Best Laser Projector Picks for 2021

Best Laser Projector Picks for 2021

Most home theater projectors use an LED lamp design to project the image. Laser projectors use a different internal design, however, that allows them to provide a broader range of colors and a sharper image. Generally speaking, the best laser projector will offer a superior picture to a lamp-based projector.

We’ve rounded up our seven favorite laser projectors and reviewed them below. Taking everything together, the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 is our top choice.  (>>> Find it on Amazon) Not only does it have a stunning picture and easy set-up, it also comes with a high-quality screen and has streaming capabilities, making it an all-in-one entertainment package.

That doesn’t mean it’s the perfect projector for everyone, though. Depending on which factors are most important in your decision, one of the other projectors reviewed below might be a better fit for you.

Best Laser Projector 2021 – Top Picks:

Epson LS500 Optoma P2 Sony VW325ES Samsung LSP7T BenQ V7050i LG HU85LA WEMAX Nova
Resolution 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD
Brightness 4,000 ANSI 3,000 ANSI 1,500 ANSI 2,200 ANSI 2,500 ANSI 2,700 ANSI 2100 ANSI
Contrast ratio 2,500,000:1 2,000,000:1 9,000:1 2,000,000:1 2,000,000:1 2,000,000:1 3,000:1
Throw Distance 0.7′ – 1.9′ 1.5′ – 2.2′ 12.5′ – 30.5′ 0.8′ – 1.4′ 0.2′ – 1.1′ 1.3′ – 1.7′ 5” – 1’7”
Max screen size 130” 120” 60″ – 300″ 90″ – 120″ 70″ – 120″ 120” 80” – 150”
Speakers 2 x 10 W 2 x 20 W No 30 W 5.0 Watts × 2 2 x 5 W 30 Watts
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Laser projectors are typically brighter than their lamp-based counterparts. There’s still some variation from one model to another, though. A quality laser projector can range anywhere from around 1,500-2,000 lumens on the low side to as much as 20,000 lumens or more.

 

Keep in mind that brighter isn’t always better. A lamp that’s too bright will be hard to watch for long spans of time and can lead to eye strain and pain. In a dedicated home theater or other dark space, 1,500-2,500 lumens is an ideal range. Rooms with moderate or high levels of ambient light will call for a higher projector brightness in the 2,500-5,000 lumen range. (More info about recommended projector brightness here).

Brightness

Laser projectors are typically brighter than their lamp-based counterparts. There’s still some variation from one model to another, though. A quality laser projector can range anywhere from around 1,500-2,000 lumens on the low side to as much as 20,000 lumens or more.

 

Keep in mind that brighter isn’t always better. A lamp that’s too bright will be hard to watch for long spans of time and can lead to eye strain and pain. In a dedicated home theater or other dark space, 1,500-2,500 lumens is an ideal range. Rooms with moderate or high levels of ambient light will call for a higher projector brightness in the 2,500-5,000 lumen range. (More info about recommended projector brightness here).

Brightest projector: Epson EpiqVision LS500

Throw Distance and Ratio

Throw Distance

Another advantage of laser projectors is that they can often get a shorter throw ratio than most lamp-based projectors. The throw ratio is the measurement of how far away from the screen your projector needs to be to create a large image, so this is especially important for smaller spaces.

 

Where many lamp-based projectors need several feet of distance, some laser projectors measure their throw distance in inches. Even if you have plenty of space, this can give you more flexibility when you’re setting things up. The Epson LS500 and Samsung LSP7T can both produce a large image with less than a foot, but the super-short throw distance of the BenQ V7050i edges them out by a few inches.

 

Shortest throw ratio: BenQ V7050i

Resolution

The native resolution of a projector determines whether it’s capable of playing HD content with its full detail. As you might expect, a higher resolution typically comes with a higher price tag. The standard for home theater projectors is 1080p resolution, though an increasing number offer full 4K UHD. (Find out best 4k projectors options for 2021)

 

The 3 SXRD technology employed by the Sony VW325ES takes Ultra HD resolution to another level, with 8.8 million on-screen pixels, even more than the 8.3 million of typical 4K. This is backed by Reality Creation which upscales lower-resolution content to maximize the image clarity.

 

Projector with the best resolution: Sony VW325ES

Sound

It used to be that laser projectors were designed more for presentations and offices than they were for home theaters. Because of this, they don’t as often come with speakers installed, the way many home theater projectors do.

 

There are exceptions, however—and on the plus side, laser projectors that do include speakers tend to give you a higher sound quality. Most home theater projectors have speakers rated for only 10 to 20 watts of power, but some laser projectors include soundbars that give much better volume and audio quality. The 4 speakers in the WeMax Nova include 2 woofers and 2 full-range drivers, powered by 30 watts for a powerful output across the frequency range.

 

Best projector for sound: WeMax Nova


Best Laser Projector: Full Reviews

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500

The incredible picture quality on the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 starts with its native 4K resolution, which keeps the details crisp and life-like. It also has a high contrast ratio for rich black levels and remarkable picture depth. The 3LCD chip color processing provides all the hues from the Rec. 709 spectrum, with advanced 10-bit HDR support so you’ll see hues the way they were intended.

Gamers should take note of the Epson LS500, too. Its input lag is low enough for even professional gamers, with no detectable delay between your actions and what you see on-screen. This makes it an excellent choice for mixed-use spaces, especially since it also uses an Android TV system with Google Assistant voice search capabilities.

Of course, the most unique advantage of the Epson LS500 is the included high-definition ALR screen. It has a low glare and a wide viewing angle that’s ideal for viewing parties, giving everyone the best seat in the house. It’s designed to work perfectly with the LS500 projector, too, helping to make the set-up and installation even easier. Read our full review of Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500

  • Sharp, detailed picture with 4K resolution
  • Low 16.7ms input lag is ideal for gaming
  • Excellent color accuracy with full HDR10 processing
  • Bright lamp looks sharp and vibrant even with ambient light
  • Includes a 100” ALR screen
  • Built-in voice search through Google Assistant
  • Easy, flexible installation thanks to ultra-short throw distance
  • 3D content only displays in Full HD (not 4K)
  • High cost

Optoma CinemaX P2

optoma cinemax p2 laser projector

optoma cinemax p2 laser projectorThe upgrade of the Optoma P1, the P2 matches its best features and adds some new features that will make it an even better choice for some users.

For image quality, the Optoma CinemaX P2 has to be seen to be believed. The native 4K resolution is supported by a Dynamic Black contrast ratio and over 1 billion displayable colors. Overall, it’s truly cinema-quality.

You’ll also get expanded smart home support with the Optoma P2. There are more custom commands available for voice control through Alexa or Google Home, and this allows for more complex routines and integration with other devices through IFTTT.

Another benefit of the Optoma CinemaX P2 over its predecessor is that it’s more responsive. The input lag is around 55ms. That’s still a bit high for serious gamers, but for single-player games and casual gaming, there’s no noticeable delay. Click here for a more detailed review of this projector.

  • Lower input lag makes it suitable for casual gamers
  • 6-segment color wheel with HDR10 support
  • High contrast ratio
  • Reliable light source lasts up to 30,000 hours
  • Throw ratio is the shortest on the list
  • Robust voice control functions (Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT support)
  • Integrated 40-watt soundbar with Dolby Digital 2.0 support
  • Not the best option for competitive multi-player gamers
  • Some users report difficulty using the SmartFIT app

Sony VW325ES

Sony VW325ES

The Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) in the Sony VW325ES gives it arguably the best picture quality of any home theater projector. Its resolution exceeds the on-screen pixels of even most 4K projectors, with a high dynamic contrast for rich black levels and superior image depth. Its Reality Creation technology and HDR enhancement further enhance the sharpness, resulting in an image that’s truly life-like and immersive.

The Sony VW325ES brings this high image quality to any kind of content. Its Motionflow technology keeps on-screen action smooth so sports and action movies stay sharp and detailed. It also supports 3D content and has upscaling for lower resolutions, so all content will look great on the VW325ES.

In a dedicated home theater space, the Sony VW325ES is a great choice, but it’s not the most flexible option in terms of where you can use it. It needs a lot of space—about 14 feet for a 100” screen. You’ll also need a dark space with good light control measures, along with external speakers since there aren’t any built-in to the projector.

  • Exceptionally sharp, detailed picture
  • 4K upscaling for lower resolutions
  • Vibrant colors with Triluminos display
  • Full 3D support
  • Frame interpolation keeps on-screen action smooth
  • Wide lens shift and zoom
  • Low lamp brightness
  • Long throw distance
  • No built-in speakers

Samsung LSP7T

Samsung Premiere LSP7T

The Samsung LSP7T is an excellent projector for those who want all-in-one performance. Its 2.2-channel sound system has dual woofers and mid-range drivers, providing a balanced and clear sound across the frequency range. With 30 watts of power, it puts out enough volume to fill any viewing area.

The LSP7T also has built-in wireless connectivity and comes with a TIZEN smart TV system. It supports popular streaming apps like Prime Video, Apple TV, and YouTube, letting you watch your favorite content with a streaming stick or other content source.

With its powerful processor and vivid picture, the Samsung LSP7T produces a clear, colorful image on any white surface, whether that’s a white wall in your home or a bedsheet hung up in the backyard. Since it doesn’t need a screen, this makes the LSP7T one of the few projectors you can use straight out of the box, no extra accessories needed.

Setting up the Samsung LSP7T is relatively easy, as well. Its throw distance is short even by laser projector standards. It only needs about 1 foot of distance for a 100” screen, giving it a lot of versatility for different spaces and set-ups. While it doesn’t have the lens shift or keystone correction options you’ll find on other projectors, its ultra-short throw eliminates the need for them in most homes, so for most that won’t complicate the installation in any way.

  • Ture 4K resolution with powerful UHD processor
  • Cinema-quality movie watching experience in Filmmaker Mode
  • Ultra-short throw distance
  • Supports multiple voice control services
  • Wireless connectivity and smart TV system for streaming
  • Powerful, clear sound with built-in sound system
  • No keystone correction or other adjustment options
  • No dynamic contrast

BenQ V7050i

BenQ V7050i

The BenQ V7050i is a low-maintenance and user-friendly home theater projector. It’s designed to repel dust and has a lamp lifespan of up to 20,000 hours, so it doesn’t need frequent upkeep. Setting it up is a breeze, too, with an ultra-short throw distance that will produce a massive picture from just about a foot away.

The picture quality of the V7050i is impressive, too. It uses HDR-PRO tone mapping to optimize the color and contrast of the image. The wide color gamut and Filmmaker Mode bring cinema-level quality to movies. While it’s not the brightest projector on the list, its short throw limits the impact of ambient light. You’ll still want to have good curtains for your windows, but you won’t need to turn all the lights off to watch.

The BenQ V7050i comes with an Android TV dongle for streaming. Keep in mind you’ll need to use one of the HDMI ports for it, which can be a bit annoying if you have lots of devices, especially since it only has 2 HDMI inputs total. Having said that, it is wirelessly equipped and can mirror content from devices, so it still has ample connectivity for many users.

  • Sharp, high-contrast 4K image
  • Cinematic color (98% of DCI-P3 spectrum)
  • Filmmaker Mode enhances movie quality
  • Automatic tone mapping
  • Comes with Android TV dongle
  • Ultra-short throw distance
  • Low-maintenance, dust-resistant design
  • Netflix isn’t supported
  • Android interface isn’t built in

LG HU85LA

LG HU85LA

The LG HU85LA is arguably the smartest laser projector on the market. It comes with built-in Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with Google Assistant. It also uses LG’s proprietary Smart TV interface with ThinQ AI. Navigating is easy with the included magic remote, and it’s equally simple to integrate into an existing smart home system.

Gamers will also love the LG HU85LA. It has a fairly low input lag of around 55ms. That’s not in the exceptional range but is definitely suitable for most gamers, even fast-paced and graphic intensive multi-player games.

The LG HU85LA also has one of the shortest throw distances on the home projector market. The .19 throw ratio is impressive even for a laser projector. You can truly use it in any room and get the same excellent resolution and picture quality.

While the LG HU85LA is on the pricier side, it’s worth the investment if you want the most versatile home theater projector. It also has the highest picture quality on the list. True 4K resolution and HDR10 with Dynamic Tone Mapping provide an image that’s optimized frame by frame, with TruMotion processing to make on-screen movement more fluid. Find a full review of this projector here.

  • Excellent color accuracy and contrast ratio
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Ultra-short throw ratio (120” screen from only 7” away)
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
  • Smart TV interface and Google Assistant voice control
  • Low input lag for gamers
  • Smooth frame movement with TruMotion

WEMAX Nova

WeMax Nova

The WeMax Nova is another great option if you’re looking for all-in-one capability. Its integrated Android interface comes with access to thousands of streaming apps (with the notable exception of Netflix, as is the case with any interface that uses the Google Play store). It also has 30-watt speakers with Dolby Audio support, producing louder and more immersive sound than you’ll get from most projectors.

Setting up the WeMax Nova is a straightforward process. It only needs inches of distance for a big screen and has an 8-point keystone correction feature that quickly corrects the on-screen geometry. Just put it on your entertainment center, plug it in, and you’ll be watching in minutes.

At 2,100 lumens, the lamp on the WeMax Nova is just bright enough for lights-on viewing, though it may still struggle in well-lit environments. This is its only weakness from a picture quality standpoint, though. The Texas Instruments DLP display produces a sharp, high-contrast image, with support for HDR10 and full coverage of the Rec. 709 color spectrum. For our more in-depth review of this projector click here.

  • Crisp and colorful 4K image
  • Integrated Android TV interface
  • Wireless casting via Bluetooth
  • 8-point keystone correction
  • High sound quality and output
  • Google Assistant voice control
  • Doesn’t support Netflix
  • Not bright enough for well-lit spaces

Customer Impressions

Most modern projectors are very easy to use and set-up. The smart features and short-throw ratio offered by these projectors make it even easier. The only complaint from users on this front was from those ceiling mounting the VAVA model, which is on the heavy side. Users buying their first projector appreciate that the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 comes with a screen and the mounting hardware needed to hang it. This takes the guess-work out of alignment, too, since it’s built to work with the size of screen that’s included.

If you’re looking for the most reliable projector, both the VAVA and the Optoma P1 have high marks, with long usable lifetimes and low maintenance requirements. Having said that, some users have been frustrated by the customer support for the Optoma P1, especially if they’re having trouble making the image align with the SmartFIT app. While the company is generally responsive and good about fulfilling warranty repair requests, they can take a while to get back to people who have questions and issues.

Something else to consider is whether you’re sensitive to image issues like the rainbow effect. This is an unavoidable with projectors that use a color wheel, such as the Optoma P1 and P2. While some viewers aren’t bothered by this, those that are should get a projector like the Epson LS500, whose 3LCD chip technology isn’t prone to this issue.

So What’s the Best Laser Projector?

If you’re going to spend the money it takes to get a laser projector, you might as well go for the best. In our opinion, that’s the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500 (>>> Find it on Amazon). It has a short-throw ratio, a high picture quality, and is responsive enough for most gaming applications. The easy set-up is a mark in its favor, too.

 

That being said, the other projectors on the list all have their strengths. The exceptional picture quality of the Sony VW325ES make it the best choice for those who want the ultimate home theater experience, and the ultra-short throw and all-in-one design of the Samsung LSP7T and WeMax Nova give them a lot of flexibility.

 

The best way to find the right projector for your home theater is to do your research. Any of these options could be a great choice depending on your home, your budget, and the type of content you’ll be using it for. We hope the reviews above have given you a good start on finding the perfect projector for you.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING:

This Article was first published by Projector Top.

Published by Projector Top

September 3, 2021

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