Projector Reviews

Best Gaming Projectors

Best Gaming Projectors 2021
By Diane Jones

There’s nothing quite like the immersive experience of gaming using a projector. Video games have evolved to a point of portraying images that look more real than actual people on video, the skin tones, hair, the texture of clothing all have become so realistic it is sometimes hard to tell the difference. With such stunning advances in rendering abilities, it’s almost a crime to play these games on a tiny 60” LCD TV. 4K or not, the size of the display really does matter and playing on a small screen really doesn’t do the video game justice.

Playing on a 100” (or larger) screen allows the player to be fully immersed in the world of the game. Whether you are playing in first-person shooter mode, third-person RPG (role player games), or any other style of gameplay, there’s nothing quite like having your screen extend to the edge of your peripheral vision. Until we reach the days of Ready Player One levels of immersion, projector gaming is as good as it gets…and that’s pretty darn good!

Playing a game on a big screen is a much more immersive experience

What Makes a Projector Good For Gaming?

We think there are three main factors that make a projector great for gaming: input lag, High Dynamic Range, and the projector’s audio capabilities. Let’s look at why we think these factors are important.

Input Lag

The most important factor to consider when purchasing a gaming projector is input lag. Input lag is an important term in the world of projector gaming. It is a word that relates to the gaming speed performance on projectors – the time between when the gaming system sends out its signal, to the time it is received by the projector, and is measured in milliseconds. The range of acceptable input lag speeds are as high as 50ms to as low as 16ms and there are three categories these speeds fall into: Acceptable, Good, and Optimal.

Acceptable input lag the category of the casual gamer. These are the gamers who do it for fun, and do not compete. They’ll typically stay offline, and play games with their friends and family in person, or by themselves. These are your Nintendo Switch gamers, RPG players, and first-person shooter types who don’t spend much time playing against other gamers online.

Optoma UHD35 Gaming Projector
Optoma UHD35 Gaming Projector 4.2ms Input Lag

Good input lag is in the 33ms to 40ms range. Any projector that is within these speeds will be suitable for all but the most competitive gamers.

Good input lag at 33ms to 40ms, will put you behind just over 1 frame per second on a 30fps game, and 2 frames behind on a 60fps game. This isn’t enough to make a difference for most people – again, unless highly competitive, such as a career gamer type, or those who play a lot of online maps.

Anything below that 33ms mark can be considered “really good” or “great,” but truly excellent input lag is 16ms to 20ms, with 16ms being the aim for manufacturers who are positioning their model as a gaming projector.

BenQ Gaming offers an amazing picture

Resolution and 4K Gaming with HDR

HDR is a feature that appears on many 4K UHD projectors on the market. The acronym stands for “High Dynamic Range,” and refers to a type of image processing in 4K capable projectors and TVs that saturates the colors to become more vibrant, with more “pop and wow” factor. It does so by expanding the contrast and color, often significantly. On most projectors, HDR will considerably reduce the brightness of whatever color mode it is being used on.

The list of projectors that have the ability to handle 4K games with HDR gets significantly shorter than the list of projectors that have HDR. This has to do with the type of HDMI port that is used on projectors that can handle 4K gaming with HDR, and those that cannot. To project a game in 4K HDR at 60 fps, the projector requires an HDMI port that is 18 Ghz.

Audio Sound Wave

Audio Performance

Projectors aren’t necessarily considered the pinnacle of audio performance, and for good reason, they simply don’t match the power an AV sound system or a soundbar can offer in a small box, but that’s not to say that they can’t offer compelling audio performance.

For many projectors, the different gaming modes manipulate how audio is delivered from the projector. A great example of this in action is with role playing mode, which better amplifies deep bass from the projector, making monster roars and 50 caliber sniper rounds more guttural and impactful. Areas like voice are enhanced when using sports mode so the player can better understand what the announcer is saying in the game. Whereas surround effects are more accurately placed when users access first-person shooter mode, which helps you better locate where other players are in relation to you in the game, making you a more effective player.

The size of the screen certainly helps a lot, but so does the ability to intelligently adjust the projector’s video and audio output to best match each game’s performance. Previously there were many obstacles that made projectors not as ideally suited to gaming as monitors or TVs, we’re pleased to see many—dare we say all—of these barriers adequately removed.

Our Picks for the Best Gaming Projectors in 2021

Below is the list of projectors we at Projector Reviews would work best for gaming. We will continue to add to this list as more projectors become available that we think would enhance your gaming experience.

BenQ X1300i

BenQ X1300i Gaming Projector Won Our Highly Recommended Award

The X1300i is a gaming optimized home entertainment projector packed with a ton of powerhouse features. This beautiful little projector features a square compact design that is becoming associated with gaming projectors (and we think it’s a great design).

What really stands out to us is is BenQ’s GameMaestro audio and video presets and the built-in sound system tuned by treVolo. Also, this projector has an incredibly rated low input lag at 8.3ms for 1080P at 120 frames per second.

We measured the input lag of the X1300i at various resolutions and frame rates using our Murideo Seven Generator. We selected the projector’s GAME mode and engaged the Fast Mode setting under the Gaming submenu. Measurements are rounded off to the nearest millisecond.

Resolution /Frame RateInput Lag (Game Fast Mode)
4K/120PNot Supported

The X1300i is a 120Hz 4 LED projector with a 3000 ANSI lumens rating, according to BenQ, and a 5,000,000:1 published contrast ratio. The X1300i also includes smart features via its Android TV OS. This projector makes for an amazing gaming experience for both your eyes and ears.

Check out the full review here: BenQ X1300i Review

BenQ X1300i Specs 
TechnologyDLP (.047″ DMD)
Native Resolution1920×1080
Input Lag8.3 ms
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3000
Contrast5,000,000:1 (Dynamic Black)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.2
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000 hours (Normal mode)
Weight14.1 lbs
Warranty3 years (PJ), 1 year/2000 Hrs (Lamp)

Optoma UHD50X

Optoma UHD50X
Optoma UHD50X Gaming Projector

Optoma classifies the UHD50X as the world’s first 240Hz Cinema Gaming Projector. Optoma is focusing heavily on both the input lag rating of the UHD50X when it comes to gaming, listing an input lag of 15.7 milliseconds in Enhanced Gaming mode at 1080P at 240 frames per second.

While we couldn’t measure the unit’s input lag at 240hz we did measure the input lag at various resolutions and frame rates using our Murideo Seven Generator. Measurements are rounded off to the nearest millisecond.

Resolution / Frame RateMeasured Input Lag
1080/240PCouldn’t Measure
4K/120PNot Supported

There are many capabilities in the UHD50X 4K that, at its heart, is driven by a Texas Instruments DLP (0.47″ DMD) imager with Texas Instruments (TI)’s proven pixel-shifting technology. This technology allows the UHD50X to display accurate 4K resolution on screen using a single mirror to create multiple multiple pixels faster than the eye can see.

The UHD50X has a manufacturer lumens rating of 3,400 ANSI lumens and a contrast rating of 500,000:1. Optoma has upped their game on this DLP® (Digital Light Processing) projector by choosing to use DLP.

To read the full review of the Optoma UHD50X, click here: Optoma UHD50X review

Optoma UHD50X SpecsEnhanced Gaming Mode
Price$1599 MSRP
TechnologyDLP with XPR (0.47” DMD)
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160
Native Resolution1920 x 1080 x 4
Claimed Input Lag15.7 ms (1080P/240P)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3400
Contrast500,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.3X
Lens ShiftYes
Lamp Life4000 Hours (Bright)/10,000 (ECO)/15,000 (Dynamic)
Warranty1 Year Parts and Labor/90 Day Lamp

Optoma UHD35

Optoma UHD35 Special Interest Award

As a gaming projector, the Optoma UHD35 core components operate at much higher levels of performance than a standard projector. Some of the key differences include the projector’s refresh rate, low input lag, and the ability to produce superior contrast.

The UHD35X input lag is listed at just 4.2 milliseconds in Enhanced Gaming mode at 1080P at 240 frames per second. This one of the lowest response times available on a projector. With the exception of a dedicated gaming monitor, it is also far superior to most flat panel displays.

While we couldn’t measure the unit’s input lag at 240hz we did measure the input lag at various resolutions and frame rates using our Murideo Seven Generator. Measurements are rounded off to the nearest millisecond.

Resolution / Frame RateInput Lag (Enhanced Game Mode)
1080/240PCouldn’t Measure
4K/120PNot Supported

The UHD35X supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) with provides the gamer with the ability to identify objects in the extreme bright and dark areas on the screen to keep from getting killed by another player. Projectors like the UHD35 are optimized to work better with gaming consoles and high-performance gaming computers. The unit’s excellent gaming performance is a result of being able to display a higher dynamic range of colors, higher resolution, and much faster refresh rates.

To read the full review, click here: Optoma UHD35 review

Optoma UHD35 Specs 
TechnologyDLP with XPR (0.47” DMD)
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160
Native Resolution1080 x 1920 x 4
Input Lag4.2ms (1080/240P)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3600
Zoom Lens Ratio1:1
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life4000/10,000/15,000 (Bright/ECO/Dynamic)
Warranty1 Year (Parts & Labor), 90 Days (Lamp)

Coming Soon!

BenQ TK700STi

BenQ TK700STi Gaming Projector

We are currently reviewing the BenQ TK700STi and so far it looks to be an impressive gaming projector in BenQ’s lineup. We will update this page once the review is published so stay tuned!