Optoma UHD38 Review

Released in March of 2021, the Optoma UHD38 is the latest in the company’s line of impressive gaming projectors. With native 4K resolution and 3D capability, it performs equally well in home theater contexts, giving it the versatility you need in media rooms and living rooms. In this Optoma UHD38 review, we’ll take a closer look at its features and specifications so you can tell if it’s a good fit for your home.

While it does have some limitations, we think you’ll agree it’s one of the strongest performers in the under-$2,000 projector market (>>> Check the current price on Amazon).

Optoma UHD38 Review of Main Specs:

Optoma UHD38
Resolution 3840x2160
Brightness (Lumens) 4,000 ANSI
Contrast Ratio 1,000,000:1
Input lag 4.2ms
Throw Distance 4.0' - 32.7'
Screen size 33" - 300"
Speakers 10.0 Watts Mono

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The Optoma UHD38 comes ready to use right out of the box and has an array of image alignment features. Its wide 40° vertical and horizontal keystone correction, along with manual zoom and focus controls, give it good flexibility when it comes to the projector placement.

The powerful lamp on the UHD38 puts out about 4,000 lumens, bright enough for lights-on and daytime viewing. This means you don’t need a dedicated home theater space to use it, though you will need a fairly large room. You’ll also probably want to use external speakers with it since its 10-watt speaker is pretty weak, especially in the bass end of the spectrum.

We also appreciate that the Optoma UHD38 is fairly portable, weighing less than 10 pounds. Combined with its bright lamp and quick set-up, this makes it a great option for indoor/outdoor use.

Picture Quality

The Optoma UHD38 is a true 4K projector, capable of producing 8.3 million distinct pixels. UltraDetail and Dynamic Black technology further enhance the sharpness and texture of the image. For color, it uses an 8-segment color wheel which works in the DCI-P3 color space, a wider color gamut than the Rec. 709 spectrum that’s standard for home theater equipment. Support for both HLG and HDR10 with HDR tone mapping optimizes the picture on a scene-by-scene basis.

The result of all this technology is a vibrant, detailed image that’s both realistic and authentic to the original source material. Home theater owners will also appreciate that it has full 3D compatibility, with support for 3 formats (top/bottom, frame packing, and side-by-side) so you can play 3D content directly from Blu-ray players and other devices. (Check out our roundup review if you are in search of the best 3D projector.) 

Optoma UHD38 front
Optoma UHD38


  • True 4K resolution with Dynamic Black contrast
  • Supports HLG and HDR10
  • 8-segment color wheel covers DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Super-low input lag with high refresh rate
  • Flexible and easy installation
  • Plays 3D content in full HD
  • Bright enough to use in well-lit rooms


  • Has a long throw distance (10-12 feet for 100” screen)
  • Poor sound quality from internal speaker

Gaming Performance

Optoma UHD38 connections
Optoma UHD38 connections

The Enhanced Gaming Mode on the Optoma UD38 drops the input lag down to 4.2ms at full HD resolutions. Even if you play in 4K, the lag only goes up to 16ms, low enough for even the most serious and competitive gamers. (>>> More gaming projector options can be found here)

Along with this, the UHD38 also has a fast 240Hz refresh rate. This keeps the frame-to-frame action smooth, with no motion blur or freezing that could impede your play. The high contrast ratio is beneficial for gamers, too, giving great detail and depth to darker screen areas and helping you see hidden loot or enemies.

Optoma UHD38 Review: In Summary

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better gaming projector than the Optoma UHD38—and you certainly won’t find a better option for the price. The low input lag alone makes it worth the investment for many users. Add in the bright lamp and 4K resolution and you’ll see it’s a versatile projector, as well.

Of course, no projector is perfect. If you have a small viewing area, you’ll likely want a projector with a shorter throw. For most homes, however, the Optoma UHD38 is an excellent way to take care of all your big-screen entertainment needs (>>> Check on ProjectorScreen).