Updated on 2 August 2013 by

The best projectors of 2013 support the wide screen WXGA resolutions with a brightness levels of around 3000 lumens.

Projector display quality can be judged by two features - Resolution and Brightness.

Resolution
Resolution refers to the number of pixels the projector uses to display. Pixel count is expressed as a product of two numbers which refer to the horizontal and the vertical pixel count - so for example a resolution of 800x600 refers to 800 pixel count horizontally and 600 pixel count vertically. The different types of resolution currently available is as follows, (note that higher is better)

1. 800x600 - SVGA
SVGA projectors are the cheapest and good for basic graphic capabilities like power point applications.
2. 1024x768 - XGA
XGA projectors are still pretty cheap and better than SVGA.
2. 1280x800 - WXGA
WXGA projectors support high resolution widescreen laptops and are more expensive than XGA and SVGA.
3. 1400x1050 - SXGA+
SXGA+ projectors support much richer data applications like photography display. They are pretty expensive though cheaper options are also available now.
4. 1600x1200 - UXGA
UXGA is a very high resolution for extremely detail oriented graphic applications. This are typically only required for very specialized use cases like medical imaging.

Brightness
The brightness of projectors is measured in lumens. A higher lumen count implies more brightness. The different lumen ranges currently in the market is as follows:

1. < 2000 lumens
This is supported by the very basic models and is not suitable for viewing in the normal room lighting. Since the brightness level is low this would typically require you to switch off your room lighting. On the plus side most projectors below 2000 lumens are small and easy to handle.

2. 2000-3000 lumens
These are still the very basic projectors, the only difference being that typically switching off the light would not be required. However around 2500 lumens is typically good enough for typical meeting uses to display powerpoint projectors.

3. 3000-4500 lumens
This is a slightly more expensive category of projectors are best suited for display in large conference rooms or halls. However , you can still get the best projectors around 3500 lumens which are still pretty portable.

4. > 4500 lumens
These are typically the high performance projectors and go right up 12000 lumens and above. The use case is typically very specialized - like big conferences and music concerts.

If you're looking for something on the less expensive side, we've also got a list of the best budget friendly projectors of 2013 for you.


#1

#2

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#4

Optoma ML550
BenQ W750
Optoma HD25
BenQ W1500
Optoma ML550 Mobile Projector
BenQ W750 HD Ready 3D DLP
Optoma HD25 3D-Home Theater Projector
BenQ W1500 Projector
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Release Date
Jun 2013
Oct 2013
Mar 2013
May 2013
Contrast Ratio
10000:1
13000:1
20000:1
10000:1
Display Technology
DLP
DLP
DLP
DLP
Image Brightness
500.0 ANSI lumens
2500.0 ANSI lumens
2000.0 ANSI lumens
2200.0 ANSI lumens
Platform
PC and Mac
PC
PC
Type
DLP Projectors
DLP Projectors
DLP Projectors, 3D
DLP Projectors
Form Factor
Portable
Portable
Portable
Average Rating
 4.4 stars
 4.1 stars
 4.3 stars
 4.1 stars