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Best Projectors for Classrooms: Review & Buying Guide

Lectures and presentations are already difficult to imagine without modern equipment that helps to display any information on the big screen. A projector can be used during meetings, reports, and presentations of new ideas, goods, and services. A school projector is a handy tool for both teachers and students.

It can help to make the speakers’ speeches as informative and visual as possible. In the market today there are a lot of devices, and models, which differ in different characteristics. But how to choose a projector suitable for your requirements?
In this article, we will consider the main characteristics and the best classroom projectors.

What to consider when choosing a projector for the classroom?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a projector for your classroom:
1. Resolution
2. Brightness
3. Contrast Ratio
4. Throw Ratio

6 Best Projectors for Classrooms: Reviewed

  1. Epson HC880 – Best choice
  2. Optoma EH412ST – The premium choice
  3. DRJ ‎AK60 – Best price
  4. FANGOR F-506
  5. Epson VS260
  6. YABER Y31

1. Epson HC880

Epson Home Cinema 880 3-chip 3LCD 1080p Projector, 3300 lumens Color and White Brightness, Streaming and Home Theater, Built-in Speaker, Auto Picture Skew, 16,000:1 Contrast, HDMI 2.0, White
  • Stunning picture quality — provides stunning, detailed 1080p images and fast data processing that’s optimized for fast-action sports, gaming and more
Epson HC880 is a great option to consider. This projector delivers stunning 1080p images and is optimized for fast-action sports and gaming. It also has a best-in-class color brightness, thanks to its advanced 3LCD technology.

Additionally, the HC880 is very easy to set up, with a built-in speaker and easy connectivity to all your HDMI-enabled devices. Plus, it comes with a 2-year limited warranty and free technical phone support for the life of the product. This is one of the best multimedia projectors for the classroom.

PROS:
  • Stunning picture quality;
  • Ultra bright images;
  • All-digital HDMI connectivity.
CONS:
  • No Bluetooth or wireless streaming.

2. Optoma EH412ST

Sale
Optoma EH412ST Short Throw 1080P HDR Professional Projector | Super Bright 4000 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Meeting Rooms | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable
140 Reviews
Optoma EH412ST Short Throw 1080P HDR Professional Projector | Super Bright 4000 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, or Meeting Rooms | 15,000 Hour lamp Life | Speaker Built in | Portable
  • Short throw lens: experience a large 120" Image projected from 4. 5 feet away, at throw ratio 0. 5: 1; short throw Projectors allow placement closer to the screen making it ideal for more smaller spaces and easier installation
The Optoma EH412ST is a short-throw projector that is ideal for smaller spaces and easier installation. With a brightness of 4,000 lumens, it is perfect for well-lit meeting rooms, conference rooms, training rooms, classrooms, and more.

The 50,000:1 contrast ratio and Serge color profile enable rich, accurate color, based on the primaries of rec. 709 HDTV specification when used with a PC, Mac, or any Serge compatible source. The EH412ST also features an array of connectivity options, including 2 x HDMI, VGA in and out, audio-in and out, RS232, and USB-A.

The built-in speaker is 10 watts and enhances presentations with sound. The EH412ST also has Full 3D 1080P support and can display true 3D content from almost any 3D source.

PROS:
  • 4K HDR input for vibrant colors;
  • Full 3D 1080P support;
  • Vivid color with 50,000:1 contrast.
CONS:
  • The built-in speaker is not good.

3. DRJ ‎AK60

Sale
5G WiFi Bluetooth Projector, Full HD Native 1080P Projector 9500Lumens with Wireless Mirroring Screen, Compatible with TV Stick/HDMI/DVD Player/AV for Theater Movies [120" Projector Screen Included]
  • NATIVE 1080P SUPERB VIEWING EXPERIENCE: With the highest native resolution 1920*1080 and contrast ratio of 10000:1, the DRJ WIFI projector creates you a movie theater for home & outdoor fun during the day and at night. It also enables you to enjoy your video or gaming with an enhanced and crystal clear display.
The DRJ ‎AK60 is a 1080p projector that offers a great viewing experience with its high native resolution and contrast ratio. It also has an upgraded 5G WiFi connection that makes it easy to connect to your iOS or Android device.

The Bluetooth connection and Hifi dual stereo speakers also make it a great choice for those who want to enjoy their music wirelessly. Also, it comes with a 120-inch screen, making it a great choice for those who want to enjoy their movies outdoors.

PROS:
  • Built-in speakers are decent;
  • Excellent image quality for the price.
CONS:
  • Low brightness.

4. FANGOR F-506

Sale
1080P HD Projector, WiFi Projector Bluetooth Projector, FANGOR 230' Portable Movie Projector with Tripod, Home Theater Video Projector Compatible with HDMI, VGA, USB, Laptop, iOS & Android Smartphone
6,023 Reviews
1080P HD Projector, WiFi Projector Bluetooth Projector, FANGOR 230" Portable Movie Projector with Tripod, Home Theater Video Projector Compatible with HDMI, VGA, USB, Laptop, iOS & Android Smartphone
  • ❤【NATIVE 1080P FULL HD RESOLUTIONS】 With native resolution of 1920*1080 and contrast ratio of 10000:1, the Fangor-506 1080p Projector provides sharp and detailed HD images. Combining an innovative high-refraction 6 layers glassed lens, ensuring the best video experience.
The FANGOR F-506 is a projector that offers sharp and detailed HD images with a native resolution of 1920*1080 and a contrast ratio of 10000:1. Also has an innovative high-refraction 6 layers glassed lens that ensures the best video experience. The latest WiFi connecting function is compatible with IOS and Android systems, which means you can connect your device to the projector without any cables. The projector also has a built-in stereo speaker that offers surround sound. Additionally, the projector is very versatile and has HDMI, AV, VGA, and SD Card ports.
PROS:
  • Resolution of 1920*1080;
  • Contrast ratio of 10000:1;
  • 6-layers glassed lens.
CONS:
  • Not compatible with Netflix.

5. Epson VS260

Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector, 3,300 Lumens Color Brightness, 3,300 Lumens White Brightness, HDMI, Built-in Speaker, 15,000:1 Contrast Ratio
353 Reviews
Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector, 3,300 Lumens Color Brightness, 3,300 Lumens White Brightness, HDMI, Built-in Speaker, 15,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Amazing brightness — 3,300 lumens of color and white brightness (1) ideal for displaying large-group presentations, spreadsheets and videos, even in well-lit rooms
The Epson VS260 is an amazing projector that offers a great deal of value for the money. It features a high brightness of 3,300 lumens, making it ideal for large-group presentations, and its xga resolution delivers crisp text and images. Additionally, its true 3-chip 3lcd technology ensures that colors are accurately displayed, without any distracting “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues.

The VS260 also features versatile connectivity, with an HDMI port that makes it easy to connect streaming devices, including fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. Additionally, its built-in picture skew sensor automatically analyzes the picture and corrects the keystone to help square the image.

Finally, the Epson VS260 has an amazing dynamic contrast ratio of up to 15,000:1, providing crisp, rich detail for graphs, images, and videos. It also comes with a standard 1-year limited warranty and free technical phone support for the life of the product.

PROS:
  • Very bright;
  • True 3-chip 3lcd technology;
  • Amazing dynamic contrast ratio.
CONS:
  • Speaker could be better.

6. YABER Y31

YABER Y31 9800L Native 1920x 1080P Projector, 2022 Upgraded Full HD Video Projector, ±50° 4D Keystone Correction Support 4K, Home Theater Projector Compatible with Phone,PC,TV Box,PS5
4,171 Reviews
YABER Y31 9800L Native 1920x 1080P Projector, 2022 Upgraded Full HD Video Projector, ±50° 4D Keystone Correction Support 4K, Home Theater Projector Compatible with Phone,PC,TV Box,PS5
  • 🌻 [Innovative One-Click to Brighten & 4D Keystone Correction Function] Official Feature Sponsor of New Orleans Film Festival-Our Y31 hd projector is the first projector with One-Click to Brighten function and Auto Vertical Correction. With manually ± 50° 4D (Vertical & Horizontal) Keystone Correction, One-Click Restore & -25% zoom function, very convenient to adjust the screen by using the remote control, especially for the projector suspended from ceiling.
The YABER Y31 projector is a great option for those looking for a high-quality, affordable option for their home theater. This projector boasts a native 1920×1080 resolution and a high contrast ratio of 10000:1, providing sharp and detailed images without downscaling or compression.

The LED projector also has built-in 3W dual stereo speakers with an SRS sound system, ensuring a great auditory experience. Additionally, the Y31 features an updated cooling system with 3 fans and SmarEco technology to minimize lamp power consumption and extend the life of the lamp.

The YABER Y31 is perfect for home movie entertainment, gaming, and parties. It offers a projection size of 50-300″ depending on the distance from the screen, and the recommended viewing distance is 10′. The projector also features 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, a VGA port, and an AV port, making it easy to connect to a variety of devices.

Overall, the YABER Y31 is a great option for those looking for a high-quality, affordable projector for home theater.

PROS:
  • Great image quality;
  • Easy to set up and use.
CONS:
  • The projector may have some lag when playing videos.

Projector Types

All devices for visualizing information are divided into 3 types.

  • DLP – the optimal home option with high image quality. Such devices are the most mobile, so it is easy to change their location. The picture is displayed on the screen due to the movement of several mirrors displaying light.
  • 3LCD – such devices are most often used in schools or offices. These projectors for schools have a clear image, an advantageous contrast, and an LCD matrix, which allows displaying the light from the projection lamp correctly. The device consumes little electricity, so it quickly pays off.
  • LCoS is the most modern model with an LCD matrix in a silicon mirror. Therefore, the projectors have improved detail and a bright, full-of-light picture, perfectly suitable for the office or classroom. A secure mirror mount ensures a long service life.

Buyer’s Guide: Projectors for Classrooms

If you need to buy a projector for an educational institution, you should pay attention to certain characteristics.

Determine the required screen height

The fundamental value for selecting a screen is the viewing distance. Experience with projectors has shown that in educational institutions, the optimal viewing distance is 6 screen heights. So for a 128cm high screen, the optimal viewing distance is 7.68 meters (1.28×6).

Thus, a screen with a diagonal of 80″ is the minimum possible for the normal class. However, it is necessary to consider that, according to the requirements, the distance from the floor to the bottom edge of the screen should not be less than 80 cm. Therefore, it is also important to consider the height of your room.

Determine the format of the screen

We saw that the height of the screen is critical. Another important parameter, is the format of the screen, ie, the ratio of the screen width to its height. The 4:3 format, which is slowly becoming a thing of the past, has been replaced by the 16:10 format, which is a logical development of the popular 16:9 format, but at the same time, it is 11% bigger.

Many models of modern notebooks feature this aspect ratio. Most Word® documents, PDF files, and websites are designed in portrait format, with the long side vertical. Since 16:10 is higher than 16:9, it fits better. Again, you will see 11% more information than 16:9.

Pay attention to the brightness of the projector

The brightness of a projector is stated in lumens (Lm), which refers to the illuminance per square meter of surface. The brighter the projector, the higher the value. As a rule, the higher the brightness, the more expensive the projector.

The required brightness level of the projector for your classroom is determined by the lighting conditions in the room. To find out the sufficient brightness of the projector for your room, you need to multiply the illumination in the room, in which you plan to view, by the screen area. It is generally accepted that the optimal brightness of the projector should be 10 times this calculated value. For classrooms, the minimum level of illumination in the SNIP is set at 500 lux.

That is, if you do not reduce illumination in the classroom, for example, by turning off lights or curtains, for a screen size of 80″ 168 x 128 cm (2,15 sq.m.) the optimal projector would be a brightness of at least 10 000 Lm (500 lux x 2,15 sq.m. x 10 = 10 750 Lm).

However, the experience of projectors’ operation in the majority of classrooms in Russian schools shows that brightness of 3,300-3,800 Lm is considered acceptable with some limitations.

A thoughtful and prudent decision before choosing a projector brightness is to measure the light level in your classroom where you are going to use the equipment. This can be done with a simple and inexpensive device called a lux meter.

Choose the type of projector

Besides the common projectors which are usually located far enough away from the screen (often not closer than 2 meters), short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors are widely used in the education sector.

Short-focus projectors can be placed at a distance of 75-100 cm from the screen and carried from classroom to classroom. Ultra-short-focus projectors are equipped with a special wide angle lens which allows projecting a 100″ diagonal image from a distance of about 25-50 cm from the screen, they are usually placed above the screen on a permanent basis by fixing it on the wall or the ceiling, i.e. almost above the screen.

With this projection distance, the shadow of the speaker is virtually invisible on the screen, and the bright light from the projector does not dazzle him when he looks at the audience.

Choose the resolution

Currently, the most affordable and therefore most in demand are projectors with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels (WXGA) and a 16:10 aspect ratio. More expensive projectors have a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels (WUXGA), where the image, text, and fine details look much better and clearer.

The high resolution could be crucial for quality learning processes, effective design developments, and medical research in order not to miss any detail of the image. Of course, you need to consider the resolution of your device from which you feed the signal to the video projector.

Check the interactive features

Projectors these days are more than just devices that project images onto a screen. The leading projectors on the market have smart, interactive features that allow you to write text, make graphs and draw on the projected image.

The mouse function also allows you to control your computer directly from the screen. This means that you can work with teaching materials and software that are on the computer, as well as use various tools. This opens up exciting possibilities for teaching and learning.

Check the ease of use and connectivity

Numerous projectors support multiple signal sources. However, you should buy a projector that has input jacks that are available on all of your intended signal sources (computers, camcorders, players, etc.). If you have multiple signal sources, to avoid buying additional splitters and manually switching cables, make sure the number and types of connectors on the projector match the number of sources and the types of their connectors.

For example, if you have a computer and a media player and each has an HDMI connector, it makes sense to purchase a projector with two HDMI connectors or to use an HDMI 2×1 signal splitter to avoid running two HDMI cables to the projector.

The concept of “bring your own device and show it” is becoming more and more common. Some projectors have the ability to wirelessly play video signals from computers, tablets, phones, and other mobile devices, and this additional projector feature help to realize this concept. This feature can often be activated by plugging a special wireless module into the projector’s USB port.

Certain models of projectors allow you to play content from a USB flash drive. By inserting a USB flash drive or plugging a hard disc directly into the projector you can start projecting its graphic or video files without using a computer.

Both teachers and students need to be able to start the projection easily, so choose a projector that you can simply plug into and quickly start projecting.

Can the projector play sound?

An important addition to the projector can be built-in speakers, which in some cases will do without the need to connect additional speakers. Such built-in speakers usually have a maximum power of 10 W, which is comparable in volume and sound quality to a home TV.

Nevertheless, the presence of pass-through outputs (Mini-jack 3,5 mm, 2xRCA) to connect the projector to the existing speaker systems will be important to simplify the connection of devices and reduce the number of cables that will be needed to organize image playback with sound.

How noisy is the projector?

In order not to disturb the speaker, distract the audience, or force them to listen to the speaker’s speech, it is important to how quiet the projector is. At 30dB, a projector is considered virtually silent.

FAQ on Projectors for Classrooms

Are classroom projectors easy to operate?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the projector and the person operating it. Some projectors are very user-friendly while others require a bit more knowledge to operate.

How many lumens should a classroom projector have?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the number of lumens required for a classroom projector will depend on a number of factors, such as the size of the room, the ambient light conditions, and the screen size. However, as a general guide, most classroom projectors will require between 2,000 and 4,000 lumens to provide a good quality image.

How do projectors in schools help in teaching?

Projectors help in teaching by giving instructors the ability to display multimedia content on a large screen. This allows for a more engaging and interactive learning experience for students.

How many lumens do I need for a classroom projector?

Classroom projectors typically need around 2,000 lumens to provide a clear image.

Is a Projector for the Classroom Worth Buying?

A projector for the classroom can be worth buying if it is used correctly and fits the needs of the students and the curriculum.

Conclusion

Gone is the era when learning was limited to notebooks, textbooks, and posters. Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, including learning. Multimedia technology in the classroom is no longer a marvel of technology. Schools today are choosing digital solutions in the classroom for effective, convenient, useful, and interactive learning.

An important component of today’s multimedia solutions in the classroom is the projector. A video projector ensures that every student gets an understanding of the topics covered in class. In addition, modern interactive projectors are a great tool for keeping students’ attention.

Buying a new projector for an educational institution can seem like a daunting task, especially for teachers who are not well versed in the abundance of acronyms and technical terms.

No matter how diverse your multimedia content or interactive crocs are, a teacher using a dim projector with poor image quality is not going to ignite the minds of students in the classroom.

Students and learners need to be able to see the projected image clearly from anywhere in the classroom. The clarity and brightness of the image really make a big difference in how attentive students are and how well they remember what they learn in class.

About Valery Johnson

Hi, I am Valery and I love nature, the universe and the starry sky. Together with my friend Michael we share our practical knowledge in the field of astronomy and nature observation. We also test different optical instruments to see the strengths and weaknesses of different models. Very often we travel around our country, so we have the opportunity to test optics in different conditions and different seasons. Welcome to Michael's and my blog and we hope you find useful and practical information for yourself.

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