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9 best gaming projectors for taking your console experience to the next level

Upgrade your set-up at home with these trusty devices

Jon Axworthy
Thursday 27 May 2021 15:00
<p>We tested the projectors with a range of games, both online and off</p>

We tested the projectors with a range of games, both online and off

If you’re a keen gamer then projectors can offer an even more immersive experience, taking your favourite digital distraction off your TV and blowing it up to a jaw-dropping size on a wall.

The emergence of short throw projectors means that even when space is limited and there’s not a great deal of room between the projector and the wall you can still get upwards of 100-inches of projection. So, throw distance is always something that you’ll need to take into consideration, depending on how big or small the room is that your gaming in.

Of course, the biggest concern for most gamers is lag time, so there’s no noticeable difference between pushing a button on the controller and things happening on screen. The smaller the lag number, measured in milliseconds (ms), the better, so we were on the lookout for projectors that offered a really responsive gaming experience that wouldn’t affect the ability to react in-game.

Similarly, we only included projectors which offered a bright, clear picture (measured in lumens) because unless you have a blackout room you’re always going to experience some light coming in through windows and doors that can make the picture hard to see. The more lumens the projector can throw, the less you’ll have to worry about this kind of ambient light.

To find our recommendations we tested the projectors with a range of games, both online and off, and came up with a shortlist of the best models to boost your kill to death ratio with.

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The best gaming projectors for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Optoma UHD38: £999, Richersounds.com
  • Best for smaller rooms – BenQ TH671ST full HD home entertainment projector: £749, Maplin.co.uk
  • Best for PS5 – BenQ X1300i 4K HDR Projector: £1,249, Wexphotovideo.com
  • Best for X Box series X – Optoma UHD35: £899, Pcrdirect.co.uk
  • Best portable projector – Epson epiqvision EF-11: £799.99, Ryman.co.uk
  • Best picture size – BenQ TK850: £1,479, Currys.co.uk
  • Best for smaller walls – Epson EB-S41: £391.49, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for outdoor gaming – Vamvo L6200 native: £239.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for easy set-up – Samsung premiere LSP7T: £3,999, Selfridges.com

Optoma UHD38

Best: Overall

This 4K long throw lens projector gave us a stunningly crisp image, largely thanks to a retina-searing 4000 lumens capability. We were also happy with a lag time of 16.7ms and when you dial down the resolution you can reduce that further to 8.9ms, so if you don’t mind some loss in picture quality you can get the kind of response time that would equal many gaming TVs.

The design of the Optoma makes the zoom easily adjustable and is capable of throwing a huge 300-inch image – you just need to find a wall big enough. What we heard through the speaker was well connected with what we saw on screen too, which can be a problem with some other projectors.

BenQ TH671ST full HD home entertainment projector

Best: For smaller rooms

This is an excellent projector for a narrow room as it provides 100-inches of projection from only 1.5m away and set up was incredibly straightforward. We particularly liked the modes feature, which adjusts the picture it’s throwing out according to the colour paint you have on your wall. In addition, the 1.2x zoom means that you don’t have to keep messing around with where the projector sits in the room and you can just use the zoom to scale your picture to your watching wall.

A lag time of 16.67ms will satisfy the most demanding gamer and BenQ’s sharp picture really brought the digitally rendered images to life on the wall. All the necessary connection ports are catered for and there’s even a very good in-built speaker to complete the package.

BenQ X1300i 4K HDR projector

Best: For PS5

If you’re one of the lucky ones that bagged a PS5 before stock ran out then you can really maximise the 4K-resolution potential of the console with this projector, thanks to its ability to handle the high-res so well. We threw ours onto a wall at 150in, although it’s capable of pushing out a 300in image, and still maintain a stunning crisp and detailed picture with no motion blurring. The speaker quality was so good we didn’t have to hook up an external, but the best news comes in game with a hugely impressive input lag of just 8.3ms and 3,000 lumens of brightness.

Optoma UHD35

 Best: For Xbox series X

This 3600 lumens model supports the 4k images that you’ll get from the latest generation of Xbox console superbly, with bright imagery and excellent picture quality and an impressive 4.2ms of input lag, so you won’t have to worry about your reputation suffering because of response times. The only real difference we could notice from the UHD38 was a drop in lumens, so you don’t have to worry about ambient light when you’re gaming you can save money too.

Epson epiqvision EF-11

Best: Portable projector

This ultra portable cube boasts excellent picture quality and a lens that projects from a 30-inch to a 150-inch screen, depending on the surface available. Brightness is 1000 lumens, so you will need a pretty dark space to maximize your picture, but the imagery you’ll be rewarded with is superb for such a small unit. It’s input latency makes it better suited for games that aren’t so heavily dependent on lag time, like online co-op titles.

BenQ TK850

Best: For picture size

Another entry from BenQ that’s well deserved because of its 3000 lumens of brightness and an impressive 200in maximum screen size, which doesn’t lose a pixel of definition. When we were playing fast-paced, first person shooters the TK850 was more than capable of keeping up in terms of latency and the sound was clear and detailed, and loud enough to satisfy even in a larger room.

Epson EB-S41

Best: For smaller walls

For such a small unit, the EB-S41 packs quite a punch when it comes to brightness with its 3,300 lumens. This makes up for the fact that it will only give you a 60in screen, but if you only have a small surface on which to throw the image then this won’t matter and it makes the EB-S41 a good, economical alternative to buying a new TV.

Vamvo L6200 native

Best: For outdoor gaming

With summer around the corner you might be looking at one of your external walls as a great place to continue a quest or go into battle and the Vamvo offers 6000 lumens so that you’ll have no trouble spotting enemies who are camping out and ready to shoot – even when you’re outside. We didn’t have any lagging issues and the unit has a “keystoning” feature that allows you to zero in on the exact space you’re projecting on to, which is especially handy when you’re trying to find the perfect spot in your garden.

Samsung premiere LSP7T

Best: For easy set-up

This is a serious short throw projector, which justifies the fact that it’s the same price as a small car by being able to provide you with 120in of gaming goodness with 4K resolution, even though it’s right under your wall. There’s simply no time wasted trying to position the projector to achieve the optimum screen size and quality, all you have to do is put the LSP7T a couple of skirting board widths away from the wall and you’ll be up and gaming in no time.

Add to this 2200 lumens and excellent lag performance and you will be treated to one of the most immersive gaming experiences possible. The high price tag will also get you some quality audio, courtesy of a sound system that would put many standalone speakers to shame.

The verdict: Gaming projectors

It can be hard for projectors to hit the sweet spot of excellent responsiveness, combined with brightness and easy set up but the Optoma UHD38 does it with aplomb and is a great choice if you’re looking to take your gaming to next level visuals. 

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For the latest discounts on consoles and other tech offers, try the links below:

Looking to invest in a PS5? Keep up to date with all the latest news, including restock dates

For a projector you take with you wherever you go, read up on our choice of the best portable projectors

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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