A projector can be a very helpful tool for educators, business leaders, and anyone else who needs to convey information to a large group of people. However, a model that’s popular for use in home theaters won’t necessarily be the best projector for presentations. While you’ll still want a clear image, finding a projector that’s bright and easy to use is more important than finding the absolute best video quality if it will mostly be used in classrooms and meeting spaces.
All of the projectors below check those boxes. Considering all the factors, the Epson EX9230 is the best overall presentation projector (>>> Check its pricing on Amazon). Let’s take a closer look at the key features so you can decide if it’s the best choice for you.
Best Projector for Presentations 2022 – Our Top Picks:
|Epson EX5280||Epson EX9230||Optoma ZX300||ViewSonic LS500WH||BenQ MS560|
|Brightness (Lumens)||3,800 ANSI||3,500 ANSI||3,500 ANSI||2,000 ANSI||4,000 ANSI|
|Throw Distance||3.6' - 29.6'||3.6' - 29.9'||3.6' - 38.8'||3.7' - 32.9'||4.3' - 39.2'|
|Screen size||30" - 300"||34" - 332"||25" - 300"||30" - 300"||30" - 300"|
|Internal Speakers||2.0 Watts Mono||2.0 Watts Mono||15.0 Watts Mono||2.0 Watts Mono||10.0 Watts Mono|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
If you want to leave the lights on during your presentation, you should get a projector that produces at least 3,000 lumens. Lower than that, and the image will lose clarity and may be hard to see for much of your audience. In very bright spaces or outdoor venues, you’ll want something that’s around 4,000 lumens or higher.
The BenQ MS560 can handle all of these environments, and is the projector you’ll want for use both indoors and outdoors. That said, the 3,800-lumen Epson EX5280 and 3,500-lumen Epson EX9230 or Optoma ZX300 will be bright enough for most presentation spaces.
Brightest projector: BenQ MS560
There are two qualities that make a projector portable. First, it needs to be small, light, and easy to carry. Second, it needs to be rugged enough it won’t break during the trip.
Both the Epson EX5280 and EX9230 use a narrow, lightweight design, with a well-protected lens and solid construction that give them good durability. While they’re very portable, the winner in this category is the ViewSonic LS500WH, which is similarly compact and adds a sealed lens to prevent moisture or dust from entering the projector. >>>You might need to connect the projector to your phone.
Most portable: ViewSonic LS500WH
This may not be a concern if you’ll be using the projector in spaces like auditoriums or conference centers that have their own sound equipment. Not every space has this luxury, though. For traveling professionals, a projector with a solid built-in speaker saves you the need to bring extra sound equipment. It’s also helpful for educators and small businesses since that’s one less thing you’ll have to buy before giving presentations.
All of these projectors have speakers, but two stand out for their ability to fill a presentation space: the BenQ MS560 and the Optoma ZX300. Of the two, the Optoma’s speakers are more powerful, making it the best option for those who plan to use the projector for sound as well as visuals.
Best sound: Optoma ZX300
The Epson EX5280 is designed with presentations in mind. Its 3LCD display is optimized for crisp lines on text, with bright and accurate colors when you’re viewing graphics, charts, logos, and other images. It plays video content at a standard definition (XGA) resolution, and though that would be low in a home theater context, it’s fine for uses like video conference calls and training videos.
The EX5280 also gets high marks for portability. It has a slim 3.2-inch profile and weighs just over 5 pounds. It’s also made to stand up to traveling, with the lens built into the housing to minimize the risk of damage during transportation. The included carrying case helps here, too, and includes a pocket for the remote and cables.
The rear panel of the Epson EX5280 includes HDMI, VGA, RCA, and USB inputs, so it can be used with equipment like VCRs and camcorders as well as modern A/V equipment. As for the space and set-up, it does need a larger room but most people won’t need to worry about ambient light control, and its lamp is bright enough to use in moderate to bright indoor spaces. It also has both vertical and horizontal keystone correction, though the long throw and limited zoom can still make it tricky to install in some spaces. For our more detailed review of this projector, click here.
- Excellent clarity for text and graphics
- 3LCD display produces consistent, accurate colors
- Compact and lightweight
- Good variety of input options
- Bright enough for use in most indoor light environments
- Accepts video content up to 4K
- Low resolution for video content
- Long throw with limited image alignment features
For presentations that will involve lots of video content, the Epson EX9230 is a great choice. Its full HD display matches the detail of a typical home theater projector available in the under-$1,000 price point. This is paired with dynamic image contrast and a 3-chip LCD display that produces the full RGB color for an overall vibrant and realistic picture.
The Epson EX9230 has a shorter throw distance than many standard-throw projectors, producing a 100-inch image from around 8-10 feet away. The inclusion of a horizontal slider and automatic keystone correction give it a faster set-up, too, good news for traveling professionals or schools that need to share projectors between multiple classrooms. Its similar in size and shape to the EX5280 above and equally portable, down to the durable lens design and included carrying case.
The rear panel of the EX9230 includes the dual HDMI and USB ports you’ll find on most home theater projectors, with the added options of VGA and RCA. It also has a built-in speaker, though it’s not very powerful and the sound is weak, particularly in the low end. It’s functional for things like narration or video chats, but if you want room-filling sound you’ll need to connect it to external speakers.
- Full HD resolution with strong image contrast
- Vibrant colors with no rainbow effect
- Very portable design
- Dual HDMI ports plus RCA, VGA, and USB
- Fast and easy set-up
- Short lamp life span
- Built-in speaker is weak
The Optoma ZX300 is one of the most durable and reliable presentation projectors on the market. This starts with its DuraCore laser, which can put out a full 3,500 lumens for up to 30,000 hours, as much as 5 times the lifespan of a typical projector bulb. It’s also made to withstand long term use, and can be left on 24/7 without damage or quality loss. Since it can also be installed in any orientation, that makes it a great choice for store displays and similar extended uses.
Now, the Optoma ZX300 does need a considerable amount of space, even compared to other standard throw projectors. To fill a 100-inch screen, it will need to be around 13-14 feet away. You’ll also need to be fairly precise with placement since the zoom is narrow (1.1x) and it only has vertical keystone correction.
One advantage the Optoma ZX300 has over other options is its sound. The built-in speaker is powerful enough you won’t need external speakers to ensure the whole room hears your presentation. Its DLP display produces a very crisp standard-definition image, with strong dynamic contrast for deep, true blacks and excellent clarity across the screen. It also has the connectivity to support professional uses, including VGA and network connection options along with the standard USB and dual HDMI. This Optoma ZH406 review might be relevant to you.
- Easy to install in any orientation
- Ideal lamp brightness for most indoor spaces
- DuraCore laser light source lasts up to 30,000 hours
- Good sound and volume from built-in speakers
- Supports LAN and RS-232 network control
- Long throw distance
- Limited alignment features
The ViewSonic LS500WH uses an LED light source, which has the advantage of being more energy-efficient and longer-lasting than lamp-style projectors. Unfortunately, LED lamps also aren’t as powerful, and the LS500WH has a brightness of only 2,000 lumens. That makes it susceptible to picture wash-out, especially in spaces with lots of windows or bright over-head lighting.
The main strength of the ViewSonic LS500WH is its portability. It’s both lightweight and durable, small enough you can carry it in a backpack and sturdy enough it’ll survive the trip. The IP5X sealed lens minimizes the risk of damage from dust, moisture, and other environmental hazards.
Image quality is another thing the ViewSonic LS500WH does well. It uses a WXGA aspect ratio and resolution and accepts content up to 1080p. The color performance is especially impressive, with a color gamut that exceeds the Rec.709 spectrum, for accurate and realistic videos and images. The image contrast is also strong, provided it’s not used in too dim of a space.
- High-contrast WXGA picture
- Bright and nuanced colors
- Sealed design prevents moisture or dust damage
- Automatic shutoff avoids energy waste
- 360° orientation
- Long lamp lifespan (up to 30,000 hours)
- Not suitable for use in bright rooms
- Weak built-in speaker
If you need a projector that can handle indoor/outdoor use, the BenQ MS560 is a top option. Its 4,000-lumen bulb maintains the image clarity and saturation even in bright spaces, and its strong dynamic contrast means dark areas will look as rich as the colors.
The BenQ MS560 is also perfect for those who need a portable projector but don’t have a lot to spend. It’s both the most affordable and the lightest projector on the list, and is nicely compact for those who’ll be taking their projector on the go. You won’t need to bring speakers, either, since the 10-watt speaker that’s built-in puts out enough volume to fill a classroom, conference room, or similarly-sized space.
Of course, no projector at this price will be perfect, and the BenQ MS560 has its limitations. The main one is its image resolution, which is the lowest of the projectors reviewed here. Its all-glass lens and high image contrast still do a good job producing legible text and good-looking graphics, but you’ll definitely notice the difference if you’re watching videos. It also needs a lot of space, around 13-14 feet to fill a 100-inch screen, with only a 1.1x zoom and vertical keystone correction to help you align the image.
- Good image color and contrast
- Super-bright lamp
- Wide variety of input options
- Light and easy to move around
- Built-in speaker has decent volume and sound quality
- Excellent value
- Long throw with few alignment features
- Lowest resolution on the list
So What’s the Best Projector for Presentations?
The Epson EX9230 is the strongest overall performer, but it won’t necessarily be the best choice for everyone (>>> Find on Amazon). The budget-friendly BenQ MS560 has a powerful lamp ideal for use outdoors, while the low-maintenance Optoma ZX300 has great sound as well as impressive longevity. Whatever types of presentations you’re giving, one of these five projectors will be an ideal match.