5 Questions to Determine the Right Portable Projector for You

Portable projectors come in all shapes and sizes; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Customers require different specs and different features in projectors depending on the application and setting. This is why Panasonic offers a variety of portable projectors in an effort to meet its customers’ varied needs.

Before purchasing a portable projector, it’s important to consider a number of key factors. The following questions are designed to help determine which portable projector is right for you.

1.       How mobile does the projector need to be?

Because portable projectors come in a variety of sizes and form factors, determining which one is right for you will depend on how mobile the projector needs to be. If a “road warrior,” or person who travels a lot on business, is going to carry the projector around every day to give sales presentations, then a smaller, lightweight device like the PT-LB2VU micro-portable LCD projector might be preferred. But if a small to medium sized business is looking to purchase a projector that they can bring out for periodical staff meetings and occasional client visits, small size and light weight may not  be top priorities. While portable projectors are ideal when you need a device that is lightweight and mobile, the tradeoff is that larger projectors—though less compact and less mobile—typically provide greater brightness, video enhancements, more robust optical systems, advanced filtration systems and generally, total cost of ownership advantages.

2.       In what setting will the projector be used?

The setting or application in which the projector is going to be used will help to determine the right portable projector. Where in the room will the projector be placed? Is there a projection screen? If you’re unable to predict the environment in which you are going to present, you may want to look for a device that offers a lot of versatility.  For example, the new PT-LW25H Series LCD projectors have Colorboard and Blackboard modes, which adjust the colors to provide high-quality projection in the absence of a projection screen.

If you’re purchasing a projector for a more predicable setting, think about the space constraints and the amount of ambient light in the room. If the projector is going to be used in an environment with a lot of ambient light, an LCD projector with a higher number of lumens is recommended. Some applications with tight spaces, such as small classrooms and tradeshow booths, may require short throw projectors. The Panasonic PT-ST10U short throw LCD projector is able to project an impressive 80-inch diagonal image from just 2.7-feet away from the screen.

3.       What will it cost to maintain the device?

Another important consideration in selecting a portable projector is maintenance. Look for devices with long lamp and filter replacement cycles. Quality portable projectors can deliver up to 4,000 hours of service before the need for a lamp or filter replacement. A good example of this is the PT-LW25H Series projectors, which are able to deliver a low total cost of ownership and high return on investment because they require minimal maintenance.

4.       What type of content will you be displaying?

Knowing what type of content you will be projecting will help determine the best device to meet your needs. If the projector only needs to display large text and graphs, you may be less concerned about resolution and contrast ratio and more concerned about finding a device with a lot of brightness. However, if you’re presenting photographs you will want a projector with a high contrast ratio in order to see the fine details and you will want a resolution to match that of the image you are projecting. The PT-LW25HU contrast ratio is 3,000:1, and both the PT-LX30HU and PT-LX26HU contrast ratio is impressive at 2,500:1.

5.       What special features are you looking for?

Finally, in order to determine the right portable projector for your application, you need to determine which features you want. If the person that is going to be using the device isn’t very tech-savvy, features that simplify operations are useful. Some projectors offer keystone features, which help you square the image on the screen, and offer functions that display connection instructions on the screen for easy setup. If presentation tools are important to you, look for a projector that offers presentation support and control tools such as a timer, zoom and freeze function.  The Panasonic PT-LW25HU Series and PT-LB3 Series offer a Real-Time Keystone correction feature and Input Guidance Function, and the PT-LW25HU offers presentation support and control tools.

If you need wireless connectivity, look for a device that provides wireless LAN compatible network functions, such as Easy Remote Operation and Multi-Live Mode. Many projectors are compatible with applications that allow you to project and manipulate images with the touch of a finger from your smart phone over a wireless connection. If you’re interested in controlling the projector with a wireless application like the Panasonic Wireless Projector for iOS application you need to ensure that the device you purchase is compatible. For example, the PT-LB90NTU LCD projector provides wireless LAN compatible network functions and is compatible with the Panasonic wireless app.

Next time you’re in the market for a new portable projector, these five questions can help you determine which portable projector will fit your needs. For more information about Panasonic projectors, please visit http://panasonic.net/avc/projector/ or e-mail pjsolutions@us.panasonic.com.