Top 10 projectors

by | 28 February 2012

Tired of hiring costly projectors every time you have to do a presentation away from the office? CBR rounds up some of the better options on the market that will provide value for money in the long-term, whether you are looking for s cheap and cheerful model or a bigger investment that will blow your socks off

3M Pocket Projector MPro 150
3M projector


The light projector weighs just 5.6 ounces and offers easy transportation; small enough to fit inside a pocket. The MPro 150 can read files from internal memory or a microSD card which makes it more portable to use than most Pico projectors, despite being larger. The Image quality is decent but isn't exceptionally great for viewing in dark rooms.

The projector has 0.5-watt speakers but they have enhanced volume when compared to MPro120. The sound offers clear quality even at its maximum volume and speakers can be plugged in for even higher volume. The projector's battery life lasts up to only 2 hours but can be charged by plugging the power cord in or USB cable to a computer. Prices start at £227 on Amazon.

Acer X1161P
Acer projector
The projector can display its image on blackboards and whiteboards. This is a great projector to use for conference rooms that may not come with screens. It only has a lamp life of 5,000 hours, but is a decent amount of for its £200 price tag.

The X1161P does not come with a monitor out so it is unable to connect a computer monitor to the projector. It also does not come with speakers, so audio quality for presentations is quite low as an external sound system is definitely needed. Its short throw lens is convenient for business presentations and has a decent resolution of 800 x 600.

Ben Q Joybee GP1
Ben Q Joybee projector
The GP1 is highly portable weighing just 1.4 lb. It's LED light source boasts a 20,000 hour lifetime and presentations, videos, and photos can be shown from a USB memory key. The Palmtop projector has a USB reader and audio out port. The GP1 does not have any video or audio cables but those can be bought separately.

The GP1 is rated at 100 lumens but has slight problems with colour bounces. Small font sizes are also hard to read when displayed. Overall the projector has good image quality with very little rainbow effect. The audio is impressively loud for a small projector and would perform well in a small conference room. Nevertheless, if a movie needs to be watched an external sound system may be needed for clearer audio quality. Prices start at £411 on Amazon.

Canon Realis SX80 Mark II
Canon projector


The SX80 is on the larger side of portable projectors as it is relatively big and heavy; weighing in at 11.5 lb. The projector offers automatic focus settings as well syncing to incoming signals. The focus and 1.5 to 1 zoom are easily controlled by remote. The display comes in at 64 inches diagonal and is rated at 3,000 lumens.

The SX80 offers advanced control over onscreen colour which is great for those needing attention to detail. The projector has good data and photo image quality but lacks lustre when it comes to video. It only has 1-watt mono speakers so the audio quality is decent but pretty low. Investing in an external sound system is recommended for optimal audio output. Prices start at £2,151 on Amazon.

Casio XJ - A 150

Casio
The A 150 offers wireless communication with PCs and allows AV devices and PCs to be easily connected with the projector. The brightness is rated at 3,000 lumens and images can be clearly projected in brightly lit rooms.

Its slim and light (5 Ib) physique allows for very easy transportation. The light source life is 20,000 hours and the projector has a good resolution of 1280 x 800. High definition (720p) display is also available for content and broadcasts. Prices start at £630 on Amazon.

Epson brightlink 450wi

Epson projector
This projector offers an impressive interactive feature turning any surface into an interactive whiteboard; offering a cost-efficient solution as a projector and whiteboard are wrapped into one product. The Epson displays a maximum 96 inch diagonal image. The projector weighs 14.1 lb making it quite heavy but is able to be installed permanently. Image quality is lacking for this projector and it seems to have a low contrast ratio, but is decent when displaying data images.

The Projector's audio system is solely mono and if stereo is needed an external sound system will be needed. The volume is quite low for 10-watt speakers and is only loud enough for a midsized room at its best. Prices start at £882 on Amazon.

NEC Display Solutions NP-M300 WS

NEC projector
This projector has 1,280 x 800 resolution and a short-throw lens convenient for displaying large images in small rooms. The image quality is quite good but video image quality is not as good as its data image. The 8.8 lb projector is rated at 3,000 lumens and its display is 56.2 inches diagonally.

The sound quality is high with 10-watt mono speakers; loud enough for medium and large size conference rooms. Prices start at £500 on Amazon.

Optoma Neo-i

Optoma projector
The Neo-i has impressive image quality that is powerfully bright even in the darkest lighting as it boasts 50-lumen brightness. The projector is able to display a 51- inch diagonal image at 1080 resolution. The audio is not amazing, and could do better in delivering a clear, crisp sound but has the same quality as you would find in the audio of a television set.

What makes the Optoma Neo-i unique is it's a projector with an iPod dock, but is not limited to Apple products. Standard connections for computers and other video sources are available as well. The Neo-i offers light transport for a table top unit weighing in just over 2 lb. The Optomo Neo-i starts at £181 on Amazon.

Panasonic PT-AE1000

Panasonic projector
Panasonic's first full HD Projector offers superb quality for its £3,500 price tag. The image quality for this projector is quite high with a pixel count of 1920 x 1080; offering smooth and natural colour transitions. The projector starts to falter when running detailed shots, lacking some sharpness and texture, but as far as high quality projectors go, this one gives the most bang for your buck.

ProjectionDesign Action Model Three 1080

ProjectionDesign projector
The projector's price tag comes in at a whopping £15,000. The device offers superb contrast and brightness and brightness levels have the capability of being easily controlled as it uses two lamps that can be controlled separately. The PD Action model offers picture quality close to that of a cinema.

The projector is capable of displaying quality picture on immense screen sizes and has a 1920 x 1080 native DLP chipset. The projector includes a processor that can take in a video signal of any resolution and convert it to 1080 p before relaying it to a digital output.

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