Projector Reviews

2021-2022 Laser TV Buyer’s Guide – Under $4,000

In this report, we organized the products by price point to help you in your buying decision. This section represents the entry-level and mid-level projectors. We’ve tested all of the products listed below, many of which have won awards for their performance, so even at this price point, you can find an outstanding Laser TV option.

XGIMI Aura 4K Ultra Short Throw Smart Laser

XGIMI-Aura-Value-Leader Award
Rated “value leader” by Projector Reviews
Price $2499
Brightness 2400 lumens (manufacturer’s claim)
Resolution 1920x1080x4
Light Source Laser
Imager Type DLP with XPR (0.47” DMD)
Light Source Lifespan 25,000 hours
Inputs HDMI 2.0×3
Smart Android TV, Google Assistant
Sound 60-watt Harman/Kardon Audio System 15W tweeter x2, 15W woofers x 2
Bundled Screen No
TV Tuner No

The Aura is XGMI’s first UST projector, it retails for just $2499. This projector boots up super-fast, our reviewer clocked the start up speed at 12 seconds or less.

At 17.3-inches from a wall or UST projector screen, the Aura can project a 150-inch image. However, if you are short on space, the Aura can be placed a mere 4.3-inches away from a wall or UST projector screen to project an 80-inch image. The big images match up with the big and handsome-looking Aura.

The Aura uses a 0.47-inch DMD Texas Instruments (TI) DLP chipset and a 2,400 ANSI lumen laser diode light source to deliver its 4K (3840 x 2160) displayed resolution. In addition, Aura features HDR10 (High Dynamic Range); HDR10 sends static metadata to the video stream, which is encoded information on color calibration settings required to make images look more like the content creator’s intentions. The Aura covers up to 90% Rec. 709 and 80% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Like a TV, the Aura has a built-in audio system. XGIMI equipped the Aura with a built-in Harman/Kardon audio system. The 60-watt audio system includes two 15-watt tweeters and two 15-watt woofers.

The Aura has smart features, just like a modern smart TV would have. The Aura is powered by the Android TV™10.0 Operating System (OS). With Android TV™, the projector has the apps and capabilities that are included in smart TVs. The projector also includes Google Assistant, which allows you to control the Aura with your voice.

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VAVA VA-LT002

A super budget-friendly Laser TV option
Price $2799
Brightness 2500 lumens (manufacturer’s claim)
Display Resolution 3840×2160
Imager Type DLP
Light Source Laser
Light Source Lifespan 25,000 hours
Inputs HDMI x 3, USB x 1
Smart Smart Android system, Google Assistant, Alexa
Sound Harmon Kardon, 60W of power
Bundled Screen No
TV Tuner No

The VAVA is an affordable Ultra Short Throw projector that is 4K UHD resolution, and comes with a built-in media player. It has a hefty, built-in Harmon Kardon sound system (60 watts), and a good picture. Projector Reviews awarded this model our Special Interest Award back in 2019. The projector is impressive, overall. It’s priced aggressively, but does have a rough edge or two (including a shorter warranty than most – 1 year, parts & labor).

The VAVA Laser TV is 4K UHD (it uses the lower resolution 1920x1080x4 pixel shifting DLP chips, which the less expensive Laser TVs like this one, and the Optoma Cinemax P1 use). HDR10 is supported with 4K, and the VAVA has both Bluetooth input and also output (to feed a more powerful sound system or even some good headphones).

At 2500 lumens, the VAVA could be brighter.  It’s brightness for the price is rather good, but there are significantly more expensive competitors, at least a couple of which are noticeably brighter.  Unlike some of the other models in this buyer’s guide, the VAVA does not come with a bundled screen. With the right screen, the VAVA can handle a room with a good bit of ambient light.

If you are new to projectors – If you decide to go for it, to put a VAVA Laser TV and a proper screen in your living or family room, and you will almost certainly love it. It’s a very impressive first projector for VAVA.

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JMGO U2 LASER TV

JMGO U2
Kickstarter funded
Price $2999
Brightness 2400 lumens (manufacturer’s claim)
Resolution 1920x1080x4
Light Source Laser
Imager Type DLP
Light Source Lifespan 50,000 hours
Inputs HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB 2.0
Smart Luna OS with a built-in smart Android system
Sound Dolby Surround audio – 15W x 2 speakers, 10W x 2 tweeter
Bundled Screen No
TV Tuner No

The JMGO U2 is a 4K ultra-short-throw DLP projector that supports [email protected] video playback and retails for $2,599 on special and $2,999 at a regular price. The U2’s Tri-Color triple Laser light is rated to deliver 2,400 lumens which our reviewer confirmed as accurate. JMGO claims that the laser light engine will last for 50,000 hours. The U2 projector offers a one-year warranty along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The JMGO U2 comes with a built-in Luna OS. Luna OS is built on top of Android OS with a borderless design that blends in well in any environment. Simply pair the U2 with a preferred streaming TV box or TV stick to enjoy your favorite show. Luna OS features gadgets for your 24/7 companion, including a music visualizer, bulletin board, weather dashboard, and more. Luna OS Android backend allows you to live a smart life with JMGO U2. With the Alexa built-in, simply tell JMGO O1 to turn on the lights, search for movies or answer questions for you. A voice control remote with a built-in microphone allows you to control a wide range of compatible smart devices via Google Assistant. You can press the Google Assistant button in the center of the remote control to activate the voice assistant on the U2. In addition to the projector, Google Assistant also allows voice control for several third-party items such as a set-top box, lights, door locks, curtains, etc.

The size of the U2’s chassis is one of the reasons this projector has among the biggest, boomiest sound systems of any Laser TV we’re reviewed here at Projector Reviews. The larger chassis leaves more room for the speakers and resonance. It’s dynamic and gets loud, so if you don’t have an external sound system to connect the JMGO to, the built-in sound quality will be more than acceptable. The speakers, which were co-created by Dynaudio, deliver excellent sound with decent bass, clean dialogue, and very transparent highs. The JMGO U2 is both Dolby and DTS certified, so it supports surround sound.

A built-in media player is becoming more common these days, but it’s worth noting that the JMGO U2 features one that will play content off a USB flash drive in up to 4K resolution. The U2’s media player supports MVC/ISO/H.265(level 5.1)/VC-1/JPEG/MP3 content.

If you want to put a very large TV in your living or theater room, this JMGO would be an excellent choice. The JMGO U2 offers a good picture, smart features, and low maintenance, making it a compelling option to replace your television as your home’s primary display in your family room.

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OPTOMA CINEMAX P2 LASER TV

A minimalist and modern design enhances any room’s décor
Price $3299
Brightness 3000 lumens (manufacturer’s claim)
Resolution 1920x1080x4
Imager Type DLP
Light Source Laser
Light Source Lifespan 30,000 hours
Inputs HDMI 2.0 x 3 (HDCP 2.2 supported, HDMI 1 support ARC), USB-A 2.0 x 3 
Smart Android OS, Optoma Smart+
Sound 19 Watts x 2, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio
Bundled Screen No
TV Tuner No

Optoma uses the phrase “Form meets function” in their materials for the CinemaX P2 and we definitely agree here at Projector Reviews. Optoma’s CinemaX P2 is a slim, clean-looking Laser TV finished in a light tan color metal and cloth. Since the P2 is an ultra-short-throw projector, the Optics slot is on the top. The front of the projector (the side facing the user) projects a minimalist yet modern design that subtly draws your eye to the projector’s clean lines and attractive shape. The Optoma CinemaX P2 design is complementary, allowing it to fit many entertainment room designs and styles. The Power button and four tiny LED lights are on the right side of the projector.

The Optoma CinemaX P2 is more than just a pretty face. Underneath its hood is a range of high-performance technologies including a single blue laser diode supplies light to a Texas Instruments 0.47 DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) DLP (Digital Light Processing) chip that powers the P2.

Like its older brother, the CinemaX P1, the P2 is a smart projector with access to Android apps built into the projector’s operating system. With Android app support built-in, you don’t have to worry about using a third-party dongle like an Amazon Firestick or the new Chromecast with Google TV.

There is another terrific element to the CinemaX P2 projector’s smart capabilities, and that is the InfoWall Light and Great Masters’ collection. Think of it as a lock screen like on your Android phone where you can display custom wallpapers and information such as time, date, weather, news, and information. With the Great Masters’ feature, your P2 can display a variety of artwork onto your wall. It is a nice set of options to have should you want your home theater projector to be more than…a home theater projector.

The CinemaX P2 has plenty of audio power, starting with a specification of 2×19 watts to drive the four speakers inside the case consisting of two full-range drivers (one for each channel) and two separate “woofers” to handle the low end. The P2 has plenty of muscle and is capable of producing big, and yes, accurate sound. The P2’s four speakers include two small woofers producing audio unlike any other ultra short throw projectors reviewed, except for the Optoma P1. The P2 can run its internal speakers as a soundbar and pass bass to a separate subwoofer at the same time via an analog connection. It can also play music wirelessly from smartphones or tablets via Bluetooth.

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BENQ V7050I 4K LASER TV

Ben Q V7050i Highly Recommended by Projector Reviews
BenQ’s freshman entry into the Laser TV market is sleek and boasts a superb image – crisp & colorful
Price $3499
Brightness 2500 lumens (manufacturer’s claim)
Resolution 3840×2160 (1920x1080x4)
Imager Type DLP
Light Source Laser
Light Source Lifespan 20,000 hours (normal)/30,000 (ECO)
Inputs HDM1 x 2, USB
Smart Google certified Android TV stick included, Google Assistant
Sound treVolo-tuned 5W x 2 virtual surround stereo
Bundled Screen No
TV Tuner No

The BenQ V7050i is a 2500 lumen Laser TV that retails for $3499. BenQ knows something about making a projector that looks good, both inside and out. The V7050i is a beautifully designed projector with sleek-edged aluminum lines that houses a laundry list of high-performance video technology ready to bring a cinematic entertainment experience to your living room.

At the heart of the V7050i is a 2,500-lumen laser diode light source and a Texas Instruments DLP (.47″ DMD) imager to display a bright 4K picture. It features HDR-Pro™ (High Dynamic Range) for improved image quality and shadow detail from HDR content. The V7050i also utilizes BenQ’s proprietary CinematicColor™ technology to deliver a wider color gamut covering up to 98% of the DCI-P3 color space. The projector’s FILMMAKER mode did a great job utilizing the unit’s color capability accurately.

Like most Laser TV projectors, the V7050i offers an onboard sound system that BenQ has designed to outperform many competitors. BenQ includes a treVolo-tuned, 5W x 2 built-in virtual surround audio system that provides a complete home theater experience with only one projector that sits just inches from the screen.

The BenQ V7050i laser TV is a smart projector. It is a Google-certified Android TV™ device providing access to most of the popular Android TV video applications. You can also control the unit with your voice via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Our reviewer was wowed with this unit, stating “After using the V7050i for a couple of weeks now, I have to say that I am incredibly impressed. This projector delivers a noticeably crisper, more detailed, and colorful image than I have seen to date on any other ultra-short-throw projector in its class. It’s superb.”

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Hisense 100L5F

Hisense-100L5F-Laser-TV
Affordable and an excellent choice to replace your flat panel TV
Price $3999
Brightness 3000 lumens (manufacturer’s claim)
Resolution 1920 x 1080 x 4
Imager Type DLP
Light Source Laser
Light Source Lifespan 25,000 hours
Inputs HDMI x 4, USB x 2
Smart Yes, Android and Google Assistant
Sound 15W x 2
Bundled Screen Yes – 100-inch
TV Tuner Yes

Following up previous Hisense Laser TVs that offered great performance at a more premium price point, the 100L5F is Hisense’s most budget friendly Laser TV model. The projector’s single DLP chip can reproduce 4K UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160) via pixel shifting. The 100L5F was the first Hisense Laser TV compatible with both HDR10 and HLG content. Hisense rated its Laser light engine at 3,000 lumens for 25,000 hours which equates to years of worry-free operation. The 100L5F uses Hisense’s EX-Fusion™ laser system which utilizes a blue laser with a phosphor wheel.

The 100L5F ships with a 100-inch ambient light rejecting screen. The screen is optimized for an ultra-short throw projector, which improves the viewing experience during the day or when the lights are on. As we discussed in this buyer’s guide, the 100L5F is designed to serve as a TV replacement and it includes most of the features we stated were must-haves: including a TV tuner, internal speakers, and of course, smart features. The 100L5F utilizes the same Android TV smart platform found in Hisense’s newest flat panel TVs. The settings menus and smart apps are seamlessly integrated together.

The 100L5F, like most Hisense Laser TV models, is bundled with an ambient light rejecting screen designed specifically for ultra-short throw projectors. The screen is 100” and uses StarBright CLR material which allows viewing during the day or in higher ambient light. The ALR screen is a real plus because it helps maintain good contrast and rich saturated colors under less than optimal lighting conditions.

Unlike earlier ALR UST screens which were fixed, the included screen is shipped disassembled. One of the benefits of a Hisense Laser TV is that it is much easier for someone to maneuver it into an upstairs apartment than it would be for an 85” or 100″ flat panel.

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