanent addition to your gaming room, a permanent ceiling fixture is ideal. However, if you want the option to travel with the projector, tabletop fixtures are the way to go.

We recommend going for the tabletop fixtures as you have more versatility. Instead of just gaming, you can also use the projector for movies, presentations, and projects.

Can I use my art projector for gaming?

As long as the criteria are met, there’s no reason you can’t. Keep in mind, though, art projectors are specifically meant for projects and presentations. Sound quality may not be as sharp as in other projectors.

Moreover, there are many kinds of art projectors, some of which are more traditional. For example, opaque projectors are specifically meant for artists and creative work. Consequently, you can’t play video games on it.

What is a Throw Ratio?

You may have heard this term in your quest for a new gaming projector. However, do you know what it means? Simply put, the throw ratio is the distance between your projector and the wall (on which the image is displayed).

You can calculate the throw ratio by measuring the distance from the tip of the projector lens to the wall. If you have a throw ratio of 3:1, this means the screen is three feet away from the projector.

Note: the throw ratio is very important. Be sure to measure the total width and length of your projection room before you purchase a projector.

When do I change the LED light bulb in my projector?

You’ll know it’s time to change the LED light bulb when it stops working. The image quality will start wavering, as will the brightness of the projector. Changing the LED light bulb is very simple.

All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a lint-free microfiber cloth and a small screwdriver.

  2. Turn off the projector and make sure it’s completely cool before touching it. (Wait at least an hour or so.)

  3. Take out the lamp door using your screwdriver.

  4. Moreover, remove the LED lamp assembly.

  5. Use the cloth to clean the inside of the lamp. Remove dust, debris, and other dirt particles.

  6. Take your new lamp assembly and place it inside the projector (in the same way the old one was placed).

  7. Place the lamp door back on the assembly. However, make sure to fasten it correctly.

  8. Afterwards, if you want, you can access your management settings and reset your lamp timer if you want.

Do I have to clean my gaming projector?

Yes, you do. This is because all projectors accumulate dirt and debris over time, which distort the image quality. Most gaming projectors have user manuals that specify cleaning and maintenance instructions. 

However, as a general rule of thumb, here’s how to clean a gaming projector:

  1. Similar to bulb replacements, make sure the projector is completely cool before you touch it.

  2. Clean the surface with a clean, lint-free cloth.

  3. If there’s any stubborn piece of dirt, you can dampen the cloth very lightly. However, make sure no water goes into the vent. It’ll damage your projector and nullify your warranty/money-back guarantee.

  4. Use a lens cleaning solution on the lens and wipe gently in circular motions. Don’t press too hard or you’ll damage/scratch the lens surface.

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Conclusion

In sum, our pick for the best gaming projector is PIQO. As user testimonies will tell you, it’s highly intuitive and easy-to-use. Moreover, it gives you incredible picture quality with its 1080p resolution. From the products on this list, it’s the most well-rounded projector, according to the buying guide we’ve made. We strongly urge you to check it out.