Best In Classroom, Runner-up: Projector Awards
Considering the 16 projectors reviewed in this report:
Best In Classroom Runner-up Winner: Epson Powerlite 435
This Epson Powerlite 435W (click for full review) is a Very short throw projector, unlike its top of the line sibling, the Brightlink 485Wi (click for full review). It too, is 3LCD powered, and WXGA resolution. While the 485 has good lamp life, this 435W is about as good as it gets for a projector with a conventional lamp, boasting 4000 hours at full power and 6000 in eco mode.
Here's the special thing. When this Epson has to slug it out with other projectors for a low total cost of ownership, it should come out a real winner for schools. 4000/6000 hours can't match those 20,000 hour light sources, but, with a lamp cost for educators of only $79, getting to 20,000 hours even at full lamp power all the way is only about $320 in extra lamps. So far, consider the premium paid for the various new light sources to be a lot higher than that, especially considering all of those fancy new ones have less than 1800 measured lumens, while this projector easily beats all of them with over 2600 measured lumens. Even allowing for lamp dimming over time, this Epson would almost always be a good bit brighter, and still cost less.
Tony also reviewed this projector. His comment was simply that he liked it better, overall, than any of the other non-interactive projectors (with the exception, I suspect of the Canon, which is several times the price).
Like the BenQ, it seems to be very solidly built, and has an excellent warranty. Color is very good. There is no zoom, but that's very typical of Very Short throw projectors. It simply put a brighter, better color "brightest" image on the screen, than any of the DLP's. Not lacking at all in features, the Brightlink supports wireless, and sophisticated wired networking. With Brighter Futures, you get three years warranty.
Just a lot of bang for the buck, and the very short throw design combined with the optional interactivity should make the Powerlite 435W a solid projector for that interactive work.
Best in Classroom, Runner-up Award: Casio XJ-M145
Best Pocket Projector for Teachers: Coming Soon
The End (of the awards).