Reviews of Classroom Projectors
Hundreds of thousands of classrooms, perhaps more than a million in the US (I don’t have world wide numbers), have been equipped with what we’ll call “Classroom Projectors” over the span of the last 15 years. There has been a steady flow of technology funding from government to school districts, and equipping classrooms with projectors, especially at high school level, has been a school priority.
Just so you know, in this section think K-12 classroom, rather than the 100 – 500 seat “classrooms” found at many universities. Those university classrooms usually end up with pricier, brighter projectors with advanced networking, and more.
Teachers are relying more heavily on classroom projectors at all grade levels, but especially high school. Schools, and more often School Districts are usually in the market to find the biggest bang for their buck. With budgets always tight, it often comes down to how many more classrooms can we equip, if we go with a classroom projector with less features.
Each year, the performance of projectors designed with classroom use in mind (a large percentage) improves, and the prices manage to fall.
The most common classroom projectors currently being installed in classrooms have XGA or WXGA resolution, and brightness of 2500 to 4000 lumens.
There is both a great deal of interest, and a lot of activity when it comes to interactive projectors in the classroom. Just about every projector company targeting the schools is now offering multiple interactive projectors and often some very different ones.
If your requirement is the lowest possible price, there are still a number of lower resolution SVGA projectors out there, with prices from perhaps $300. In 2013, the first entry level 1080p (or WUXGA) resolution projectors have come down well below $1000. This makes using a few of them in a school, practical for special applications, including some science classes, perhaps engineering, art, and architecture, and others, without completely breaking the budget.
Great resource for learning about and comparing classroom projectors: Classroom Projector Comparison Report
Classroom Projector Reviews
AAXA M6 Pocket LED Projector Review
The AAXA M6 is a bright, single chip DLP pocket-class projector with LED technology. Instead of a lamp, the 1,200 lumen M6 features three LED lights - >>
Epson BrightLink 696Ui Projector Review
The Epson BrightLink 696Ui is an ultra-short throw, 3LCD, interactive projector claiming 3,800 lumens. With WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200 pixels), Wired >>
Ricoh PJ WXL4540 Short Throw Projector Review
Ricoh is an established manufacturer of business and classroom class projectors and they offer models using DLP and LCD technology.
Optoma ZW300UST Projector Review
The Optoma ZW300UST is a business/education installation projector claiming 3,200 lumens, with WXGA resolution, DLP technology, and a laser light engine >>
Epson PowerLite 680 Projector Review
The Epson PowerLite 680 is an ultra-short throw installation projector for classrooms and conference rooms, with 3LCD projection technology, XGA resolution >>
BenQ CH100 Portable Business Projector Review
The BenQ CH100 is a slick, small, HD resolution, DLP portable business projector with an LED light engine, claiming 1,000 lumens. The lamp-free quality >>
Casio XJ-UT351WN Ultra Short Throw Projector Review
The Casio XJ-UT351WN is a rare breed, as it is an ultra short throw projector (UST) that uses a solid state light engine - LED and laser combination >>
Sony LaserLite VPL-PHZ10 Laser Projector Review
The WUXGA resolution VPL-PHZ10 projector is one of Sony’s two newest laser projectors. These LaserLite models are billed as the first affordable laser >>
NEC NP-ME331W Portable Projector Review
The NEC NP-ME331W is one of four similar models in NEC’s ME-series of portable projectors intended for business or education applications. The NP- >>
NEC NP-V332W Projector Review
The NEC NP-V332W is one model in NEC's V-series of portable projectors intended for business or education applications. It appears NEC intends for this >>
Sony VPL-DW240 Projector – A Review
The Sony VPL-DW240 is a compact business or classroom projector that offers good performance combined with a reasonable set of features and it should >>
Casio XJ-F210WN Projector Review
While most business and education projectors in the $1000 price range still use conventional lamp light sources, Casio uses a hybrid LED/Laser light source >>
Viewsonic Pro8530HDL Projector Review
The Viewsonic Pro8530HDL is a DLP projector that is marketed for use by businesses and schools as well as being suitable for large venues and installation >>
LG MiniBeam PF1000U Projector Review
Small, but packed with features, LG's MiniBeam PF1000U is an ultra-short throw projector that includes a TV tuner, wireless networking and one of the >>
Classroom Projector Reviews Reviews
About Classroom Projectors
Most classroom projectors are basically 5-10 pound projectors that can also be found in use as portable projectors. Each year, though, more projectors are targeting the classroom market, with a lot of features that portable users don’t demand.
For installation in the classroom, most of the education focused models will have big sound, at least one 5 watt speaker. 10 watts of audio or more, however is now the norm for projectors targeting the classroom.
Most of these projectors have a footprint a bit larger than a standard sheet of paper, and most are less than 5 inches tall. All will have VGA inputs, but most newer models are sporting HDMI, and also USB display. All will have remote controls, but beware of some credit card sized remotes with limited range, that can be a mild nuisance.
In our most recent report, we discuss many issues, and the report encompasses 15 projectors reviewed, that were specifically recommended for school use by their respective manufacturers. We even give out some interesting awards.
On a school district level purchase, lower resolution projectors surely sell for under $500. Most districts, however, are likely spending $700 – $1200 a projector, with many fully networking the projectors, including central monitoring. Just plug them all in, and the projectors can be set to notify support of lamp failures or required maintenance (such as filter cleaning), or needing repair.
Cost of Ownership is something that should be considered. Lamp life and cost factor in, big time. There are projectors with 3000 hour lamps that cost $299, and other projectors that might have a lamp good for 4000 hours for $99. These projectors will have to last a really long time, as is the nature of school funding. If these projectors are getting serious use, maintenance, lamp replacments, and repairs all factor in. Consider the value of a projector that has a 3 year warranty, and will send you a loaner, while it’s being repaired.
Down on an individual teacher level, if you need a projector and have no recourse but to buy one yourself, or you have, perhaps a limited grant, fear not. You can find plenty to choose from below $800, and some of them are very light – in the 4 to 5 pound range, for those of you transporting them.
Popular School Projectors
Entry Level XGA and SVGA
XGA and WXGA – More Featured
Interactive and Ultra Short Throw projectors
There is definitely a projector out there that can fit your specific classroom environment needs, as well as your budget!