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
Casio XJ-UT310WN Ultra Short Throw Projector Review
This 3100 lumen Casio projector is an ultra-short throw with a 20,000 hour led/laser light source, that is suitable for classroom or conference room. >>
NEC NP-L102W Projector Review
The NEC NP-L102W is a nicely compact LED projector with WXGA resolution (1280x800) primarily suitable as a lightweight portable business and education >>
LG PF85U LED Projector – Review
The PF85U Projector has a long life LED light source, but what stands out most are the smarts of this large "pocket" projector which claims 1000 lumens >>
Hitachi CP-TW2503 Projector Review
Hitachi CP-TW2503 Projector Intro: This is a Ultra-Short Throw classroom, or boardroom interactive projector that is rated at a bright 2700 lumens >>
Epson BrightLink 595Wi Projector Review
EPSON BRIGHTLINK 595WI Projector Intro: The Epson Brightlink 595Wi is an ultra short throw, interactive projector, sporting 3300 lumens. It targets >>
Ask Proxima C3327W-A LCD Projector Review
Ask Proxima's portable WXGA projector is a no-frills, low-cost powerhouse. It provides a terrific combination of high brightness and excellent color >>
Epson BrightLink 585Wi Projector Review
EPSON BRIGHTLINK 585WI Projector Intro: The Epson Brightlink 585Wi is an ultra short throw, interactive projector, sporting 3300 lumens. It targets >>
Ask Proxima E1655U LCD Projector Review
Ask Proxima returns with this large venue LCD projector. The E1655U features high brightness and excellent color, with different lens options for flexibility >>
ViewSonic PJD6544w Projector Review
The PJD6544w Projector is a rather full-featured portable and classroom installation projector. With both wireless and wired networking.
Epson PowerLite 99W 3LCD Projector Review
The Epson Powerlite 99w, while larger than pico and pocket projectors, is nevertheless a compact model that could be considered a portable projector >>
Vivitek Qumi Q7 LED Projector – Review
Qumi Q7 LED Projector with 800 lumens - this projector is suitable for portable business and education use, digital signage and for home entertainment >>
NEC NP-UM330W Ultra Short Throw Projector Review
The NP-UM330W is an exceptionally sharp ultra-short throw projector that offers 3300 lumens and a better than most value proposition. Networking is >>
Sony VPL-FHZ55 Laser 3LCD Projector Review
This Sony laser projector was one of the most talked about this year at the trade shows. Sony produces excellent color, from a long life laser engine.
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!