Choosing the Projectors for our 2014-2015 Classroom Projector Report 2

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report.


On this page, we continue explaining why we considered the projectors we did this year, and why some brands were not represented in this year’s report.

BenQ Projectors

Another case of “it fell through the cracks” or they just didn’t have anything new suitable, that arrived in time.

 

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Sony Projectors

We did include Sony’s impressive VPL-FHZ55 Laser Projector in the Education report as a large venue entry, but were disappointed as we had been hoping for either their new short throw interactive, or a 3700 lumen traditional projector, but timing didn’t work out.

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Mitsubishi Projectors

Mitsubishi provided us two projectors last fall, suitable for the report.  We reviewed them, but then later that fall, Mitsubishi exited the projector market entirely (and some of their other display businesses as well). Since they did not have any product to offer schools this summer, we obviously couldn’t include those Mitsubishi’s in the Education Projector report.  Oh well, a waste of reviewer’s time.
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New Players: Ricoh and ASK Proxima

All told, we managed to include projectors from 10 different manufacturers.
This year we had projectors from two “new” players.  Ricoh provided a very interesting ultra-short throw projector, and we looked at two, a “standard” small fixed install projector, and a large venue projector from ASK Proxima.  Many of you remember that Proxima was one of the original major US manufacturers of projectors, but was bought by InFocus, and later sold to ASK.  Now designed in Europe and built in China, ASK Proxima is back in the US market with a vengeance.

About Epson

And finally, to complete the story, Epson.  This year’s report had more Epson projectors than any other brand, with 5 total.  This was not intentional, but Epson is by far the largest seller of projectors in the US, and the world, (they claim more than 1/3 of the world market, despite some 60+ manufacturers) and they have the most extensive lineup.  Epson is the company that “harasses” me regularly to review their projectors.
Because of the shortfall of projectors, I turned to them, and Epson offered me three projectors at the last minute – that is, in late March, when I realized I needed more projectors and quick.  One of those was was the EX5230 included in the report, and the other – here’s a story, is the Epson BrightLink 585.  This projector was so new, that all they had was an engineering sample which they flew in directly from Japan.  It was the last to arrive, less than 2 weeks before we started publishing, and although it was thoroughly tested/and played with before the report, the review will be last to be written up to go live, days after most of the report is published.

Concluding Thoughts

We feel that any award winner from a previous year (many projectors are not replaced annually) remains a serious contender this year, so we’ve listed and commented about each of last year’s winners that are still available. Most notably two winners not included were Mitsubishi projectors since they “quit the field.”
A last thought – last year we reviewed several small fixed install/portable projectors that sold in the high $300 to $500 range – value projectors.  This year we did the pocket projectors instead, and focused (for “standard” projectors) on those a good bit more expensive with bigger feature sets.  If you need sub $500 projectors you might want to look at the two Value projectors from last year’s report, that are mentioned again this year as previous winners.
And that concludes our short story on how our 2014-2015 report turned out to be.

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