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Not all projectors can work in any situation. Finding the right one that’ll make your presentations pop and keep your audience engaged takes a bit of research. A good projector unit is going to be an investment, but a worthwhile one if giving presentations is a major part of your job. Plus, when work is done, these can just as easily double as a makeshift home movie theater, creating an instant big screen on any blank wall (or ceiling) in the house.
Office Projector Buying Guide
Here are a few things we recommend looking into before purchasing an office projector for presentations.
Portability: If you’ll be taking this to and from the office, or on the road, a heavy and bulky projector won’t work. Instead, there are plenty of lighter, smaller options that are still powerful enough to get your image up clearly for everyone to see, then pack it up afterwards.
Screen Size: The main benefit to having a projector is an instant boost to a bigger screen for all to see, and these can get seriously large, stretching all the way up to 300 inches. For a typical office presentation, or even home movie night, it’s unlikely you’ll need that size. And in order to get it, the projector unit needs to be far, far back. If your conference room is large enough, a “long-throw” projector might be fine. But if it’s a small space, a “short-throw” model is an option too, allowing you to be mere centimeters from the wall and still see the big picture. You can also often move the picture without moving the projector with a horizontal and vertical lens shift option.
Audio: If your presentation will need sound with it, such as a video or accompanying song, having some good built-in speakers can take it up a notch. Lower-grade speakers can sound tinny and garbled, distracting from the main focus of the visuals you’re trying to present. If your office already has a sound system, a simple audio-out jack or HDMI cable can carry the sound as well, so you can bypass the projector speakers and go straight for the big ones.
Resolution: This determines the clarity, and 720p is around the lowest we’d recommend going. Small projectors often don’t have the power of their bigger counterparts, which can result in a dimmer, duller picture. A projector’s brightness is determined in lumens, and the brighter a room, the more lumens you’re going to need. Over 2500lm is a safe bet for a room with average lighting, and lower for darker rooms at about 1200lm and under. When portability is the biggest factor, there are still some lightweight ones that display an impressive picture quality too (we’ve selected our favorite below).
Fans: Nothing distracts from an otherwise perfect presentation like a whirring and loud fan inside the projector unit. This can get annoying and is absolutely worth checking how noisy it gets before buying. But a fan does still serve an important purpose, and having a projector overheat mid-presentation is a real possibility too. A recommended range of temp is a projector that can be comfortable between -41 to 104°F (5 – 40°C).
Ports: Connecting a laptop, or a smartphone and tablet, is easy and can often even be done wirelessly. HDMI is a must, and if possible, having two of them is a big help. Same goes for a USB port for things like flash drives, and a microSD card slot. Make sure you won’t need a separate additional dongle or converter in order to hook up your desired device.
Home Use: It makes sense to get the most use out of a projector, both at the office and when you get home. Movies and games are usually a snap to set up, but take note of your space first. If you don’t have a clear wall, some models let you project over curved surfaces along with other ways to play with how the screen folds and contorts to match the surface.
What Are the Best Projectors for Presentations?
We picked the top projectors worth your money, from brands including Kodak, Epson and more.
1. Epson Pro EX10000 3-Chip 3LCD Laser Projector
Epson is a trusted brand when it comes to business equipment, and the Pro EX10000 is a beast of a projector that’s packed with practical options and awesome features.
Its laser-light sourced projection can project an image up to 300 inches, creating a theater effect in any conference room, even when the lights are on.
Inside, Epson’s 3LCD laser tech is able to crank out 4500 lumens of brightness, in full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution. Outside, manual focus and zoom knobs let you adjust them fast without digging deep into a digital menu. There are many ports, with two HDMIs, RCA, USB-A, USB-C, audio outs, and even a LAN.
The picture quality, brightness, and color pops, and things like automatic keystone correction save you time and the awkwardness of fumbling around in front of an audience trying to get the screen right.
2. ViewSonic (PX748-4K) 4K UHD Projector
The PX748 can stretch a screen up to 300 inches and still be colorful and bright, with 4000ANSI lumens and 4K UHD resolution.
Connecting up most devices is easy, as this has two HDMI ports, as well as a USB. Lag is kept to a low on activities like gaming, with a 240Hz refresh rate, while the speakers are audible and clear. Anti-warping stabilization and keystone adjusting means you can set up the screen pretty much anywhere — even on curves.
You won’t be spending lots of money on replacement bulbs either — thanks to its reduced power consumption and SuperEco mode, this can handle 20,000 hours, or up to 10 years with average usage.
3. KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector
For traveling light, this Kodak is by far the lightest of the bunch at just one pound.
But small doesn’t have to mean sacrificing convenience and quality. This unit still boasts a 1080p resolution, 3,000 hours of use, and 16.7 million colors. Connection is quick via a microUSB or HDMI cable, and the built-in 1.5W speaker is loud enough for everyone at the conference table to hear.
4. DBPOWER Native 1080P WiFi Projector
This 1080p HD projector has a brightness of up to 9500 lumens and connects up through a USB, VGA, HDMI, AV or even wireless screen mirroring over WiFi. The lens has multi-coated layers of glass that improve picture quality, and the dual 5W stereo speakers are enough that everyone in a small to mid-size room can hear clearly.
It’s also light enough to be carried around, at just over 7 pounds, and has an advanced dual fan cooling system to prevent overheating at inopportune times.