2022 - 2023 Education and Business Projector Buyer's Guide

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Phil Jones


When you think of projectors, you probably think about darkened theater rooms with rows of comfy couches in a home or a corporate executive flipping through PowerPoint slides on a big screen in a crowded boardroom. But that is not always the case! projectors are used in so many settings from art installations, to houses of worship, to education. In this guide, we are going to focus on projectors ideally suited for education purposes, both K-12 and higher education, business and corporate use, and museum applications. We carefully consider each projector and how it can be best used in different education situations when conducting reviews and choosing award winners for this guide.

Before we get started, let’s take a moment to discuss the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education industry and in corporate life. While the Covid-19 global pandemic has shifted so much of our normal everyday life, from shopping to movies to visiting distant loved ones, we have definitely seen the impact in the fast transition from in-person school and work to remote or hybrid models. As the best practices in both work and higher education continue to evolve, educators have been especially creative in coming up with new ways to engage learners in person, online, and even in blended solutions.

Interactive projectors easily make a dry erase board, plain wall, or a table an interactive display.
Interactive projectors easily make a dry erase board, plain wall, or a table an interactive display.

Since life changed for most of us in March 2020, many schools and businesses shifted focus to virtual formats, abruptly and radically changing traditional meeting and learning in a classroom/conference room environment. The pandemic has definitely accelerated the incorporation of advanced technology into the classroom/conference room environment. For example, many meeting spaces have evolved to include interactive projectors which perform well for teachers who have some students physically in the classroom as well as other participants who are attending virtually with both types of participants viewing the same. This also works in the corporate setting for people who are physically in the building and for remote workers.

Pre-Covid in a lot of classrooms, the existing displays were 65” or smaller so students and instructors had to sit very close together. Larger screen formats can be used to help schools more effectively and safely re-open while adhering to distancing requirements. With an upgrade to a large enough display (i.e, in K-19 a 90” diagonal or larger and typically a minimum of 100” in Higher Education), students can be safely distanced around the room in a decent-sized classroom, including seating in the very back of the room. With the shift to a larger screen, students can sit at a safer distance and still see classroom content clearly.

The America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) includes $40 billion in aid for Higher Education Emergency Relief and schools have until 2024 to purchase and install technology solutions to effectively modernize education. We at Projector Reviews are very curious to see what long-term changes take place, but for now, we think many schools will be looking to invest tools and technology to make learning more engaging and interactive for all learners and we believe an immersive projection experience can support that goal!



Let’s look at the different categories we are including in our Education Projector Report.

First, we have what we call “Meeting Room/Classroom”, which includes projectors found primarily in K-12 classrooms and business meeting room settings. These budget-friendly projectors tend to be smaller, with less lens adjustability. Several factors, including overall budget, and smaller classroom sizes, contribute to the fact that K-12 schools will often spend less per projector than a higher education institution.

Projectors are a great addition to any classroom adding more visual display options and engagement
Projectors are a great addition to any classroom adding more visual display options and engagement

Often in higher education applications “Conference Room/Lecture Hall” class projectors are placed in big lecture halls or larger classrooms. These are the projectors that will also be used in the larger conference or boardroom in businesses. But remember, all types of schools and businesses will often need bigger and more powerful projectors for their multi-function rooms and auditoriums, not just classrooms and smaller meeting spaces.

A third category includes “High-End/Specialty” projectors, with the “specialty” including projectors designed for digital signage and projection mapping, many of which are widely used in museum displays.

Within each of these classes is different types of projectors, for example, standard and ultra-short throw. Features like interchangeable lenses and horizontal/vertical lens shift can affect both unit price and the sometimes hefty cost of installation. Interactivity is an increasingly popular and attractive technology. Some projectors in the guide have fully interactive capabilities, others have varying degrees, including very limited, and none.

In this report, we think “usage.” It’s not a specs competition. Our awards go out to great projectors and some that are great for specific applications, environments, etc.


Modern projectors offer new ways to engage teammates/students in person, online, and even in hybrid situations
Modern projectors offer new ways to engage teammates/students in person, online, and even in hybrid situations

This year we considered dozens of projectors and chose more than 30 projectors we felt were best suited for the education market. In this report, you will find an overview of each of those projectors with links to their in-depth reviews if you want to read more.

Many of the projectors we reviewed also have “siblings” which typically include a few additional models, many times almost identical to the product we reviewed, but with varying resolution, or with additional wireless capabilities, perhaps slightly brighter, etc. Our focus was to show you a sample of what is available which actually represent perhaps closer to 100 different models currently available.

Some of the projectors in this report may look familiar and that is because most projectors have been in market for 2-4 years. A few of the projector’s included in this year’s Buyer’s Guide were also included in last year’s guide but they are still highly relevant to the market. We also note any projectors that won awards last year in addition to any new award winners.

During the warm summer months while students relax and recharge on beaches and on camping trips, we know that institutions and key faculty are spending time upgrading and enhancing classroom technology to be ready to welcome students back in the fall. We hope that you will find the find the information contained within this Buyer’s Guide useful.

Selecting projectors to review: We are very selective in choosing the projectors we choose to review and those we feature in this Buyer’s Guide. We work hard to ensure that most of the projectors we review are considered to be among the best in both price range and capabilities.

We hope this Buyer’s Guide helps you select the right products for your success. Our sincere thanks to all of you who have persevered and continued to educate through one of the most unexpected and challenging times in modern history. Whatever we can do to make your job a little easier and hopefully more brilliant, we are happy to support. Thank you again for all that you do!



When choosing a projector for your education applications, there are several factors to consider. The first thing is how large of a screen do you need for your application? While flat panels TV continue to get bigger and bigger, when it comes to sheer size, a projector still offers the best band for your buck. Larger rooms require larger screens.

The larger the screen the easier it is to see fine details from farther away
The larger the screen the easier it is to see fine details from farther away

The image needs to be large and clear enough to be able to read the smallest text on the screen from the back of the room. Need help deciding how big of a screen and what resolution is required for your space? Check out this excellent whitepaper from Epson entitled Display Size Matters.


How much brightness you need depends on the desired screen size and the amount of Ambient Light in the room. A bigger, brighter projected image makes it easier for audience members to maintain a safe distance from other participants, as needed. However, as the screen size increases, more brightness is required to deliver a colorful, vibrant image.

Brightness Scale: Estimates for 100″ diag. screen

Room Environment Recommended ANSI Lumens

Bright With No Control Over Ambient Light

Bright With Some Control Over Ambient Light

Good Control Over Ambient Light

Ability to Fully Darken

The standard for determining a projector’s brightness is called ANSI Lumens. An ANSI Lumen rating uses an average of several brightness measurements taken across the face of the light source.

A 200-inch screen found in a larger lecture hall is four times bigger than a 100-inch screen found in a classroom. This means you will need four times the light output to reproduce a similar-looking image.

So how many Lumens are right for your application? A good rule of thumb is if it’s too bright you can turn it down, but you can’t turn it up if it’s not bright enough, at least not without sacrificing image size.

A brighter projector combined with a good Ambient light Rejecting Screen will ensure a good-looking picture even in a room with some ambient light, like a lecture hall.


Projectors work well even in smaller meeting rooms
Projectors work well even in smaller meeting rooms

Resolution is a term that refers to the number of horizontal and vertical pixels of the projected image. The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution, and the sharper the image. A higher resolution is especially useful in the classroom when presenting characters and text, like in a high-end mathematics or physics class.

Common Education/Business Projector resolutions

Type Resolution Aspect Ratio

800 x 600 4:3

853 x 480 16:9

1024 x 768 4:3

1280 x 800 16:10

1920 x 1200 16:10

1920 x 1080 16:9

3840 x 2160 16:9
* SVGA and WVGA are essentially “legacy” resolutions.

While there are still some very low-cost projectors sold with SVGA and WVGA resolutions (including some “toy” priced dim LED pico projectors for home use), they are no longer normally bought by schools.

There are still large numbers of them in K-12 schools and most are long overdue for replacement. Their bulbs last only a fraction of the life of new projectors (never mind laser projectors!), so it can be extremely costly to maintain these types of old projectors.

XGA models are typically used to replace the SVGA (and if any are still around – VGA) projectors. SVGA projectors are typically replaced by WXGA, WUXGA, or 1080p projectors.

For applications where the ability to resolve fine details is important a 4K capable projector is probably the best solution. However, native 4K high brightness projectors cost at least four as much as their 1080p counterparts. While 4K Pixel Shifting can’t match the resolution of a native 4K projector, it does increase sharpness and detail compared to a standard 1080 projector. 


Your installation requirements are impacted by several factors such as placement, maintenance, longevity needs, hardware, and monitoring/control. There is way too much information to cover in this article so check out the installation-related articles on our Custom Integration page.

You can also click the links below to explore installation-focused features in more detail.

© 2023 Projector Reviews

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