Best LCD Projector of 2019: High-Res & Durability

Steve Scott

Updated on

First of all, projectors have various categories and subcategories which can sometimes be hard to understand. The primary one is defined by how the light coming out of the projector is being processed. Using this knowledge, we can divide the projectors into three different classes:

Furthermore, projectors can be 4K, 1080p, short-throw, long-range, etc. Case in point, unless you read-up a bit about them, your purchase is going to be equal to gambling.

Lucky for you, we have compiled all of this info inside of multiple guides on our website. If you don’t want to find out what the best LCD projector is, you might be more interested in the best LED projector.

The choice is yours!

Either way, here we go:

Top 5 LCD Projectors

So, this list is entirely random and there is no difference between any of these products. Just pick one and pray it's okay.

Joking.

I’ve personally bought and tried all of these projectors in various environments. That way, we can ensure our readers that the reviews they are reading are 100% accurate and are actually worth something.

Talking about worthiness, we're gonna start the list with what we consider to be the best choice when it comes to LCD projectors:

Epson Home Cinema 2040

Key Features:

  • MHL
  • High-quality Speakers
  • Low input lag

PROS

  • 1080p Full HD
  • 4K Full HD
  • Cheap replacement lamps

CONS

  • Iris pulsing
  • Negative throw offset

Epson Home Cinema 2040 Review

Epson Home Cinema 2040 3D is one of the cheapest models out there that are utilizing the 3LCD technology.

Only a few models utilizing the said 3-chip technology cost less than $1000, and this projector is the best choice out of all of them. Offering 3D support and 1080p resolution, which is the greatest one behind 4K, you're getting more than you bargained for with Epson Home Cinema 2040. Read our full review of the Epson 2040 here. 

However, this projector, as its name says, is meant primarily for home usage, meaning it's best in small to medium size rooms or outdoors. However, thanks to its superb quality, you could utilize the Epson Home Cinema 2040 in some conference rooms or event halls. Keep in mind that doing so will require you to get an external audio device since the built-in speakers are not suited for such large audiences.

Finally, this is one of the best LCD projectors out there when it comes to minimizing the amount of lag. The tests we performed all came back with extremely positive results, lag times being 1.6-per-frame at 60 frames per second. This is extremely fast for a projector and makes it a great option for gaming.

NEC Display Solutions NP-ME401W

Key Features:

  • 1280 x 800
  • 6000:1 related contrast ratio
  • 4000 ANSI lumens

PROS

  • Enormous lumen rating
  • Highest tier quality on the market

CONS

  • Might be too expensive for some
  • Very heavy

NEC Display Solutions NP-ME401W

Our premium pick, the NEC Display Solutions NP-ME401W comes at a price that is a bit higher than the best choice on our list. However, it makes up for that difference with simply brilliant quality.

With a lumen rating of 4000, it's easily one of the most versatile projectors on the market. No matter how dark/bright is the environment, you will be able to adjust the NP-ME401W accordingly and have a fantastic experience watching movies or having presentations.

There are two HDMI ports coupled with two more VGA in & out ports. Additionally, the NEC Display Solutions NP-ME401W has RCA jackets, an ethernet port, a type A USB port, and a type B USB port which you can use with your laptop or desktop computer.

With such an enormous number of connectivity options, this projector won't give you any trouble regarding your device-of-choice for pairing.

Additionally, the image quality is, and you won't have any trouble seeing artifacts and rainbows as it can happen with some DLP or cheaper LCD projectors. This is also a great choice for home theater projectors

Epson EX3260 SVGA 3LCD

Key Features:

  • 3,300 lumens
  • SVGA resolution
  • Stable data-image nature 

PROS

  • Great Audio quality
  • Extremely portable
  • Reliable video quality

CONS

  • No 3D capabilities
  • No optical zoom.

Epson EX3260 SVGA 3LCD Review

Now, this model is something you won't see very often. Its low price is like that only because of the outdated SVGA resolution. However, the 3LCD tech inside of it and the overall quality of the design give you a feel that you paid a much higher amount than you actually did.

Thanks to its small size and low weight, Epson EX3260 SVGA 3LCD is easily portable and a perfect fit for both home projections and classroom ones. Teachers and people hosting regular movie nights will experience almost no difference between this projector and some of the much more expensive ones. See related - best portable projectors.

However, it's not a good fit for those who are looking to project for larger audiences and host huge events. Beware the lack of the 3D setting, as well as no optical zoom being included. These shouldn’t be as important if you’re looking for a portable home projector, but you should know what you’re missing out on.

Best LCD Projectors: Honorable Mentions

These were the three best LCD projectors out of all the ones that we had tested. However, there are some runner-ups that lack the brilliance of our top 3 choices but are still a good option overall.

Take a look:

BenQ HT2050

Key Features:

  • ANSI Brightness of 2,200 Lumens
  • Premium RGB Color Wheel
  • 3D 1080p

PROS

  • Low fan noise
  • SmartEco technology for energy conservation
  • Lamp lasts up to 7,000 hours

CONS

  • More expensive projectors have better contrast
  • Lower lumen rating than the alternatives

BenQ HT2050 Review

The Benq HT2050 didn't make the top three choices only because of its low lumen rating. Although, calling it 'low' isn't really fair. The fact is that 2200 lumens are a market standard these days, but many of the best projectors have even more, without their prices going sky-high.

Keep in mind, that you will have to give your presentations or projections in complete darkness thanks to the lumen rating of 2200. If you need a projector that can provide you with a colorful and impactful experience outdoors during the day, we recommend you scroll back up.

Enough with the bad stuff though. This is a pretty good projector model, and it has tons of exciting features:

For example, the vertical lens shift will allow you to position the projector however you deem fit regarding the screen without having to use keystone controls. This makes the Benq H2050 extraordinarily versatile and a great projector to mount on the walls or the ceiling.

Furthermore, the 3D feature is supported but you will have to get your own 3D glasses. This isn't a big issue since they are cheap, but it's not really a logical decision from Benq since a lot of customers are complaining about the 3D glasses not being included. Not because of the $25 additional price, but the inconvenience of not getting something that other companies will provide you with for free. See related - best 3d projectors

Viewsonic PRO7827HD

Key Features:

  • Full HD (1920x1080p)
  • 2200 lumen rating
  • Rec. 709 color accuracy

PROS

  • Built-in 10W speakers
  • Vertical/horizontal keystone
  • A huge number of connectivity options

CONS

  • No 3D setting
  • Lower than standard lumen rating

Viewsonic PRO7827HD Review

When ViewSonic Pro7827HD first came out, it was impressive, and that is an understatement.​

Offering satisfactory connectivity options, with three HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, and a single VGA port, it goes head to head with the best projectors out there.

Having the vertical lens shift like the previous product on our list, you won't have any issues with losing image quality using keystone controls.

The brightness is again an issue since the 2200 lumen rating makes it suitable only for dark indoor environments. Additionally, the frame lag is much higher than the alternatives, so while the projector is great for movies and presentations, it will suck hard for gamers. Picture quality will remain brilliant, but you will encounter FPS drops that you really want to avoid.

See related - Best HD Projectors

Best LCD Projector: Buying Guide

Brightness

If you don't know already, brightness is measured in lumens. When reading through specifications, you can find out how high is the lumen rating of a projector. However, be aware that projectors with higher lumen ratings usually have more high-tech builds, and thus cost a more significant amount of money.

projector brightness

A higher lumen rating is always preferable when it comes to projectors. The main reason for this is that if you come in a situation in which you have to use your projector in a room that is larger or extremely dark, a projector with a low lumen rating just won’t work.

When looking through projector specifications, you might notice that there are two lumen-rating categories. The first one is for white-brightness, while the second is for color-brightness. The first one is what you would call 'regular brightness,' while the latter modifies the intensity of the colors. 

Resolution

So what does this word even mean? To put it simply, although there is a lot of science behind it, the resolution is the number of lines of a picture that can be displayed at any time.

Projectors come having a fixed resolution. That means that they display one single resolution, regardless of the signal they receive. This can lead to some problems if your cables/other devices aren't compatible with your projector.

Here are the most common projector resolutions that you can find on the market:

  • XGA: 1024 x 768 pixels
  • WXGA: 1280 x 800 pixels
  • HD: 1920 x 1080 pixels (most common, most cost-effective)
  • 4K: 4096 x 2160 pixels (most expensive, best quality)

Throw Ratio

This number determines how far away should your projector be from the screen, wall, or whatever other surfaces you're planning on using for your display.

projector throw ratio

The most common projector throw ratio is 2.0. However, some have significantly higher or significantly lower throw ratios. If you're interested in the latter, please check out our article for best short-throw projectors.

So, if your projector throw ratio is 2.0, that means the picture width will equal half the distance. If you put it 8 feet away from the screen, the image displayed will be 4-feet-wide.

If you're looking to project from a distance, doing so usually fits larger halls and presentation purposes, you should get a projector with a larger throw ratio. However, if you're doing office/classroom presentations and need to keep your projector close to you, you should get a short-throw projector.

Best LCD Projectors: Frequently Asked Questions

DLP vs. LCD Projector - Which Is Better?

We just have to disappoint you right away:

There is no clear answer to this question.

However, we can list some of the advantages and disadvantages that both of these have, so you can decide whether you want to stick with LCD, or you prefer to look at some of the best DLP projectors out there.

First of all, the technology used by DLP projectors is far better and more advanced than the one used by their LCD counterparts. That means that the picture will have better contrast, more prominent brightness settings, and will provide a better general viewing experience. This increased image smoothness is particularly important if you're planning on using your projector for watching movies and similar activities.

dlp vs lcd

However, DLP projectors do have some drawbacks. Compared to LCD projectors, they are less durable and have only a single-chip picture display. This means that if you move your eyes rapidly from one side to screen to the other, or if the image flashes during a projection, you might see sprouts of color that aren't actually there.

All things considered, both types of projectors have their drawbacks, and you should opt for the one that suits your budget and preferences.

How to Clean an LCD Projector?

At all times, you should clean your LCD projector by using the instructions in the provided manual, since different models have different designs. However, here's a quick-fix tutorial that guarantees you won't break your projector in the process.

Take the air filter out of the projector housing

  1. Gently vacuum the dust off the air filter and the insides
  2. Assemble the projector again
  3. How to Clean LCD Projector Lens?
how to clean a projector

This part of the cleaning process is even more straightforward, and if you already disassembled the projector vacuuming, you might as well do this:

  1. Dampen a piece of cleaning cloth into some alcohol or alcohol-water mixture.
  2. Gently, and I mean extremely gently, wipe the surface of the lens.
  3. Let it dry off before reassembling the projector

If you feel unsure about doing this yourself, you can take your projector to a shop which handles electronics, and they will clean it for a small fee. They might even do it for free if you're kind enough!

Read our guide to cleaning your projector here. 

How to Repair an LCD projector?

If an LCD projector isn't working at all, then chances are something inside of it is broken or malfunctioning.

Before taking the device to an expert, or sending it in for maintenance, you should disassemble it and look for any wires/panels that might be disconnected.

If everything looks fine, then you need to replace a part or several of them.

Replacing the parts yourself is not recommended if you're a complete amateur regarding things technical. However, if you are a person with some technical know-how, and you are sure that you identified the exact part/parts that are broken, you should do the following:

  1. Contact the retailer/manufacturer and try to get them to send you a replacement part for free.
  2. If this isn't possible, look online for the exact model of the missing piece to your LCD happiness.
  3. Wait for the part to arrive and do some other activities like watching regular TV
  4. Replace the component and test if your projector is working.
  5. Brag to your friends about your engineering skills.
how to repair a projector

If you want to skip the tedious process above, just visit an expert who works repairing electronic devices. He will do the exact same thing we talked about above, but it will probably cost you a lot more.

See related - What Is an LCD Projector? Guide to LCD/3LCD

Final Words

To summarize, our top three picks are all perfect options for data presentations, gaming, and watching movies. If you're looking for something a bit cheaper, or don't mind not being able to play video games using your projector, then the runner-ups are just as good, if not better.

We hope you enjoyed going through our list of the best LCD projectors of 2019. If you decided on purchasing one of the products that we had recommended, please share with us your experience in the comment section below or send an email. We always appreciate hearing from satisfied readers.

Sources

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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