Classroom Projector Report: Optoma ML300 Commentary
The Optoma projector we considered in this years Classroom Projector Report (the ML500 - click for full review) is from the same family as the Optoma ML300.
6/26/2012 - Art Feierman
The Optoma ML300 Projector - A Quick Look
|Optoma ML300||Optoma ML500|
What they have in common:
DLP technology, widescreen, native WXGA resolution (1280x800), HDMI, 2W mono speaker, 20000 hour lamp life maximum, no filters, 1 year parts and labor warranty
The Optoma ML300 (click for full specs) is very similar to its sibling, the ML500 projector. They are both widescreen DLP projectors with a native WXGA (1280x800) resolution. Both come with an HDMI input that will let you hook up to laptops, satellite/cable boxes, gaming consoles and more. They also both have a 2W speaker, which isn't much but will give you a little sound. They have a long lamp life of 20,000 hours and you don't have to bother with filters! Both come with a very basic 1 year warranty.
There are a few key differences between the two. The ML300 is cheaper at $899 (MSRP), compared to the ML500 at $1199. The first difference is apparent in the names of the projectors - the ML300 has 300 lumens, whereas the ML500 has 500 lumens. In addition to being dimmer, the ML300 has a lower contrast ratio (2000:1 instead of 3000:1). This just means that the darks are lest dark and the brights are less bright, but not by a significant amount. The ML300 also lacks the 3D capabilities that the ML500 does have.
However, the ML300 is a half-pound lighter at just 2lbs. This makes the projector so portable that you can not only carry it from classroom to classroom or down the hallway at work, but you can take it with you to the teacher's lounge or out of town in your carry-on for work! The ML300 also has an optional USB input, which the ML500 does not have. USB allows you to present wirelessly and hassle-free without fussing with a laptop.
If you're looking for ultra portability and widescreen, and if you don't mind dim, both projectors are an excellent choice for your classroom or office environment.