What should you be looking for when purchasing a business projector? In this guide we’ll run through the key points you need to consider when looking for the perfect hardware.
Projectors are one of those versatile display options that are often overlooked. They’re perfect for locations where a permanent display isn’t a practical option, or places where you want to be able to deliver a gigantic picture but just don’t have the budget for a correspondingly large display. And thanks to the development of new technologies, projectors have never been easier to set up, all while delivering top-quality results for your audience.
Let’s start with the basics: screen resolution. This works in the same way as it does with a regular display. Projectors tend to offer lower-resolution displays, but for most people the WXGA (1,280 x 800) resolution should be more than adequate, capable of displaying a 720p HD movie or delivering a presentation from a typical laptop screen.
Another factor to consider is the light output of your projector, which is measured in lumens. Most guides talk about projectors offering lumens of 1,000 or more. But these models are typically designed for large spaces. In smaller environments, such as meeting rooms, you’ll find 800-900 lumens is more than adequate for your needs.
Also check what inputs your projector accepts. Standard options should allow you to connect to your laptop via HDMI or VGA, but bonus points will go to any projector that offers extra options. This might include an SD card reader should you simply wish to display a slideshow of images or play a movie.
Better still, look for a wireless model to allow you to cut cables completely. Then you can place the projector at the front of the room while you sit at the back with your laptop controlling the presentation. Plus, with a wireless projector you don’t need to worry whether your cables will stretch or if someone might accidentally trip over them.
Short throw versus long throw
The ‘throw’ capability of a projector refers to the distance you need to place the projector from the screen in order to display a certain size of picture. In a business environment, where you’re usually projecting content in a relatively confined space, short throw projectors are a definite advantage. By way of example, ASUS’s B1MR LED projector can produce a 51-inch projection when placed just one metre away from the screen (this increases to 153 inches at three metres). This means that it’s perfect for placing on a desk directly in front of your audience, where no one’s heads are likely to get in the way.
If you’re someone who’s likely to need a projector to take with you to various locations, look for a portable option offering a built-in battery. The ASUS P3B is one option that falls into this category, supporting wireless presentations and powered by a 12,000mAh cell that offers up to three hours of projecting time between charges. It’s also a short-throw model, capable of displaying from 30 inches (0.51 m away) up to an incredible 200 inches (3.4 metres away).
Other important considerations include how easy the projector is to set up – you don’t want to waste time in a meeting fiddling about with options. So, make sure that your projector has instant on/off capability and auto keystone correction. Keystone correction ensures your projection isn’t skewed if the projector isn’t perfectly aligned with the screen. You can simply set it on the desk, point it in the right direction, switch it on and have a usable picture from the get-go.
Last, but by no means least, make sure that your projector – like the two ASUS models featured here – have built-in speakers. Assuming everyone’s sitting around the same table as your projector, the speakers will be loud enough for all to hear comfortably.