Best Short Thrown Projectors
If you are a great movie buff like me, then you know what a thrill it is to watch your favorite movie on the big screen.
Going to the movie theater is always a pleasure, but what if I told you that you can enjoy a proper cinema experience in your own home? Wouldn’t that be great?
And I am not talking about large LCD screens. Even though they are also good, they can never truly replicate that grandiose feeling you get at the movies. Projectors, on the other hand can.
Well, using a projector to play your favorite film isn’t as easy as it sounds because a regular projector has to be far away from the flat screen to get that big image you are after.
However, there is a solution for this and that is the topic of my article – short thrown projectors!
Short thrown projectors can be placed just two or three feet away from the flat screen and they still produce amazing results.
They are perfect for people that want to recreate cinema experience in smaller, more confined spaces, but they are not only made for home theaters. You can also use them in conference rooms for meetings, in schools for classes, etc.
– ViewSonic PJD5155
This is a projector with a good brightness that also offers a pretty basic feature set. For home-cinema enthusiasts, this model is a good choice since it has a great picture and sound quality and comes with some interesting features.
Personally, I like the design of this projector a lot. It is a very convenient model that has a handsome look. It seems pretty modern and what I like the most maybe, it is completely black.
It measures 4.6 by 12.4 by 9 inches and weighs 4.6 pounds, which makes it extremely portable, although it doesn’t have a carrying case.
Focus and zoom rings are placed behind the lens and this device also has a great number of ports, like two VGA-in ports, one audio in and one audio out ports, an HDMI port, etc.
The most important thing here is the mini USB Type B port that allows you to remotely control mouse and maintenance.
Image and Video Quality
This is a DLP-based projector that has a native SVGA resolution (800×600), as well as 4:3 aspect ratio. It is also rated at 3,200 lumens, which means that it is pretty bright, especially for smaller spaces.
There are short thrown projectors with better characteristics out there, but this projector will satisfy the needs of most people that need it for personal use since it produces sharp and clear pictures.
This device also has plenty of connectivity options, and some of them I have mentioned before, but I want to focus on HDMI input now because that allows you to look at 3D images directly from your 3D Blu-Ray players. It also allows you to connect to tablets, laptops, computers, media players, etc.
On the sound quality front, this projector achieves great results thanks to big and powerful speakers and improved sound system.
It also has a great amplifier that produces fantastic audio results, allowing you to fill even the larger spaces like meeting rooms or classrooms.
Since this is a projector that uses DLP technology that means that it comes with lamps that have a certain limit of usage. This device has a lamp life of around 10,000 hours, which is pretty impressive.
– Optoma GT1080
This specific model can be used to project things to bigger audiences, but it is predominately made for home theaters.
I have to say that this particular device seems a bit ordinary when it comes to looks, or as I would likely put it, it looks risk-free.
However, it does have a large fisheye lens on the front which stands out from the otherwise ordinary design. This projector has dimensions of 12.4 x 8.8 x 4 in and weighs 5.8 pounds.
There are multiple input ports on the left side, as well as a power outlet. On the top, there are some buttons that allow you to control the menu on the screen, which can also be done remotely.
There is also a focus ring on the front end, which is basically the only thing you must adjust manually.
Image and Video Quality
Since this is a DLP-based projector and uses a standard bulb that means that you don’t have to be in total darkness to get a good image on your screen.
GT1080 comes with 2,800 lumens, which is pretty standard and allows you to leave a few light sources on when you look at your screen.
When it comes to image quality, there isn’t much to say except that you will surely enjoy the 1080p resolution.
This projector creates images that are particularly vibrant, which came as a bit of a surprise since not many projectors can pull that off. The reason behind this is the 25,000:1 contrast ratio, which is amazing.
Even though this is technically a short throw projector, it also allows you to produce an image of up to 166 inches from a distance of 6 feet, which normally requires a distance of at least 15 feet.
To create an image of the lowest possible size, you will have to put projector 4 feet away from the screen.
This projector comes with two HDMI ports, which allows you to connect to multiple devices and switch between sources as much as you want. There is also an MHL port that allows you to connect your projector to a tablet or a smartphone.
– Epson VS240
This is another short thrown projector that you can use both for home theater, as well for school projects or business meetings, as long as your conference room or other space you want to use isn’t too big.
This is a black and white projector that has rounded edges, which gives it a really sleek and modern appeal.
It measures 14.5 x 13.8 x 6.2 inches and weighs 5.3 pounds, which makes it reasonably portable. However, this projector doesn’t come with a case in which you can carry it.
There is a focus wheel that is positioned behind the lens, but what sticks out is the lack of the optical zoom. However, this isn’t so unusual for an SVGA short thrown projector.
Behind this focus wheel, there is a slider that allows for horizontal keystone correction, which means that you can square off the picture even if the screen is relatively tilted and not completely in line with the projector.
Image and Video Quality
This projector has native SVGA (800-by-600) resolution at a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is pretty standard in today’s market. However, it also has a light engine that uses 3LCD technology and a rated brightness of 3,000 lumens, both for white brightness and color.
When it comes to video quality, it could be better. Even though the video is free of rainbow artifacts, the color seems a bit off in some situations.
Also, since audio is not great either (a 1-watt system), I would recommend setting this projector in smaller rooms for the best viewing experience.
The VS240 has a good range of ports, so you could say that connectivity is a strong side of this projector. Some of these ports are an HDMI port, a VGA port, a USB-B port that allows you to connect your projector to your laptop or PC.
Considering that VS240 is an LCD projector, it has a very long lamp life. In Normal mode, it has a lamp life of 5,000 hours, while this goes up to 10,000 hours in the Eco mode.
– ASUS S1
As I said, this is one of the smallest short thrown projectors available on the market. It only weighs 0.75 pounds and measures 4 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches.
This only adds to its extremely modern appearance. This device is made from an aluminum case that is engraved with a circular pattern. That makes it look pretty sharp. On the front, there is a big DLP logo, as well as a squared lens port.
Image and Video Quality
Even though this device measures only 200 lumens in brightness, it is still able to produce amazing images. Even though it is so small, it is actually pretty compatible with larger screens.
This device can create extremely clear images up to 100 inches, but this has to be done in complete darkness. However, since this projector uses 854×480 EDTV resolution that means that any screen size above 40 inches isn’t really suitable for it.
This projector allows you to connect to basically any kind of video source you can find since it has both HMDI and MHL ports. It also sports a 3.5mm stereo out port, which means that you can connect it to headphones or external speakers.
There is another important port, the USB port, that allows you to do two things – either charge your projector, or charge some other mobile device using its strong 6,000 mAh battery pack.
Thanks to this battery, this device can last up to three hours without being charged or plugged into any power source.
– BenQ W1070
In addition to this, it is also pretty compact and portable, which makes it a great choice for real projector enthusiasts.
Considering that this is a 1080p 3D projector, W1070 is surprisingly compact and light. This device measures 4.1 by 12.3 by 9.6 inches and weighs only 5.8 pounds. That means that you can easily store it when you don’t use it and move it around.
The design is pretty classy and I like it a lot. It comes with rounded edges and the silver color it sports gives it a real modern look. Combined with amazing features and image quality, this is a real gem of a projector.
Image and Video Quality
The image that this device produces is extremely clear and sharp, making it ideal for your living room. Since this short thrown projector has a full-HD 1920×1080 native resolution, which is absolutely top of the trade, it is able to recreate that specific cinema experience.
On the brightness front, it measures 2,000 lumens, which sounds like it could be improved, but doesn’t really have to since you can watch your videos without a problem even if it isn’t totally dark. It also has a contrast rate of 10,000:1, so the image stays pretty sharp even with some light in the room.
Maybe the most stand-out thing about this projector is the 3D compatibility, which we don’t see often.
On the connectivity front, things are pretty standard, since this projector has two HDMI ports, plus S-video, then three RCA connectors for component video, and the common VGA and composite video ports.
Another great thing about W1070 is the long lamp life, which is around 3,500 hours when you use the full power mode, or around 6,000 hours in Eco mode, or SmartEco mode.
The one flaw that W1070 has is the speaker system since it has single 10W speaker instead of stereo sound that many of its competitors provide.
– Optoma ML750ST
Having this around with you is also great for entertainment because you can always use it to watch a movie in your hotel room, for example, or even play video games in your home.
As I have already mentioned, this device is amazingly small and light for a short throw projector. It is considered to be a pico-projector since it is basically palm-sized.
It measures 4.2 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches and weighs just 0.88 pounds. In addition to all this, it also comes with a carrying case, making it even more portable.
Image and Video Quality
Thanks to its short throw lens, this device has 0.8 throw ratio, which means that it can create large images from short distances. For example, you can get a 100-inch picture from around 5 feet away from the screen.
This device comes with 700 lumens, which is a bit below the top standard, but still good enough for you to watch your movie even with some light in the room.
It also comes with 20,000:1 contrast ratio and has a native 16×10 screen aspect ratio. This projector has a 1280×800 display resolution and it is able to play both 2D and 3D images.
The sound quality is rather fine with a 1.5-watt speaker that puts out just enough volume for a smaller conference room or a normal living room.
On the connectivity side, this projector has HDMI port, USB port, 3.5mm audio output and a MicroSD slot.
In addition to this, it also has 1.5 GB of built-in memory, which can be further increased to up to 64 GB thanks to the before mentioned MicroSD slot. That is a major advantage, especially if you plan to play images on the road.
– iRulu BL20
This is a pretty standard-looking projector that weighs 4.8 pounds and measures 10.2 x 8.7 x 3.9 inches, which isn’t exactly small, but it still doesn’t fall into the “big projectors” category.
On the front, this device has a lens and a focus ring that allows you to adjust your focus manually. On the back, there are multiple inputs and keys.
This device has round edges, but it doesn’t look very modern. In fact, it has a design that doesn’t stand out at all and is focused on performances rather than looks.
Image and Video Quality
The biggest surprise about this projector is the lumens level of 2,600, which is comparable to some of the best devices in the business. The contrast ratio of BL20 is 2,000:1, while the aspect ratio can be either 4:3 or 16:9, which you can set up on your own.
Even though this device supports 1080p resolution, it has a native resolution of 800×480. That means that it can take a 1080p image or video and resize it to its native resolution, which is an EDTV resolution, not for HDTV.
This device can project view images as small as 32 inches or as large as 200 inches. To project the smallest image, you would have to place your projector only 4 feet away from your screen.
Since BL20 projector uses LCD technology, that means that you won’t have to worry about lamp life and changing light bulbs.
This projector has all the necessary connectivity options available, including two HDMI ports that allow you to connect to any media player, as well as VGA cable that allows you to connect to a device that doesn’t have HDMI connectivity.
– Mlison Video Projector
This is a short throw projector that can be classified as a mid-size projector since it is not as compact as some other projectors on my list, but it isn’t bulky either. It is actually pretty portable since it is not that heavy at all.
This projector measures 9.1 x 7.6 x 5.1 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds with a case that is made from plastic. However, the case is extremely durable despite this fact. It has a large glass lens, which is a nice surprise since many other projectors come with a plastic lens.
The design isn’t really breathtaking. In fact, I don’t particularly like the design, which is more professional than modern or appealing. That being said, I don’t really hate the design either.
It is simply average and unimposing. This device, however, makes up for what lacks in appearance with being sturdy enough to carry around without the fear of breaking anything.
Image and Video Quality
This projector comes with a native 800×480 resolution, but it also supports 1080p images and videos. The image is extremely sharp and clean, partially thanks to the glass lens I mentioned earlier.
With a brightness of 2,000 lumens, this device follows a standard set by many top-end projectors. Milson Video Projector can support screen sizes in the range between 30 and 100 inches.
Another great thing about this projector is the throw ratio it sports, which can be adjusted using the lenses inside the projector to make it anywhere from 1.86m to 2.04m.
On the connectivity side, this projector allows you to connect to basically any device using an HDMI or VGA port. There is also a small multi-input plug that allows you to hook up your headphones or speakers.
In addition to this, there are also a USB port and SD card port, which means that you can play certain media files directly from your storage device (AVI and MPEG for video, and numerous image files).
– Crenova XPE460
However, if you are looking for a projector that you can use on the go as well as for your home theater, Crenova XPE460 is a solid choice.
This device has a somewhat orthodox or even classical design. It reminds me of those ‘90s projectors that I saw as a schoolboy, so it brings back some memories at least.
It is also as durable as those old-fashioned projectors, which is a great thing if portability and durability are more important to you than design.
This projector measures 12.4 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches and weighs 2.8 pounds, so it is relatively easy to carry it around.
Image and Video Quality
This device comes with an 800×480 native resolution, which isn’t exactly HD, but it is still good enough, especially since you can also play full HD 1080p videos and images that will be resized to the projector’s native resolution. The contrast ratio is 1,000:1, while the aspect ratio that this device supports is 16:10.
In addition to this, you will also be able to use a screen size of up to 130 inches, although I would recommend sticking to 100 inches for best performances, especially when you don’t use HDMI cable.
You get 1,200 lumens with this projector, which is a bit on the downside when it comes to brightness, but it isn’t exactly low. That means that you will be able to use this device even in the natural light, if the light isn’t extremely bright.
However, in dark spaces or in the evening, you won’t have any issues at all, so you can organize that garden movie theater that you always wanted to have.
This projector uses LED technology, which helps it produce better color quality and bigger images than projectors with traditional lamps.
It also means that the lifetime of your LED source is better than the lamp life from light bulbs since it has a lifetime of 20,000 hours.
Crenova XPE460 has many connectivity options, like HMDI ports, but what is even more impressive is the fact that this device supports a wireless connection to mobile devices.
– Crenova XPE470
However, it is a newer model and there are some improvements that make it perhaps a better choice.
This projector has a pretty compact design, since it measures 5.6 x 15.9 x 12.1 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds. That is similar size as a small tablet, which can paint a pretty good picture of how portable this projector is.
Same as its predecessor, this model also puts emphasis on durability instead of design, since it has a professional and rather ordinary look.
Image and Video Quality
One major difference between this model and the previous one lies in the fact that this projector uses LCD technology, so you don’t have to worry about the lifetime of your light source.
That also means that this device is able to produce a better image and video quality.
This device has a native resolution of 800×480 pixels, while it also supports 1080p images and videos. Even though there are projectors with better resolution, this one is capable of creating sharp and clear images as well.
It has a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and can project an image in the range between 37 and 130 inches. It comes with 1,200 lumens in terms of brightness, so in that regard it is same as its predecessor.
The total throw distance is adjustable and it can be set to anywhere between 1.2m and 3.8m.
As far as connectivity goes, this projector has all that is necessary – an HDMI port, a VGA port, a USB port and MicroSD card port. It also has a built-in video processor that allows you to play video files directly from the storage medium.
How to Choose the Best Short Thrown Projector?
Now, before you make your popcorn and run off to get a short-thrown projector, stick around with me for a little while because I want to help you to get the best short thrown projector for your needs.
Choosing the right projector can be tough, so you better think about that for a while. I will tell you what are the things you need to focus on and you need to consider what do you need and want in a projector.
To put it plainly, throw ratio is used to describe the optimal distance between your screen and your projector. To calculate the throw ratio, you have to divide the width of the image projected with the distance between the projector and the screen.
Basically, smaller ratio means that the projector can be closer to the screen and in my opinion; best short thrown projectors have a ratio between 0.30 and 0.50.
Knowing the throw ratio is important because it can help you find the projector that fits your needs perfectly. For example, if you want to put your projector in a room that is around 30 feet, you should go with a projector that has a ratio of around 0.45.
Lumens is one of the most important things to consider since lumens number lets you know all about the brightness of the image that will be projected.
Lumen is important for one simple reason – the greater the lumen number, the more you will be able to get a high-definition image quality even in the daylight.
Basically, brightness is measured in lumens and you should look for short thrown projects that have a lumen number that’s not smaller than 500 lumens and optimally, is bigger than 2,000 lumens.
There are two lighting sources – the more traditional digital light processing (DLP) technology (like light bulbs) or the modern technology sources like lasers and LED.
The better of the two is the modern one, of course, and going with lasers or LED is a smarter choice because light bulbs come with some specific issues.
For example, you will have to replace them and with time, they tend to lose some of their brilliance.
On the other hand, they are pretty cost effective and you will not have to replace them before at least 5,000 hours of being used.
Short thrown projectors vary greatly when it comes to price. However, even though it is not completely impossible to find a good projector for around $100 but the truth is as always simple – more money, better performance.
These are some of the most important factors you need to consider when you are out looking for the best short thrown projector, but they are not the only one. Things like design, connectivity and additional features are also important.
To help you save some time on research, I will now discuss some of my favorite short thrown projectors and in my honest opinion, the best projectors on the market.
We have come to the end of our journey and I hope that I did a good job of helping you find the best short thrown projector for your needs without having to invest a lot of time and effort into researching for hours.
Now, all that is left to do is to make some popcorn and sit back and enjoy your favorite movie, whether it is in your living room or your backyard.