Most learners are predominantly visual learners, and learn best from visual diagrams and videos, so a projector together with a screen can make for excellent learning tools. And with so many educational resources now available online, you should use them to your advantage and project them for the whole class to see.
But if students can’t properly see the screen, this can cause real issues. Especially if the student decides to pretend that they can see the screen when they can’t. It’s time wasted.
So, the solution is to get a good quality projector that students will be able to see clearly regardless of how bright or dark the classroom is.
We’ve been checking out some of the best projectors out on the market today, and after much deliberation, we were able to handpick our top 5 favorites to show you.
And, to help you decide which one best suits your needs, we’ve also put together a buying guide which highlights the key thing to consider before you buy.
Then we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
And without further ado…
This was hands down the best interactive whiteboard and projector we could find for classroom use.
The included whiteboard (AKA smart board) is 7 feet long with a projector mounted above it, and it comes with integrated speakers too. And it’s not just for projecting education videos, students can interact with the learning materials by writing on it with its included special pens, or move items around on the whiteboard using their fingers.
And whenever you need to demonstrate something on the smart board, you can use intuitive hand gestures to rotate objects around, and/or zoom in on them.
Better yet, though, you don’t have to get in front of the screen to interact with the smart board, since you can also use mouse functions from your laptop. Speaking of laptops, it works well with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
And you don’t have to worry about your handwriting being too scruffy to read – The special smart ink smooths out the appearance of marks on the smart board to make your handwriting more legible.
It has an ultra short throw distance, which means you can use it even in smaller classrooms, and get larger than life images in front of the students. (More on throw distance in our buying guide.)
Everything you need to get started is included in the box, including the pens, cables, power cords, and the special software to work the smart board.
It’s an expensive piece of kit, however, so you’d need quite the budget to be able to afford it and have it in your arsenal.
There aren’t many customer reviews around for this particular projector kit, but what customer feedback is there is very positive indeed, with customers saying that the product exceeded expectations.
- Very interactive and engaging!
- Comes with its own smart board
- Rotate and zoom in on images
- Ultra short throw distance
- Works with Windows & Mac
- Premium product at a premium price
- There don’t seem to be many customer reviews for this projector around on the net
If you don’t have the budget for an interactive projector and whiteboard, but you still need a projector screen with your projector, then this could be a great option for you.
It has an excellent display resolution – Full High Definition no less, coming in at 1920 x 1080 pixels, so your students can view your images as crisp and clear as possible.
And it’s very bright too, at a very high 7000 lumens, your students will be able to see the display clearly even in a very well lit classroom. (More on lumens in our buying guide later.)
It has cross-platform compatibility, and you can pair it up with either Mac/iOS, Android or Windows computers and devices. And, moreover, it can do this wirelessly, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over any cables.
There are plenty of ports for hooking up to devices, including USB, HDMI, AV, VGA, audio ports and a MicroSD card slot.
It has an excellent lamp life, and you can get a whopping 50,000 hours of teaching out of it before the lamp will need to be replaced.
What makes it different from other projectors is that it has a very low fan noise, so students won’t get distracted or off put by it, and can better hear your voice throughout the course of the lesson.
But what really impressed us with this particular projector is the after-sales service. You get an incredibly lengthy warranty, coming in at a whopping 5 years. And you also get lifetime (and timely) tech support. Very good to know.
It’s available at an excellent price, even though there’s a screen included in the price. It actually works out cheaper than some projectors that don’t come with screens, so it’s excellent value for money.
- Excellent value for money
- 50,000 hours of lamp life
- Very low background fan noise
- Comes with a projector screen
- Wide cross-platform compatibility
- 5-year warranty & lifetime support
- The customer ratings on Amazon may be inflated
This particular projector has been awarded the title of Amazon’s Choice in the category of “classroom projector”. Such a title is only given to products that are not only of excellent quality, but are also available at a good and reasonable price.
It’s compatible with a wide range of devices including DVD and Blu-ray players, Mac and Windows computers, and mobile devices.
And it’s plenty bright enough, throwing out 3800 lumens of light, so it doesn’t matter how light or dark the room is, the students will be able to see the projections easily and clearly.
And it has plenty of lamp life too – it will last for up to 15,000 hours of use, thanks to it’s super economy mode which reduces power consumption. So if you always remember to switch it off after each use, you can get LOADS of lessons out of it.
And there are plenty of input and output ports for easy connectivity, including a HDMI port, 2 VGA ports, audio in/out, a USB mini type II, and so on.
It’s available in 3 different screen resolutions, SVGA which is 800 x 600 pixels, XGA which is 1024 x 768 pixels, and WXGA which is the best at 1280 x 800 pixels. This does, of course, affect the price.
It has a variable throw distance, ranging from 10 feet to 15 feet 8 inches, which means that you can use it very comfortably in small, medium-sized, or large classrooms.
For full instructions on where to set up the projector for the screen size you want to achieve, simply click on “Check price” to be taken to the product page.
Included in the box, as well as the projector itself, you also get a power cable, a VGA cable and a remote control. You can also buy a carry case for it, which is handy if you teach in several classrooms rather than just one.
It comes backed by a lengthy 3-year warranty that covers both parts and labor. And the after-sales service is 100% US based.
- Earned the title of Amazon’s Choice
- Very bright & clear at 38000 lumens
- Suitable for any size of classroom
- 3 different resolutions to choose from
- 3-year warranty covering parts & labor
- Some customers have said that the integrated speakers aren’t very good
When we saw the customer ratings on this beauty, we just had to see what all the fuss was about. It earned a full 5 stars out of 5 customer rating on Amazon – even after well over 400 individual customer ratings. This is a rare find indeed.
What we love about this projector is the impressive Full High Definition display resolution which comes in at an impressive 1920 x 1080 pixels, to give you very crisp and clear images. Perfect for teaching anatomy, or forensic science and the like.
It’s a particularly bright projector, able to throw out images of up to a whopping 8500 lumens, so you won’t need to draw the blinds or lower the lights for the students to see the screen, and they can still examine their workbooks or take notes as they watch. That makes it over 60% sharper and brighter than any other Full HD projector on the market today!
It also has a very impressive lamp life, coming in at a whopping 100,000, so you don’t need to worry about the lamp giving out in the middle of a lesson.
You can hook it up to your laptop or PC as you normally would, or you can hook it up to a DVD player or on a smartphone over Wi-Fi. But perhaps better yet, you can directly plug in your USB stick, for your students to check out any Microsoft Office or Adobe PDF files you want to show them. (Most other projectors with a USB port only support text format.)
You can mount it on a wall, ceiling or tripod. And any images can be shrunk or zoomed in on.
Although on the project page it’s described as an outdoor projector, we can assure you that it works just great indoors too.
It comes backed by a lengthy 3-year warranty with free professional tech support available throughout the duration.
- Excellent Full HD display resolution
- Plenty bright enough at 8500 lumens
- Impressive 100,000 hour lamp life
- Plug USB stick directly into projector
- 3-year warranty with tech support
- The power cord is short at just 5 feet
- Projector screen not included
Talk about flying off the shelves!
This projector has attracted well over 12,800 individual customer ratings on Amazon alone. And better yet, the average customer rating still comes out at an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5.
It offers an excellent display resolution, coming in at 1920 x 1080, which is Full High Definition, so all the images projected will be very crisp and clear.
It has a brightness of 2600 lumens, which, as we discuss in our buying guide a little later, is all you need in a classroom environment. It’s not the brightest one in our shortlist, but it’s brighter than most other projectors out on the market at the moment.
You can hook it to either your laptop or your smart devices, and you can use both VGA and HDMI cables for the output.
You don’t need to be in a big classroom in order to get a nice big picture on the screen, because it’s throw distance (again more on that in our buying guide) varies from 1 to 5 meters.
It has a very good lamp life, and the lamp light will last for up to 55,000 hours before needing to be replaced. If you were to use it for 5 hours a day, it would last a whopping 15 years.
The fan noise is very low and won’t distract students from their learning. And on the subject of sound, we are pleased to report that this projector offers better sound quality than most other classroom projectors out there at the moment.
The warranty it comes with is quite good, lasting an entire 2 years, rather than just the usual one year.
Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular projector, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now. But there’s no need to stress if you miss a deal because it’s still good value for money even if you don’t catch a deal.
- Excellent value for money
- Full High Definition display
- 55,000 hours of lamp life
- Excellent sound quality
- Lengthy 2-year warranty
- Doesn’t come with a projector screen
- Not the brightest in our shortlist
As promised, here’s your buying guide.
We would argue that the best way to engage students in their learning is to make it as interactive as possible, which is why we made the SMART Interactive Whiteboard and Projector our number one pick.
With an interactive projector and whiteboard, students can come up to the whiteboard do TONS of activities. They can add labels to diagrams or maps, or carry out calculations, or add dates, or you can mark something as right or wrong in full view of the entire class. Students become more engaged when they get to take part, and because of this they will retain their learning better.
A projector’s display resolution is measured in pixels, and the greater the number of pixels, the more crisp and clear are the images being displayed, which is great for displaying real-life photographic images or very detailed and complex diagrams.
The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens. Generally speaking, the brighter the classroom, the brighter the projector you will need. For the average classroom, you will need a projector with a minimum brightness of at least 2,500 lumens, if not higher.
The throw distance is the distance between the projector and the image on the screen. The smaller the classroom is, the shorter the throw distance you need. A typical short throw projection refers to a throw distance of 3 to 8 feet.
Wi-Fi and Connectivity
If you wish to take advantage of online educational resources, you might want to think about getting a projector that’s Wi-Fi enabled, so your students can watch educational videos or documentaries from the likes of YouTube and Netflix etc.
Unfortunately, the lamps in projectors will last forever, and have a limited lifespan. This lamp life is presented as the number of hours of use, rather than a more vague statistic such as the number of years.
Luckily, however, you should still be able to get thousands, or tens of thousands of hours of classroom use out of it before the machine packs in.
Projectors can be expensive to repair, so our advice is to seek out a projector with a good warranty. That way, if any damage did occur, you can get it repaired at a low cost or get a free replacement.
Value for Money
We’re going to level with you and be honest and say that projectors and their accessories can really vary in price. You can get a very basic low-end projector for about $60 if you’re very budget conscious…
But the high-end projectors, that are interactive and come with all manner of compatible accessories, including the screen, you can expect to pay over $1,800.
So, our advice is to check the prices as you go along. That way, you can make a good, well-informed decision about how much your budget should be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best projector for a classroom?
We would argue that the best projector system for a classroom is our number one pick, the SMART Interactive Whiteboard and Projector, because of just how interactive and engaging it can be for students.
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