Are you a not-tech-savvy teacher that needs help choosing the best classroom projector? Are you a tech-savvy teacher that still needs help deciding which projector to purchase for your classroom? Our buyer’s guide is here to help you with your question of choosing a projector for the classroom. Using specifications of different projectors will allow you to compare and contrast these top 9 classroom projectors.
Best Classroom Projectors at a Glance
- Epson VS250 SVGA Projector
- ViewSonic PA503S
- Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector
- ACER H5382BD Projector
- Our Choice: ViewSonic PS501W WXGA
- Epson EX5280 XGA
- Optoma W412 WXGA Projector
- InFocus IN116XA Projector
- Crenova BL-76
Through our research, we considered several details for a projector to make this list. First, it had to have good feedback from customers. Then we looked at the components of the projectors. We looked for portability and type of throw (long-throw, short throw, or ultra-short throw). We also considered mounting possibilities and audio output.
Trying to keep in mind classroom space, size, and lighting were important in choosing which projectors to place on this list. We wanted the projector to have multimedia purposes. For example, we didn’t just want one that projected presentations but also had good movie quality and to be able to connect to an interactive whiteboard.
We even considered gaming when choosing the projectors for the teachers that use them in their classrooms. Warranties offered are a detail we took into consideration when adding the projector to the list.
Although teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites, we know you will find a favorite classroom projector, just as we did. Pssst. It’s the ViewSonic PS501W WXGA. However, all units on this list are solid choices for your classroom needs.
Our Top 10 Classroom Projectors Reviewed
1. Epson VS250 SVGA Projector
Coming in with 3200 lumens and SVGA (600×800) resolution, this projector can project from 30 inches to 350 inches with its 3LCD projection. It is PC and MAC compatible, as well as iProjection App compatible. The Epson VS250 is portable and lightweight. It has manual and digital focus as well as comes with remote control.
The winning components of this projector are the color and brightness of the picture. The color is very vivid. The picture has a somewhat grainy appearance, but it is hardly noticeable if you don’t focus on it. This projector is ideal for presentations and graphics in a well-lit room. If the font on a presentation is smaller than 14, it isn’t easy to read. Offering a fast and easy setup makes this projector very user-friendly and portable.
Another aspect that makes this projector user-friendly is that the controls and features are easy to understand. Like the Kodak Luma 150 Pocket projector and the Acer H5382BD, this projector has an easy setup and is portable. The ViewSonic PS501W has a greater resolution, but it is a short-throw projector.
One of the negative aspects of this projector is that it is not Bluetooth compatible. However, it does support HDMI connectivity and compatibility. The built-in speakers are sufficient for sound, but you will have to get a little creative if you want a more powerful sound as there is no audio out port.
Purchasing an HDMI extractor could be useful for sound. We think this resolution is a little low for a large classroom but would suit a smaller classroom or small group instruction space. The light source is an easily replaceable lamp but not very cost-effective; it does have a 90-day limited warranty if it breaks. The projector itself has a two-year limited warranty as well.
2. ViewSonic PA503S
Able to connect to PC, MAC, mobile devices, HDMI, VGA, and mini USB, this projector has high brightness with 3,600 lumens. An optical zoom lens provides a clear, focused picture. A six-segment color wheel provides color accuracy. The ViewSonic PA503S offers an SVGA (800×600) resolution.
This ViewSonic projector includes advanced features that are great for the classroom. The multipurpose projection allows videos, presentations, and graphics to be presented in a versatile way. A remote control allows easy access for function change. The six-segment color wheel gives the picture a life-like color that is pleasing to the viewer.
Unlike the Epson VS250 projector, this projector offers an audio-out option, which gives the user the ability to connect an external speaker system. Also, this projector can be mounted on a tripod where the Epson VS250 can not be.
The feature we like the most is the SuperEco mode that reduces power consumption by 70%. When this mode is selected, the lamp in the projector can project for 15,000 hours. Another great feature is the plug-and-play setup. Just plug in all the wires, and the projector will play from the source chosen. This easy setup is comparable to the Acer H5382BD.
ViewSonic backs its products with three-year limited parts and labor coverage warranty. It also offers a one-year lamp coverage and a US-based customer service team to answer any questions you may have. Unlike the more advanced model, PS501W, this projector is a long throw projector. It will project an image that is 120 inches wide from a distance of 15’8.” This is almost four times farther than the short throw PS501W model.
3. Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector
The Kodak Luma 150 offers several built-in options because it is portable. It has built-in speakers, onboard controls, a rechargeable battery, and a 60 Ansi lumen LED lamp. This little projector can produce an image that is 20″-150.” It must be connected with HDMI, micro-sd card, USB, or wirelessly to use the projector. The resolution is 854×480. It is multimedia compatible and easily connected to game consoles.
Although this pocket projector is ideal for the teacher who moves from classroom to classroom or even building to building, the rechargeable battery only lasts about 2 hours when fully charged. Before using this device, you must charge it for four full hours. It is easily portable, lightweight, and fits in a small pocket. The onboard controls light up when the projector is turned on, and no remote is offered, making it hard to move away from the projector when using it. This projector is ideal for movie viewing but will not stream copyrighted content from apps such as Hulu, Netflix, and similar services. These apps can not be mirrored or screencast.
The best way to use this projector is to use a laptop and connecting through an HDMI cable. This projector offers the ability to mount to a tripod, like the ViewSonic. With a smaller and sleeker design than the Epson VS250 SVGA, you get what you pay for with this projector. The smaller design limits the color and picture quality. The best aspect going for it is the portability. It does come with a limited warranty, and contacting Kodak customer service is the only way to see if the warranty covers the malfunction.
4. ACER H5382BD Projector
The specs of this white ACER H5382BD projector have a brightness of 3,300 lumens, DLP projections, and 1280×720 resolution. Connect to this projector through HDMI, USB, VGA, or wireless connections. The eColor Boost 3D offered with this projector allows projection on any colored background.
There are many positive aspects to this impressive projector. First, it connects in three easy steps. Whether connecting using HDMI, VGA, or USB, it is easy to connect. The wireless connection is also simple. With the wireless connection, the presenter has the freedom to move around the room.
Much like the ViewSonic projector, this projector offers audio out port to hook up external speakers. With rich details and bright and natural colors, this projector is impressive for the cost. We love that this projector has an ambient light sensor that can detect lighting conditions and adjust the image accordingly. It optimizes the image’s brightness and color saturation. Unlike the Kodak Luma 150 Pocket Projector, this projector is not easily portable.
There are a couple of negative aspects to this projector as well. Although Acer claims the lamp can last from 5,000-10,000 hours, customers reported they don’t last this long. This projector does not have HD capability, but Acer offers a wireless HD kit purchased separately to stream HD quality content. Replacement bulbs are pricey. If the projector stops working, you could return it as a one-year limited warranty comes with this projector; however, getting support from customer service is costly after that year. For a fee that is almost as much as the projector, Acer customer service will look at the projector to see what is wrong.
5. ViewSonic PS501W WXGA
The ViewSonic PS501W WXGA is the only short-throw projector on the list. It offers 3,400 lumens, WXGA (1280×800) resolution, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and keystone adjustment. You can connect to this projector through VGA cables, HDMI, and mini USB. If you wish to connect wirelessly, you can purchase an HDMI wireless dongle. It does not have Bluetooth capabilities but does have a remote to allow more freedom to move around.
We think that this is the best classroom projector on this list. The ViewSonic PS501W has an ongoing list of great features. First, it is a short-throw projector, so it can project an image that is 120 inches wide from only four feet distance. ViewSonic offers a distance calculator to allow you to figure out how far to mount your projector away from your screen, depending on the size of the image you want to project.
This projector displays smooth images without delay and is excellent for the classroom or educational setting. This is a more advanced version of the ViewSonic PA503S. The resolution is better on the PS501W, but the other ViewSonic projector has a better brightness. The same warranty is offered for the ViewSonic projectors. The PS501W is a short-throw projector, where the PA503S is not.
If you have high ambient lighting, this projector may not be for you. The best quality image is for medium to low ambient lighting. However, to fix this issue, lights or one light can be shut off in the classroom when using the projector. The built-in speakers are weak and not very loud; however, like the Acer H5382BD, it has an audio out port to plug in external speakers or soundbar. This easily fixed negative qualities and the ongoing list of positive components make this projector our favorite on the list.
In the video below you will see, why we love this projector for our classrooms. We can not find many other quality projectors for big classrooms within this budget. Take a look at the video below and let us know what you think:
6. Epson EX5280 XGA
The Epson EX5280 XGA offers 3800 lumens of brightness and XGA (1024 x 768) resolution. This projector is very similar to the Epson projector on the list. Connecting to this projector is possible through HDMI, wireless, USB, VGA, and RCA. It is portable and has an easy setup. Automatic vertical Keystone and manual horizontal Keystone make focusing the projector more accurate.
Compared to the other Epson model on this list, this projector has 1.5 times more resolution. Both have no external audio out option, although the speakers have been upgraded with this model. The same limited warranty is offered as the other Epson model. There is also an option to purchase an extended warranty. Text-heavy presentations are projected with a crisp and clear accuracy using this projector. The images are bold and vibrant.
Much like ViewSonic, Epson offers a distance calculator to calculate the projector’s distance for the desired picture size. If you plan to connect to this projector using HDMI, USB, RCA, or VGA, we think this projector would be great for the classroom.
In contrast, we do not like the wireless connectivity capability. You must purchase a LAN wireless adapter or be configured on a network to use wireless connectivity. The projector offers the ability to connect to the projector using a QR code; however, getting to that point means spending more money. This is not stated very well in the product information found online. Another option to connect wirelessly (after purchasing the adapter or connecting to a network) is using Epson’s iProjection App. However, this App does not support all files or formats. So, as convenient as it would be to connect to the projector wirelessly, it is inconvenient to get to the point that connects.
7. Optoma W412 WXGA Projector
The Optoma W412 WXGA projector offers 4400 lumens of brightness, WXGA (1280×800) resolution, vertical keystone correction, a built-in speaker, 15,000-hour lamp life, and 4K HDR input. Included are a carrying case and a remote that has the option of a sleep timer. To connect to the projector, you have the option of dual HDMI ports or VGA ports. Wireless connectivity is not an option. On the back panel is a Kensington lock.
The most professional projector on the list also has the highest lumen output, allowing lights to be left on while using. Also, the number of lumens put out by this projector would be ideal for a classroom with numerous windows. The resolution is comparable to the ViewSonic PS501W. The 10 Watt built-in speaker is loud and crisp and perfect for a small to the medium classroom. If this is not loud enough, shave a large classroom, and have an external audio jack hook up external speakers, unlike the Epson projectors.
This is our second favorite projector on the list because of its professional quality. Another positive aspect of this projector is the color. It has highly detailed visuals, brighter white and deeper blacks. If you use many videos or include brightly colored images in presentations, this projector is a great fit. It has flexible installation and vertical keystone correction (+/- 40°). However, there is no horizontal keystone correction.
We love the Kensington lock for security purposes. Whether you mount this projector to the ceiling or a cart, having the lock will make it hard for theft. This is the most expensive projector on the list because of all the professional components offered. Like Epson, Optoma offers a 90-day lamp warranty; Optoma also offers one-year parts and a labor-limited warranty.
8. InFocus IN116XA Projector
This InFocus IN116XA projector offers 3800 lumens of brightness and WXGA (1280×800) resolution. It is 3D capable and has a contrast ratio of 26000:1. A long-last lamp comes with this projector that offers 15,000 hours of projection. Depending on the projection distance, this projector has a 33″-300″ range.
Much like the ViewSonic PS501W, there aren’t any negative aspects to this projector. However, nothing makes us think “WOW!” either, unlike the ViewSonic PS501W. Coming in at a mid-range price projector, this InFocus projector has vivid color because of the BrilliantColor Technology InFocus has developed. Considered a classroom/meeting room projector, you get what you paid for. There are not a ton of bells and whistles that make this projector stand out. It is just a good mid-range projector. The picture is clear and crisp, and of quality. The 2 HDMI ports, VGA and S-Video connections make connecting to devices reasonably easy.
Like many of the projectors on this list, it has an audio out port for external speakers. The built-in speakers are quiet and not suitable for a large classroom. Like the Optoma W412 projector, this projector has a remote with a built-in sleep timer.
9. Crenova BL-76
The CRENOVA BL-76 projector specs include a five-layer LCD lens, 50,000 hours of lamp life, and roller type refocusing in addition to the keystone. Offering an HD (1920×1080) resolution, this projector comes in red. The forms of connection are standard, USB, VGA, AV, and HDMI.
Although this long-shot projector is toward the cheaper end of the list, it has some great qualities. We love that it only comes in red making it fun and a perfect piece for the classroom. The image starts very immersively, remarkable, and smooth, but it becomes cloudy with blurry corners as the projector is used.
The ability to adjust the keystone +/- 15° and a roller focus wheel should not be so hard to focus. This product is easy to mount on the ceiling or to use with a tripod. We believe this is a convenient projector for smaller spaces as the largest the display will get is 200″; however, the fans tend to get loud the longer they are used. Crenova supplies a 12-month product warranty and offers an extended lifetime warranty to be purchased through them.
This Crenova projector has very similar specs as the VANYKO. The brightness and projection are the same, but that is the end of the similarities. The ability of this projector to not focus entirely is a negative aspect. Another negative aspect is that you need an adapter for a convenient phone connection. Also, like many of the other projectors, copyrighted content from Hulu, Netflix, and similar services can not be mirrored or screencast. The built-in speakers do not offer great sound quality, and an external set of speakers or soundbar is suggested.
Before buying a classroom projector, keep in mind space, size, lighting, connection, and noise. Although many specifications are applied to a projector, it is not overwhelming when you understand the four main specs. There is a projector on this list that is the perfect fit for your classroom. Choose one today!