IT buyer’s guide to business projectors

Confused about which projector to get for your company? Here’s a look at the major categories, technologies and specs, along with buying advice.

When it comes to effectively communicating with potential customers, training employees or collaborating on your company’s next-gen gadget design, a good projector setup can help you put your best business foot forward. With the ability to send anything from a computer, phone or tablet across the room and onto a screen, projectors have the power to put your company in the best possible light.

The good news is that there is an extraordinary variety of projectors available today that can put a sharp and bright image onto a screen to get your company’s message across. From miniature marvels not much bigger than a smartphone to 90-pound monsters that can light up an auditorium’s screen, there’s a business projector for every purpose and budget.

But with hundreds of products available, how do you decide which is right for your business? This buyer’s guide cuts through the marketing mumbo-jumbo and unrealistic claims to help you make sense of the options.

Aimed at the ultramobile among us, pocket projectors can turn anyplace into a presentation zone, but their features are limited and their output can seem more like a flashlight’s than a projector’s.
A big step up is the portable projector Bigger and heavier than pocket projectors, they are brighter and have more advanced features but can still be taken across town or across the globe.
Short-throw projectors have sophisticated optics that project at an angle so they can be set up next to the screen, making them perfect for small or oddly shaped rooms.
As the name implies, boardroom projectors are for rooms dedicated to meetings and projector presentations. Meant for executive use, they include advanced features such as interchangeable lenses, image shifting and picture-in-picture.
At the top of the projector pyramid are large-venue projectors, intended for large multipurpose rooms or auditoriums. With high-performance video processors and dedicated power lines, they often require expensive infrastructure, like sound systems and projection rooms.
Although they make a helpful starting point, don’t invest too much in these projector categories, because there are no hard and fast divisions between them. While it would be foolish to try to use a pocket projector in an auditorium, there isn’t much that separates a high-end portable projector from a low-end boardroom device — not even price.

Chances are that you’ll be shopping in several of the categories, so keep an open mind: compare the specs, think about your company’s culture and pick your ideal projector(s) based on your needs and budget.

After all, you only have one chance to make a good first impression in the business world. There’s no easier way to lose an audience’s attention — and likely their business — than by forcing them to sit in a dark room squinting at a dim, poorly focused or distorted image. When it comes to projecting your company’s ideas and image, get your audience to see the light.