The best 10 projectors in comparison

4KShort throwLaserSmart TV
Projectors (1 - 5)
BenQ TK810Sony VPL-VW890ESSony VPL-VZ1000ESOptoma ZK750Optoma UHZ65Optoma ZK1050Optoma CinemaX ProLG CineBeam AU810PBenQ W5700Sony VPL-VW600ES
Image
BenQ TK810
Sony VPL-VW890ES
Sony VPL-VZ1000ES
Optoma ZK750
Optoma UHZ65
Optoma ZK1050
Optoma CinemaX Pro
LG CineBeam AU810P
BenQ W5700
Sony VPL-VW600ES
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • General info (83)
  • Projection quality (91)
  • Connectivity (57)
  • Features (68)
  • General info (73)
  • Projection quality (93)
  • Connectivity (19)
  • Features (70)
  • General info (72)
  • Projection quality (85)
  • Connectivity (35)
  • Features (53)
  • General info (68)
  • Projection quality (89)
  • Connectivity (32)
  • Features (53)
  • General info (79)
  • Projection quality (76)
  • Connectivity (43)
  • Features (73)
  • General info (70)
  • Projection quality (83)
  • Connectivity (32)
  • Features (53)
  • General info (83)
  • Projection quality (73)
  • Connectivity (70)
  • Features (99)
  • General info (90)
  • Projection quality (60)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Features (100)
  • General info (67)
  • Projection quality (76)
  • Connectivity (35)
  • Features (70)
  • General info (61)
  • Projection quality (67)
  • Connectivity (19)
  • Features (53)
General info
Audible noiseAudible noise is the noise that a device produces while in operation. Reduced audible noise improves quality.
Audible noiseAudible noise is the noise that a device produces while in operation. Reduced audible noise improves quality.32dB
24dB
24dB
36dB
31dB
36dB
28dB
28dB
32dB
26dB
Audible noise (eco)Audible noise is the noise that a device produces while in use. Some devices have an eco mode for quieter operation.
Audible noise (eco)Audible noise is the noise that a device produces while in use. Some devices have an eco mode for quieter operation.30dB
N.A.N.A.32dB
29dB
32dB
26dB
26dB
26dB
N.A.
Lamp lifeThis shows the lifespan of the light source. Projectors need to have their lamps (light source) replaced every now and then.
Lamp lifeThis shows the lifespan of the light source. Projectors need to have their lamps (light source) replaced every now and then.4000h
N.A.20000h
20000h
20000h
20000h
20000h
20000h
4000h
N.A.
Lamp life (eco mode)This is the lifespan of the light source when using the projector in eco mode.
Lamp life (eco mode)This is the lifespan of the light source when using the projector in eco mode.10000h
N.A.N.A.30000h
N.A.30000h
30000h
30000h
10000h
N.A.
Operating power consumptionHow much power the device consumes when it's switched on.
Operating power consumptionHow much power the device consumes when it's switched on.340W
490W
435W
1035W
305W
1035W
345W
300W
N.A.480W
Total score for "General info"
Total score for "General info"
Projection quality
ANSI lumensThe light projected by the device is brighter, i.e. it has a higher ANSI lumens measurement.
ANSI lumensThe light projected by the device is brighter, i.e. it has a higher ANSI lumens measurement.3200lumens
2200lumens
2500lumens
7500lumens
3000lumens
10000lumens
3500lumens
2700lumens
1800lumens
1700lumens
Maximum projection sizeThe maximum size of image that a device can project without compromising quality.
Maximum projection sizeThe maximum size of image that a device can project without compromising quality.300"
300"
120"
N.A.300"
N.A.120"
300"
300"
200"
Motorized focusYou can control the focus remotely, ensuring that the image stays crisp and clear.
Motorized focusYou can control the focus remotely, ensuring that the image stays crisp and clear.
Motorized zoomMotorized or power zoom lenses allow the user to remotely press a switch, for example on a remote control, causing the projector to automatically zoom in or out and correct the size of the image.
Motorized zoomMotorized or power zoom lenses allow the user to remotely press a switch, for example on a remote control, causing the projector to automatically zoom in or out and correct the size of the image.
ResolutionResolution is an essential indicator of a screen's image quality, representing the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen. The resolution is given as a compound value, comprised of horizontal and vertical pixels.
ResolutionResolution is an essential indicator of a screen's image quality, representing the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen. The resolution is given as a compound value, comprised of horizontal and vertical pixels.3840 x 2160px
4096 x 2160px
4096 x 2160px
3840 x 2160px
3840 x 2160px
3840 x 2160px
3840 x 2160px
3840 x 2160px
3840 x 2160px
4096 x 2160px
Total score for "Projection quality"
Total score for "Projection quality"
Connectivity
AirPlayAirPlay allows wireless connection of Apple devices with external screens or speakers. You may stream computer screen, video and music from iOS devices, play games like on consoles or present your slideshows easily on your TV.
AirPlayAirPlay allows wireless connection of Apple devices with external screens or speakers. You may stream computer screen, video and music from iOS devices, play games like on consoles or present your slideshows easily on your TV.
HDMI portsMore HDMI ports mean that you can simultaneously connect numerous devices, such as video game consoles and set-top boxes.
HDMI portsMore HDMI ports mean that you can simultaneously connect numerous devices, such as video game consoles and set-top boxes.2
2
4
3
2
3
3
3
2
2
USB portsWith more USB ports, you are able to connect more devices.
USB portsWith more USB ports, you are able to connect more devices.3
1
1
1
2
1
3
2
3
N.A.
VGA connectorVGA connector is a widespread connector and is found on many video cards, computer monitors, and some television sets.
VGA connectorVGA connector is a widespread connector and is found on many video cards, computer monitors, and some television sets.
Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
Total score for "Connectivity"
Total score for "Connectivity"
Features
Audio input portsMore audio input ports mean that more audio devices such as microphones and keyboards can be connected at once.
Audio input portsMore audio input ports mean that more audio devices such as microphones and keyboards can be connected at once.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.6
N.A.N.A.
Audio output powerAudio output power is based on the number of speakers and their power in watts. High audio output power results in loud, clear sounds.
Audio output powerAudio output power is based on the number of speakers and their power in watts. High audio output power results in loud, clear sounds.1 x 5W
N.A.N.A.N.A.2 x 4W
N.A.2 x 19W
1 x 5W
N.A.N.A.
3.5mm audio jackWith a standard mini jack socket, you can use the device with most headphones.
3.5mm audio jackWith a standard mini jack socket, you can use the device with most headphones.
Vertical lens shiftIf the projector is not perpendicular to the projection surface, it will distort the image. Vertical lens shift allows you to correct this distortion so that you can place the projector below or above the projected image (e.g. mounting the projector to the ceiling).
Vertical lens shiftIf the projector is not perpendicular to the projection surface, it will distort the image. Vertical lens shift allows you to correct this distortion so that you can place the projector below or above the projected image (e.g. mounting the projector to the ceiling).
Remote controlA remote control allows you to control the device remotely. The remote control can be included or optional.
Remote controlA remote control allows you to control the device remotely. The remote control can be included or optional.
Total score for "Features"
Total score for "Features"

How to choose a projector

Projectors have become increasingly popular over the years and are now frequently found in offices, lecture halls, home theaters, and even parks that organize outdoor movie screenings. The market is now flooded with a wide variety of projectors with an equally wide variety of capabilities and technical specifications, from powerful high-performance machines capable of rendering high definition cinematic images to portable projectors that can fit into your pocket.

This diversity means that you can choose a projector that perfectly suits your needs, whether you are looking to build a home theater system, make your gaming experience more immersive, or deliver effective and compelling multimedia presentations. There are hundreds of different brands and models of projectors to choose from, built to serve different functions. Narrowing down this dizzying array of options can often seem daunting. For that reason, we have crafted this guide to help you better understand the different qualities of projectors so that you have a strong understanding of how to look for and find a new projector that perfectly suits your needs.

Types of projectors

As there are so many potential projectors available in the market, each with distinct strengths and capabilities, it is essential first to understand the various types of projectors and then determine which type is the right one for you. Projectors are most commonly categorized based on 1) the usage pattern and 2) the type of light source they contain.

1) Classification by usage

There are three main types of projectors, depending on usage:
➤ Multimedia projectors, also known as all-purpose or business projectors;
➤ Home theater projectors;
➤ Pocket projectors, also known as pico projectors.

Multimedia projectors are versatile devices, most often used for presentations in business or classroom settings. As they are used for projecting static images, charts, and text, they require bright, visible displays, but do not need extremely high resolution or refresh rates.

Home theater projectors, as the name makes clear, are intended to replicate an immersive, cinematic entertainment experience within the comforts of your own home. They are used primarily for watching films and playing video games with detailed graphics. Consequently, they require the highest performance in terms of technical specifications.

Finally, there are pocket projectors or pico projectors. These devices are typically not as sophisticated as either multimedia or home theater projectors, but if you are prioritizing portability and ease of use, these lightweight devices, such as the Celluon PicoPro, may be ideal for you.

2) Classification by light sources

Projectors can also be categorized depending on the light source they use: lamp, LED, or laser.

Lamp projectors are the most affordable. Their light source is very bright, but their light bulbs have to be replaced every 3,000-5,000 hours. Lamps are also prone to having their image degraded by dust particles settling on the light source.

LED projectors replace the traditional lamp light source with an LED lighting system that has a longer lifespan of 1,0000-2,0000 hours and better color control. The LED lighting is most common in pocket projectors but is also found in some home theater projectors.

Laser projectors are the most costly, but have stronger, more consistent contrast and brightness, with the ability to handle a wider range of colors. Additionally, their virtually unlimited lifespan and energy efficiency make them have a high return for those willing to make the initially steep investment.

Resolution and projection size

Resolution is a term for the amount and density of pixels displayed on a screen. A higher resolution indicates an increase in the sharpness, clarity, and overall quality of an image. A projector's native resolution is the maximum amount of pixels that it can display. For example, a home theater projector with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels would be able to display 1,920 horizontal and 1,080 vertical pixels. Keep in mind that the best result occurs when the native resolution matches the resolution of the video source. If you project a movie stored on a high definition Blu-ray Disc using a machine that only has a native resolution of 800 x 600, the video is downgraded in order to be compatible with the projector. As a result, the overall image quality is lower.

The resolution you require varies depending on the primary use of your projector. Simple presentations comprised mostly of text and basic images do not require a resolution as high as more complex multimedia presentations comprised of detailed images and videos. Home theater projectors used for displaying high-quality movies and video games naturally require the highest resolutions. The most common resolution, particularly for home theater projectors, is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, also known as HD. There is also a steadily increasing number of 4K projectors capable of projecting at a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels.

The maximum projection size of a projector is the largest image the device can project without the quality of the image being degraded. The maximum projection size stated by a manufacturer in the product's technical specifications is the largest size for which they ensure a clear and sharp projection. Attempts to project larger images will undoubtedly be successful, but the image quality won't be as good as the one for standard sizes.

Lenses and zoom

Another crucial element to take into consideration is the projector's lens. Probably the most important feature of a projector lens is its throw ratio, which is the ratio between the width of the projected image and the throw distance. The throw distance is the distance between the projector and the screen. Short-throw lenses can project larger images across shorter distances, while long-throw lenses require a greater distance to project an image of the same size. For example, a projector with a short-throw ratio of 0.6:1 would need to be placed six feet from the screen in order to project an image that is ten feet wide. A projector with a longer throw ratio of 1.5:1 would need a fifteen-foot distance to project an equally-sized image.

Another aspect you should consider is whether you need a zoom lens or a fixed lens. Zoom lenses are capable of enlarging an image up to a certain point, while fixed lenses have no enlargement or reduction capabilities. Most short-throw lenses are fixed lenses. Home theaters usually have lenses with a zoom ratio of 2:1, which means they can enlarge an image to twice its maximum size. Multimedia projectors tend to have smaller zoom ratios, with a popular ratio being 1.2:1. Pocket projectors do not have zoom capability.

Refresh rate

A projector's refresh rate is the frequency at which it can refresh the projected image. A higher frequency means that the device has an enhanced ability to process video that results in more fluid, seamless image movements with less noise and blur. The standard refresh rate in many televisions and projectors is 60 Hz. If you plan to use your projector for viewing high definition videos and for gaming, you need a higher refresh rate, for example, 120 Hz.

Contrast ratio

The degree of difference between the darkest and lightest parts of a picture represents the contrast ratio. A higher contrast ratio indicates a greater depth and complexity of colors, with more intense dark colors and more vivid and brilliant light colors. Lower contrast ratios lead to a loss of subtlety and gradation that results in a relatively washed out, muddy picture. A contrast ratio of 5000:1 is standard and satisfactory in multimedia projectors. For home theaters, one should look for contrast ratios of 15000:1-20000:1, if not higher.

Brightness

Brightness, or illumination, is the maximum amount of light produced by a projector and is measured in lumens. It is the most important specification in multimedia projectors, especially since they are often used in spaces with some form of lighting. A projector with 2000 lumens is acceptable in most situations, but it is a good idea to go with one that has a higher brightness level. On our category page, you can find the projectors with the highest brightness levels.

Connectivity

Finally, it is vital to keep in mind how you intend to connect your projector to an image source. While older projectors used to rely on VGA, newer devices most frequently make use of DVI or HDMI inputs for high definition video, as well as USB or microSD ports for connecting to the source where the files are stored. Newer projectors support wireless connections, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

By Khwaja Kamran
| Updated on
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