Top 8 Short Throw Projectors – Your Guide in 2018

33 Models Considered
51 Hours of Research
4 Experts Interviewed
270 Reviews Analyzed

The projector technology is one of the fastest advancing technologies in the world, and in recent years, it has seen a massive improvement, which has caused more and more people to be interested in projectors. However, space has always been an issue for projector owners, until recently, of course, when short throw projectors were invented. Have you ever wanted to buy a projector but lost interest because your space was too tight? It’s now your time to shine! Regardless of how confined your space is, all you need now is the best short throw projector to enjoy your favorite movies on a large screen.

Short throw projectors are much smaller than conventional projectors, with a shorter distance required to project a large, clear picture onto a wall. They’re also perfect for conference rooms and classrooms since they need to be only a couple of feet away from the screen. For the purpose of this guide, we considered several important factors, including throw distance, display technology, contrast ratio, brightness, and resolution.

Top 8 Short Throw Projectors Review 2018

Since short throw projectors are a new invention, choosing the right one is always a daunting task for many people. We are aware of this, and that’s why we invested several tens of hours into researching about the best short throw projectors. This review entails everything necessary to help you choose the best short throw projector for your needs, including a detailed table, in-depth reviews of each product, a handy buying guide, and frequently asked questions.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. Optoma GT1080 (Editor’s Choice)
FullHD support, high contrast and minimum throw ratio of only 0.49 provide you with an awesome 100-inch picture with the projector situated just 5 feet away!
Optoma-GT1080
2. BenQ MW632ST (The Brightest Projector)
Easy in each aspect – it’s easy to carry, install and use. Together with an outstanding brightness, this model is perfect for any room.
BenQ-MW632ST
3. BenQ HT2150ST (Best Sound System)
Its CinematicColor tech and awesome quality built-in speakers provide you with the realistic picture you can’t stand but touch.
BenQ-HT2150ST
4. ViewSonic PJD5553LWS (Longest Lamp Life)
Highly durable and reliable, thanks to a long warranty provided by the manufacturer.
ViewSonic-PJD5553LWS
5. Optoma GT1080Darbee (Best Color Production)
With a superb contrast, brightness, and 3D FullHD support, this is a wonderful pick for movie lovers.
Optoma-GT1080Darbee
6. Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD (The Most Versatile)
With its multiple compatibility options, this projector can easily be connected to any of your devices – from laptop to smartphone.
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD
7. Optoma EH200ST (Quietest Operation)
An incredibly wide screen with a sharp and bright image that can be projected from a 5-feet distance – everything you wanted from a short throw projector all at once.
Optoma-EH200ST
8. Ragu Z400 Mini Projector (Budget Pick)
Extremely portable and light projector that doesn’t lack on quality – the picture is bright and sharp in dark-lit conditions.
Ragu-Z400
Top 8 Short Throw Projectors – Your Guide in 2018
Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.49
  • Screen size: 45.3-300 inches
  • Display technology: DLP
  • Native resolution: 1920*1080
  • Brightness: 2800 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 25000:1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited parts and labor, 90-days on lamp

 Extra features: 2 x HDMI (1.4a 3D support) + MHL v1.2, Audio Out 3.5mm

OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10

The Optoma GT1080 1080 Short Throw Projector has multiple connectivity options. With the incredible sound and high-quality images produced by this projector, you get a feel of a home theater right in your living room. You don’t need to create a separate room with the Optoma GT1080 since it can project a 100-inch image with just about 5 feet away or even 166 inches at 6 feet away.

What’s more, this projector has a 1080p high resolution and features 2800 lumens, thereby delivering stunning images at 100 inches. The resolution is suited perfectly for watching sporting events and playing games. Also, the fact that the Optoma GT1080 has multiple connectivity options makes it very versatile and the ideal option for your home entertainment system.

The projector comes with DLP imaging technology which explains why it delivers lifelike color performance. In addition to that, the DLP processor chip has support for 144MHz refresh rates and high-speed 12 ms response time, which both combine to produce on-screen action without any flicker. Also, the DLP technology features a very high contrast ratio, crisper whites and deeper blacks that truly brings out the best color reproduction.

If you are an avid gamer that is looking for a perfect gaming projector to give you a truly immersive gaming experience, then you can’t ignore the Optoma GT1080. Its multiple connectivity options make it compatible with Android, iOS, and game consoles. This would be an excellent addition for avid gamers and non-gamers alike for their entertainment system.

PROS:
  • Full HD 1080p resolution
  • High brightness
  • Extremely short lag time
  • 3D support
  • Flicker-free on-screen action

CONS:
  • Plastic exterior
  • Rainbow artifacts

Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.72-0.87
  • Screen size: 30-300 inches
  • Display technology: DLP
  • Native resolution: 1280*800 pixels
  • Brightness: 3200 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 13000:1
  • Warranty: not specified

Extra features:  SmartEco Lamp Saving Technology

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

BenQ is a company that is so prevalent in the world of projectors that their brand name is almost synonymous with projectors. Like other projectors from the giant company, The BenQ MW62ST Short Throw Projector comes with lots of features and is capable of surpassing even a 1080p ultra-short throw projector. The projector features a 0.8 short-throw projection system which takes out all glares and other interferences to deliver an enthralling frame to you.

With that being said, the beautification process of the short throw projector is supported by Colorific technology, 13,000:1 contrast ratio, and 1280 x 800 resolution. Not to overlook its very powerful 3,200 lumens of color and white brightness which delivers ultra-bright images in conference rooms and classrooms.

The MW632ST is very easy to install, thanks to its vertical keystone correction. To make things more exciting, BenQ has equipped this short throw projector with DLPR technology for you to enjoy Full HD 3D content which includes 3D Blu-Ray movies. Also, the BenQ MW632ST Short Projector is rather durable, thanks to its 10,000 hours of bulb life.

The BenQ projector also comes with a 10-watt inbuilt speaker which delivers a great sound output ideal for meeting rooms and classrooms. The incorporated plus ‘N’ Play feature with the aid of MHL cable enables you to view your content on a large screen with no distortions. Besides, it also comes with 2 HDMI, audio, VGA, and other usual ports.

If you are looking for a decent short throw projector under $500, you can’t look past the BenQ MW632ST projector. It comes with all the high-end features found in more expensive models, although at a more affordable cost.

PROS:
  • Easy to carry
  • Delivers bright images
  • Fluidic picture quality
  • Clear text

CONS:
  • Rainbow artifact

Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.69-0.83
  • Screen size: 60-120 inches
  • Display technology: DLP
  • Native resolution:1920*1080
  • Brightness: 2200 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 15000:1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: built-in two 10W speakers with BenQ Cinema Master Audio+ technology

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

Manufactured by a familiar brand, the HT2150ST Short Throw Projector is one of the best projectors we have come across, and it’s particularly great for gaming. It is simple to set up and it has a user-friendly remote. This projector comes ready out of the box and you can start enjoying your favorite movies in no time.

The BenQ HT2150ST also has an impressive native resolution and the projector provides you with full 1080p HD quality image. It produces bright images, owing to its 2,200 ANSI lumens. The projector also offers an impressive contrast ratio of 15,000:1, and its bulb life expectancy is around 3500 to 7000 hours, depending on the usage.

With DLP technology, you can be guaranteed that this unit doesn’t come with any deterioration issues. This is due to the fact that it has been made to resist decline in quality. Thus, you can depend on it to deliver high-quality pictures each time you use it. The built-in CinematicColor tech improves the color resolution to make sure you see the most realistic visuals possible. This feature enhances the intense sharpness of pictures displayed to you. The projector has an impressive resolution of 1920 x 1080.

This unit comes with a total of two inbuilt speakers that include BenQ Cinema Master Audio technology, making it perfect for watching movies and playing games. Each of the built-in speakers is 10 watts, which produces a lot of sound power. Hollywood-like technology has been integrated into the sound system of this projector to produce bass-booming sounds. Overall, this is a great projector that performs impressively.

PROS:
  • High response rate
  • High-quality speakers
  • Excellent size and weight
  • Looks modern and stylish

CONS:
  • Bleak colors in a brightly-lit room

Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.49
  • Screen size: 120 inches
  • Display technology: not specified
  • Native resolution: 1280*800
  • Brightness: 3200 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 20000:1
  • Warranty: 3-year limited parts and labor coverage; 1-year lamp coverage

Extra features: up to 10,000 hours of lamp life

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

Don’t allow this projector’s low price to deceive you because this model actually packs the capabilities of high-end models. It comes with 3D support, incredibly comprehensive visuals, and a very smart design to improve your movies experience.

This short throw projector can be effortlessly linked to 3D Blu-ray devices via its HDMI ports, thereby allowing you to watch movies with much more details by wearing 3D glasses. The manufacturer has also included SuperColor Tech which provides 3 color segmentation. As a result of that, you get to see true, sharp colors in rich details. Besides, you will be able to see all the specifics in brighter and darker settings, without any decline in the quality of the image.

It’s also worth mentioning that this projector comes with 5 view modes. These allow you to tailor your viewing according to the darkness and brightness of your environment. The Smart Design allows you to handle any wires easily. The projector has a section at the back where those annoying cables can be stored away. There is also a lamp door at the projector’s top to access the lamps easily if required.

The SonicExpert Technology utilizes a large speaker. It works to produce very loud sounds, so as to match the large size of the projection screen. It is capable of providing a remarkable sound range of 20Hz to 20Khz. Consequently, the projector produces sounds which make your games and movies more immersive.

PROS:
  • 3D support
  • Incredibly sharp, full HD images
  • Smart Design to manage cables
  • SonicExpert tech adds unbelievable sound features

CONS:
  • Weak height adjustment legs
  • The projector takes time to learn

Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.49
  • Screen size: 100 inches
  • Display technology: DLP
  • Native resolution: 1920*1080
  • Brightness: 3000 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 28000:1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: supports all HDMI 1.4a mandatory 3D formats

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10

In all honesty, the Optoma GT1080 Darbee Short Throw Projector has an impressive list of features that would make anyone yearn for them. The DLP-backed short throw projector comes packed with 28,000:1 contrast ratio, real 3D display feature, and Full HD native resolution. The projector has a lifelike image output, and it is primarily because of sRGB display alongside Rec709b color accuracy. There is no dull visual on this projector. You will be wowed by the bright images it produces, thanks to its 3,000 lumens.

Another impressive thing about this short throw projector is its unique DarbeeVision image enhancement process which bumps the quality up to an entirely new level with no oversaturation. What’s more, this projector offers an incredible throw ratio of 0.49:1 which allows it to project a 100-inch image from only 3.5 feet away. The unit also comes with a decent lamp life of 8,000 hours with light usage.

Furthermore, this short throw projector is great for gamers with 16ms response time. Such response time will make you look forward to gaming sessions. Finally, this unit comes with all the ports necessary to connect external devices for projection. Apart from being a perfect projector for gaming, the GT1080 Darbee Short Throw Projector is equally suitable for home entertainment as well.

PROS:
  • Full HD resolution
  • 3D with 1080p support
  • Low lag time
  • Extensive contrast ratio
  • Prolific color production

CONS:
  • Rainbow artifact
  • Posterization in brightest mode

Features
  • Throw ratio: 1.02
  • Screen size: 30-300 inches
  • Display technology: 3LCD
  • Native resolution: 1920*1080
  • Brightness: 3100 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 15000:1
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

Extra features: supports MHL-enabled smartphones and streaming sticks for mirroring and charging

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10

The Epson Home Cinema 1060 Projector features a lot of mouth-watering features that intimidate its rivals. Featuring a very wide screen with HD quality and a resolution of 1080p, the screen size of this projector can be up to 300 inches which is 5 times larger than a 60-inch TV. This gives you a feel of a home theater at a very affordable price point. You can use it to host a large party and show a movie to your guests.

Furthermore, the short throw projector operates at exactly 3,100 lumens, which is perfect for different lighting conditions. It can be used in dim-lit or dark room, and also a well-lit or bright room. In addition, the projector is so versatile that you can use MGL, HDMI, or other connectivity cables to link to your cable box, Blu-ray disc player, or laptop. You can also use it to stream or connect it to gaming consoles.

The color accuracy of the projector enables you to see improved color brightness which has about 3 times wider color scale than other similar projectors. The advanced technology will allow you to see the images and video on the screen clearly without any rainbow effects. This makes the projector ideal for classrooms, offices, or home theaters.

PROS:
  • Widescreen Projection
  • High-quality images
  • Bright display
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Generates accurate colors

CONS:
  • Noisy operation

Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.49
  • Screen size: 40-300 inches
  • Display technology: DLP
  • Native resolution: 1920*1080
  • Brightness: 3000 lumens
  • Contrast ratio: 20000:1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features:  1 built-in speaker and two HDMI inputs

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

Another decent projector on our list is the Optoma EH200ST Projector. Like the model we just reviewed above, this projector is also capable of projecting images from 40 inches to 300 inches in size. Since it’s a short throw projector, only 3.5 feet of space is required between the screen and the projector. For extra convenience, it has a low latency which aids quicker projection of media to your projector.

In addition, the short throw projector uses DLP technology and comes with full HD images in 1080p resolution. The DLP technology produces sharp images and enables you to see pictures, videos, and other media graphics with high brightness and color contrast. What’s more, the projector comes with 3,000 lumens, which allows you to use it in high to medium-lit conditions. Also, it has 20,000:1 in contrast ration, which enables you to see lively and true colors, similar to the colors you see in real life.

This projector allows you to stream from your computer, tablet, mobile device or the two built-in HDMI ports. The projector also comes with a VESA 3D sync port which enables you to use PC compatibility with SVGA, SXGA, HD, UXGA, and more. In the package of the unit, you will find a carrying case, a remote control, and a lens cap. Since the projector was made for commercial purposes, the unit offers a very quiet operation, which enables the fan to cool the projector without making any distracting or annoying noise.

PROS:
  • Large Display
  • Digital and flexible connectivity
  • High contrast ratio
  • Quiet operation

CONS:
  • Poor autofocus

Features
  • Throw ratio: 0.9
  • Screen size: 28-130 inches
  • Display technology: LED
  • Native resolution: 800*400 pixels
  • Brightness: not specified
  • Contrast ratio (static): 1000:1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: +85% upgraded brightness over similar projectors; two in-built speakers

OVERALL RATING: 8.8 out of 10

If you’re looking for a powerful, versatile mini home projector that works very well in dark-lit conditions, then the Ragu Z400 Mini Projector should be at the top of your consideration list. Weighing only 3.09 pounds and measuring only 8.07 x 5.71 x 2.95 inches, this lightweight mini projector is very easy to transport. It also comes with 1600 lumens, which is quite decent for this kind of projector. The 2.25-inch diameter lens of the projector has a lens cap, and at the bottom of the unit is a screw foot where an extra 1/2 inches of lift can be added.

While this projector has a good built-in speaker system, we recommend you to use an external speaker system so as to capture the best possible sound. All you need to do is link your external speaker to the audio out jack. Also, the projector features RAGU’s advanced cooling system which keeps your machine cool and does it quietly.

The Ragu Z400 mini projector is not only great for indoors usage, but it also performs excellently for backyard usage: outdoor sport viewing parties, pool parties, and birthday parties. This projector has been specifically designed to deliver a very large screen viewing experience with 5 – 13-foot projection distance, while being able to support a resolution of 1920 x 1080. If you’re considering adding this to your home entertainment system, keep in mind that the ideal screen size for this projector is 100 inches with a throw distance of 8 feet.

Regarding connectivity, this model comes with multiple options, including HDMI, AV/TV, USB, SD Card slot, and a headphone jack. This implies that you can connect your gaming consoles, PC, cable box, TV, DVD players, tablets, and smartphones. The package of this projector includes a power cable, HDMI cable, RCA input table, and a remote control.

PROS:
  • Easy to assemble
  • Delivers high-quality images
  • Very easy to use
  • Works excellently for video games

CONS:
  • The sound quality could be better

Buying Guide

One of the biggest mistakes anyone could ever make is buying something as complicated as a projector without having any real knowledge in this area. In the subsequent paragraphs, we will be equipping you with some useful information and tips that will help you make a more informed decision.

What Is a Short Throw Projector?

Short throw projector is a new type of technology that enables the projector to be near the screen with no pixel distortion. Short throw projector uses contemporary lenses that are capable of throwing 100 inches from a very short distance which is usually around 4 to 8 feet. Short throw projectors are ideal for people who do not have enough space to install a regular projector. Similarly, it would be more difficult to face the issue of shadows that is common with traditional throw projectors. The price of this type of projector is, however, somewhat more than the conventional ones, but it still comes at a reasonable price tag.

hort Throw Projector

The most interesting thing about short throw projectors is their ability to project from a short throw but still retain the brightness and crispness of the image. Most people surmise that throw ration depicts the length compared to the width of the screen. However, there is no specific standard to determine the short throw ratio, and various manufacturers use various method for the measurement. Normally, throw ration 0.38:1 is viewed as short on the market, and this short throw scope usually goes as up as 1.4:1. Some individuals are of the belief that manufacturers pad this advanced feature in high-range models only, but they will be astonished to find out that it is found even in projectors costing less than $200.

Setting short throw projectors up is quite easy to do, and they are very flexible that they can be mounted on a desk, ceiling, or on the back side of the screen. Short throw projectors are commonly utilized in education and business institution, but these days, lots of general users are choosing them for the purpose of home entertainment. They are usually utilized in exhibition show stalls where a tiny space is given to the representative to set up the display.

What can a short throw projector be used for?

Short throw projectors were created to enable presenters to stand closer to the projection screen without being affected by the glare of the projector. Also, the tight spaces of numerous conference rooms, training facilities, and classrooms don’t allow adequate throw distance for a regular projector, which brings about the need for a short throw projector. So as to produce a 100 inch (16:9) image, short throw projectors usually require around 4 to 8 feet of throw distance. They are capable of delivering a large image even in tight spaces.

Features to Consider While Choosing a Short Throw Projector

You are now probably wondering how you can determine the right short throw projector for your needs? If yes, you don’t need to worry since we have listed all the important factors that you need to take into consideration while choosing a high-quality short throw projector.

Throw Ratio

Throw ratio is perhaps the most crucial factor you need to take into consideration when in the market for a short throw projector, and it’s always better not to ever go beyond 1.0:1. The most preferable you should, however, opt for is 0.5:1 to 0.9:1 and it would be perfect if you can choose a model that has a 0.4:1 throw ratio. However, getting a model with a very low throw ratio number is difficult since there are some factors that are attached to it, including the budget.

Screen Size

Screen Size

Normally, the most important thing is how large picture a short throw projector is capable of displaying on a surface. Give careful consideration to how maximum screen size is described on each model – it normally lists a range of numbers, with the lower figure signifying the size where the picture will be clearest and the bigger figure showing how large it can get (inasmuch as you are willing to put up with a somewhat blurrier image).

Display Technology

Most short throw projectors nowadays come with DLP projection which is fairly efficient in producing high-quality images from a short throw. DLP technology also allows the producer to reduce the projector’s cost. You can, however, choose LED imaging technology as it is more durable and provides decent performance.

Native Resolution

While screen size shows how large the image of a projector will be, resolution represents its clearness and sharpness (that is, the number of pixels it is capable of displaying). In a perfect world, a short throw projector that has a resolution of 1280 x 720 or higher will deliver an impressive picture. Remember that the most important number is the resolution. If a short throw projector takes up to 800 x 480 or less, it loses a lot of clarity.

Brightness

There is a typical misapprehension concerning projectors and brightness. People usually believe that brighter means better with regards to the lamp capacity of a projector. This can’t be further away from the truth since the perfect brightness is completely reliant on the surrounding light settings in the room where you intend to utilize the projector. In low-lit rooms, 1000-1500 lumens should be just okay, while you will require higher levels in adequately bright circumstances. Normally, short throw projectors come with a brightness that ranges between 2000 to 3800 lumens. On the off chance that you are uncertain about, or can’t control surrounding light settings, avoid any risk and choose 3000-3500 lumen models.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is usually the ratio between the darkest and brightest color a short throw projector is capable of projecting. The greater the initial figure, the better the quality of the image. For instance, a projector that has a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 will not be as vibrant and dynamic as one that has a contrast ratio of 22,000:1.

Warranty

Warranty is always a very vital factor to consider when buying anything as the warranty terms of a product signifies the amount of confidence the manufacturer has in the product. The best warranty terms are usually offered by the biggest brands and their products are usually more reliable, so you might want to keep this in mind when shopping for your short throw projector. Most short throw projectors come with a two-year warranty at the very least.

Extra Features

You also need to consider the extra features such as compatibility with mobile devices as it will enable you to cast media from your smartphone to your projector. Also, you need to consider the in-built speakers as well. While most short throw projectors usually come with decent built-in speakers, you might still need to pay close attention to this when making your purchase. Just keep in mind that you can always purchase external speakers should you not like the quality of your short projector’s inbuilt speakers.

FAQ

Of course, a short throw projector can be used for video games. Nowadays, short throw projectors are an appealing alternative to televisions, and gamers, who like playing on a larger screen, can expect full HD technology with opulent contrast, the ideal formula for an immersive gaming experience.

While most of the projectors we included on this list are suitable for gaming, some are quite better than the other for playing games. The best models for gaming are the Optoma GT1080 Darbee Short Throw Projector, the BenQ HT2150ST Short Throw Projector, and the Epson Home Cinema 1060 Projector.

The brightness of projectors is measured in lumens, and the lumen rating depicts the overall brightness that can be produced by a projector. Since lumens have no dimension, the projector’s output lumen is fixed and isn’t related to the image’s size. The image, however, has everything to do with the brightness of the displayed image. For instance, the larger the picture you’re trying to produce, the brighter the projector has to be so as to overwhelm ambient light and still be able to see a vibrant, nice, clear image. Basically, the brightness of your projection depends on the size of the image.

Therefore, when you’re creating a picture that’s equal to six feet in width in a brightly-lit room, 1400 – 1500 lumens should be enough, and when you are creating an image that’s more than 10 feet in width but less than 14 feet, you should find a projector with 2700-3200 lumens.

Warranty is one of the main factors that make the difference between some projectors. ViewSonic and Epson are the brands with the best warranty terms on this list with 3 and 2-years warranties respectively. So, you might just want to keep that in mind when making your final decision.

Our Verdict

Short throw projectors come with several great advantages over conventional projectors, such as sharper images, portability, and most importantly, usability in small areas. Having provided a detailed review of each product, we are confident you’ll have reached a decision by now. If you are, however, still confused, you might need to look at our recommendations below.

Our top pick is the Optoma GT1080. With its 3D support, excellent native resolution, and multiple connectivity options, we just couldn’t look past this awesome short throw projector.

Our second pick is the award-winning projector, the BenQ HT2150ST Short Throw Projector. Featuring two in-built speakers to deliver an exceptional sound and a built-in CinematicColor tech to ensure you see the realest visuals possible, you can’t go wrong with this projector.

Our third pick is the ViewSonic PJD5553LWS Projector. Its 3D support, 10,000 hours of lamp life, and included SuperColor Technology, amongst many great features, make this short throw projector appealing to a lot of buyers.

Overall, this guide contains the top short throw projectors on the market, and we hope you’ll find the one that will best suit your needs.

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