Projectors have come a long way from the loud, hulking machines that your teachers used to use in elementary school. The newest projectors are bright, vivid, and crisp. And short throw projectors offer an exciting alternative, making projectors an option for just about anyone, anywhere. With a short throw projector, you don’t have to worry about walking in front of the lens and creating a you-shaped shadow, and even a small space can have a large enough screen to make you throw away your movie tickets and opt for a night at home! Whether you’re a videophile, casual gamer, business professional, or family movie night devotee, we’ve done the research and found a short throw projector that’s sure to suit your needs. Enjoy our guide to the best short throw projector of 2017!
Best for Limited Space
Short on room but big on movies? This little guy is your best bet for an excellent, sharp picture and huge size, without having to move into projectors that cost several thousand dollars. We love that this projector projects a 100” screen at a distance of only 15 inches! It’s also Bluetooth enabled (goodbye wires) and loaded up with Smart TV content like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon (hello Game of Thrones binge).
Best for 3D Gaming
If you’re a hardcore gamer, a short throw projector is a must. The Optoma GT1080 is designed especially for 3D gaming, with a super bright screen and lightning-quick response time so you won’t experience any lag when you’re blowing up cops in GTA5. With crystal clear images and awesome color accuracy, games look better than you ever thought they could.
Best for Daytime TV Aficionados
If you’ve ever used a projector, you know that the darker the room, the better the picture. Well, with this projector you can throw that out the window. With the brightest picture we’ve seen in this level of projectors (3200 lumens!) you don’t even have to dim the lights, baby. Throw open a window while you’re at it. We’re also digging the fabulous speaker and highly accurate color rendering of the ViewSonic thanks to its SuperColor IPSMatch technology that allows this projector to match even the best IPS LED televisions!
Best for the Traveling Gamer
This tiny gaming projector takes up less space than the controllers you play Madden with. We love it for toting along with you to WoW tournaments at your buddy Chad’s house. Oh, you could also use it for business presentations and other adult things. We love how easy it is to plug in your smartphone and project your screen for all to see. Just don’t forget to close out your Candy Crush game first.
5. iRulu BL20
Best for when on a Seriously Tight Budget
You can’t get a whole lot better than the iRulu’s price, but we love that it comes with some pretty neat features, too. With three different projection settings, you can use the typical front projection, rear projection, or even a ceiling projection method. And we’re impressed with the quality of the speaker and the long life of the LED light—20,000 hours! You don’t often see this kind of quality for such a great deal.
6. Asus S1 (Editor’s Pick)
Best for Impromptu Movie Nights
We had to make the Asus S1 our Editor’s Pick because of the fantastic rechargeable battery that doubles as a phone charger. The battery holds up to 3 hours of charge, and you can keep your phone going strong the whole time. So it’s easy to set it up anywhere and stream off your device. Not to mention the great picture quality, sturdy construction, and lightweight build. The projector also comes with connectors for different devices, so setup is easy as pie (much easier, in fact).
7. Epson VS240
Best for Showing Off that Presentation
You smarty pants, you. You know that a great multimedia presentation is the extra oomph you need to knock the Trump tie off your boss (and the competition). This is the perfect projector for conference rooms and client meetings. Setup and takedown are super easy and fast, so you aren’t stuck smiling awkwardly as you fumble with the HDMI cord and your coworkers speed dial the IT department. If this is starting to sound like a too-frequent nightmare, do yourself a favor and opt for the compact, simple, professional quality of the Epson VS240.
Best for Text and Graphics
This powerful 3D projector is engineered specially to accommodate exceptionally crisp text and sharp-as-a-new-razor graphics. It has an impressive 3000 lumens as well as a 18,000:1 contrast ratio – making text super sharp. It also features power saving modes that cut down on energy costs and portability features so it can be set on a desk or mounted to the ceiling. This is a must for board rooms, business conventions, and seminars.
Best for a 3D Experience
We love that the Optoma EH320UST is designed for true 3D viewing. Just remember to purchase your own 3D glasses or experience the quickest nausea of your life. It’s also able to create a crisp and clear 100” display from less than two feet away, and it’s set up to allow for front, rear, and ceiling projection. With a 16W speaker and a sleek, professional design, this projector is the total package.
Best for the Hardcore Gamers seeking Immersion
So you think you can game? Take it up a notch with the BenQ projector. With crazy accurate colors and contrast, a super clear picture at up to 300”, and thumping double 10W built-in speakers, this projector is not for the faint of heart. Blast the sound and get the full gaming experience. And BenQ even has custom software that controls each color independently for true-to-life color rendering and brilliant details. So step up your game, bro.
Best for Smart Boards
We love this projector for use with whiteboards because it comes with special technology to reduce glare and shadow interference. Great for interactive presentations and classroom settings. Perfect for spending the rest of this year’s bond money (here’s looking at you, public schools).
12. Optoma ML750ST
Best for Presenters on the Move
This itty-bitty projector comes with one giant surprise: incredibly bright, clear images! Most micro projectors have to sacrifice quality to the god of portability, but Optoma has managed to deliver on both accounts. Powerful enough to handle repeated heavy use, this projector packs a lot of value into a mere 14 ounces!
13. Optoma GT760A
Best for 3D Gaming
This projector is designed specifically for gaming, but at a much lower price point than most in its class. We love that it can convert 2D images to 3D, and that it delivers excellent detail and contrast. Lifelike color processing and zero lag time makes this a top choice for immersive gaming, whether you’re a casual Mario Kart fan or a die-hard Madden addict.
Best for Bringing the Movie Theater to You
Ultra bright, remarkably clear and vibrant, with a two-year warranty and all the connection points you could need, the Epson Home Cinema is perfect for setting up a movie theater experience in your own basement. It also works great with streaming services like Roku and Chromecast. You don’t have to be a techie to take full advantage of this projector, but your friends will think you are!
Best for Tight Spaces and Tight Budgets
There’s a reason that over 700 Amazon users have given this little projector a five-star rating. It’s lightweight, it has great speakers, it supports 3D viewing, it creates a dramatic display and vivid colors, and it’s battery powered to boot. This short throw machine delivers the quality of a much larger and more expensive projector, so you aren’t limited in quality just because of a small space or shallow pockets.