Classroom Projector Report 2013: BenQ MS517

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BenQ MS517 Projector

This BenQ MS517 projector is definitely the least expensive projector (up front costs) considered in this year’s report.  It’s small, it’s portable but can be mounted, and it’s certainly light enough for easy portable use.  It is, in fact, a pretty basic projector overall, but it is unique, in at least one area, relative to the other projectors covered.  And that reason is also the reason why this 2800 lumen single chip DLP projector is the least expensive:

The BenQ MS517 is an SVGA resolution projector – 800×600.  While most of the world had almost forgotten about SVGA resolution, K-12 classrooms (at least here in the US) have always bought lots of them due to the lower cost.  Long after the last 800×600 laptops disappeared, SVGA projectors were still dominating sales to schools.  While that has changed dramatically in the last few years, there are still plenty of schools who would prefer to have 30 classrooms equipped with basic SVGA projectors than only be able to afford equipping perhaps 20 or less WXGA projectors or maybe only 5 fancy interactive projectors for the same money.

This BenQ projector is particularly energy efficient, using Philps ImageCare tech to drive its lamp.  When it comes to 3D, the MS517 projector makes the grade.  It supports the usual and then some formats:  3D field-sequential, 3D frame-packing, 3D top-and-bottom and 3D side-by-side.  Here’s the shocker:  Like the most expensive projectors considered in this report, but none of the other under $1000 projectors, the MS517 projector supports Blu-ray 3D – which uses frame-packing.  That’s an important point, so if that’s important to you, but you need more than SVGA resolution, remember there are a number of related projectors in the BenQ lineup, that have the same 3D abilities!

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