Projectors have been around for quite some time now, these devices are extremely popular amongst people who wish to show images and videos to a large audience, and nowadays the market is flooded with tonnes of different kinds of projectors, each type having its own specialties. If you’re looking to buy the best projector 2017 has available then you’ve come to the right place, you’ll get comprehensive information about the top ten projectors currently in the market. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your old projection system or you are a completely new person to projection technology, you’ll find something that will suit your needs.
#1 Epson EX3240 SVGA 3LCD Projector
The EX3240 SVGA 3LCD Projector is designed for viewing presentations, PDF files and other data files; it has a significantly lower price than other entries in our list and aims to be an affordable yet reliable option for projection. This projector is priced at less than $500, providing you with an 800×600 SVGA resolution which is perfect for viewing still images of medium detail and low quality videos as well.
The EX3240 doesn’t aim for perfection, it aims to be affordable and provide a decent amount of features that make it reliable without making it too expensive, making it a great low cost option.
Contenders For The Best Projector 2017
- #1 Epson EX3240 SVGA 3LCD Projector
- #2 Epson EX9200 Pro Wireless WUXGA 3LCD Projector
- #3 LG Minibeam Ultra Short Throw Projector With Smart TV (PF1000U)
- #4 Epson BrightLink 536Wi Interactive WXGA 3LCD Projector
- #5 Optoma EH341
- #6 Optoma GT1080
- #7 BenQ SW921
- #8 NEC Display Solutions NP-P452W
- #9 Celluon PicoPro
- #10 Acer S1385WHne
#2 Epson EX9200 Pro Wireless WUXGA 3LCD Projector
Yet another projector manufactured by Epson, the EX9200 Pro Wireless WUXGA 3LCD Projector is a great choice for anyone who wishes to have high quality image and video viewing in a light and compact build. The EX9200 Pro has a native resolution of 1290×1200 (WUXGA) with a brightness rating of 3200 lumens, you can project a crystal clear image with intricate details in any sort of environment. You also get a built-in audio system that provides volume loud enough for a small room.
You get two HDMI ports, one VGA port and a composite video port. One of the HDMI ports supports MHL and you even have a built in Wi-Fi that allows wireless connections. What this projector lacks is an audio out port, but other than that, it’s a really great choice for use as a high quality data projector in small to mid-sized rooms.
#3 LG Minibeam Ultra Short Throw Projector with Smart TV (PF1000U)
Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock has heard of LG, one of the biggest manufacturers of electronics goods. Our next entry in the list is another high tiered projector that has a beefy price tag but is loaded with a number of top notch features, the difference being that instead of being designed for data projection, this one is meant to be part of a home theater system. The LG Minibeam Ultra Short Throw Projector with Smart TV (PF1000U) is compact, lightweight and powerful, boasting a full 1080p ultra short throw lens that allows the projector to easily project images as large as a 100 inches wide (diagonally) from extremely short distances.
Costing more than $1,000, it’s a pretty good buy considering that it can easily be called a premium home projection system, it also provides you with 3D support thanks to its DLP technology, but be prepared to deal with rainbow effects from time to time.
#4 Epson BrightLink 536Wi Interactive WXGA 3LCD Projector
The Epson BrightLink 536Wi Interactive WXGA 3LCD Projector is the latest addition to Epson’s impressive projector line up, packed with numerous features that make it stand out and perform really well, this projector is also pretty portable. You get a number of interactive features that make using the projector fun and easy and can make your presentations look pretty interesting.
The BrightLink 536Wi also has a 3400 lumens brightness rating, ensuring that no matter how well-lit a place is, you’ll be able to view images and videos with ease. The only downside to this entry in our list is that it has no 3D support, but other than that, it’s a near perfect projector that is a great addition to any office space.
#5 Optoma EH341
Another high end data projector, the Optoma EH341 has the ability to deliver highly detailed and clear images thanks to its 1080p native resolution, it’s also very compact and lightweight considering the fact that it provides you with HD projection. This device is pretty cheap considering its top notch performance and solid image brightness and its ability to provide superb viewing in any mid-sized room.
The EH341 has a staggering brightness rating of 3500 lumens, making its image quality extremely good in even the brightest surroundings. You also get a 10 watt speaker that can provide clear audio in a small sized room. This projector is a pretty solid buy for anyone who wishes to have a high end data projector that doesn’t have any additional fancy features to make it more expensive, enabling it to provide superb quality at a superb price.
#6 Optoma GT1080
Affordable and powerful, the Optoma GT1080 is a very reliable gaming projector, the device has a short throw lens that can project images at a native resolution of 1080p, it also has its very own built in audio system that is pretty good and can easily fill up a small sized room with sound. One of the best things about this projector is its price, at less than $800 you get a fully 1290×1080 projector that is optimized for gaming.
You get two HDMI ports, one of which has MHL support, letting you connect with other devices and using the projector as a high tiered movie viewer. The only problem with this projector is that sometimes certain colors seem a bit off, but if you can handle that then this projector is definitely worth buying.
#7 BenQ SW921
Another well-known tech giant, BenQ is known for manufacturing all kinds of computer parts and they haven’t failed to impress with their high end data projector. The BenQ SW921 is a really powerful data projector which is designed to provide high quality image delivery in large rooms, it boasts a resolution of 1280×800 (WXGA) with a brightness rating of a whopping 5000 lumens. Priced at more than $1,000, it’s definitely one of the more expensive entries on the list, but also provides power to justify the price tag.
The SW921 features two HDMI ports, one of which has MHL support, one VGA port, an S-Video port, USB ports for direct data transfer and a LAN port. Since this projector is made for larger rooms such as seminar halls, it has audio output that allows you to connect the projector with a sound system. This is probably the most powerful entry on our list and can be put to great use in the right surroundings, enabling you to deliver superb presentations.
#8 NEC Display Solutions NP-P452W
Last but not the least, comes NEC’s impressive Display Solutions NP-P452W, a powerful data projector that provides similar levels of performance and features as the BenQ SW921. First of all, it provides the same native resolution as the BenQ SW921, 1280×800 (WXGA), with a lens that has both vertical and horizontal shift features, something that the SW921 lacked. What NEC has to offer with their heavy duty data projector is slightly more affordable too.
You get all the basic ports that you would expect to see on any modern projector; HDMI, VGA, audio, USB and LAN, NEC also gives you an Ethernet port for fast internet access. This projector also faces problems with color saturation that make images look funny at times but it isn’t anything serious. The NP-P452W is another great option for anyone looking for a heavy duty data projector.
#9 Celluon PicoPro
The Celluon PicoPro is probably one of the most portable HD projectors currently available in the market, it’s only slightly bigger than your average smartphone! But don’t take its small form factor as a sign of weakness, this hand held projector packs plenty of features and can display videos and images at an up scaled 1920×720 quite nicely. This projector also uses a Laser Beam Scanning (LBS) engine made by Sony that allows the device to automatically focus its lens no matter how far the surface on which you want to project is. This feature, along with it battery life of up to 3 hours makes the PicoPro one of the best portable projectors out there.
#10 Acer S1385WHne
Acer is a well-known technology manufacturer; they’ve been in the market for long enough to know how to make a good product that provides satisfactory performance. The Acer S1385WHne is a lightweight and compact projector that is perfect for use in conference rooms and small to medium sized classrooms. This piece of hardware is designed for data projection, providing you with a very decent resolution of 1280×800 (WXGA) and with a brightness rating of 3200 lumens, all at a decent price tag.
An overall near excellent device for data projection, the S1385WHne is a pretty solid buy, giving you two HDMI ports, two VGA ports and a USB type-B connector that makes the process of installing firmware updates incredibly easy.
Now that you have viewed the top 10 options, it’s time to take a look at some of the features that you should be aware of before you decide to buy a projector.
Modern projectors are classified into three major classes; business presentation projectors, home theater systems and gameplay projectors. Each has its own features that makes it suited for different uses in different environments, what you need to do is make sure that you can precisely identify which type is the one that you need. The best way to figure that out is to start with the basics, first of all, identify what kind of images you plan on showing. If you plan on using a projector for slide shows and presentations then you should consider going for a business or data projector, these models are suited for showing still images with a little bit of movement involved, you can use them to present excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations and various PDF files to a large audience. Modern data projectors can be found in any conference room and class rooms in universities and technology orientated educational facilities, you can even use a data projector for laptop presentations, all you have to do is plug in your laptop and share the contents of its screen with everyone else in the room.
If you want something that can handle more than just excel sheets and can run high quality videos than you should look for projectors that have video capabilities, these tend to be more expensive than data projectors but also have more features and perform better. Most projectors like these come under the home theater projectors category, they come with built in speakers and heavy duty video ports such as HDMI and DVI, the latest models can even support resolutions up to 4K. You can always use a video compatible projector for slideshows and presentations, but there’s no point of buying a device that’s been designed and priced to be part of a home theater system for your office or classroom.
Recently a new kind of projector has started appearing in the market, manufacturers have started producing projectors that are designed for playing games. Modern games are pretty advanced and require a lot of power to run, normal projectors face problems such as signal lag when displaying gameplay since they can’t keep up with such high resolution video output. Gameplay projectors are built to handle such heavy data flow but cost a lot more than other models.
Resolution is an extremely important factor for projectors since they have to display images that are pretty big. Most projectors nowadays have the ability to upscale or downscale images in order to adjust them to their native resolution, but this can greatly compromise the quality of your image. You can find HD projectors with 4K resolutions easily enough but these can be pretty expensive and getting such a high end piece of hardware for displaying PowerPoint slides in your office isn’t the brightest idea. The ideal thing to do is to match your projector’s native resolution with the resolution of what you’ll view on it.
The perfect resolution for displaying data images and presentations is SVGA (800×600), projectors with this resolution are extremely affordable too, but they’ll always fall short in displaying detailed imagery. You can opt for a 720p projector that will do a great job at displaying high quality images and also manage to run videos at a decent quality. However, if you plan on buying a projector for your home theater system or for gaming purposes then 1080p is the minimum requirement, you can also opt for 2K or even 4K although the latter doesn’t have a lot of content available and is very expensive. Another thing to factor in while checking on resolutions is whether you’ll want widescreen format or not, widescreen gives an image a grand feeling and is considered essential for gaming or home theatre projectors.
A projector’s brightness varies from model to model and no single brightness level is the perfect one, it depends on where you plan on using your projector and for what purpose. The ideal brightness level for an indoor theater system in a dimly lit room is around 1000 to 1200 lumens; you’ll get a nice and bright image that is easy to look at. If you plan on placing your projector in a well-lit room then a brightness of up to 3000 lumens is required, a good portable projector needs to have a minimum of 2000 lumens so you can use it in a variety of environments. Once you’ve given thought to the resolution and other specs, the time comes to look at portability.
You can find a variety of size options for your projector; the smallest ones easily fitting inside of your pockets, some models are so large that they are only suitable for permanent installation. If you plan on moving your projector around a lot then you should aim for something lightweight and compact, keep in mind that the smaller a projector gets, the more you have to compromise on features. The ideal size for a gaming or home theater projector would be big enough for the projector to pack power but small enough that you can store it easily when you need to. Our contenders have some of the best portable projectors currently available in the market.
Modern projectors use a variety of technologies to project images, the four major ones being; DLP (Digital Light Processing), LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) and laser raster. A majority of projectors that use DLP and LCOS technology project their primary colors sequentially, this can lead to a rainbow effect on lighter places that can become pretty distracting when viewers shift or look at the projection from certain angles. LCD projectors have a much better video quality and don’t share the same problems but they tend to be heavier, most people go for standard LCOS projectors since they offer the best visual quality but at a higher price tag than that of DLP and LCD based projectors. Laser raster projectors use laser to draw images, resulting in some pretty high definition projections but they aren’t really that popular.
The age of VGA connections is long gone; almost every device nowadays has faster digital connectors for video equipment. The biggest problem with VGA is that it’s an analogue connection, this leads to synchronization issues that can cause video lag and distortion effects when the projector projects. Among the high end digital connectors, HDMI is pretty popular since it provides amazing performance and can easily handle high resolutions, Display Ports take things to the next step by providing support for 4K input but they aren’t that common yet since 4K isn’t that widespread. Some projectors make use of Wi-Fi signals and allow you to wirelessly connect your smartphones and tablets with them.
Projectors use either short throw or long throw lenses for projecting images onto surfaces, short throw lenses allow projectors to project large images without having to be placed far away from the surface on which the images are being projected, but they are also considerably more expensive and perform poorly in larger rooms. Long throw lenses are designed for projecting images from far away and are used in large rooms such as seminar halls and cinema halls. The type of lens that suits you the best depends on how you plan on using your projector.