Projector Reviews

2022-2023 Buyer’s Guide to the Best Gaming Projectors: Playing to Win

Ultra-low lag projectors with a dedicated gaming picture image preset.

Projectors in this category are good options for gaming enthusiasts, particularly teens and competitive gamers who play to win. These players seek an edge over opponents and value ultra-fast input lag and contrast levels to help them suss out any competitors lurking in the shadows.

BenQ TH585

BenQ TH585 Hot Product Award
Price$599
Brightness3500 ANSI lumens
TechnologyDLP
Displayed Resolution1920 x1080
Light SourceLamp
Light Source Lifespan15,000 Hours (Lamp Saving Mode)
Input lag1080P@120fps: 8.33ms 1080P@120fps: 8.33ms
SoundBuilt-in 10-watt speakers

The BenQ TH585 is a 1080p unit with dual HDMI inputs and a USB input. It is a lamp-based DLP projector that BenQ says can produce 95% of Rec709 due to its RGBW color wheel. The BenQ TH585 has 8 preset picture modes and several delivered good color reproductions out of the box including the CINEMA, LIVING ROOM and two USER modes. Like all BenQ projectors, the TH585 also has a full set of picture calibration adjustments.

This projector offers excellent brightness at 3500 lumens. If your goal is to project on a very large screen with some ambient light, the BenQ TH858 has the power to produce a vibrant picture.

While most new panel TVs do not support 3D, many projectors are still 3D capable. It is nice that Benq TH585 supports 3D at its low price point because there are some users who still want to take advantage of the 3D movie and gaming content that they already own.

In our own tests, the BenQ TH585 input lag measured in the 16-17ms range, which is really outstanding. Time to throw down with friends and family or competitive online play over for epic pwnage, gamers are going to get smooth gameplay in even fast-paced games.

The BenQ TH585 is relatively compact, measuring 4.33″ high and 12.38″ wide. It weighs about 6.2 lbs. This projector will sound better when connected to a larger sound system, but it does have 10-watt built-in speakers for a fairly decent sound out of the box.

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ViewSonic PX706HD

ViewSonic PX706HD
The ViewSonic PX706HD is a short-throw projector and is designed specifically for gaming
Price$785
Brightness3000 ANSI lumens
Resolution1920 x1080
Light SourceLamp
Light Source Lifespan4000 hours (Lamp Saving Mode)
InputsHDMI x 2, USB Type-C
GamingInput lag 16ms
Portability – size5.9 lbs
Portability – powerNo battery
Portability – smartNo smart features
Sound5-Watt mono speaker

ViewSonic claims the PX706HD has an input lag of 16ms, and it measured close to claim – 16.4ms. This is about as good as it gets with projectors! Acceptable lag times range from 16ms to 50ms, with 50ms or a little bit higher being acceptable to all but the most hardcore, high-speed gamers. 33ms to 40ms is pretty good. The ViewSonic measured at 33ms without 3X Fast Input on, which translates to just over one frame behind on a 30fps game, and 2 frames on a 60fps game. That’d be fine for most people, but if you’re a serious gamer, you’ll want to turn on 3X Fast Input before starting up your gaming session to get that 16.4ms lag.

In addition to being ideal for gaming, the PX706HD has some other notable special features. It weighs less than 6 lbs and would easily fit in a backpack. This is useful for if you want to pack up your projector and bring it over to a friend’s place for a gaming or movies so that they can enjoy the big screen experience. It’s also 3D ready, so if you want to pop in a 3D movie, you can do that, too. You’ll just want to pick up a couple pairs of DLP Link Active Shutter 3D Glasses, which can be found online for under $30 a pair. The projector has PC-free presenting via PCs, Macs, and smartphones, so projecting your vacation photos and videos, or even a presentation at school or work, will be super easy on this ViewSonic.

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Optoma UHD35

Optoma UHD35 Special Interest Award
Optoma UHD35
Price$1299
Brightness3600 ANSI lumens
TechnologyDLP
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160
Light SourceLamp
Light Source Lifespan4000/10,000/15,000 (Bright/ECO/Dynamic)
Input lag4K@60fps: 16.7ms 1080p@60fps 16.7ms 1080p@120hz: 8.9 ms 1080p@240fps: 4.2ms
Sound10-watt internal speaker

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. This level of performance provides the gamer with the ability to identify objects in the extreme ranges of bright and dark or 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. This better performance is a result of being able to display a higher dynamic range of colors, higher resolution, and much faster refresh rates. Put simply, gaming projectors do more than offer a bigger and better television screen, they offer performance at a level that, until recently, was only available by owning a high-performance gaming display.

As with its previous UHD projector offerings, Optoma is focusing heavily on both the input lag rating of the Optoma UHD35 and its 4K cinema performance. When it comes to gaming, Optoma publishes a specification of 4.2ms vs the UHD50X input lag of 15.7 milliseconds in Advanced Gaming mode. This lamp-based DLP projector uses a Texas Instruments .47 DMD imager with TI’s proven pixel-shifting technology. This technology allows the Optoma projector to display true 4K resolution onscreen by using a single mirror to create multiple pixels of data, faster than the human eye can see.

Optoma says they want their users to be able to immerse themselves in a world of Ultra HD gaming, live sports, TV shows, and movies. The UHD35, like its predecessors, is designed to deliver impressive cinema-quality images, all with 3,600 Lumens of brightness (manufacturer claim).

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Optoma UHD50X

Optoma UHD50X
Optoma UHD50X
Price$1599
Brightness3400 ANSI lumens
TechnologyDLP
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160
Light SourceLamp
Light Source Lifespan4000/10,000/15,000 (Bright/ECO/Dynamic)
Input lag4K@60fps: 25.8ms 1080p@60fps 23.8ms 1080p@120hz: 18.2 ms 1080p@240fps: 15.7ms
Sound10-watt internal speaker

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, and that the UHD50X is a 4K home theater, or what Optoma calls a Cinema Gaming Projector. There are many capabilities in the UHD50X 4K that, at its heart, are driven by a Texas Instruments .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 pixels faster than the eye can see.

The Optoma UHD50X has a claimed input lag of just 15.7ms in Game mode. Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm this specification. However, when gaming, we did not notice any lag when a button was pressed on the controller, the action was triggered on the screen. Typical acceptable lag times range from 16ms to 50ms, with 50ms or a little higher being acceptable to all but the most hardcore, high-speed gamers. If you are a serious gamer, you’ll want to turn on Enhanced Gaming before starting your gaming session to get anywhere near that 15.7ms input lag rating.

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 BrilliantColor technology and an 8-segment color wheel that Optoma says will produce “the truest and most accurate colors,” presumably, in this class or price point. You better believe that we’re going to check it out. Finally, Optoma is touting the UHD50X’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) 10 & HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) support, which the manufacturer claims will provide “the brightest whites, deepest darks, and lifelike color.”

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Optoma UHZ50

Optoma_UHZ50
Price$1599
Brightness3000 ANSI lumens
TechnologyDLP
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160
Light SourceLaser
Light Source Lifespan25,000 Hours
Input lag4K@60fps: 16.7ms 1080p@240fps: 4ms
Sound5-watt mono speaker

The Optoma UHZ50 4K Laser DLP projector is a 3000 lumens projector with high-speed gaming mode. The UHZ50 uses Optoma’s DuraCore Laser Technology which is a hybrid laser and phosphor light source that uses a single blue light laser diode that passes through a phosphor color wheel resulting in an additional yellow light beam. Both the blue and yellow beams pass through a filter/color wheel converting, creating red and green light beams to go along with the blue light beam. This process is how the UHZ50 can generate the Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) needed to bounce off the DLP chip, then finally through the lens and onto your screen.

Optoma says that the DuraCore laser used on the UHZ50 is engineered to deliver exceptional, lifelike images for up to 30,000 hours of operation in Eco mode or 20,000 hours in Bright mode. It also provides stable color and brightness levels throughout the projector’s life.

The UHZ50 DuraCore Laser Light Engine is ECO friendly because it is mercury-free. DuraCore also means there is almost no warmup or cool-down time, so turning the projector on and off is a television-like experience, especially when compared to light sources like lamps. Optoma projectors that use DuraCore Laser Technology with its sealed light path have an IP5X/IP6X certification meaning the projector is protected from dirt and dust fouling up the light engine.

The Optoma UHZ50 offers an Enhanced Gaming mode with very low Input Lag. The UHZ50 does not support 4K 120Hz gaming, but it does allow gamers to enjoy fast-moving action with a 16.7ms response time in 4K at 60Hz and a 4ms response time in 1080P at 240Hz.

The Optoma UHZ50 looks to be every bit a dynamic 4K (displayed) laser projector designed to elevate home theater experiences in any room. Featuring 3,000 ANSI lumens of Lights On high brightness, DuraCore laser color, rich blacks, and pretty much all the connectivity options you will need, Optoma’s UHZ50 is priced to enable even more people to experience stunning 4K picture quality.

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Epson LS500

Epson LS500 Projector
Price$4999 (100″ Screen) $5999 (120″ Screen)
Brightness4000 ANSI lumens
Technology3LCD
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160
Light SourceLaser
Light Source Lifespan25,000 Hours
Input lag4K@60fps: 16.7ms
Sound10-watt speaker

An Ultra Short Throw projector, like the Epson LS500 Laser Projection TV, makes it easy for the average consumer to own a projector. One additional point I didn’t mention above. These UST laser TVs simplify owning a projector. Finally, no more ceiling mounts, running wires from your “gear” in the front of the room to a projector in the back, etc. Owning the LS500 is really no more complicated than owning a 65″ LCD TV mounted to your wall.

It comes with the familiar Smart TV functionality of Android, it is easy to install, the laser is rated for a whopping 20,000 hours (eco mode) and the unit comes with a 2-year warranty. At around $5,000 (including the 100-inch screen), the Epson LS500 Laser Projection TV is a real alternative for customers who crave the big screen experience in their living room.

Its audio system is better than most wall-mounted TVs and, most importantly, it produces a large sharp image. The LS500 ultra-low game lag also makes it an excellent option for a serious gamer. Its rated input lag of 16.7 ms input lag is a lot faster/better than most home projectors and many flat panel displays.

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Optoma UHD55

Optoma UHD55 Highly Recommended Award
Price$1,799
Brightness3600
TechnologyDLP w/XPR
Native Resolution1920×1080
Light SourceLaser
Light Source Lifespan4,000 Hours (Bright)
Input lag4.3ms @1080p
Sound10-watt mono speaker

The Optoma UHD55 is a 2,700-lumen 4K UHD projector that retails for a $1,799 MSRP and is designed for gaming and home entertainment. This new 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) projector offers advanced features such as a 1.3x optical zoom, vertical lens shift, HDR, a low input lag of 4.3 ms at 1080p for gaming, and both wired and wireless networking.

The Optoma UHD55 is a projector designed to satisfy the full spectrum of your home entertainment needs, from entering the world of Ultra HD gaming to getting immersed in all your favorite live sports, TV shows, and movies. The UHD55 offers a manufacturer’s brightness rating of 3,600 lumens and dynamic contrast of 1,200,000:1. This brightness and contrast level should be more than enough to ensure an excellent picture in daylight or rooms with uncontrolled sources of ambient light. The UHD55’s 4K UHD resolution and ultra-low input lag should provide users with a detailed, smooth, and high frame rate gaming experience. TV and movie lovers will appreciate the projector’s wide DCI-P3 cinematic color and smart features, including voice control, Creative Cast, IFTTT, and a built-in media player. 

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