Epson BrightLink 436Wi Projector
Epson's back for another year with a new interactive projector with a very short throw design. Less expensive than the still current 485wi, Tony reviewed last year, it isn't as ultra short throw as the 485wi, which sits only inches from the screen, but this still qualifies as an ultra-short throw (similar to the Mitsubishi WD390U's lens throw, which we also called ultra short throw).
The Brightlink 436Wi projector can fill an 80" diagonal screen (about as large as you will find in most classrooms, from only 32 inches away from the screen. This is a projector that would typically be mounted using a wall mount above the screen. There are plenty of such wall mounts out there, with telecoping poles to allow precise placement. Wall mounting should normally be a lower cost solution than mounting further back, and don't forget the real benefit of ultra short throw projectors: They allow the presenter to stand close to the screen without getting blinded by the light.
The Brightlink 436Wi offers a sharp image for a short throw projector, 3000 lumens, and WXGA resolution. Lamp life is excellent at 4000/6000 hours (full power/eco-mode), although we're seeing projectors claiming even more this year.
At just over nine pounds it's a bit heavy as a portable, but lighter (and with a sharper image) than the mirror based ultra-short throw projectors. Street pricing is under $1500, and lower still though Epson's Brighter Futures educational pricing program (ask your Epson authorized dealer).