What’s the Cheapest Ultra Short Throw Projector in 2021?

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If you don’t have time to read the article, then the overall cheapest ultra short throw projector is the EliteProjector, although this uses Lamp and DLP technology, while the Epson EpiqVision is the cheapest ultra short throw laser projector, and is the recommended model due to its far superior performance.

Ultra short throw projectors are a relatively new phenomenon, with several LG and Samsung bringing several laser-powered UST projectors to the market in the last year or two, all of which are capable of producing 100-inch+ images at a distance of only around 10 to 12-inches from your screen, meaning that they have a throw ratio of around 0.33 or less.

This means that there is very little reliable information about not only which is the cheapest ultra short throw projector, but more importantly which offers the best value for money for those looking for an ultra short throw projector on a budget.

This article covers both the cheapest 4K ultra short throw projector, along with the cheapest 1080p ultra short throw projector, and gives you a rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Don’t forget to check out my full reviews of the best 4K ultra short throw projectors, and for those looking for budget ultra short throw projector, then take a look at the best short throw projectors, which take around 10-feet to produce a 100-inch image, but are significantly cheaper than UST projectors.


What's the cheapest ultra short throw projector?

The Cheapest Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector

My Top Pick

The Best Cheap Ultra Short Throw Projector

  • Projects a 1080p picture with a 100-inch diagonal at 10-inches from the wall
  • Fantastic picture quality with 3600 Lumens brightness, and with lovely, saturated colors
  • 3 LCD lasers, which are offer far superior optical quality than LED lamps
  • No rainbow effect or other optical distortions
  • Built-in Android TV, letting you stream Netflix, Disney+, Prime & more
  • 2.1 Yamaha speaker system within the projector
If you are looking for the best cheap ultra short throw projector, and are not worried about a 4K resolution, then the Epson LS300 fits the bill. This offers a stunning picture quality thanks to the 3 laser output, with no rainbow effect or other distortions that are common with cheaper DLP projectors that use a color wheel.
Built-in Android TV lets you stream Netflix directly through the projector, and the 2.1 sound system is surprisingly loud, with a good amount of bass, meaning that you don’t even need a separate sound system.
If that wasn’t enough, this is also the cheapest ultra short throw laser projector on the market, and is therefore incredible value for money.

The Overall Cheapest Ultra Short Throw Projector

Ideal Outdoors UST Projector

  • Full HD UST projector
  • Very good value for money
  • IPX2 water resistance, making it suitable for outdoor use
  • Available with integrated 37200mAH battery in the Sport model
  • Needs a streaming stick for Netflix, etc
  • Only 1000 Lumens brightness
With a very low price tag, the EliteProjector MosicGO from the Taiwanese brand delivers a very solid performance for its price, although it is lacking in a few key areas, such as no streaming support without a separate Fire or ROKU stick, and only having 1000 ANSI Lumens of brightness, meaning it needs darkness to really be viewable.
But, the ability to get this model with an integrated battery pack, along with the splash-proof rating, means that it is perfect for outdoor use such as with camping or an RV. In fact, no other UST projector is so well suited for outdoor use, so if your require this, the MosicGO is the projector for you.

The Cheapest 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

The Cheapest 4K UST Projector

  • Native 4K – no pixel-shifting – with a 150-inch image at about 16-inches
  • Fantastic image quality – the highest of any in this article
  • Excellent value for money considering the specifications
  • Low input lag of 40ms
  • No native 4K Netflix streaming – needs separate streaming stick
If you need a 4K UST projector but don’t want to blow the budget, then the WeMax Nova is the one for you. It’s still fairly expensive, as with any 4K projector, but nearly matches the much more expensive Samsung’s for image quality, only falling down on the lack of native 4K Netflix streaming, for which a separate streaming stick is required.
It is a surprise to have native 4K projection at this price point – you normally get pixel-shifted 1080p which is marketed as 4K – but the Nova delivers this real 4K. If image quality matters to you above all else, then then WeMax Nova is therefore the UST projector for you.

Best Alternative:

If you want a 4K projector, but don’t want to pay UST prices, then consider the XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K Projector, which is the cheapest 4K short throw projector, with a longer throw ratio, but at quite a cost saving.


Compare the Top Cheap Ultra Short Throw Projectors

Projector

Throw Distance & Max Image Size

Resolution & Brightness

Native Netflix Streaming?

Check Price


[The Best Budget UST Projector]

150" image at 15.2 inches

Full HD (1080p) & 3600 ANSI Lumens

Yes


[Cheapest Native 4K Projector]

150" image at 16 inches

Native 4K & 2100 ANSI Lumens

Yes, in 1080p

 

[Overall Cheapest UST Projector]

100" image at 14.5 inches

Full HD (1080p) & 1000 ANSI Lumens

No - with separate streaming stick

120" image at 8 inches

Full HD (1080p) & 1500 ANSI Lumens

No - with separate streaming stick

120" image at 11.7 inches

Pixel-shifting 4K & 2400 ANSI Lumens

Yes for Disney+ & Prime - Netflix currently with separate streaming stick due to newness of this model


What Should You Care About in an Ultra Short Throw Projector?

Ultra short throw projector key criteria

There are a handful of key points that you need to keep in mind when researching ultra short throw projectors. I’ve listed all of these key points below, along with an explanation of each.

How you order this list is up to you, but I have scored each projector reviewed here according to the current order below. Remember that a projector must have passed at least most, if not all, of these points in order to be included here.

Feel free to use this list for your own research if you don’t find any models in this article that meet your criteria

  • Image Quality. There are a number of ways to measure image quality, including:
    • Depth of Colors. How vivid are the colors? Are skin tones accurate?
    • Black Level. Many projectors have a more gray black tone than TVs.
    • Brightness. Laser projectors are much brighter than lamp projectors. Do you need a projector bright enough to use in daylight? Then look for > 2000 ANSI Lumens.
    • Sharpness & Clarity. Does the image appear sharp, with a high (> 60 Hz) refresh rate?
    • Resolution. Do you need 4K, or are you happy with 1080p? The larger that you project your image (> 100-inches) the more that having 4K makes sense,
    • Issues. Chromatic aberration, dispersion, rainbow effect
  • Throw Ratio: Ultra Short Throw vs Short Throw. Ultra short throw projectors typically have a throw ratio under about 0.3, while short throw projectors are between 0.3 and 1.5. This translates to a 100-inch image needing the projector placed between one and fifteen feet from the wall.
  • Apps and Smart Features. Many of the older projectors do not support native Netflix streaming, meaning that you need a separate streaming stick and remote.
  • Ease of Setup. Ideally, you want a projector with auto-setup, as you will need to re-do the setup every time you move the projector.
  • Connectivity. Bluetooth audio connection is very valuable, as is WiFi for streaming and screen casting.
  • Value for Money. Ultimately, these criteria boil down to whether they make the projector value for money. It’s a good idea to determine your budget before looking, but remember that a good projector should last for years, so it makes sense to mentally spread the cost over time, rather than considering it as a one-off purchase.

Reviews of the Cheapest Ultra Short Throw Projectors in 2021


1. Epson EpiqVision

My Top Pick
Epson LS300, the cheapest ultra short throw projector

Specifications:

  • Max. Image Size: 150″ @ 15.2-inches
  • Laser or Lamp? 3 Lasers
  • Brightness: 3600 Lumens
  • Resolution: Full HD (1080p)
  • Throw Ratio: 0.27
  • Netflix, etc Streaming? Yes
  • Ease of Setup / Use: Easy

Although not the absolute cheapest UST projector, the Epson EpiqVision offers the best value for money, with 3 lasers, a high max brightness, and an all-round quality package.

Picture Quality

Pictures are particularly bright and clear thanks to the 3 LCD lasers, which are vastly superior to the DLP chips found in cheaper projectors. The use of 3 separate lasers for RGB colors means that no color wheel is needed, so there is no possibility of the rainbow effect, which many find very distracting.

Brightness is excellent, with the 3600 Lumens meaning that this is usable in daylight or brighter rooms, although as always, this projector will benefit from being used in a darker space.

There are no obvious issues with the image quality, although you should note that this is 1080p only – there is no 4K projection in this unit – which accounts for the lower price tag.

Setup

Setup is easy if you have an Android phone, as you can perform all setup options directly from it, otherwise you must use the included remote which takes a little bit more work.

There is a wall mapping feature to help you avoid distortions when projecting against a wall rather than a dedicated screen.

Overall

Without a doubt, the Epson LS300 is the best UST projector if you don’t care about 4K, with its excellent integrated 2.1 sound system, easy setup and sleek look.

The unit looks great in a room, projects a 150-inch image at 15.2-inches from your wall, and is a joy to use, with bright, saturated colors from the lasers.

It’s still fairly expensive, but is significantly cheaper than 4K UST projectors, and offers the best value for money out of any of the projectors in this article.

  • Pros:
  • Max 150-inch image at 15.2-inches from your wall
  • 3 LCD Lasers offer sharp, colorful images with no rainbow effect
  • Usable in brighter rooms thanks to the 3600 Lumens rating
  • Easy setup with Android phone integration
  • Netflix and Disney+ streaming with Android TV
  • Cons:
  • Fairly loud fan noise, although that is common with these kinds of projectors
  • Not the absolute cheapest 1080p UST projector
Epson EpiqVision LS300

2. EliteProjector MosicGo

EliteProjector, an outdoors UST projector

Specifications:

  • Max. Image Size: 100″ @ 14.5-inches
  • Laser or Lamp? Lamp
  • Brightness: 1000 Lumens
  • Resolution: Full HD (1080p)
  • Throw Ratio: 0.3
  • Netflix, etc Streaming? No – needs separate streaming stick
  • Ease of Setup / Use: Medium

If you are looking for an outdoors projector, then the MosicGO is by far your best choice, with a waterproof rating and the option to choose a model with a high-capacity integrated battery pack.

Picture Quality

Image quality is surprisingly good for the price of the projector, with the brightness seeming to be higher than its actual 1000 ANSI Lumens. Color accuracy is high, thanks to the projector hitting 96% of the Rec. 709 color gamut, and no real color calibration needed thanks to the good factory setup.

The ability to mount the projector on a tripod makes it much more versatile than home models, and means that you can much more easily aim the projector at your chosen projection surface.

Setup

Setup is a bit more involved than with models from other manufacturers, with keystoning necessary every time you move the projector, and is something that quickly feels like a chore.

As the EliteProjector is designed as a movable, outdoors projector, you will find that setup becomes increasingly onerous, but this is often a problem with other UST projectors, so isn’t a major concern on its own.

Overall

Despite a few flaws, the EliteProjector MosicGO offers a strong performance, particularly for those who want a projector that they can take on the road with them. The 37200mAH battery in the Sport model is a particular bonus, and not something found in other projectors of this caliber.

If you are wanting a more portable projector, then the MosicGO is it.

  • Pros:
  • Ideal for outdoor use, camping or in an RV
  • Very good picture quality and onboard audio
  • Low 17ms lag – suitable for gaming
  • IPX2 splash-proofing, suitable for use outdoors in a sheltered spot
  • Integrated 37200mAH high-capacity battery pack in the Sport model
  • Cons:
  • Low 1000 ANSI Lumens brightness, meaning you need real darkness to make the most of the projector
  • No streaming capabilities – requires a separate streaming stick
EliteProjector MosicGO

3. WeMax Nova

WeMax Nova 4K short throw projector

Specifications:

  • Max. Image Size: 150″ @ 16-inches
  • Laser or Lamp? 1 Laser
  • Brightness: 2100 Lumens
  • Resolution: Native 4K
  • Throw Ratio: 0.233
  • Netflix, etc Streaming? Only in 1080p unless you get a separate streaming stick
  • Ease of Setup / Use: Medium

The WeMax Nova is a fantastic option for those looking for a 4K laser projector who don’t want to completely blow the budget.

Picture Quality

You get native 4K in the Nova, which is a surprise at this price point, with most similar models offering pixel-shifted 1080p which is marketed as 4K. Picture quality is excellent, nearly matching the much more expensive, and top-of-the-line Samsung models, delivering bright, vivid colors.

The 0.233 throw ratio means that you can get a 120-inch image with the projector only about 13-inches from the wall, with the max 150-inch projection size not losing anything in quality over smaller projection sizes.

The brightness is lower, at 2100 ANSI Lumens, but this is still more than sufficient for most applications – just don’t expect this to excel in a bright room, or in daylight.

Setup

Setup is not as easy as some competitor models, but is generally not too bad, with manual keystone correction necessary, using the projected setup image as a guide.

The real weakness of the Nova is the OS, which is a more restricted version of Android, that doesn’t currently support 4K Netflix streaming. For this you will need to use a separate streaming stick, which also gets around some of the more cumbersome aspects of the OS.

Overall

Despite a couple of weak points, the WeMax Nova is a very fine and cheap ultra short throw projector, offering low fan noise and a long lasting 25,000 hours of laser light. If you need 4K on a budget, then the Nova is the projector for you.

  • Pros:
  • Native 4K – no pixel shifting – which is rare at this price point
  • Excellent image quality, with bright, vivid colors
  • Relatively small & excellent value for money
  • Only 40ms lag, which is better suited to gaming than other projectors
  • Cons:
  • Poor OS that cannot handle Netflix streaming in 4K – use a separate streaming stick
  • Quality control on the lenses seems less good, but customer service replaces units quickly
WeMax Nova

4. XGIMI Aura 4K

XGIMI Aura, the 4k ultra short throw laser projector

Specifications:

  • Max. Image Size: 150″ @ 17.3-inches
  • Laser or Lamp? 1 Laser
  • Brightness: 2400 Lumens
  • Resolution: Pixel Shift 4K
  • Throw Ratio: 0.233
  • Netflix, etc Streaming? Yes, except Netflix which is currently with streaming stick – see review
  • Ease of Setup / Use: Medium

The XGIMI Aura 4K is a brand new UST projector that offers many of the benefits of the more expensive Samsung models, but at a fraction of the price.

Picture Quality

For a pixel-shifted 4K device, the picture quality is actually very good, offering vivid, bright colors, although blacks are more gray than they would appear on an OLED TV, though this is not unexpected for a projector.

With a throw ratio of 0.233, the projector only needs to be 11.7-inches from the wall to deliver a 120 inch image. This short throw distance combines well with the brightness of 2400 lumens, which is good for normal daytime viewing and works even with sunlight coming into the room.

Setup

Setup must be performed manually, unlike on some of the real high-end models, with an eight-point keystone correction input via the remote and a projected test image. There is autofocus to help you.

The remote is a strong point, as with other XGIMI projectors, offering a well designed device that supports voice controls, and lets you connect to the built-in Android TV, Chromecast and Google Assistant.

With a 12 second boot time, you can quickly get into watching your shows on Disney+ and Prime, although the Netflix app does not currently work, but will once Netflix have verified this model. This means that you need a separate streaming stick at the moment for Netflix viewing.

Overall

If you want a more high-end projector, with excellent smart feature integration, then the XGIMI Aura does a fine job of making it very easy to stream and watch movies, particularly in the near future once it is certified for Netflix.

  • Pros:
  • Surprisingly good picture for a pixel shifted 4K device, with bright, vivid colors
  • 12 second boot time and Android TV with excellent voice controlled remote
  • Easy streaming of Disney+ and Prime
  • Low lag, which is better suited to gaming than other projectors
  • Cons:
  • Not yet verified for Netflix streaming – use a separate streaming stick until then
  • Longer lead time for shipping as this is a brand new device
XGIMI Aura 4K

5. LG HF85LA

LG HF85LA, a Full HD ultra short throw projector

Specifications:

  • Max. Image Size: 120″ @ 8-inches
  • Laser or Lamp? 1 Laser
  • Brightness: 1500 Lumens
  • Resolution: Full HD (1080p)
  • Throw Ratio: 0.233
  • Netflix, etc Streaming? No, use a separate streaming stick
  • Ease of Setup / Use: Medium

The LG HF85LA is an older model of ultra short throw projector that has a few flaws, but is also one of the cheapest laser projectors around.

Picture Quality

As with any laser projector, image quality is top notch, with the light source seeming brighter than its 1500 ANSI Lumens would suggest. Colors are good, and the image is sharp and clear.

Setup

Setup takes longer to perform than on more recent projectors, as it must be done entirely manually, including physically moving the projector if you need to adjust the overall positioning of the image. There is also an eight-point manual keystone correction.

One large flaw with the LG is that the native app store does not contain either Netflix or Prime apps, meaning that you must use a separate streaming stick to access these services. This is a small price to pay though for the much lower price tag.

Overall

The HF85LA is definitely showing its age now, as one of the first UST projectors on the market, but it still manages to deliver an excellent picture quality, and is very good value for money if you are willing to overlook its one or two flaws.

  • Pros:
  • Delivers a 120-inch image at 8-inches from the wall
  • Compatible with HDR10 for great contrast and vivid colors
  • LG designed internal menu system works very well and is easy to use
  • The option to connect to a sound system via Bluetooth
  • Cons:
  • Only 1500 Lumens of brightness, although this is offset by the laser light source
  • No Netflix native streaming – use a separate streaming stick
LG HF85LA

Conclusion: Which UST Projector is Right for You?

Choosing an ultra short throw projector is a big decision due to the cost involved. You want to be sure that the model you pick will serve you well for years to come, and will be something that doesn’t cause you undue stress or hassle, and that works right off the bat.

If this resonates with you, then the best ultra short throw projector remains the Epson EpiqVision LS300, which gives one of the best projection quality images out of any non-4K device. The three laser sources are a massive part of this, and mean that it rivals the much more expensive 4K Samsung UST projectors.

If you are looking for a cheap ultra short throw projector, then the Epson LS300 is your best bet.

My Top Pick

The Best Cheap Ultra Short Throw Projector

  • Projects a 1080p picture with a 100-inch diagonal at 10-inches from the wall
  • Fantastic picture quality with 3600 Lumens brightness, and with lovely, saturated colors
  • 3 LCD lasers, which are offer far superior optical quality than lamps
  • No rainbow effect or other optical distortions
  • Built-in Android TV, letting you stream Netflix, Disney+, Prime & more
  • 2.1 Yamaha speaker system within the projector

Read More:

See the top 4K ultra short throw projectors

What are the best 4K short throw projectors?

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Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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