Projector showdown: The five best business projectors
- — 23 July, 2009 15:40
Picking the right projector for your boardroom or showroom can be a confusing experience. Projectors have different sizes, resolutions and brightness levels. The appropriate projector will depend on the size and brightness of your environment, and then you have to consider all the connectivity and mounting options you'll need. In this feature we look at some of the latest models to hit the market and whether they will suit your business.
Best for a large boardroom: InFocus IN5108
InFocus’ flagship business projector may cost a pretty penny, but you certainly get what you pay for. It has a native 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1400x1050, which is high enough for crisp and detailed images no matter how large your projection surface is. A brightness rating of 4000 ANSI lumens means that contrast will be perfect, even you use it in a sunlit room. This projector will most likely be overkill for all but the largest rooms.
Best for a small boardroom: InFocus IN3108
The InFocus IN3108 is significantly smaller than the IN5108 but has a lamp that's nearly as bright (3500 lumens). It also has a lower widescreen resolution (1280x800). The InFocus IN3108 has enough contrast for displaying movies as well presentations; this is good for Friday afternoon boardroom drinks or an impromptu gaming session on company time.
Best for a business on a budget: Hitachi CP-X2510
The Hitachi CP-X2510 isn’t exactly pretty, nor is it blessed with a particularly high projection resolution (1024x768). However, it is cheap and bright so it’s a great choice if you want to upgrade from an older projector, or if you don’t have a projector at all.
Best for presentations while on the move: Optoma Pico PK-101
Lugging a projector around is often more trouble than it’s worth. By and large they’re big, fragile and heavy, requiring their own carry-bag. If your job is to make a presentation to several clients per day, you’ll no doubt have trouble juggling all the necessary cords and components as you stumble from location to location.
Pico projectors change the landscape, however. Pico projectors only slightly larger than a mobile phone offer a 640x480 resolution and a projection size of up to 50 inches.
We’d wait for this technology to mature a little before recommending one, as the pico projectors currently available on the market aren’t as bright as we’d like for everyday use and don't offer enough contrast. Still, the option is there if you want to be an early adopter. Pico projectors employ different technology to regular-sized projectors. For example, a pico projector uses a LED light instead of a sodium lamp.
Best for the rest: Viewsonic PJ760
If you want a projector that can be used indoors in sunlight-lit areas, has cheap replacement lamps, projects a good quality image and, most importantly, isn’t too expensive, consider Viewsonic’s PJ760. We found it to be sturdy if not particularly good looking, and it has a quiet fan.