Projector Reviews

Classroom Projector Report: Best School Projectors for K-12 Education-7

Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Interactive Projector

Hitachi’s iPJ-AW250N (click for full review) is an ultra-short-throw interactive projector from Hitachi.  Last year we reviewed a similar older model that lacked interactivity.  This year’s Hitachi seems far more capable and better designed, even if they look similar. Tony did reviewed both (and also the interactive Epson 485 in this report)  This Hitachi projector is more than sufficiently bright for the classroom.

It claims 2500 lumens and gets pretty close.  Let me note that it is a 3LCD projector, for that reason you’ll see Hitachi listing Color Lumens at 2500, as well as White lumens, pointing out an advantage over DLP projectors.  WXGA is the resolution (1280 by 800), but this projector will handle at least 1600×1200 when it comes to higher resolution.

Lamp life is a very respectable 3,000 hours at full power, 5,000 in ecomode.  As is typical for interactive projectors it’s got a street price above $1,500.00 at $1,799.00, however there is always education pricing from Hitachi who over the years, has always been the number one or number two seller of projectors to schools.  You have to figure they better be competitive to be that successful.

Special features include the Starboard software which is rather comprehensive and discussed a bit inside the review itself.

Interestingly while these ultra-short-throw projectors never have zoom lenses this one does have a motorized mirror.  When the projector is off the mirror is closed down and protected.

Of note when using the interactive pen interestingly it vibrates when you press the button so you actually know when it’s working.  A nice touch.  Again, more details inside the full review.

Sharpness:  Of note, is very good.  That’s especially very good compared to many other ultra-short-throw projectors, some of which just aren’t that sharp, or are sharp in most of the screen but not say the top or the corners.

Let me clarify that, sharpness was very good overall, and only a a little soft at points.

Colors are downright vivid – really good.

Important thing to note:  No Mac interactivity at this time.  if you are looking for a strong interactive projector, and want to consider this Hitachi, you better be planning on using a PC.  Hitachi does not yet have interactive software for working with the Macintosh.  If you do have Macs you can still use this projector, just not those interactive features.  I assume at some point Hitachi will expand their offering to include Macs, but don’t bet the budget that it will be in time for your next purchase.