How to Choose a Projector for Classroom

Five Components to Consider Before Choosing a Classroom Projector

When you choose a projector for the classroom, it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many specifications on projectors that keeping the numbers organized can be difficult. Knowing what each spec is, is also helpful.

This buyer’s guide helps straighten those specs out. While researching these top 10 projectors for the classroom, we focused on five components we thought were important in choosing a classroom projector. These components are throw, brightness, resolution, audio ability, and connectivity.

1. Throw

The first spec we are going to look at throws. Throw distance is the amount of space between the projector and the image that is being projected. The size of the image that is projected and the throw distance are directly related to one another. As the distance increases, so does the image. When looking for a projector for the classroom, considering the throw of a projector is important when thinking about space and the size of the classroom. Throw is offered in 3 types, ultra-short, short, and long. Long throws are generally your normal projectors. All of the projectors on this list are long-throw projectors except for the ViewSonic PS501W WXGA. We think this short-throw projector is the best.

2. Brightness

The next spec we are going to look at is brightness. Brightness is measured in lumens and lux. Lumens are the total amount of light emitted from the bulb. Lux is the amount of lumens in one square meter.  The higher the number of lumens/lux, the brighter the projector’s projection will be. If you have an extremely bright room and you don’t want to turn off any lights while using the projector, then you need to find a projector that has a greater number of lumens. 2500-4000 lumens is the adequate size for a normal-sized classroom.

3. Resolution

The next spec is resolution. Resolution is the number of pixels in a given area. Again, like brightness, the higher the number, the better the resolution. Resolution is also given in fixed resolutions. For example, XGA (1024 x 768), WXGA (1280 x 800), and HD (1920 x 1080). The optimal resolution for a classroom projector is anything greater than 800×600. It is possible to have HD resolution or 4K resolution. Generally, the higher the resolution, the higher the price. You will pay for an HD or 4K projector.

4. Audio Ability

Almost all projectors come with built-in speakers. All of the projectors on this list have built-in speakers; however, depending on the size of the classroom and the other noise within the classroom, these speakers may not be enough. Keeping in mind the size of your classroom and other noise when purchasing a projector is important. Adding some external speakers will help the sound of the projector to be louder. Not all projectors have audio out ports, so be on the lookout for that when purchasing a projector. The Epson models on our list do not have audio out ports, but the rest do.

5. Connectivity

The last and probably the most important spec we looked at when researching the top list of projectors is connectivity. The question you should ask yourself when thinking about connectivity is how and what I am going to connect to the projector. Most projectors come with at the very least an HDMI port, which is great for laptop connection. Other types of connections include VGA, RCA, wireless, Bluetooth, and USB. The projectors have at least one of these types of connections. Connectivity also allows for centralized control within a tech department. If your school needs to perform maintenance or project over a network, then you want to be sure to purchase a projector that allows this connectivity.

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