Getting a bright projector makes more sense if you’re buying it for presentation purpose than home theater purpose. For the former, you especially need sufficient light output to counter the ambient lighting, so that the screen doesn't get all washed out. For the latter, there's always this implicit assumption that you're able to control the room lighting. That said, brightness is an essential spec to pay attention to when buying a 3D projector. Since each eye only picks up half the light from the screen, the projector's brightness is effectively halved in 3D mode.
Another spec to look out for is contrast ratio - this basically means the number of levels between the blackest black and the whitest white a projector can achieve. But no matter how high your projector’s contrast ratio is, it’d be wasted if you can’t control the room lighting. The quickest and easiest way to improve contrast even if you’ve a beamer with a low contrast ratio is to turn down the lights, though many a time this isn’t possible. Also, avoid projecting on a wall or a blackboard; a proper projection screen (it need not be high-end stuff) is recommended.
Looking for an affordable projector for the boardroom? The BenQ MX501 is an ideal, low-cost candidate. This PC 3D-ready DLP projector sports a good brightness rating of 2,700 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio of 4,000:1. Better yet, the lamp can last up to 6,000 hours under Eco mode. The MX501 has a native resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels, two D-sub inputs, and a built-in 2W speaker.
|Click here for BenQ projector brochures.|
What we like about the Epson EB-W12 is that it has a sliding Horizontal Keystone Adjuster that makes screen corrections fast and easy. Coupled with the automatic keystone correction, this is a great portable projector for those (such as traveling salesmen) always on the move. And at 2.3kg, it isn't terribly heavy. A WXGA (1,280 x 800 pixels) projector, it's equipped with PC, composite, S-Video, and HDMI inputs. Brightness is rated at 2,800 lumens.
|Click here Epson projector brochures.|
The PLED-W500 is an ultra-portable LED projector (4cm thick, 1.18kg) from ViewSonic. The portability advantage aside, this DLP projector features a native WXGA resolution (that's 1,280 x 800 pixels), and offers a dynamic contrast ratio of 6,000:1 and a brightness of 500 ANSI lumens. Through its LED light source, it's able to last up to 20,000 hours. It also comes with a built-in USB port and an SDHC card reader, so you can conduct a presentation without a PC.
|Click here ViewSonic projector brochures.|