The 5 Best Projectors for Your Classroom & School

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Looking for a better way to share videos, presentations and curriculum?  Classroom projectors are an awesome substitute for a small TV or expensive smart board – but which is the best option for your class?

Several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a projector for your classroom, the biggest being whether you have a light or dark classroom.  Classrooms that get a lot of sunlight will need stronger bulbs with more lumens while teachers who can close the blinds will save a bit of money.  

Portability is also going to play a big role – can you get away with mounting the projector on the ceiling or does it need to come with you after class (check out our list of rolling carts for teachers for help)?

Crenova Native 1080p Projector, 6000Lux Outdoor...
759 Reviews
Crenova Native 1080p Projector, 6000Lux Outdoor...
  • 【Native 1080p Projector】As featured in our professional home theater projectors, advanced panel...
  • 【Big Screen Experience】This 1080P LED projector features 6000 lux of brightness with a contrast...
  • 【HI-FI Speakers& Cooling System】This 1080p full HD projector built-in powerful speakers with SRS...

Our top recommendation for the average classroom is the Crenova Native projector.  This outdoor movie projector has a 200-inch display, full HD video quality, and multiple inputs.  It is also compatible with both laptops and smartphones.

Our 5 Favorite Classroom Projectors

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Best Budget Option

4 of 5 stars

The Vankyo Leisure is a great school projector choice for teachers (or schools) on a budget.  It’s built for home entertainment systems, capable of projecting in resolutions of 1920 by 1080 pixels.  The MStar Advanced Color Engine is built for high-quality movie and video watching which will really help bring lessons to life.

The multimedia projector can also display static photographs with the right input.  Though the projector isn’t recommended for basic presentations, it can be used in a pinch if your classroom is dark enough.

It’s possible to connect the projector to a Wii, PS3, or PS4, so you can play enlarged video games.  This might not matter for the classroom, but it’s great if you want to use the projector at home or open it up for students during free time.

The large screen can range from 32 to 170 inches, depending on distance –  all you need to do is adjust the focus to get a clear image.

Every Vankyo projector comes with a cooling system that disperses heat throughout the model and suppresses the noise of the fan to ensure your students can hear the lesson.

The projector is compatible with HDMI and micro USB cables making it easy to connect it to your computer.  Even better is that you can connect your smartphone to the device without needing to download an app.  

What We Like

  • Home entertainment system supporting 1920×1080 resolutions
  • Multimedia projector built for photo slideshows and video viewing
  • Projection sizes of 32 inches to 170 inches depending on distance
  • Cooling system disperses heat and reduces fan noise
  • Available smartphone connectivity
VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector, 1080P and 170''...
  • SUPERIOR WATCHING EXPERIENCE: Leisure 3 Projector is Powered by MStar Advanced Color Engine. 2018...
  • MULTIMEDIA PORTABLE PROJECTOR: VANKYO Leisure 3 projectors is fit for playing videos, TV series,...
  • BIG SCREEN SIZE EXPERIENCE: It provides a watching size from 32” to 176” with the projection...

Crenova Native Outdoor Movie Projector

Best Overall

5 of 5 stars

The Crenova Native is our top classroom projector because of its superior performance in every category.  The projector is built for outdoor use, incorporating 6,000 lumen bulbs that create visible images even in bright light.  The extra contrast ratio increases color saturations for an improved viewing experience.

The 1080p HD resolution has over four times as much detail as a 720p image.  The pixels remain sharp, keeping the image clear even on a 200-inch screen or classroom wall.

In addition to excellent image quality, this projector has built-in speakers that use an SRS sound system.  Even if you don’t use external speakers, you get excellent audio in a classroom or lecture hall and you can even use the speakers during school assemblies.

The advanced cooling and SmartEco technology combine to make this an energy-efficient model and the lamp can last up to 50,000 hours!

You can connect your smartphone or laptop by using an HDMI cable.  The system is also compatible with Audio, AV, VGA, and USB cables.  It’s also possible to connect a Fire Stick, Roku, X-Box, and PS4.  

Each purchase comes with a lifetime of professional support and 24 months of repairs.

What We Like

  • Native 1080p HD video images projected across 200 inches
  • 6,000 lux brightness suitable for bright classrooms and outdoor events
  • Built-in SRS sound system speakers erase the need for external speakers
  • Compatible with HDMI, USB, AV, VGA, and Audio cables
  • 24 month repair warranty with lifetime customer support
Crenova Native 1080p Projector, 6000Lux Outdoor...
759 Reviews
Crenova Native 1080p Projector, 6000Lux Outdoor...
  • 【Native 1080p Projector】As featured in our professional home theater projectors, advanced panel...
  • 【Big Screen Experience】This 1080P LED projector features 6000 lux of brightness with a contrast...
  • 【HI-FI Speakers& Cooling System】This 1080p full HD projector built-in powerful speakers with SRS...

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Best Alternative if You Already Have a TV in the Classroom

4.5 of 5 stars

The Fire Stick is an affordable way to stream HD content on your classroom television and an ideal alternative if your classroom already has a TV and you don’t need a separate projector.  The device is Alexa voice compatible, and the remote includes mute, volume, and power buttons.

By pushing down on the voice button, you can ask Amazon Alexa to find streaming content.  This saves you a lot of time, which is great when you’re working with limited class periods and Alexa can search thousands of channels and several streaming services to locate what you’re looking for.

Some of the available content includes Prime Video, HBO Max, Youtube, Disney+, Netflix, and Showtime.  You can also use the Fire Stick to play music using Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Music, or Amazon Music.  It’s perfect if you want some calming tunes in the background during study periods.

Certain streaming services also include Dolby Atmos audio.  If you watch something with Prime Video or Netflix, and your classroom TV is compatible, you’ll get highly enhanced audio quality.

More than 500,000 television episodes and movies are available to stream with the available subscriptions.  Thousands are included in an Amazon Prime membership without needing to pay any extra subscription fees.

What We Like

  • Amazon Fire device allows streaming to TV in fast, full HD
  • Alexa voice remote including volume and power buttons
  • Search and launch shows on different apps using your voice
  • Comes with thousands upon thousands of channels
  • Live TV capabilities and over 20,000 free TV shows and movies
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV...
  • Latest release of our best-selling Fire TV device - 50% more powerful than previous gen for fast...
  • Less clutter, more control - Alexa Voice Remote lets you use your voice to search and launch shows...
  • Home theater audio with Dolby Atmos - Feel scenes come to life with immersive Dolby Atmos audio on...

GooDee G500 Mini Video Projector

Best Portable Option

4.5 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a portable option, the GooDee Mini projector is a great choice.  Not only is it small enough to bring on a daily commute or from class to class, it also includes a protective bag for the journey.  Despite the small size, the projector shows content at up to 200 inches on screen.

The upgraded projector design has 80 percent more brightness than an ordinary projector and supports 1080P resolution with high color contrasts.  The lamp has 50,000 hours of life, and the optimum screen size is about 60 inches, perfect for display on a wall or whiteboard.

The projector has two built-in speakers that use SRS audio and provide a great auditory experience without needing to connect your computer speakers.  There’s also an upgraded cooling system that is quieter than previous models.

In addition to being compatible with USB, VGA, AV, and HDMI cables, the projector can also be used with headphones.  If you want to watch movies by yourself at home after work, you can.  Since the product is only 2.76 pounds and has a carrying case, it’s easy to bring to and from the house.

Every purchase comes with a 5-year customer service guarantee.  You can also get a replacement or refund for any technical issues within the first 3 months of purchase.

What We Like

  • 1080P resolution with 80 percent improved brightness over ordinary model
  • 44 to 200 inch display and 50,000 hours of bulb life
  • Powerful dual SRS speaker eliminates need for external speakers
  • Portable and compatible with headphones, USB, VGA, AV, and HDMI
  • 5 years of technical support and professional service available
Sale
Projector, GooDee 2021 Upgrade G500 Mini Video...
  • +80% Brightness & High Resolution Experience: 2021 upgrade projector adds +80% brightness than...
  • 200" Giant Screen & 50,000 Hrs Lamp Life: Arbitrary view size 44"-200" with distance 5ft-15ft, the...
  • Hi-Fi Stereo Speaker & Latest Cooling System: Built-in dual powerful speaker with SRS provide a...

Epson VS250 SVGA Projector

Best for Bright Classrooms

4 of 5 stars

If you’re concerned about brightness, this Epson projector is the best choice.  The 3,200 lumen lamp provides vivid color, even when your classroom is sunlit.  If you run the projector on Eco mode, the fan is exceptionally quiet.

The model supports resolutions of up to 800 by 600 pixels and is a great choice if you project graphics and presentations more often than video.  The screen is 350 inches wide when at a distance of 30 inches from the wall – more than enough space for most classrooms.

You can use this projector with Mac and PC computers as well as the Android and iPhone devices via the iProjection app.  Since the projector supports HDMI cables, it should also connect to all modern computer models.

The Epson is also one of the most convenient projectors to set up.  Adjusting the images is easy and you also get excellent control over your display settings!

Ultimately, this is the best choice for those who want to show their students PowerPoint presentations and scientific slides.  The high-powered lamp makes it good for teachers concerned about the amount of light coming through their windows, though it might not be the best for high quality video streaming.

What We Like

  • 3,200 lumens of brightness good for light classrooms
  • 800 x 600 pixel resolution good for graphics, memos, and presentations
  • Compatible with HDMI, PCs, Macs, smartphones, and the iProjection app
  • Portable and practical projector option if you aren’t playing HD movies
Sale
Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 Lumens Color Brightness...
  • More accurate, vivid color, even in well lit rooms 3,200 lumens of equal color and white brightness...
  • SVGA resolution (800 x 600), ideal for projecting everyday presentations and graphics; Projected...
  • F number: 1.44, focal length:16.7 millimeter, zoom ratio: digital zoom 1.0 ? 1.35, pixel number:...

What to Consider When Shopping for a School Projector

Compatibility with Computers and Devices

Compatibility issues can make or break a purchase and if you’re going to be streaming from your computer or smartphone, you need a compatible projector.  Projectors like the Epson VS250 can be used with a computer or mobile app.

While most models should be able to connect with the right cable (like HDMI), not every projector will be able to mirror the content from your computer or phone screen, especially if it comes from a restricted streaming service.

There are a variety of projectors that are compatible with gaming systems like the XBox, PS3, and PS4.  While this won’t necessarily help you in the classroom, it can be a fun feature when you relax at home after work.

Before you make your purchase, it’s important to know what device you’ll be streaming from.  If you have a Mac computer, make sure that the projector is compatible with both Mac and PC devices.  

Your Content and Lessons

Science teachers showing their classes microscope slides will have very different concerns than film teachers playing HD movies.

If you’re playing HD movies and videos, you’ll want an HD-quality projector like the Vankyo Leisure.  For teachers who already have a TV in their classroom, a purchase like the Amazon Fire Stick will give you access to significantly more media in a much smaller package.

If you’re using the projector for presentations or static graphics, you don’t need to be concerned about HD quality.  What’s important is that the projector shows your images clearly.  Many projectors have adjustable focus so you can change the size of the screen.

On the other hand, if you are using the device to play movies, you’ll want to consider the quality and color contrast.  1080p HD is a crisp format.  Some projectors balance the colors to create better saturation, crisper images, and better overall performance when used in dim rooms.

Dark or Bright Classroom Type

If your classroom is dark, you don’t need to worry so much about the bulb – any modern projector should do the trick.  But in brightly lit classrooms, heavy-duty models like the Crenova Native are ideal.  Failing to take your classroom’s light levels into account can have serious consequences with visibility and functionality.

If you’re reading this and looking for ways to darken your classroom, consider curtains, turning off or dimming the lights, or changing the wall where you show the content.  You might need to try a few combinations before you find one that works!

In short, if you have a bright classroom, a powerful bulb should be a top priority for your projector.

Bulb Life and Brightness

As mentioned above, brightness is a concern in almost every classroom.  If your classroom gets a lot of light, you need a bulb with at least 3,000 lumens of power to offset the effect.  You’ll get the best projector quality with the lights off and the curtains drawn, but not everyone has this option.

The lifetime of the bulb also makes a difference.  You don’t want to be buying replacement bulbs constantly.  Different light bulbs have different lifespans and projector listings will often state the lifespan of their bulbs so you can plan accordingly.

The highest-quality light bulbs are LEDs, which provide between 35,000 and 50,000 hours of light before burning out.  Fluorescent lights provide anywhere from 24,000 to 36,000 hours and CFL lights offer 8,000 to 20,000 hours.

The lowest-quality bulbs are halogen and incandescent.  Halogen bulbs offer 2,000 to 4,000 hours of light, while incandescent bulbs offer 750 to 2,000 hours.  These bulbs are also likely to be too weak to provide the projection quality that you want.

Table or Ceiling Mount

Projector location also makes a huge difference in – portable options like the GooDee Mini are typically mounted on tables while ceiling-mounted projectors are usually more permanent fixtures.  It’s important to know how you intend to mount your projector before you make your purchase.

Mounting a projector on a shelf is convenient for several reasons.  First, it doesn’t come with installation costs.  Second, you can easily adjust the projector’s positioning, and even bring it home with you.  Third, you have easier access to wall outlets, so finding a power source is simpler.

Ceiling-mounted projectors stay out of the way but are much more restrictive when it comes to positioning and maintenance.  They’re a good choice for teachers who often have active students or a permanent classroom you’ll be in for a while.

If you mount your projector on a shelf or table, it’s important to make sure that it’s ventilated properly.  The cooling vents shouldn’t be obstructed and you can always prop the projector up on a book or other flat object to keep the vents uncovered.

Wrapping Up

The best classroom projector is the one that provides high-quality and visible content to your students and in your classroom.  In short, your needs are important as different teachers will have different requirements.

Make sure to consider whether you’re projecting color images.  Also consider whether you need to project HD videos, as movie projectors are different from static image projectors.

Keep in mind the brightness of your classroom as well.  The brighter the classroom, the higher the power.  If your classroom gets a lot of sunlight, you’ll need a minimum of 3000 lumens for a visible image.

Crenova Native 1080p Projector, 6000Lux Outdoor...
759 Reviews
Crenova Native 1080p Projector, 6000Lux Outdoor...
  • 【Native 1080p Projector】As featured in our professional home theater projectors, advanced panel...
  • 【Big Screen Experience】This 1080P LED projector features 6000 lux of brightness with a contrast...
  • 【HI-FI Speakers& Cooling System】This 1080p full HD projector built-in powerful speakers with SRS...

Our top pick is the Crenova Native projector.  Since it can project video in 1080p HD, it’s perfect for the majority of classroom needs!

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