Best Ultra Short Throw Projector: Reviews & Comparison (2021)

Going to the movies is always a treat. But have you ever wanted to experience the majesty of a movie theater right in your own home? This used to cost thousands of dollars to accomplish. But now, with an ultra-short-throw projector, you can bring the theater-quality projection right into your home. This kind of projector is a major improvement in video projectors of the past, too. Most don’t even need to be mounted to the ceiling!

Ultra-short throw projectors are a hot commodity right now. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that every major projector brand has one or more to offer. You’ll need to do some comparison shopping, as a result. That way, you can find the best projector to meet your budget and your needs.

In this guide, we’ll be going through the top 10 best ultra-short throw projectors on today’s market. Along the way, you’ll also learn what to look for in a high-quality ultra-short-throw projector. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to purchase a projector that takes your home viewing experience to the next level.

Best Ultra Short Throw Projector – Comparison

PictureProduct NameResolutionConnectivityPrice
Optoma GT5600Optoma GT56001080pUSB/ Wi-FiCheck Latest Price
Optoma CinemaX P1Optoma CinemaX P14KDual HDMI, USBCheck Latest Price
Optoma GT5500+Optoma GT5500+1080pUSBCheck Latest Price
Epson Home Cinema LS100Epson Home Cinema LS100Full HD 1080p HDMICheck Latest Price
LG PF1000UWLG PF1000UW1080pBluetoothCheck Latest Price
ASUS S1ASUS S1WVGA(854×480)HDMI^MHLCheck Latest Price
Puppy Robot Puppy CubePuppy Robot Puppy Cube1080PWiFi, BluetoothCheck Latest Price
ViewSonic M1ViewSonic M1Full HD (1920x1080p)USBCheck Latest Price
VAVA 4KVAVA 4K 4KBluetooth, USBCheck Latest Price
LG HU85LALG HU85LA2.5″15 toolsCheck Latest Price

The Best Ultra Short Throw Projector for Your Home

1. Optoma GT5600 Ultra Short Throw Gaming and Movie Projector

Optoma GT5600 Ultra Short Throw Gaming and Movie Projector

First up, we have one of the most popular ultra-short-throw projectors for home use. The Optoma GT5600 has earned this title by providing a solid standard of performance for nearly all its users.

For example, this model provides four-corner correction while it is active. This allows the unit to improve your movie’s contrast between lights and darks. That correction won’t interfere with its 1080p output, though. So, no worries there!

Speaking of contrast, this model provides a 20,000:1 contrast ratio. This isn’t the highest contrast rating for a projector in this price range, by any means. But most viewers will still find this level of contrast optimal when projecting at 100”. Some users of this projector even applauded its black levels compared to more expensive models.

For a long time, you could only see a 3D film if you went to a movie theater. But this projector has bucked that trend among ultra-short-throw projector. In fact, this model accepts 3D inputs from multiple sources. So, you can watch your 3D DVDs and Blu-rays as they were meant to be seen.

Should you need it, you can also wirelessly interface with this projector. Using a special USB attachment, you can display presentations and photos directly through this unit. This projector even allows for screen mirroring from both Android and iOS devices.

While all these features are great, the Optoma GT5600 does still have some drawbacks. For example, many former users have noted how loud its fan runs. This can be a bit of a bother while trying to enjoy your favorite movie.

Also, this best ultra short throw projector only has a digital zoom function. In most cases, this won’t be a major issue. But if you ever need to zoom in with this projector, you’ll find your images distorted and pixelated to a degree.

What We Like:

  • Does not require overhead mounting
  • Four-corner correction for sharp contrast at 1080p
  • Accepts 3D broadcasting, DVDs, and Blu-Rays
  • USB display allows for computer-free image viewing
  • Deep black levels at 20,000:1 contrast level

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Internal fan is loud in bright modes
  • Only utilizes a digital zoom

2. Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector

Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector

Next up is a real premium option that you won’t want to miss. The Optoma CinemaX P1 has really defined what a home cinema is capable of. While is $3,500+ price tag is steep, you’ll find that ever cent is worth it when it comes to this unit’s projection capabilities.

Case and point – this projector’s active contrast ratio of 1,500,000:1. That’s nearly 100x greater than the industry average for an ultra-short throw projector! As a result, every light and dark area of your film will always be perfectly rendered.

Furthermore, this model’s 4K Ultra HD output is a major leap forward. You might even mistake this unit’s output for a TV while it is playing a live sports game! That’s because this projector utilizes PureMotion image processing. In essence, this feature ensures that every frame is sewn together in real time for seamless viewing experience.

No movie experience would be complete without top-notch sound, though. On that front, the Optoma CinemaX P1 still has you covered. This model uses an integrated NuForce 40W soundbar, in fact. As a result, this projector alone can fill your living room with pure sound.

It’s also clear that the Optoma CinemaX P1 was made for a modern home. Why else would they include so much smart device compatibility? Right out of the box, for example, you’ll be able to connect your Alexa or Google Home to this projector. Then, you’ll be able to control it fully with your voice commands.

Besides that, though, this projector is IFTTT compatible. As a result, you can be sure that it will pair perfectly with any new smart devices that may come out in the future.

What We Like:

  • 1,500,000:1 contrast ratio for brighter whites and deeper blacks
  • Large 120″ image provides theater-like experience
  • Integrated NuForce 40W soundbar produces lifelike sound clarity
  • Can accept voice commands through Alexa and Google Home
  • IFTTT compatibility with thousands of smart devices

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very expensive at over $3,500
  • Throw distance a bit further than most models in its class

3. Optoma GT5500+ Ultra Short Throw Gaming Projector

Optoma GT5500+ Ultra Short Throw Gaming Projector

Here’s another great option from Optoma – the GT5500+ model. Sure, this unit may not be the prettiest from the outside. But it’s what inside that counts with ultra-short throw projectors. On that front, the Optoma GT5500+ really delivers.

Take this model’s full HD 1080p projections, for example. You’ll immediately notice its 25,000:1 contrast ratio in every shot. You’ll also notice how many rich hues show up in every frame. That’s because this unit is capable of recreating 1.07 billion colors. Yes, that’s “billion” with a “b”!

These performance standards hold up at several different projection widths, too. That’s good because you can actually adjust this model’s projection size pretty easily. In mere moments, you can change from 80” to 100” without losing even a single pixel of clarity.

All of these projections specifications also apply to this model’s 3D capabilities. So, if you utilize this model’s 3D sync port, you’ll find its crisp aspect ratio unharmed.

Many gamers also favor the Optoma GT5500+. This is likely because it has an impressive refresh rate that rarely ever drops a keyframe. This model also has a fairly low throw ratio at 0.25:1. As a result, an eagle-eyed gamer will always know that they are viewing their game precisely as their console intended it.

I’ll admit, the Optoma GT5500+ is slightly portable due to its size and shape. But still, its 10 lbs. weight makes it a little bulky and cumbersome. So, if you choose this model, know that it will likely be easier to leave it in place then regularly move it about.

Also, this model’s average lamp life is a mere 6,500 hours. As such, you may be spending extra to replace this projector’s bulb regularly if you watch a lot of movies.

What We Like:

  • Adjustable screen size from 80 to 100 inches
  • 3D sync port allows for use with active RF3D glasses
  • Solid 25,000:1 contrast ratio
  • High refresh rate ideal for use with Xbox One, PS4, and personal computers
  • Comes with all necessary VGA and USB cables

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Slightly portable at around 10 lbs.
  • Relatively short lamp life at only 6,500 hours

4. Epson Home Cinema LS100 3LCD Ultra Short-throw Projector

Epson Home Cinema LS100 3LCD Ultra Short-throw Projector

Personally, I’ve always associated with the Epson brand with computer printers. But now that I’ve seen the Epson Home Cinema LS100 in action, I’m reconsidering my assumptions. As I’ve learned, this is one of the most outstanding projectors in the home cinema class.

Take a look at this model’s core specifications, for example. They demonstrate that it stands head-and-shoulders above its competition. This model’s contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1 is a prime example. Contrast ratios in the multi-millions are common in movie theaters. But in an at-home projector? That kind of differentiation between lights and darks is almost unheard of.

Of course, a beautiful movie is about more than light and dark contrast. You simply must have vivid colors to make a film come alive in your living room. Fortunately, the Epson Home Cinema LS100’s 3LCD technology makes the grade here, too. This feature alone ensures that every imaginable color is displayed with precision.

It’s also clear that Epson’s engineers know what their buyers want most. That’s why this model was equipped with 3 HDMI ports. This model runs at a quiet 30 dB, too, so it won’t drown out the rich sounds of your feature presentation.

Oh, the Epson Home Cinema LS100 also comes with a 2-year warranty. That can at least in part justify its high price tag. But without a doubt, this best ultra short throw projector will serve your home well for a decade or more.

What We Like:

  • 2,500,000:1 contrast ratio comparable to true cinema blacks and whites
  • 3LCD technology ensures that all colors display vividly
  • 3 built-in HDMI ports all it to act as a hub
  • Quiet operation as low as 30 dB
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • High-end price tag at just under $3,000
  • Lacks many compatibilities seen in similarly-priced models

5. LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater CineBeam Projector

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater CineBeam Projector

I’ll admit, the size and shape of this ultra-short throw projector threw me off initially. I didn’t think a projector with such a thin and compact form factor could stack up. But as it turns out, the LG PF1000UW is a fully viable option that some at-home movie viewers might really appreciate.

This model’s basic specifications measure up to the industry standards, for example. In fact, this unit can project in full HD at a 1920 x 1080 prospective ratio. That’s backed by 1,000 lumens of bulb power, too. So, you can be sure that you’ll see every frame clearly without needing to strain your eyes.

This is especially true if you prefer to watch your movies in a lit room. That’s because the LG PF1000UW’s contrast ratio clocks in at 150,000:1. Without question, that’s plenty of contrast to make even a dramatic nighttime scene appear without any blurring or merging.

LG has made a point to mention that the PF1000UW uses their new Smart TV platform. As such, you can access many of the usual apps through this projector. However, if you live outside the US, these apps may not work correctly for you. Also, LG’s platform lacks a few important apps, including Hulu’s app.

LG also appears to have built the PF1000UW to last a long time. For example, this model’s standard LED light source is rated to last 30,000 hours. That’s almost 5 times as long as a standard projector bulb. That kind of longevity could really save you some money down the road, you know!

What We Like:

  • Lightweight and slim form factor
  • Comes with a TV-compatible Magic Remote
  • Screen share compatible out of the box with all major OS
  • 150,000:1 contrast ratio impressive for smaller unit
  • LED light source lasts for an impressive 30,000 hours or 10 years

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Smart TV features do not work outside US
  • Loud fan
  • Doesn’t include Smart apps for Hulu and other common networks

6. ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMI/MHL with Speakers

ASUS S1 Portable Mini Projector HDMIMHL with Speakers

Up to this point, you may have gotten the feeling that all ultra-short throw projectors are expensive. But fortunately, there are a few worthwhile models that don’t come with a heavy price tag. The ASUS S1 is one of those models and it has a lot more to offer than just a bargain.

First and foremost, this model is very portable. In fact, it only weighs around 1 pound! That weight is pretty impressive given how much has been packed into it. That includes a 22Wh battery that provides up to 3 hours of cable-free projection time.

Also, inside the ASUS S1, you’ll find a modern DLP LED light source. This bulb has actually been rated to last up to 30,000 hours, which is comparable to bulbs found in far more expensive projectors. This LED bulb only shines with 200 lumens, though, which may be a bit dim for some users’ tastes.

When I first checked out this projector, I assumed that it wouldn’t be able to output its own sound. But behold, ASUS has surprised me again. This model includes an ASUS Sonic Master-enhanced speaker that will allow you to hear every line of dialogue, no matter where you are sitting in the room.

I mentioned the ASUS S1’s size as a positive before. But I believe its compact form factor also causes one of its major drawbacks. To that end, this best ultra short throw projector produces a lot of heat and noise. But, given this model’s affordable price tag, this kind of issue shouldn’t be a major surprise.

What We Like:

  • Fairly affordable at just over $300
  • Super portable at under a pound
  • Rechargeable 22Wh battery provides up to 3 hours of cable-free projection time
  • HDMI/ MHL port compatible with most modern devices
  • ASUS Sonic Master-enhanced speaker for speaker-less audio playback

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Power button is easy to accidentally damage
  • Produces a significant amount of heat and noise

7. Puppy Robot Puppy Cube Mini Interactive Touchscreen Projector

Puppy Robot Puppy Cube Mini Interactive Touchscreen Projector

Ultra-short throw projectors are pretty impressive when it comes to movie viewing. But what if they could do even more? That’s what Puppy Robot asked and answered with their Puppy Cube Mini.

As it turns out, this model is equipped with 10-Point AnyTouch technology. This turns any projected image into a 23-inch interactive touchscreen. This can be used for typing, playing games, FaceTiming, and more. Really, this feature along justifies this model’s slightly higher price tag.

But of course, the Puppy Cube Mini is still a regular video projector at its heart. To that end, it can support any 4K and 1080p video source that utilizes HDMI or USB. So, if you want to project your game console or Blu-Ray player, know that this unit is compatible.

Speaking of compatibility, the Puppy Cube Mini features some wireless hookups as well. As a result, you’ll be able to project images from your smartphone using AirPlay, DLNA, or Miracast. This model hooks up to 2.4G and 5G wi-fi connections, too. So, you can always be sure that you have the best download speeds while streaming.

The Puppy Cube Mini’s sound capabilities aren’t too shabby, either. You’ll be able to hear your favorite movie soundtrack through its built-in 5W dual 36mm speakers, in fact. But should you need more sound output, this projector won’t leave you out in the cold. It can be connected to a Bluetooth speaker in mere seconds.

What We Like:

  • Coated glass and aluminum alloy construction for durability
  • 10-Point AnyTouch technology allows for interactivity on any flat surface
  • Allows for screen sharing through AirPlay, DLNA, and Miracast
  • Built-in 5W dual 36mm speakers can be supplemented with Bluetooth speakers
  • Allows for auto and manual focusing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only projects at 720p
  • Fairly short battery life at only 2.5 hours

8. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector with Dual Harman Kardon Speakers

ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector with Dual Harman Kardon Speakers

I’ll be frank – why aren’t more portable ultra-short throw projectors like the ViewSonic M1? I have not seen another model that can compare to this unit’s overall usability. While its specifications are great in their own right, I really want to emphasize it’s built in “Smart Stand.”

This stand may look simple on the surface. But it can support the full weight of this projector without ever tilting or leaning. That kind of stability can really pay off, too. To be specific, that stability will keep this projector safe while oriented within its 360-degree range.

But this aside, the ViewSonic M1 has a lot more to offer than just a fancy stand. In fact, it includes a built-in battery that can last up to 6 hours on a full charge. Combine that with the optional carrying bag and you have a projector that is ready to travel anywhere.

There are two other important ViewSonic M1 features that really impressed me. First, this model’s designers made it “future proof” in terms of compatibility. This essentially means that it includes every kind of port and slot you could ever need to run this projector in the near future.

Also, this best ultra short throw projector comes with great warranty coverage. Generally, this unit is covered by a 3-year warranty. Meanwhile, its light bulb is covered by its own 1-year warranty.

What We Like:

  • Impressive 6 hour battery life
  • “Future-proof” with MicroSD card slot, USB Type-A port, and USB Type-C port
  • Integrated “Smart Stand” allows for 360 degrees of orientation
  • Built-in Harman Kardon speakers provide rich audio playback
  • 3-year warranty on parts and labor, 1-year warranty on a light source

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not very durable if dropped, even at short distances
  • Warranty may not apply if bought through 3rd-party sources

9. VAVA 4K UST Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

VAVA 4K UST Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

If you haven’t heard of VAVA before, you’re not alone. I only recently learned about this projector, which was funded through Kickstarter. Its creators seem to have focused on making a model that fixed many of the common issues seen in the industry.

Their success on that front has been mixed. On the positive side, though, this projector makes use of an industrial-grade laser engine that can last up to 25,000 hours. That’s at 6,000 lumens of light, too, which makes this projector ideal for use in any lighting environment.

That same projection system also makes use of diffused lighting. This doesn’t impact the quality of your 4K projections at all. Instead, it decreases eye strain among all of the projection’s viewers.

The VAVA 4K appears to have raised the bar for projection size, as well. To be specific, this model allows you to project images at up to 150” wide. That’s a massive amount of projection space that doesn’t even require a pricy TV.

I do wish I could say that VAVA had made this innovative projector more affordable. But, unfortunately, they did not. It’s also not available from all online retailers yet.

Also, current users of VAVA 4K say that this unit often needs firmware updates to fix bugs. This can be chalked up to its recent introduction onto the market, though.

What We Like:

  • Industrial-grade laser engine lasts for up to 25,000 hours
  • 6000-lumen source provides great contrast in all environments
  • Diffused light system protects from eye strain
  • Allows for massive screen up to 150”
  • Compatible with high-fidelity sound through DTS-HD and Dolby Audio

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pricy at around $2,800
  • Known to suffer from “half-screen” glitch out of the box
  • Requires persistent firmware updates due to recent beta

10. LG HU85LA 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater Cinebeam Projector

LG HU85LA 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater Cinebeam Projector

Finally, let’s round out this collection with the most expensive options available – the LG HU85LA. This model’s price tag puts it out of the range of most average at-home movie viewers. But if you are committed to viewing a film as the director intended, then the LG HU85LA is for you.

Naturally, this model projects in 4K UHD on a 120” screen size. But that’s not all. This model also utilizes XPR technology. That means that this model’s resolution is 4 times as sharp as full HD alone.

While in action, this projector also utilizes dynamic tone mapping. This causes each frame to be enhanced in real-time to prevent skips or unnatural movements. This functionality combines with this projector’s 3Ch Laser technology, too. That feature creates lifelike color matching that can only be beat by a high-end movie’s projector.

If you live in a so-called “smart home, you may also have a reason to pick the LG HU85LA. That’s because this model comes with Alexa built right in. But if you own a Google Home, that digital assistant also syncs with this projector. With either at your disposal, you’ll be able to control every inch of your projector with your voice alone.

I was a little surprised to find that this projector doesn’t come standard with some common apps. Among others, I think YouTube TV is a real must-have. But even without that, I can’t imagine finding a higher quality projector for use at home on today’s market.

What We Like:

  • 3Ch Laser technology supports broad color range
  • Dynamic tone mapping optimizes film on a frame-by-frame basis
  • XPR technology allows for reliable true 4K
  • Comes with Alexa built in, and compatible with Google Assistant
  • Allows screen size up to 120”

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Priced only for home theater connoisseurs
  • Does not come standard with YouTube TV app

Conclusion:

Now that you’ve seen the best of the best ultra short throw projectors, one important question remains – which one will you buy? That answer may differ from person to person, so be sure to consider the following before investing in one of these devices.

First, evaluate your budget. While most popular models are relatively affordable, some high-end offerings will cost several thousand dollars. Be sure that the model you choose is a good value as well, whether that be due to special features or a good warranty.

Next, compare your chosen models based upon their core specifications. Each model has differing levels of contrast and brightness, both of which can impact a projected film’s quality. You may even lookup videos online of each projector being used to compare them side-by-side.

From there, you can narrow down your list until you’ve found the best ultra-short throw projector of your dreams. Then, you’ll just be one quick order away from enjoying movies at home like never before.