Projectors are an asset to any office environment. Their ability to illustrate a point through crisp, clear imaging is due to recent advancements in digital light processing (DLP), liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS), and liquid crystal display (LCD) technology. Each method provides viewers with a quality product; it simply depends on wants and needs.
DLP projectors run longer without overheating and create a consistent image throughout the usage period. However, LCD projectors produce brighter images more suitable in brightly lit rooms. LCOS is a newer technology that delivers seamless imagery and eliminates rainbow color artifacts commonly seen in DLP and LCD projectors.
Popular trends in the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) space indicate the importance of portability. Many business owners are constantly on the go and need a light, small solution to easily take out when presenting to clients or colleagues.
“Mobile projectors can be used in office settings; however, are optimized for the traveling businessperson who needs to take a boardroom-quality experience on the road and for who space is a premium,” says Gabe Wiebenga, marketing communications manager, 3M Mobile Interactive Solutions Division.
Additionally, the three dimensional (3D) features found on many devices are causing a stir in some verticals. While mostly popular in the home theater space, 3D is being adapted into businesses such as healthcare, education, architecture, and engineering. According to Wayne Kozuki, product manager, Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, Inc., content is what drives the use of 3D.
David Duncan, product marketing manager, InFocus Corporation, notes there is a general resistance to 3D in the office, as it adds more complications to the everyday interaction of business professionals. “Perhaps when we no longer need 3D glasses and special players it will be more readily accepted in everyday business,” he explains.
Here we’ve included some of the latest projectors in the SMB space. Look at our Target Chart for a more thorough list.
The 3M Mobile Projector MP410 delivers high-definition images at 300 lumens using DLP technology. The device is four by four by one inches and less than one pound in weight. An onboard memory allows for PC-free presentations. The Mobile Projector MP220 offers a full, two hour battery life and internal or MicroSD memory options for those needing to go cordless. It weighs less than a half of a pound and offers wide screen resolution. The projector’s brightness is up to 65 lumens and uses LCOS technology.
Acer Inc. debuted the K330 LED projector in November 2011. Weighing less than three pounds, the device is ideal for those on the go. A 1,280x800 resolution and 500 ANSI lumens of brightness provide crisp visuals. When paired with a computer supporting 120Hz output and 3D software and glasses, the Acer K330 projects 3D content. Users can also connect the projector to a laptop, tablet, or smartphone through an optional USB Wi-Fi dongle.
In Fall 2011, Canon U.S.A., Inc. introduced the LV-8235 Ultra-Short Throw projector. It projects 80-inch images from a distance of 1.04 feet, sitting on a table or mounted on a wall, ceiling, or floor. The projector offers a brightness rating of 2,500 lumens and a resolution of 1,280x800. It also features 3D capabilities.
Casio America, Inc.’s two newest lines include the SLIM and Pro Series. The SLIM Series offers DLP technology at up to 3,000 lumens. It is used in business, education, hospitality, pro AV, and retail verticals. Resolution is available in both XGW and WXGA—widescreen. The SLIM Series at five pounds is ideal for portability. The Pro Series, with 3D capabilities, utilizes DLP technology at up to 4,000 lumens. At 15.6 pounds it is not portable. Using the 3D option, the projector can display 3D content from a 3D capable computer and with optional 2D/3D conversion software users can convert and view 2D material as well.
Epson America, Inc.’s EX7210 multimedia projector is part of the EX series. It utilizes LCD technology to provide equal color and white light brightness at 2,800 lumens. At 5.1 pounds it is portable. The entire EX series of projectors are considered portable, as they each come with a carrying case. According to Brian Savarese, product manager, Epson, “the versatile connectivity, combined with their ease of use setup features enable the user to be comfortable setting up in any room.”
Hitachi America, Ltd. provides the BZ-1 Interactive Projector. At 3LCD it offers 2,500 lumens and weighs 9.1 pounds. Of note is the interactive white board built into the projector, which eliminates the need for additional hardware. An ultra-short throw lens enables the projector to be mounted close to a wall and prevents obstructed images and shadows. A hybrid air/fan filter minimizes cleaning. There is an easy lamp compartment included for basic maintenance.
InFocus offers the InFocus IN5312 projector. Using DLP at 4,500 lumens it provides a resolution of 1,024x768. Image quality, brightness, and flexibility are all featured components in this device. A variety of connectivity options, three lens, and a small form make it ideal for the SMB. InFocus’ BrilliantColor enhancement allows for vibrant, true-to-life images. The device is equipped for 3D capabilities. It weighs 10.56 pounds.
Mitsubishi’s XD360U-EST is ideal for boardrooms or a conference room, whether installed from the ceiling, wall, or table top. Interactive models from the company incorporate a pen so notes and commentary are made in real time right on the screen. “What differentiates Mitsubishi projectors in particular is outright performance—how the image actually looks on the screen or wall, as well as reliability, length of warranty, and customer support,” explains Kozuki.
ViewSonic Corporation offers a variety of projectors for both mobile employees and meeting and conference rooms. “Our mobile projectors provide lightweight and bright presentations; the professional multimedia solutions available for conference centers offer brilliant high-definition performance at an affordable price point; and our commercial grade projectors ensure crystal clean images,” says Roger Chien, projector product manager, ViewSonic. Products released in the last six to 12 months include the PJD6 and PLED series.