Short throw projectors have been in high demand throughout recent years. In the past, portable projectors functioned by projecting images 20 feet away in order to fit into an 8-foot screen. Today however, we have short throw projectors.
This means that the projector can be positioned closer to the screen rather than far away behind the audience.
This is a clever feature as it reduces the amount of shadows visible, and enables you to keep your laptop and projector closer instead of separating the two devices.
In addition, short throw projectors make it easier to manage the cables that are attached to the projector, especially in schools where there are students running around.
The term throw refers to the distance between the projector and the screen. A projector’s throw ratio is the distance between the projector and the screen in comparison to the screen’s size.
So, if your projector is 12 feet away from an 8-foot screen, this would mean that it has a 1:5:1 ratio. Short throw projectors have a ratio of less than 1 which means you can position your projector as little as 3.5 feet from the screen. Sounds great, right?
To break it down further, here’s a list of short throw projectors with their pros and cons, ordered from most to least expensive.
BenQ HT2050A 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector
The most expensive on our list of short throw projectors is the BenQ HT2050A 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector. The BenQ is equipped with a brightness range of 2,200 lumens as well as demonstrating a contrast ratio of 15,000.
Moreover, this short throw projector has an impressive low latency feature of 16 milliseconds, which basically means you won’t notice the delay between the transfer of data. This makes the BenQ a perfect model for video-gamers.
The projector throw ratio for the BenQ is a minuscule 0.69, giving plenty of room for those with limited space.
The BenQ HT2050A 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector also comes with a bonus feature of two 10W speakers, which is a lot better than most projector speakers that tend to be poor quality.
This short throw projector has all the perks you would look for but is on the more pricier end of the stick.
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD
Next in line and a little less expensive than the BenQ HT2050A, is the Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD. This short throw projector is perfect for those looking to create their very own home cinema.
The Epson Home Cinema provides its audience with a widescreen visual as well as a viewing range of 300 feet. This short throw projector also has the capability of projecting during the daylight because of its 3,100 lumens bulbs.
Epson’s Home Cinema also uses 3 liquid-crystal display (LCD) rather than digital light processing (DLP) which are considered to perform better. Epson’s Home Cinema’s impressive 15,000:1 ratio makes it an excellent choice for those looking to create the cinema experience at home.
The cons for this projector relate to its bulbs. The manufacturer gives no indication as to how long their bulbs last for, so you might end up changing them more frequently than other projectors.
Optoma GT1080 3D DLP Projector
An affordable short-throw projector for its high quality features is the Optoma GT1080 3D DLP. This short throw projector comes with a ratio of 0.5 and contains 3,100 lumens bulbs. That’s bright!
Its brightness capabilities allows you to screen an image or video whether in daylight or at night. Impressive! This brightness feature also allows its users to project from as little as 4 feet away.
This projector is most known in the gaming world, as it’s often used as a gaming projector.
Another attractive feature is the Optoma GT1080’s 3D capabilities as well as having an extremely quiet fan. The Optoma GT1080 also has a throw ratio of 25,000:1.
The one argument against the Optoma GT 1080, is that it’s similar in price to other models that offer more features.
ViewSonic PA503S 3600 Lumens
An inexpensive model with a lot to offer, the ViewSonic PA503S 3600 Lumens is half the price of many other short throw projectors, but has all the necessary features for video-gamers and movie-lovers.
The ViewSonic PA503S has 3,600 lumens bulbs which is the maximum brightness we’ve reviewed so far.
In addition, this short throw projector has an impressive SuperEco bulb that lasts for an extraordinary 15,000 hours.The ViewSonic PA503S also comes with a 300 foot projection capability.
Along with its maximum brightness and duration, this short throw projector model also comes with 27dB, which in layman’s terms means that the projector’s fan is pretty quiet. The ViewSonic also comes with a 3 year warranty which is always a bonus.
The one issue with ViewSonic PA503S 3600 Lumens that may be a problem for shoppers, is that it has quite a long short-throw. With a ratio of almost 2, this may not be practical for those with less space to play around with.
ASUS S1 Portable LED
The ASUS S1 Portable LED Projector is not only budget-friendly but travel-friendly too! Weighing less than a pound, this short throw projector has the practical features of being compact and portable.
The ASUS S1 has a battery of 6000mAh which gives its users a generous 3-hour projector time considering the size of the model.
Obviously, the LED bulb is going to be much smaller in size with 200 lumens, but you can still project up to one meter away.
In addition, the miniature bulb can last up to a whopping 30,000 hours with a high quality DLP resolution.
The downfall with the ASUS S1 short throw projector, is that it can only project onto smaller screens as well lacking keystone corrections that larger projectors would normally have.
Epson VS250 SVGA
The Epson VS250 is the least expensive short throw projector on our list but has all the practical features for a budget-friendly home cinema.
The Epson VS250 has SVGA resolution which means that it performs to a higher standard than HD. This short throw projector also offers a brightness level of 3,200 lumens which demonstrates an impressive amount of luminosity.
This projector, since lower in resolution, is more suitable for displaying data, charts and video clips rather than movies and video games. Therefore, this projector could be ideal for a classroom environment.
The only major con with the Epson VS250 is that it has a low contrast ratio. This can affect the picture and cause a lack of certain colors to project effectively. The Epson VS250 is a reasonably priced short throw projector for those on a low budget, who may only use the projector from time to time.