Product Focus: Short-throw Projectors for Under $1,500

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We've all seen it happen at AV presentations. Caught in the beam of the projector, the lecturer winces like a vampire, even as students make shadow puppets on the screen behind him. There is another way. Unlike traditional projectors, short-throw models can be positioned next to the screen, so the lecturer doesn't have to worry about where he stands. And he can actually see his audience.

We identified more than 60 short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors on the market that can display full-size images on a screen just a few feet away. They are great for small- and medium-sized classrooms, and eliminate many of the issues of having a traditional projector at the rear of the room. With so many models available, though, the key is to find one that suits your needs.

For this survey, we focus on projectors under $1,500. Among those models priced above $1,500 are some with remarkable features--including 20-watt stereo speakers on the 3M SCP716 Interactive Multimedia Projector (with wall mount) and a projection distance of just four inches for the Dukane 8104HW Ultra-short-throw Projector--as well as the top-selling Epson BrightLink 455Wi Interactive Projector.

Note: All prices are the manufacturer's suggested retail price; the reseller price may be up to 50 percent lower. The lists are based on manufacturers' specifications compiled by and from the manufacturers themselves; we have not done any product testing to verify manufacturers' claims.