It’s clear: the classrooms that students are making their way back to this fall are not the places they left in the spring. Distance is key, with pupils being forced spread out within these environments, so it’s imperative that everyone can see the material being presented.
Delivering on this increased demand for big-screen solutions is a category that has been elevating engagement in educational settings for some time: the short- and ultra-short-throw projector. This showcase highlights the latest models of this versatile and cost-effective technology from the leading brands in the field.
Related: The Technology Manager's Guide to Projectors and Screens
According to BenQ, the EW800ST is the first education projector to feature cloud account integration, screen-mirroring capabilities, smart app capability, and internet and wireless connectivity to promote diversified teaching and blended learning in classrooms. The EW800ST offers personal account control and cloud services integration via the BenQ Account Management System (AMS), allowing instructors individualized access to lesson plans and educational materials in cloud storage. EW800ST also includes X-Sign Broadcast, a centralized messaging and display scheduling system.
EW800ST’s user interface is optimized for education and interaction, providing content navigation in addition to the traditional projector remote control. The EW800ST lets students and teachers navigate educational content not only with a traditional mouse or keyboard, but also from any device via the BenQ Smart Control app. Equipped with the onboard BenQ Suggest app store, users can also download a variety of smart apps, including web browsers for lessons generated right from the projector. With WXGA resolution and a 15,000-hour lamp life, EW800ST’s engaging and expansive visual quality is enhanced by new Infographic and Video Modes, designed to accentuate modern educational materials that contain mixed graphics, data, charts, video, and text.
Casio’s Ultra Short Throw XJ-UT352WN LampFree projector is an all-in-one solution for the education market, providing high-quality projection technology with enhanced features and functionality. It features 3,500 lumens and a WXGA native resolution of 1280x800, enabling the projection of large, bright images. The XJ-UT352WN uses Casio’s Laser and LED Hybrid light source to project vibrant colors with no lamps or filters to replace and long-lasting performance of up to 20,000 hours. The XJ-UT352WN has an improved dust resistant design and is network ready with LAN Connectivity (RJ-45) and optional wireless capability.
Additionally, the XJ-UT352WN includes Casio’s Educational Solutions suite that facilitates easier use of projection in classrooms. Auto Input Search and One Click Connection enable class to start quickly. PC and Projector Remote and the Moderator Function allow teachers to remotely display their device or their students’ devices from anywhere in the classroom.
Christie's GS Series projectors take 1DLP technology to higher levels of brightness, image quality, and color reproduction with laser illumination. From education and training venues to events and beyond, professional-grade Christie GS Series models deliver high performance and reliability in high-usage environments.
Christie DHD630-GS 1DLP offers 6,125 lumens with HD resolution. Laser illumination provides 20,000 hours of high-quality visuals with a 4,000,000:1 full on/off contrast ratio. Its small footprint, low weight, full suite of lenses—including an ultra-short-throw option—and 24/7 operation durability makes this projector ideal for higher education. The DHD630-GS is also whisper quiet, with a noise rating of 36dBA, enabling it to be placed anywhere in a room.
Epson BrightLink 735Fi
Epson’s BrightLink 735Fi 1080p 3LCD interactive laser display is designed to turn almost any flat surface into a widescreen digital whiteboard. Displaying 100-inch, 16:9 or ultra-wide 110-inch, 16:6 images, the BrightLink 735Fi offers split screen, side-by-side viewing and up to 65 percent more interactive space versus 75-inch flat panels, for better visibility and engagement in social-distancing classrooms.
Featuring 3,600 lumens brightness, Full HD 1080p resolution, and a virtually maintenance-free 20,000-hour laser light source, the projector offers built-in 5GHz Wi-Fi and supports software-free, peer-to-peer wireless connectivity from Miracast-enabled devices. Users can save, email, and print without a PC, or share content to other networked BrightLinks. This laser display is also compatible with value-added software including Epson Easy Interactive Tools, Epson iProjection app, Epson Projector Management Utility, and SMART Learning Suite. Featuring dual-pen interactivity with auto calibration, touch capabilities, and easy-to-install touch module, the BrightLink 735Fi is a true collaboration device integrating the utility of a whiteboard, projector, and interactive display, with no additional computers required.
The LG Ultra-Short-Throw Projector (HU85LS) is a 4K laser projector that can produce a 90-inch image when placed just two inches from the projection wall, and a 120-inch image when just 7.2 inches away. This ability to create a large projection display in nearly any room arrangement makes it especially well suited for classrooms.
The HU85LS adopts three-channel laser technology to create RGB color via different light sources. Because of this, the HU85LS has no color wheel, so it significantly reduces “rainbow” effects that can be experienced by conventional projectors. Its 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio displays the deep blacks and smooth gradients necessary for engaging a cinematic 4K UHD experience. The LG Ultra-Short-Throw projector also offers voice control through the included Magic Remote with an integrated microphone. Wireless connection is available any iOS, Android, or Windows device, and standard inputs include USB-A, USB-C and HDMI. In addition, the projector offers wireless screen mirroring, webOS 4.5 for native web browsing, two integrated 5-watt speakers, and a Bluetooth-out port to boost wireless audio through a separate stereo system.
Maxell Pro AV’s MP-TW4011 3LCD laser interactive projector is engineered to transform the interactive experience for K-12 classrooms with a bright display and interactive software. Featuring 4,200 ANSI lumens brightness, the MP-TW4011 combines Maxell’s Accentualizer and High Dynamic Contrast Range 2 (HDCR2) technology to enhance image sharpness, gloss, and shade while correcting color and tone distortion. With 3LCD laser technology, the projector has 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation and can operate up to 50,000 hours with Long Life 2 Mode in use.
StarBoard Interactive Presentation Software optimizes writing and drawing capabilities with freeform shape and handwriting automation. The interactive pen tool allows users to draw and write directly on the projected screen without a PC and can operate as a compass, ruler, protractor, or stopwatch.
The MP-TW4011 incorporates the optional finger-touch unit that enables the projector to detect finger touch activity on the screen area. Windows Multi Touch allows users with touch-enabled Windows 8.1/10 systems to operate the PC directly from the interactive screen with up to six pens or touches.
NEC's UM383WL ultra-short-throw HLD LED projector is a low-maintenance display solution for education and corporate customers that need up to 130-inch diagonal video and images at an affordable cost. Its ultra-short-throw lens (0.27:1 throw ratio) helps eliminate shadows on the screen along with projected light in the presenter’s eyes created by traditional front-projection systems, and the HLD LED light source eliminates the maintenance requirements that exist in lamp-based projectors.
Its features include horizontal and vertical keystone adjustment or cornerstone correction, ECO Mode technology for lower power consumption, and input/output panel, including dual HDMI, VGA, and RJ-45 for networking. It also offers NaViSet Administrator 2, a free software tool designed to ease administration and management for large installations. Administrators and users will also benefit from the ability to remotely monitor and control the projector over a network, which will save IT employees time and help reduce the costs related to projector operation.
The Optoma ZH406ST is a 4,200-lumen 1080p DuraCore laser short-throw projector that delivers high performance in a lightweight, compact size. Featuring a 300,000:1 contrast ratio, 4K UHD input, HDR10 and HLG compatibility, and a 0.5:1 throw ratio, the ZH406ST produces 100-inch images from only several feet away, making it well suited for small classrooms, conference rooms, and other space-constrained environments.
Equipped with vertical lens shift, four-corner correction, and 360-degree and portrait mode operation, the Optoma ZH406ST enables flexible installations. Additionally, a laser light source eliminates the need for lamp and filter replacements, providing up to 30,000 hours of low-cost and virtually maintenance-free performance in Eco mode. The Optoma ZH406ST also offers HDMI 2.0, HDMI, and VGA inputs for connectivity to high-quality 4K HDR digital video or legacy analog video sources, while LAN and RS-232 enable control via Crestron, Extron, AMX, or Telnet.
Panasonic’s PT-TW371R Series of short-throw WXGA (1280x800) resolution LCD projectors are designed for easy setup, whether on a table top or mounted from a ceiling. The wireless series connects to laptops, mobile devices, and other sources for supporting presentation needs.
The PT-TW371RU has interactive capabilities and includes two interactive pens and Whiteboard Software for PC to support writing and drawing on projected images, as well as the ability to save work to a PC for later distribution. The PT-TW371R Series can project an 80-inch image from an approximate distance of 2.5 feet without creating any screen shadowing, which is well suited for rooms where space is limited. Its 3,300 lumens of brightness with 16,000:1 contrast ratio and operating noise of 30dB make it particularly adept for classroom and meeting room visualization. New technology extends lamp replacement to approximately 20,000 hours by reducing degradation and improving cooling capabilities for low TCO and less maintenance downtime.
The ViewSonic PS750W is envisioned as a complete interactive projection solution for the classroom. With native WXGA resolution and an ultra-short-throw lens, the PS750W includes an embedded camera, laser curtain module, and wall-mount kit. It features a brightness of 3,300 lumens, while its 0.23 throw ratio allows it to be placed just inches away from a wall or screen. It is flexible enough to be ceiling-mounted or placed on a tabletop.
The PS750W comes the company’s cBoard software, enabling users to write, highlight, edit, and transform documents and images on-screen in real time, making it a big-picture alternative to interactive whiteboards and displays. Connectivity options include HDMI, HDMI/MHL, USB 2.0, VGA Out, S-Video, Composite, RJ45, and RS-232, ensuring all types of external devices can be connected.