Best Classroom Projectors For Lively Presentations

Best classroom projectors

Hey Readers! Emily here still researching and organizing information to help you have a better experience teaching and your students a better experience learning through the latest technology.

Then…

I started using a projector in my classroom and it made a world of difference in my presentations. Black and green boards are a thing of the past and even whiteboards are becoming obsolete as smartboards and projectors offer the same uses and many more.

And having said that, the Optoma EH412 Projector made it on top of my list among all the others I reviewed in this article. Soon, you’ll find out why. ;)

Product Details
1. Optoma EH412 1080P HDR DLP Professional Projector

Excellent Features

  • Crisp Clear Picture
  • Built-In Speakers
  • 3,600 Lumens
  • All-In-1 Connectivity
  • Great Cooling System
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2. Anker Nebula Capsule

Very Portable

  • Remarkable Visuals
  • 360° Speaker
  • 100 ANSI Lumens
  • Compatible To Most
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3. QKK 2021 Mini Projector

Comes w/ Tripod

  • Easy Setup
  • Built-In Speakers
  • 5,000 Lumens
  • VGA, USB, HDMI
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4. YABER Y30 Native 1080P Projector

Off-Center Capable

  • Correction Function
  • Stereo Sound
  • 7,000 Lumens
  • Advanced Cooling System
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5. Epson VS250 HDMI 3LCD Projector

Supports PC & Mac

  • Enlarge/Reduce Image
  • Easily Portable
  • 3,200 Lumens
  • Great For Graphics
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Best Projectors For Classroom Use – Reviewed

I have looked at many different models and prices of projectors to give you the best selections. There’s a variety of options from fairly simple to so technical you may need the help of a techie to learn all the bells and whistles.

  1. Anker Nebula Capsule
  2. Optoma Professional Projector EH
  3. Epson VS250 SVGA
  4. QKK Portable Mini Projector with Tripod
  5. YABER Native Projector
  6. Portable Native 1080P Projector

1. Anker Nebula Capsule

  • Resolution: 1280 x 720
  • Image brightness: 100 ANSI Lumen
  • Image contrast ratio: 400:1
  • Connectivity: Android 7.1, HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, not Chromecast

This Anker Nebula Capsule is a tiny, portable projector that is a bit larger than a standard 12-ounce soda can. Touted as a big-screen TV in your pocket. From this small size, it has a 360-degree speaker for excellent sound in every direction, which is great for a classroom.

It shows videos, photos, and lessons with a 100-inch picture, so it’s easy for everyone to see.

For the best results, the recommended distance from the screen is between 40 and 80 inches. Included is a lithium polymer battery. The weight is 1.4 pounds and the dimensions are 2.68 x 2.68 x 4.72 inches.

Unique Specs

It supports Bluetooth and other wireless platforms, which means for some presentations, you won’t need wires. If you leave the remote at home, you can control the projector with your phone on the Nebula Connect app.

Pros 

  • Very small and convenient
  • Four-hour video playtime on the battery
  • One-second automatic focus

Cons

  • Needs a dark or very dim room
  • The focus is not always perfect

Best For

This projector is a good choice if you move around a lot. It may not be the best choice for a permanent projector in your classroom. If you need to make short presentations in several classrooms, this is the projector you want.

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This will give you a good idea of the many ways you can use this Capsule small projector. The video is clear and contains instructions for using the ports and apps.


2. Optoma Professional Projector EH

Optoma EH412 1080P HDR DLP Professional Projector | Super Bright 4500 Lumens | Business Presentations, Classrooms, and Meeting Rooms | 15000 Hour Lamp Life | 4K HDR Input | Speaker Built in , White

  • Resolution: 1080P
  • Image brightness: 4.5K ANSI Lumens
  • Image contrast ratio: 50K:1
  • Connectivity: 2x HDMI, VGA in & out, audio-in & out, RS232, and USB-A

The Optoma projector offers a very bright picture that was designed for presentations in conference rooms and classrooms. The fan sounds are minimal and the lens range is up to 14 feet.

From 10 feet it projects a 120-inch image. It has a huge array of connectivity options (see below). You can use any source device. The projector supports several installation options with 1.3x zoom, RS232 control, and keystone correction of +/- 40 degrees. It weighs 7.7 pounds and the dimensions are 15.6 x 13.3 x 6.5 inches.

Unique Specs

The main feature is the brightness of the image. It is easy for the kids at the back to see. The images are sharp. The sound is also loud and clear.

Pros

  • 15,000-hour lamp life
  • Built-in speaker
  • Can be used with a USB drive directly without a computer

Cons

  • The HDMI audio is not great
  • The remote control range is short
  • Not really a con, but if you teach youngsters, you don’t need this many features

Best For

This projector is best for higher classes where you need to present complicated or detailed information. It is so bright that it provides a sharp picture in a room with ambient light, for students that need to take notes during a presentation. It’s a little too much firepower for an elementary classroom.

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This video is for a different model of the Optoma, but gives you clear instructions on how to use it and explains all the input and output ports.



3. Epson VS250 SVGA

Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,200 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) HDMI 3LCD Projector

  • Resolution: SVGA 800 x 600
  • Image brightness: 3,200 lumens
  • Image contrast ratio: 15K:1
  • Connectivity: HDMI, PC, and Mac compatible, wirelessly project from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android smartphone

This is another school projector that gives a bright picture in a well-lit room. This feature is very useful for a classroom because you don’t want to be dimming the lights all the time. It has an automatic vertical keystone but you can change the angle manually.

The lamp life is 40K hours, which is really long. It has a low fan noise and a zoom ring. There are buttons W and T to enlarge the image or reduce it. The weight is 5.3 pounds and the dimensions are 11.9 x 3.2 x 9.2 inches.

Unique Specs

This Epson VS250 is a great little machine; a bit like a baby bear’s porridge. Not too expensive, not too heavy, and not too complicated. The manufacturer has a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gases. It offers recycling options.

Pros

  • Easily portable
  • Useful in a lighted room
  • Easy to setup

Cons

  • Doesn’t display 14pt PowerPoint text crisply
  • Doesn’t have an audio out port for external speakers or headphones

Best For

I recommend this for graphic images, large text that would appeal to elementary students and photographs. This isn’t the projector you want to present lessons to a high school class.

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4. QKK Portable Mini Projector With Tripod

QKK. 2021 Upgraded 6500Lumens Mini Projector, Full HD 1080P & 200" Display Supported, Portable Movie Projector Compatible with Phone, TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, AV, Dual USB [Tripod Included]

  • Resolution: 720P
  • Image brightness: 2,200 lumens
  • Image contrast ratio: 2K:1
  • Connectivity: Support TV BOX, HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, SD

The QKK Portable package includes the audio cable, HDMI cable, and power cord. It supports a 170-inch display and promises at least a 20 percent brighter image than any other projector in its price range. The built-in speaker is 5W for a very good sound. The weight is 3.9 pounds, which makes it light enough for easy transport, but it doesn’t come with a carrying case.

Unique Specs

This is a great projector for PowerPoint presentations. It also claims to produce better color pictures than other mini projectors for education.

Pros

  • Comes with a tripod
  • The lamp lasts 50K hours

Cons

  • The projector is fragile so watch little hands
  • Needs dim light or a dark room which isn’t always great for a classroom

Best For

This projector is touted as a home theater solution instead of a large-screen TV. But it is also can be a great projector for teachers, for example, when you need to show documentaries and movies in the classroom.

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The presentation in this video explains all the features of the QKK Portable projector including the input and output ports. If you choose this projector, this video will save you a lot of time figuring out how to use it.


5. YABER Native Projector

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080P
  • Image brightness: 6,500 lumens
  • Image contrast ratio: 4K:1
  • Connectivity: Smartphone, PC, TV Box and PS4

This projector has an advanced LED light source with automatic keystone adjustments to ensure the projected image is always a standard rectangle. It has an advanced cooling system and stereo sound. You will not need external speakers with this model.

YABER Native provides a very clear picture with vivid colors and good contrast. The brightness is 50 times higher than on other projectors in the same price range. It has powerful speakers and an intelligent cooling system that adjusts the fan and reduces fan noise. The weight is 6.39 pounds and the dimensions are 11.22 x 10.63 x 4.33 inches.

Unique Specs

The keystone correction function is innovative and not available on other projectors. For a teacher, this means you can set up just about anywhere on any surface and get a good picture.

Pros

  • Can reduce the picture size with the remote, and so you don’t need to move the projector
  • The keystone correction means it can be placed off-center, so you can stand on the side without blocking the image

Cons

  • Not for well-lit rooms where students need to take notes during a presentation
  • Gives a better picture in a dark room
  • Not ideal for portability

Best For

This projector is designed for home entertainment but is still a good selection for a classroom. It may not be your best choice if you want to show presentations in daylight.

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This video is a product review of the YABER Native. It tells about all the same features that appear here but also explains their uses in detail.


6. Portable Native 1080P Projector

  • Resolution: 4K HD
  • Image brightness: 5,500 lumens
  • Image contrast ratio: 10K:1
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Smartphone, Laptop, Zoom, TV Stick, HDMI, VGA, and USB

This Portable Native projector promises a full HD experience. It has three times the pixels as HD and good brightness. The largest screen size is 200 inches and it has two stereo speakers. It is best for videos and movies but will show graphics, text, and presentations.

It has wireless connectivity and you can connect a keyboard, external speakers, and a mouse. It has an AV audio port for outside speakers. This projector can be fixed to a tripod or hung on the wall or ceiling. The weight is 10.85 pounds and the dimensions are 16.9 x 11.4 x 7.1 inches.

Unique Specs

It has a five-layer glass lens that reduces lamp consumption and extends the life of the lamp. This one you can keep in your classroom to show graphics and videos. Later, I recommend several virtual tours my students loved, not once, but several times. This is a great projector for that purpose.

Pros

  • The battery lasts 50K hours
  • Zoom works with the remote control
  • Wireless technology

Cons

  • Requires dim or dark room

Best For

Showing videos in the classroom. This is a very easy projector to use, and even if you don’t think you need all the features, you may be glad you have them once you see what it can do.

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Benefits I Found Using A Projector In My Classroom

I have tried everything from chart paper to a smartboard to introduce topics to my students.

While the smartboard has a lot of advantages, especially for interactive participation in math and language lessons, a projector offers an all-encompassing experience especially for geography, chemistry, and environmental science classes for elementary-age children.

Along with fabulous graphics, here are four other benefits of using a projector in my classroom:

  1. Versatility – My school projector supports PowerPoints, images from books and photographs, videos, slides, and films. When explaining the water cycle, the concept is so much clearer to students when they see natural and cartoon demonstrations on a big screen.
  2. Better Use Of My Time – I can make plans at home or when I have a free period and can avoid spending time writing on a board and erasing and writing again. My projector has a USB port, so I just put everything on my USB drive, plug it in and go. I project the information, questions, quiz or comparisons and change them as needed. Also, I can update and reuse my lessons year after year.
  3. Less Paper – Many lessons can be downloaded on a laptop or tablet or even a smartphone and the children have them at home. If a student is absent for an extended period, everything he or she missed can be transferred to a device.
  4. More Fun – It is much more thrilling to see large, colorful graphics for young children, which is why we decorate our classrooms. But, with a projector, your lessons can be much more interesting and entertaining, which is a great way to hold the children’s’ attention.

How To Choose A Classroom Projector

I have given you the specifications of each projector I recommend, but what does it all mean? Believe me, I didn’t have a clue until I did the research. This will give you an idea of what to look for when you read about the specifications of each projector.

I recommend you keep in mind how you will use the projector in your classroom, so you don’t get attracted to features you don’t really need. Unless, of course, if you want it to double as a home entertainment projector. Then, get the best.

So, here is what I learned all in one place:

Resolution

The resolution is the detail the image shows. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the picture. Most projectors for classroom use have a high enough resolution for pictures, photos, and text. If you want to show documentaries or other films, you may want a high resolution.

This is any number that is at least 300 dpi with a large pixel dimension of 5,000 x 4,000. Anything at 640 x 40 at 72 dpi is very low resolution. All of the above projectors have an excellent resolution for all your classroom needs.

Most of the projectors given here have at least 1080P or pixels which is called Full High Definition.

To get a better understanding of what resolution is watch this video:

Image Brightness

This is measured in lumens. If you look up the definition of “lumen”, you need to be an expert to understand it. Let’s just say it is the strength of light that is emitted per second, or the amount of visual light that you see from a light source, such as a projector.

The higher the lumens, the brighter the picture. For classroom use, a higher level of lumens is good because it means the picture is bright enough to see in a lighted room and can be easily seen from the back of the room. To give you an idea about lumens, a 100-watt incandescent bulb is about equivalent to 1,600 lumens.

Image brightness
Source: Wikimedia “Brightness change six images” – Under Creative Commons license

Image Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is a feature of the display system. It is the ratio between white, the brightest color on the screen to black, the darkest color on the screen. Even if your projector has a very high contrast ratio, if the room is lighted, the ratio will be slightly lower meaning the color may be diluted.

If you need a projector in your classroom for a presentation during which your students need to take notes, you need to leave at least some lights on. For everyone to see the screen clearly, you should choose a projector with the highest contrast ratio possible. Above you will find projectors with 50,000:1, which is very high.

Image contrast ratio
Source: Wikimedia “Contrast” – Under Creative Commons license

Connectivity

This means what outlets your projector can use. Even the simplest one above has great connectivity. You can use HDMI, USB, DVD, PC, laptops, SD/AV, and smartphones.

This is one of the greatest features of using a projector in the classroom. You can connect to a TV with HDMI and show a National Geographic or Discovery program to your children on a large screen.

With a USB connection, you can work at home, in a café, at a friend’s house, or even in a park and put your lessons on your USB stick. When you get to your classroom, you can either plug your stick directly into the projector or connect it with a cable.

Audio Output

Most projectors listed above have built-in speakers, but some of them may not provide enough volume or clarity for your whole class. If you choose a projector that doesn’t provide proper sound, make sure it has a port for an external speaker.

Noise

All the models above don’t mention their noise factor. The sound of the projector is from the cooling fan because the powerful light source will overheat without a fan. As home theater entertainment projectors, the speakers are loud enough to cover the noise from the projector.

However, some do mention that they contain innovative technology to suppress a large percentage of the noise.

If you need to speak above the sound of a noisy projector, it won’t be a good experience in the long run. The solution is to get one of the projectors with noise suppression or a small voice amplifier.

A Few Unique Ways To Use A Classroom Projector

I have already mentioned several ways to use a projector in your classroom to enhance the learning experience, but here are a few more that take your students to a whole new level. I’ve also included some useful websites.

  • Play games: You will find hundreds of learning games online, but how to get them to your students other than on an individual tablet that is online? A projector is an answer. When you connect it to your computer you can access programs like the below and the whole class can join or they can take turns:
  • PowerPoints: You make your own, or purchase great ready-made PowerPoints to make your lessons lively and interesting, but why not let your students make them? It’s very rewarding for students to show good work to the whole class and PowerPoints can be made at home, so they can be perfected before being shown to everyone. Students can choose topics from science, history, geography, math, and trending subjects and show them to the class. This also gives the students a chance to create charts and graphs to show comparisons and growth.
  • Talk Your Way Through A Lesson: When you connect to a tablet or document camera, you can demonstrate just about anything. You can examine stories for content and language or show a science experiment. During the demonstration, you can explain to the class the steps you are taking and how you figure out a solution. All the children can get a clear picture of your actions when it is projected larger than life on a screen or even a wall. The best part is that after your lesson, you can ask a student or several students to come up and do the experiment while everyone watches and comments. It can get lively, but these students never forget it.
  • Take A Virtual Field Trip: You will find hundreds of videos on YouTube or other sites that take you through some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Many children will never see these places and a trip on a larger-than-life screen would be thrilling and educational. Many museums have virtual tours online. Here are a few that my class loved.
  • Use Your Projector With A Smartboard: If you have a smartboard in your classroom you can use it with your projector for a much more engaging experience. Because your projector and smartboard are connected to your computer, you can save all of your lessons, share them with colleagues and students, access information online in real-time, and use a finger or stylus to draw or move graphics on the board. To learn more about this please read the article about smartboards.

Final Thoughts

If you were hesitating about the benefits of a projector in your classroom, I hope this article has helped convince you it’s a great idea.

Having mentioned my top pick being the Optoma Projector, I really love its convenient portable design apart from all the other great features it possesses. So, which one do you think is the best for you?

Even if you get the simplest and least expensive one, it will upgrade your teaching and your student’s learning experience tremendously.

My Top PickOptoma Professional Projector

Optoma Projector

  • Very bright picture
  • Loud built-in speaker
  • Convenient portable design

Best For: This projector is perfect for elementary classes as well as for higher school where you need to present complicated or detailed information.

Check price →

This is the top-of-the-line projector that is specially designed for conference rooms, sports training, and small to medium classrooms. It projects bright colors and good contrasts with a 50K:1 contrast ratio.

It’s very easy to set up in a variety of situations. The speakers are good and you won’t need separate external speakers. You can connect it to any device for PowerPoints, live streaming, and slideshows.

It projects a 12-inch image from 10 feet. This projector gives equal or better visuals than much more expensive projectors for education. The bright lumens mean it gives a good picture even in a room with ambient light.

Last Updated on August 8, 2021 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

MyTechClassroom.com
Comments: 17
  1. Lizzy

    Hello Emily,
    I read your blog and have gotten a lot of good information about teaching and technology. My question is about buying a projector. I travel to six different elementary schools in my district to teach art classes. Fortunately, each class is about the same age, so I can use the same lessons for each school. Otherwise, the classes would be different for a first grader and a sixth-grader. Each school has a different setup. Some have excellent large screens and some have small screens. The ambient light is also different. We need enough light to draw on a paper because sometimes the children copy the drawing lesson that is projected. But, we also need a bright, clear picture. I have used a laptop and smartboard, but need better visuals that a projector would give. My question is could you please recommend a projector that is portable and suitable for different environments? Thank you.

    1. Emily (author)

      Dear Lizzy,
      It’s gratifying to know my blog has helped you in your profession. It seems to me that you need a semi-lighted room for your class. I would recommend the Epson VS250 SVGA . It’s small enough to be easily portable, which is important for you as you have to take it with you to each school. It gives a bright image that shines even in a semi-lighted room. The lamp life is long at 40K hours, and the cooling fan is quiet. It only weighs a little over five pounds. It has a lot of great features for the price and is environmentally friendly to boot. This means it reduces greenhouse gasses and is recyclable, which is a bonus for any device. I hope this helps.

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