Projector Reviews

Classroom Projector Report: Best School Projectors for K-12 Education-5

Acer K330 Pocket Projector:

One of the three large Pocket Projectors in this report, like the other two, there’s no built in battery.  Batteries are used in much smaller and lighter Pico projectors, but I don’t think we’ve seen any very small projectors with a built in battery, that claims more than 100 lumens.  For this report we only wanted powerful pocket projectors, so the three all claim at least 300 lumens

This Acer K330 (click for full review) boasts 500 lumens and delivered a really impressive 474 lumens – any projector that gets within 5% of claim, basically does better than most.  The lens is fixed – no zoom, and will fill a 66” screen from two meters – about 80 inches, for a fairly normal throw distance.

The S5201 is also 3D capable.  There’s also a built-in media player, an SD card reader, an HDMI input, and a Microsoft Office reader, so you can present documents created in Office, with the K330, from the SD card slot or, I believe, the USB, without needing a PC.  Nice.

The light source is LED, and claims a 20,000 life.  This is not a tiny projector as the “pocket” name would imply. It’s 8.6×6.6×1.8 inches.   The Acer even has optional wireless capability, just order the Wireless dongle.

All considered an extremely feature laden “pocket” projector that weighs in at 2 ¾ pounds.

BenQ LW61ST Laser Light Source Projector:

Laser light source!  And yet it essentially looks normal.  Only 1485 lumens measured, but that shouldn’t be a real problem.  A conventional lamp, after a couple thousand hour,s is usually down 30-50% in brightness.  From my best understanding, the various LED, Laser, and Hybrid light sources will also dim but over 20000 hours or so. The projector also can interface with iPads and iPhones to show onscreen content – including the web, through the LW61ST projector.

OK, there is no lamp to replace, and less routine maintenance, thanks to that. A teacher can blank the screen during a presentation, and power consumption drops by about 90% according to BenQ, but can be instantly back on.

Color was impressive.  While the color temperature varies depending on the selection and mode, overall, all the modes seemed well balanced – no proponderance of green in the brightest mode, or other afflictions.  The brightest modes are a bit thin on red.

This is still a DLP projector, it uses an 8 segment color wheel, and claims better color saturation due to it. The 20 watt speaker has some real umph to it. There’s only so much one can expect in terms of bass from a projector’s speakers, but overall, the speaker has some punch. Should be no problem handling any reasonable sized classroom.  There is a mic input, a real break for some teachers, or students.

3D capability is just almost standard on todays new business and education oriented DLP projectors.  (3D is scarce on business and education LCD projectors).

And the projector looks cool with its irridescent blue lens barrel.  Perhaps not a performance you can trade on, but perhaps cool enough to earn some respect from the “kids”.

Canon WUX4000 Projector:

UPDATE: The Canon WUX4000 review is posted!

More information on the Canon WUX4000 projector to follow as soon as the full review is posted. Basically, the WUX4000 is a widescreen projector with WUXGA resolution, the highest resolution out there. The WUX4000 is several times the price as any of the other projectors in this year’s Classroom Projector Report, thanks to its high resolution and high brightness. The WUX4000 is ideal for multi-purpose rooms, auditoriums or science labs, and probably more for university use than K-12.

Casio XJ-M145 Projector

In past year’s we’ve liked Casio projectors for education thanks to their long life hybrid LED/laser light source, but until this past year, their focus was on slim, highly portable projectors. The XJ-M145 was the first projector from them with a feature set that really makes sense for a school as a fixed install projector for the classroom.

This Casio starts with the light source, which should outlast the projector itself.  It offers decent audio with bigger speakers and more power, and 3D capabilities.

From a networking standpoint it’s almost as if it was designed specifically for schools with the ability to present wirelessly from any of up to 32 computers on the network.  An instructor could therefore direct any student in the class to project their work or to present, for the whole class to see.  Impressive.  The M145 can also project from devices such as smart phones, or do PC free presentations from USB…  A nice, longer than most, warranty comes with this projector.