The business projectors category includes the latest technology in DLP, LCD, and small business projectors. See below for a list of projector reviews and projector information pages.
Are you looking for a nice office projector for small presentation rooms, or are you looking for a high-performance, high brightness business projector for your lecture hall, board room, hotel ballroom or auditorium, or even an interactive advertising display? A good business projector meets the criteria of the applications it will be used for, as well as the ambient lighting conditions of the room.
Entry level business projectors typically sell from around $500 (for a lower resolution SVGA projector) to about $700+ for XGA projectors. Widescreen projectors such as the now extremely popular WXGA resolution, tend to cost a little more, but there are still a number available under $1000. By entry level projector, we intend entry level brightness (2000 to 3000 lumens), and a somewhat limited feature set (such as no wired or wireless networking), very limited zoom range for placement, and also less electronic features. Almost all of those are projectors of medium small size weighing between 5 and 9 pounds. Higher end models go upward from $1000 to perhaps $3500, and still be considered portable. In that group of projectors will be some of the lightest bright projectors, where you are paying a premium for the light weight and smaller footprint. The most common technologies used by businesses are LCD projectors and DLP projectors. Even tiny pico projectors and pocket projectors (under 2 pounds but not very bright), may become a popular asset for the 21st century professional with convenient device integration for smart phones, laptops, and the iPad and other new tablet computers.
Business Projector Reviews
About Business Projectors
Top Business Projector Brands
There are several manufacturers out there, although not all build their own product, in fact many simply relabel their product from other original manufacturers or make very minor changes, and sell the products under their own names. Here is a short list of the top selling brands that actually design and build their projectors. Who is number one varies depending on the research source, but these are the volume leaders:
- Epson Projectors - LCD projectors
- Mitsubishi Projectors - A mix of LCD and DLP projectors
- Hitachi Projectors - LCD projectors
- InFocus Projectors - A mix of LCD and DLP projectors)
- BenQ Projectors - All DLP projectors
- Sanyo Projectors - All LCD projectors
- Panasonic Projectors - All LCD projectors under $3000, but mostly 1 and 3 chip DLP projectors over $5000
- NEC Projectors - A mix of LCD and DLP Projectors
- Optoma Projectors - All DLP projectors
- Canon Projectors - A full lineup of LCD and LCoS projectors, but best known for 3 high res SXGA+ LCOS projectors
- Sony Projectors - Primarily LCoS - they call theirs SXRD
Business Projector Resolution
Performance - Not Price)
Entry Level projectors come in two flavors:
- Low Resolution - SVGA (800x600)
- Widescreen low resolution - WVGA (853x480)
Thsee lower resolution SVGA models can now be found for as little at $499, but most entry level projectors sell from between $595 and $895
Quicktip: Almost all computers out there are now at least XGA resolution, so for clean, clear, crisp small text and graphics you should be looking to get an XGA projector.
Lower resolution SVGA projectors comprise a small fraction of US projector sales, and the bulk of those are purchased by schools. In the last year or two, though, the cost of higher resolution projectors has come so close to these, that finally, for example, it seems that SVGA is going away. Purchasers of SVGA projectors, generally are schools, or people who really haven't researched it at all, or are just looking for the lowest priced product around.
Your business would benefit from an entry level XGA resolution model or widescreen WXGA projector. If you have a budget of more than $900 a unit, it would be more beneficial to go with an entry level XGA, rather than a SVGA with higher brightness, (more lumens).
In fact, you may seriously want to consider a specialist - mostly A/V dealers have sales people who are knowledgeable about what works best, thanks to strong backgrounds in the "projector, plasma display and LCD display" industry. They are far more likely to be able to speak intelligently, and get you where you need to be. Even if you don't want to know the details, there's a real advantage to buying from someone who knows the products and issues. BTW, onlineA/V resellers are generally known to charge about 5-7% more than the least expensive PC resellers, Spending an extra $50 to $100 is not a great price to pay, if it gets you into the right product, instead of one that is a poor choice for your specific needs..
Low Cost Business Projectors:
Most weigh at least 5 or 6 pounds, and up to 9 pounds. (By comparison the lightest "real" projectors are just under 2 lbs.) Pico projectors (hand helds), are functional but extremely dim.
What you'll find with entry level business projectors:
- Lower connectivity
- Typically LCD technology
- Typically they have two video inputs (S-video and composite) -the lowest quality
- Some will also accept component video (high quality), but watch out, usually that means connecting component through the computer input, so you can't have a computer and a component video source hooked up at the same time.
- Monitor out (to drive a computer monitor) mostly only be found on some entry level models - those targeted to the K-12 education market. If you are using a desktop computer, you'll want a monitor out, so you can also see what you are projecting on the computer's monitor.
- Audio - typically a single audio input, or maybe two (one computer, one video), the exception again would be projectors designed for the school market, where you may get extra audio inputs
- Remote controls, some projectors will have credit card sized remotes, others will have "full sized". Credit card sized remotes usually offer no, or very limited "remote mousing". They are also typically limited to about a 20 foot range.
Consider the technology while choosing an entry level business projector. For instance, you will need more lumens on a DLP projector to overcome ambient lighting, than would be required of an LCD projector.
Mid-Price Performance Projectors - Moving up from Entry Level to The Sweet Spot of the Market
The hot segment for business projectors is the in the $895 - $1999 range. It consists of XGA and WXGA (and higher resolution) projectors, providing between 2000 and 4000 lumens, and most recently, a number of higher resolution projectors including even 1080p. The standard today is about 2500 lumens, but remember that a 20 or 30% increase in lumens helps, but really isn't a dramatic increase in brightness. That's a reason why I think you will likely be better off getting, say, an XGA projector with 2000 lumens instead of perhaps a 3000 lumen SVGA projector.
In this day and age, you can now find a few business projectors up to WUXGA and 1080p for $2000 or less. Most business users don't need that maximum resolution, though, and are satisfied with WXGA and SXGA+ (1400x1050), and UXGA (1600x1200).
Some examples of good projectors at different price points, with some core features:
Lower priced: Under $1200
- Sanyo XD2200: MSRP $595, 2200 lumens, 5.7 lbs., XGA resolution
- Vivitek D537W: MSRP $999, 3200 lumens, 4.2 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Samsung P410M: MSRP $649, 170 lumens, 2.0 lbs., SVGA resolution
- InFocus IN1503: MSRP $1199, 3000 lumens, 4.4 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Sony VPL-EX145: MSRP $1100, 3100 lumens, 7.3 lbs., XGA resolution
- Toshiba TLP-WX2200U: MSRP $999, 2200 lumens, 6.2 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Optoma TX536: MSRP $649, 2800 lumens, 5.0 lbs., XGA resolution
- NEC NP215: MSRP $749, 2500 lumens, 5.5 lbs., XGA resolution
- Epson EX31: MSRP $549, 2500 lumens, 5.1 lbs., SVGA resolution
Moderately priced: $1200 - $2000
- Viewsonic PJ559D: MSRP $1279, 2700 lumens, 6.0 lbs., XGA resolution
- InFocus IN3902: MSRP $1499, 3000 lumens, 7.0 lbs., XGA resolution
- Sharp PG-F317X: MSRP $1695, 3000 lumens, 6.4 lbs., XGA resolution
- Mitsubishi XD500U-ST: MSRP $1995, 2000 lumens, 7.3 lbs., XGA resolution
- Sanyo PLC-WXU30: MSRP $1495, 3700 lumens, 7.9 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Epson PowerLite 460: MSRP $1699, 3000 lumens, 13.8 lbs., XGA resolution
- Hitachi CPX3: MSRP $1995, 2000 lumens, 3.8 lbs., WXGA resolution
Middle to High Performance Business Projectors
Priced from $2000 - to $5000+ Most of these weigh in over 10 lbs (but not all), they start at 3000 lumens but mostly are 4000 lumens or more, and many offer interchangeable lenses. There are a huge variety interesting features found on some of these projectors that just don't show up on less expensive projectors. Most of these were not designed as portables, but as fixed install projectors.
Do you need the features - and the "horsepower"?
Key features found in many High Performance Projectors
- 4000 lumens or more
- Interchangeable lenses
- Optical lens shift
- Multiple computer inputs
- HDMI or DVI (digital) inputs
- Power zoom and focus
- Advanced Wireless and wired networking
- Presenting over a network, notifications
- Dual or Quad lamps for 24/7 or maximum reliability
- Auto focus (rare)
Some widely differing examples of projectors in this group of Mid to High Performance projectors:
- Mitsubishi WL2650U: MSRP $4995, 3500 lumens, 10.4 lbs., WXGA resolution
- NEC NP2250: MSRP $3999, 4200 lumens, 16.1 lbs., XGA resolution
- Sanyo WM-4500: MSRP $4545, 4500 lumens, 20.5 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Panasonic PT-F300NTU: MSRP $2399, 4000 lumens, 13.7 lbs., XGA resolution
- BenQ SP890: MSRP $3999, 4000 lumens, 15.9 lbs., 16:9 HD resolution
- Planar PR9020: MSRP $2699, 4000 lumens, 15.8 lbs., XGA resolution
- Epson PowerLite Pro G5650WNL: MSRP $3599, 4500 lumens, WXGA resolution
- InFocus IN5302: MSRP $3499, 4000 lumens, 16.8 lbs., XGA resolution
High Performance Business Projectors
Most of these projectors sell for over $5000 (up to $100,000), offer at least 5000 lumens, interchangeable lenses, etc. Many offer dual lamp (or four) for redundancy and reliability. Almost all will have optical lens shift, which will also allow two projectors to be "stacked" together to virtually double the brightness. All of these below offer interchangeable lenses:
- Panasonic PT-D6000US: MSRP $11,750, 6500 lumens, 35.3 lbs., XGA resolution
- Sony VPL-FW41: MSRP $6030, 4500 lumens, 21.0 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Hitachi CP-WX625: MSRP $8995, 4000 lumens, 15.8 lbs., WXGA resolution
- Mitsubishi XD-3200U: MSRP $6995, 4500 lumens, 22.7 lbs., XGA resolution
- Sharp XG-P560W: MSRP $16,995, 5000 lumens, 57.4 lbs., WXGA resolution
That should give you a good idea of what your investment dollars will buy, in terms of portability, power, and features. Our best advice - talk with a dealer who knows what they are talking about.
I like to use an analogy to buying a car. If you have $25K for a car, you don't want to randomly have someone, who knows nothing about your needs, pick out your vehicle. Think about it - that $25K in a car - could mean:
- A two seat sports car
- A nice mid-sized sedan
- A pretty large pickup truck with large cab
- An SUV
- A mini-van
Now one of those is definitely going to work better for you than most of the others. While projectors may not vary as much, there are still significant differences. A good sales consultant can spend 5 minutes asking you the "right questions" and guide you into a "better choice". For those "sales adverse" - well, that's one reason why our site exists.