Top 10 Best Short Throw Projectors

Short throw projectors are the next big advancement in projector technology. These new projectors are smaller than the projectors of yesteryear, with a shorter “throw,” or distance, needed to cast a large, clear picture on a wall or screen. They are the prime solution for presenters tired of people walking in front of their projection, because the projector will be just a few feet from the wall. For this reason, they are especially handy for any classrooms and conference rooms.

They are also great for smart home theaters that are too small for a regular projector with its long throw. As opposed to regular projectors, these are a bit more expensive, because the lenses that allow such a short throw are more difficult and costly to produce. Still, they’re more than worth it for the consumer who doesn’t have the luxury of space in their home cinema, classroom, or office building.

best overall rating
  • Five preset viewing options
  • 3600 lumens
  • SuperColor Technology
premium choice rating
  • 150,000:1 contrast ratio
  • HD resolution (1920 x 1080)
  • Bluetooth sound
great value rating
  • Hifi level stereo speakers
  • Multimedia capable
  • Supports 1080p

Many of these projectors are also very portable, allowing the user to transport it from classroom to classroom or to pack it up to be used on business trips. In compiling the following list of the ten best projectors, we have analyzed countless reviews by professionals and average consumers alike. Our research exposed us to a wide variety of home theater projectors that each have their own advantages that we’ve laid out for you. Grab some popcorn, and read our full buying guide below!

PictureShort Throw ProjectorResolutionlumensDimensions
ViewSonic PA503SViewSonic PA503S800 x 60036004.3 x 11.6 x 8.6 Inches
LG HF85JALG HF85JA1920 x 1080150013.9 x 4.7 x 7.5 Inches
iRULU P5iRULU P51280 x 768 260012 x 10 x 5 Inches
Epson VS250Epson VS250800 x 600320011.9 x 3.2 x 9.2 Inches
BenQ HT2050ABenQ HT2050A1920 x 1080220015 x 11 x 5 Inches
Optoma GT1080DarbeeOptoma GT1080 Darbee1920 x 108030008.8 x 12.4 x 4 Inches
ViewSonic PS501WViewSonic PS501W1280 x 80034004.5 x 11.5 x 9.3 Inches
Optoma GT750STOptoma GT750ST1280 x 80030004.1 x 4.4 x 1.6 Inches
InFocus Corporation IN119HDxInFocus Corporation IN119HDx1920 x 108032008.7 x 11.5 x 4.8 Inches
ASUS S1 200ASUS S1 200854 x 480200 4.3 x 4 x 1.2 Inches

From short throw to ultra short throw projectors, as well as covering projectors made specifically for gaming, movies, classrooms, and business presentations, these devices are the top 10 favorite projectors on the market today.

View the Best Short Throw Projector, Below.

best overall rating

1. ViewSonic PA503S

ViewSonic PA503S

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

The ViewSonic PA503S is billed as the perfect projector for teachers with small classrooms and for businesspeople presenting in a small conference room. It is easy to use with its five preset viewing modes: brightest mode, for areas where outside light interferes; presentation mode, for a high contrast ratio; standard mode, to increase color quality; photo mode, for general viewing; and movie mode, for darker environments.

Lumens

This projector functions at an unusually high 3600 lumens, giving users the option of projecting images and videos in places that cannot be easily darkened. For such situations, the ViewSonic PA503S is the best projector on this list.

Resolution

The native resolution (the ideal resolution with the best image quality) is 800 x 600.

Projection Dimensions

It projects an image of 120 inches when it’s placed 15 feet and 8 inches away from the wall or screen. Combined with the high resolution, the SuperColor Technology for a wider range of color, the 22,000:1 contrast ratio, and the five preset viewing modes to choose from, the ViewSonic is a true visual experience.

Why We Like It

  • Five preset viewing options
  • 3600 lumens
  • SuperColor Technology
  • 22,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 120 inch projection size

Our Verdict
Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. LG HF85JA

LG HF85JA

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Unlike the other projectors on this list, the LG HF85JA has an ultra short throw, meaning it needs an even shorter distance between the projector and the screen (for example, it can operate well at as low as 17 inches away from the screen or wall). It also has a very high contrast ratio of 150,000:1, Bluetooth sound options, and wireless connectivity screen share that allows users to share media on the screen through a smartphone or tablet.

Lumens

Reaching only 1500 lumens, the LG electronics device can’t handle the brightness that projectors like the ViewSonic can. This makes the LG Electronics projector more adapted to naturally dark home theater areas.

Resolution

This projector has a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. The projection uses the same laser lamps seen in cinemas.

Projection Dimensions

Being an “ultra” means that the LG HF85JA has to sit only 17 inches from the screen to project an image of 100 inches.

Why We Like It

  • 150,000:1 contrast ratio
  • HD resolution (1920 x 1080)
  • Bluetooth sound
  • Wireless connectivity screen share
  • Laser projection
  • 17-inch distance for 100-inch image

Our Verdict
Editor Rating
great value rating

3. iRULU P5

iRULU P5

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

The iRULU P5 portable multimedia projector functions best as a home theater or gaming projector, not faring so well when it comes to conference rooms or classrooms that will let in a lot of natural light. As a general rule with these projectors, audio is not a priority, and the sound quality will leave much to be desired. Luckily the iRULU P5 comes with Hifi level stereo speakers to improve your listening experience.

Alternatively, you can hook up your own speaker through an HDMI cable. The HDMI cable can also be used to project any photos, movies, and music of your choice.

Lumens

The lumens of this particular 1080p projector are undetermined. However, it’s clear that this projector won’t do well when it comes to environments with too much light.

Resolution

The native resolution is 1280 x 768, and it supports 1080p.

Projection Dimensions

The screen size can be anywhere between 32 and 200 inches, with a projection distance (or throw) that ranges from 3.6 to 19.7 feet.

Why We Like It

  • Hifi level stereo speakers
  • Multimedia capable
  • Supports 1080p

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

4. Epson VS250

Epson VS250

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Much like the ViewSonic PA503S, the Epson VS250 will thrive in high light areas with its 3200 lumens. It is similar to other projectors listed for its HDMI compatibility: it will be able to play digital media from PCs and Macs and other media players via an HDMI cable.

Lumens

The Epson VS250 has both 3200 lumens of color and 3200 lumens of white brightness, giving the viewer a huge color quality.

Resolution

This Epson home cinema projector has a resolution of 800 x 600, making it perfect for presenting in a conference room or classroom.

Projection Dimensions

Projecting from 3 feet all the way up to 34 feet, the size of the Epson home cinema projection can be anywhere between 30 inches and a huge 350 inches.

Why We Like It

  • 3200 lumens (of color and white brightness)
  • 800 x 600 resolution
  • 30 to 350 inches of projection
  • Distance as short as 3 feet

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

5. BenQ HT2050A

BenQ HT2050A

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

The BenQ HT2050A is a projector built with color in mind. Its CinematicColor design has a 6x speed RGBRGB color wheel and Rec.709 for the most accurate, vivid coloring. It also has low input lag that will help gamers who don’t want their game to buffer.

Lumens

It has a maximum of 2200 lumens. While perhaps not the best in the brightest of rooms, the BenQ HT2050A still has plenty of power that would be great for gamers or people who want to have a small home theater.

Resolution

The native resolution is the best of the best at 1080p (1920 x 1080).

Projection Dimensions

The BenQ HT2050A 1080p projector can have projection sizes from 60 inches to 180 inches. To be more specific, you will get a 79-inch image when the projector is only 6 and a half feet away.

Why We Like It

  • CinematicColor technology
  • Low input lag
  • 2200 lumens
  • Native 1080p
  • Short throw
  • Up to 180inch projection size

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

6. Optoma GT1080 Darbee

Optoma GT1080Darbee

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

With its 3000 lumens, the Optoma GT1080 Darbee is a device with 3D compatibility that can function well in a variety of environments. With the Next Generation DarbeeVision Processor, it operates at a level that provides crystal clear graphics card for gaming and HD viewing. Adding the enhanced gaming mode onto that, gamers will experience little to no lag during gameplay. What’s more, the Optoma offers a full 3D support if you want to use it with 3D Blu-ray or the new 3D game consoles.

The 28,000:1 contrast ratio gives you deep blacks, while the sRGB display profile enhances color quality. This projector can be easily hooked up to Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and the Amazon Fire Stick via the HDMI cable.

Lumens

Its 3000 lumens ensure a clear image even in bright areas.

Resolution

Like the BenQ HT2050A, the Optoma GT1080 Darbee has a native resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080).

Projection Dimensions

This Optoma GT1080Darbee 1080p projector can create a 100-inch image if it’s sitting only four feet from the wall or screen.

Why We Like It

  • 3000 lumens
  • Less lag for gamers
  • 3D support
  • 28,000:1 contrast
  • Native 1080p
  • 100 inch projection size

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

7. ViewSonic PS501W

ViewSonic PS501W

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

A similar product to the ViewSonic PA503S, the PS501W has more than enough lumens to function in brightly lit conference rooms or classrooms, and the short distances it can project from ensure performance in the tightest of spaces. This projector has the same SuperColor Technology as the PA503S for the same wowing visuals.

Unlike the PA503S, the PS501W offers some 3D technology, compatible with 3D Blue-rays that can be connected via the HDMI cable which also supports PCs, Macs, cell phones, and most media players. The reduced input latency smooths out the image, making gameplay easier for gamers and movies more enjoyable for viewers.

Lumens

With the power of 3500 lumens, the ViewSonic PS501W is only second fiddle to the ViewSonic PA503S’s 3600 lumens.

Resolution

The native resolution is 1280 x 800.

Projection Dimensions

Projecting a 120-inch screen from just 4 feet and 1 inch away, the Viewsonic PS501W has 3D compatibility and is right on par with the Optoma GT1080Darbee.

Why We Like It

  • 3500 lumens
  • SuperColor Technology
  • 3D Blu-ray capable
  • Reduced input latency

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

8. Optoma GT750ST

Optoma GT750ST

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

The Optoma GT750ST short throw LED projector was engineered for gamers seeking out the best image quality. It also works well for movie aficionados and people who are on the go (this device fits in the palm of your hand and weighs less than a pound). The LED light means there are no lamps to replace (the other projectors listed can last for about 10,000 to 20,000 hours of use).

The media player is built-in, making playing music, and viewing videos or pictures easy. The 20,000:1 contrast ratio, sharp colors from the Rec709 color gamut, and smooth picture are all great for gamers and movie fans alike.

Lumens

The 700 lumens are a huge step down from 3000 lumens in terms of brightness. However, the GT750ST is billed as a gaming projector needed for low-light environments.

Resolution

The 720p native resolution cannot compare to the Full HD of the 1080p resolution projectors, but it is still considered HD or HD Ready quality.

Projection Dimensions

At only a distance of 32 inches, the GT750ST short throw LED projector can project a 50-inch image.

Why We Like It

  • Portable
  • LED light
  • Built-in media player
  • 20,000:1 contrast ratio
  • Rec709 color gamut

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

9. InFocus Corporation IN119HDx

InFocus Corporation IN119HDx

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

The easy to carry and cheap to buy InFocus Corporation IN119HDx 1080p projector with native resolution, 3200 lumens, 15,000:1 contrast, and BrilliantColor technology. It can produce 3D images from Blu-ray, PCs, and other 3D devices. The audio is high quality due to the built-in speaker. The RS232 port makes the projector easy to integrate into room control systems.

Lumens

The 3200 lumens are pretty impressive for such a small and relatively inexpensive projector.

Resolution

The InFocus has 3D compatibility and a native resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080) that you can get for about $200 than the BenQ HT2050A or the Optoma GT1080Darbee that both offer the same 1080p.

Projection Dimensions

The throw ratio of 1.15 to 1.5 isn’t as great when compared to the .49 throw ratios of other projectors (the Optoma GT1080Darbee and the Viewsonic PS501W) on this list.

Why We Like It

  • 3200 lumens
  • 3D capable
  • Great value for tight budgets
  • 1080p
  • Portable
  • Built-in speaker

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

10. ASUS S1 200

ASUS S1 200

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Read Customer Reviews Here »

The ASUS S1 200 short throw LED projector is a lot different when put side by side with the other projectors on this list. For starters, it’s the only one with a rechargeable battery. It can also be used to charge your cellphones. The LED light can last 30,000 hours. It’s tiny and only three-quarters of a pound, making it simple to transport. There is a ASUS Sonic Master built-in speaker for great quality and accuracy of sound.

Lumens

The lumens only reach about 200, so bright rooms are an absolute no go.

Resolution

The native resolution is 854 x 480.

Projection Dimensions

The screen size of the short throw LED projector can reach up to 100 inches, but that’s only at the lowest light conditions possible.

Why We Like It

  • Rechargeable
  • 30,000 hours of LED light
  • Highly portable
  • ASUS Sonic Master built-in speaker
  • 100 inch projection size

Our Verdict
Editor Rating

Short Throw Projector Buyers Guide

What to look for when Buying a Short Throw Projector

There is a lot you ought to learn about home theater projectors before spending your money. The brightness that the projector is capable of, the level of resolution that comes through for a sharp image, and the dimensions of the image, plus how far or close the projector can be positioned from the projection surface are all things to look out for.

What is a Short Throw Projector?

Though first developed in the 1950’s, the short throw is a type of projector that has only been in the mainstream for a couple of decades now. They are a great alternative to regular projectors that need several feet of space to do their work. For an image that’s about 5 feet across diagonally, a normal home projector needs about of eight feet of space between itself and the wall or screen it’s projecting onto.

But for a short throw, the projector needs only 3 feet of space. For people with small rooms who still need a large image projected, these are a must.

What are the Lumens of the Projector?

Lumen is the Latin word for “light.” As far as home theater projectors go, a lumen will provide brightness to your image. Many projectors have about 3000 lumens that are sufficient for contrasting your image against an already bright room where the light from the windows cannot be fully blocked out.  Basically, enough lumens will hopefully make your image shine much brighter than the natural brightness of whatever room you’re using.

Some projectors can reach up to about 3600 lumens, but this may not be necessary in every case. People who want to stream movies or play video games in a dark, windowless room will not have to be overly concerned about the amount of light that’s going to fight against the number of lumens their projector releases.

Knowing this, someone with a very dark home theater could then focus on not the lumen rating but rather the image quality or even the quality of the audio.

How is the Resolution?

The best resolution you can find in a projector on the above list is HD 1080p (1920 x 1080). This resolution is also called full HD. HD 1080p is more powerful than 720p (also called HD ready). Here’s a brief explanation of what these numbers mean: basically, the first number (say 1920) is the number of vertical lines projected, while the second number (1080) is the number of horizontal lines.

In general, more lines overall produce an even better picture, but the price of the projector will go up in most cases. In the above list, we recorded each projector’s native resolution. The native resolution is the maximum number of horizontal and vertical lines that the projector can produce.

If your native resolution is 720p, then running your home projector at HD 1080p won’t do you any favors. Some other resolutions featured on the list are 854 x 480, 1280 x 800, 1280 x 768, and 800 x 600.

What are the Dimensions of the Image (and what is the Distance Needed from the Projection Surface)?

The two factors of the size of the image and the throw distances needed to make up the throw ratio, a fancy term that means the distance divided by the width of the projected image. A .49 throw ratio is excellent, as represented by the Optoma GT1080Darbee and the Viewsonic PS501W which can both project an image of around 100 inches from throw distances of about 4 feet.

You’ll need to think about how much space the room you’re working in has and how large or small you want your picture to be. To give you a better idea of what you can work with in regards to space, we have listed each product’s distance from the projection area in feet and inches along with the size of the projection in inches, rather than giving the throw ratio number which can be difficult to conceptualize.

How does a Short Throw Projector Work?

There are three types of projector: LCD projector, DLP Short Throw gaming projectors, pocket projectors, and DMD. To begin, LCD (liquid crystal display) uses three panels, the first of which shows the image that gets split into red, green, and blue by mirrors. The second panel recombines the colors, and the third panel works to bend the light, ultimately shining through a lens where the whole image is magnified and shines on your screen.

DLP (digital light processing) projectors use a DMD (digital micromirror devices) chip that has millions of mirrors each displaying one color each. Magnified again by the lens, the colors together create the desired image.

Last is the LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) projector which is a sort of hybrid of LCD projector machines and DLP short throw gaming projectors. It is the newest and most expensive type of projector.

What is an Ultra Short Throw Projector?

These projectors have the shortest throw you can find anywhere. Again, a regular projector can cast a 5-foot image from about 8 feet away. A short throw can do the same sized image at only 3 feet. But ultra short throw projectors can cast that image from less than 1 and a half feet away. The lenses inside these ultra short throw projectors are naturally more difficult to manufacture, so the price tag is heftier for this variety of projector.

A projector is a big decision whether you choose to use it for gaming, movies, class, or business. If you know it’ll be your go-to for gaming or movies, a projector with low lumens and reduced input latency is what you most likely need. However, for educational work and business meetings, a portable multimedia projector with increased lumens is a better bet. Other factors like audio quality and image quality will come into play as well.

Projector-image-2

So what can you live with and what can’t you live without? Do you not care about audio or do you need crystal clear sound for that immersive experience? The same goes for resolution and overall quality of the image, color, etc. Again, the question of lumens/brightness is dependent upon the environment where you will typically set up your projector.

Look into what others have said about the projector you’re considering buying. What did they like? What could have been better? Research carefully so that you can make a choice you don’t regret and give yourself maximum enjoyment with your new projector!

Expert Tip

Doing things like cleaning your projector’s air intake filter every three months and allowing your smart home projector to cool off for five minutes before unplugging it will make your machine lamps life last longer.

Did you Know

The forerunner to the projector was the kinetoscope, invented by Thomas Edison in 1891. It weighed over a ton, as opposed to the micro projectors of today which can weigh less than a pound.

© 2018 Product Expert