Choosing a projector

A projector is quickly becoming an essential piece of office equipment. It’s a great way to run a meeting (assuming you’ve done the right amount of preparation), and can be a good way to use software during a meeting .. and no, I don’t mean Facebook.

So what do you need to think about when choosing a projector. Here are some pointers and things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Brightness: This is probably the single, most important factor to keep in mind. If your meeting right is particularly light and airy, anything below 1000 lumens won’t work for you. And the further away your projector will be from the screen, the lighter it needs to be.
  2. Resolution: This is pretty important, as the higher the resolution, the “crisper” your resulting image should be. You probably won’t need an HD projector for most office use, but try to avoid projectors that only produce low resolution images. Try to go for an XGA one that can produce 1024×768 images.
  3. Contrast Ratio: This is a pretty critical element of image quality. Go for the highest contrast ratio you can get, especially if you’re projecting images in daylight lit rooms.
  4. Weight: If you make it a habit to carry your projector around with you, especially if you’re in sales and need to take it with you to demo to clients. weight needs to come into your choice too. Unfortunately lighter projectors have their disadvantages. Airflow and cooling isn’t as good, they are not as robustly built and they are more easily stolen. So you may have to go for a compromise on this one.
  5. Purchase Cost: Well, this is usually a pretty important factor when buying new kit, but prices have fallen so much over the last few years, that purchase cost is not exorbitant.
  6. Cost of Ownership: This, to me, is more important than Purchase Cost. The lifetime cost of one projector can be very different from another. You need to look at what sort of warranty you get for it, the replacement cost of bulbs and their lifetime. Bulbs tend to be the most expensive part of a projector, do make sure you do your homework here.

This might help you if you’re in the market for a new projector. It’s worth also keeping in mind that you can get audio visual projectors that also have sound output that you can use in your presentations. And don’t forget, always get a demonstration before you buy one of these babies.

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