The 5 Best Short Throw Projectors 2020 – By Experts

Having a confined space is one of the main reasons a lot of people have second thoughts about buying a projector at home.

The good news is, with the development of projector technology, there are a lot of good short-throw projectors available on the market, and you can have a projector at home even if you live in a place that is too tight. Now you can watch your favorite movies on a large screen at home anytime you like.

Here’s our list of the best short throw projectors.

List of Best Short Throw Projectors in 2020

  • Optoma GT1080Darbee – Best Overall
  • BenQ HT2150ST – Best 3D Short Throw Projector
  • Epson VS250 – Best Short Throw Home Theater Projector
  • ViewSonic PX706HD – An Excellent Short Throw Gaming Projector
  • LG HU80KA – A 4k Short Throw Projector

Our Favorite Picks 

NameLG HU80KAOptoma GT1080DarbeeBenQ HT2150STEpson VS250ViewSonic PX706HD
Lumens25003000220032003000
Resolution4K1080p1080p 800 x 6001080p
Contrast Ratio15,000:128,000:115,000:115,000:122,000:1
Display TechnologyLaserDLPDLPLCDDLP

The 5 Best Short Throw Projectors in 2020

1. Optoma GT1080Darbee – Best Overall

Optoma GT1080Darbee

Design

The projector weighs 5.5 pounds, so it is one of the lightest projectors out there, and you will be able to carry it around as much as you want. We love the fact it comes with a carrying case.

It can easily be set up at a short distance because it has a throw ratio of 0.49. Also, it includes a pair of 10W speakers. Unfortunately, it lacks an optical zoom.

Performance

You can get wide angles from this projector wherever you place it because it is a short-throw projector.

The projector provides a high-quality image that is excellent with both video and information screens. Yet, the black levels could be better.

Customers have also used it for gaming and experienced no issues whatsoever. You can also use the Gaming mode to enhance the details. Besides, it is one of the best short throw golf simulators.

Another thing that we love about the projector is 3D performance. The image quality is excellent, and you won’t see any hints or crosstalk artifacts.

Pros

  • High-quality image
  • Impressive 3D performance
  • Designed for gaming
  • Super short range

Cons

  • No optical zoom
  • The black level could be enhanced

Final Verdict

The projector has the shortest throw distance, and you find it easy to set it up anywhere. It is portable, can be used for watching 3D movies and gaming as well and one of the best short throw projectors. The image is still attractive, although the black levels aren’t the best, and sadly, it doesn’t have an optical zoom option.

2. BenQ HT2150ST – Best 3D Short Throw Projector

BenQ HT2150ST

Design

The BenQ HT2150ST is a sizeable projector but comes with so many capabilities.

It has everything you could be looking for in a projector and still with a small throw ratio so that you can use it in most rooms.

It is not a petite device, and it will take some room to fit. There is a control panel on the top of the projector. There is a focus ring, zoom ring, temperature indicator, IR remote sensor, power indicator, and a lamp status indicator as well.

The projector is supported with a USB-A port for charging the wireless FHD kit, HDMI ports, MHL, USB mini-B port, and 3.5 mm audio input and output jacks.

Performance

It provides a bright picture that is sharp and clear. The colors are vibrant and accurate, and the contrast is spectacular as well. And the best part is, you can get a 100-inch image from only 1.5 meters.

This means that you can use it in dorms and small apartments or any other tight room.

When it comes to the audio, the projector has a pair of 10-watt speakers. The speakers aren’t that loud, and you sure need to connect the projector to external speakers to get a better experience.

As mentioned above, there’s a standard 3.5 mm auxiliary output so you can connect the projector to external sound systems. Another option is to get an HDMI audio extractor.

This particular projector is used a lot by gamers and is considered one of the top gaming projectors available on the market. The main reason it is used by gamers -besides the short throw – is the low lag time.

On the downside, the projector doesn’t support 4k resolution, and there is no lens shift, something that we hope BenQ is working on for the future.

Pros

  • Quiet Fan
  • Bright and sharp image
  • Impressive 3D performance
  • Very low lag time for gaming

Cons

  • No lens shift
  • No 4k resolution
  • Expensive

Final Verdict

BenQ HT2150ST is definitely one of the most impressive short-throw projectors and one of the best projectors under $1000. It might be a little pricey, but with all its capabilities, we think it is worth its price, can’t complain.

3. Epson VS250 – Best Short Throw Home Theater Projector

Epson VS250 SVGA

Design

Epson VS250 has a unique design that can easily blend with your home décor. It is black and white and weighs only 5.3 pounds. It is portable, with a reasonable size that you can find a fit easily.

It has a digital zoom function that will allow you to reposition the screen without having to re-install the projector; you can simply zoom in and out to adjust the image.

Performance

It has one of the brightest resolutions that are suitable for outdoor movies or presentations.

It is not affected by rainbow artifacts because of the LCD technology; however, it doesn’t support 3D images or videos.

As expected, the speakers aren’t good, and you should consider connecting to a stereo audio system.

Pros

  • Digital zoom function
  • Bright colors compared to other projectors of the same price range
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Low speakers
  • It doesn’t support 3D images or videos

Final Verdict

We consider the Epson VS250 on the top of our list of best short throw projectors. It provides a good bright image and features a digital zoom function that makes it more user-friendly and easy to set up. We only wish it supported 3D output and had better speakers.

4. ViewSonic PX706HD – An Excellent Short Throw Gaming Projector

ViewSonic 1080p Short Throw Projector

Design

This projector is small in size, with dimensions 4.5 x 11.5 x 8.7 inches. It weighs 5.95 pounds, so it is a portable projector. The small size of the projector makes it perfect for your living room; it has two fixed legs in the rear and one extendable leg in the front.

Also, it has a USB Type-C port and two HDMI ports.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the projector gets the job done! It provides a bright ultra-sharp image and a high contrast, which makes it suitable to use anywhere you want. The colors are vivid and accurate, whereas the details are amazing.

It is 3D compatible and is one of the ideal projectors for gaming.

Last but not least, it supports auto keystone adjustments, which makes the setup process a piece of cake and makes a user-friendly short throw projector.

Again, there is only one speaker that isn’t that loud, but you might find it okay if you use it in a small room.

Pros

  • Bright clear image
  • 3D compatible
  • Auto keystone Adjustments
  • Ideal for gaming with instant response
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The speaker is weak

Final Verdict

ViewSonic PX706HD is the package most customers are looking for. It will give you that cinematic size screen you are looking for, you can use it for gaming or at your office too.

It will take limited space, and its performance is impressive, especially when you compare it to other projectors of the same price range.

5. LG HU80KA – A 4k Short Throw Projector

LG HU80KA 4K UHD

Design

The projector doesn’t look like any of the typical projectors you have seen before. It is rectangular and made of charcoal.

The design is one of a kind and aims at maximum portability. There are a lot of ways that you can position this projector and still be able to direct it to have your image projected on the screen or the ceiling.

Performance

LG HU80KA is an ultra-short throw projector. It offers natural colors, although the black levels could be enhanced. The image is in its brightest when it is in Natural mode.

The projector is considered one of the best 4k ultra-short-throw projectors, and its resolution is outstanding.

Also, it supports smart TV with both wired and wireless streaming. You can use it for streaming for TV, Netflix, YouTube, and other sources.

Surprisingly, the sound system is higher than average, and you can enjoy your movie without having to connect to any external sound systems.

We only wish the projector supported 3D, especially that it is a bit pricey. Besides, the projector has a high input lag and not suitable for gaming.

Pros

  • 4k resolution
  • Smart TV enabled
  • Good sound system

Cons

  • No 3D compatibility
  • Black levels
  • Not for gaming
  • Expensive

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a projector with 4k resolution that supports Smart TV and you won’t need to hook it to any sound systems, then LG HU80KA is the way to go for the best short throw projector in 2020.

It is not 3D compatible and not made for gaming, but if you just want to enjoy movies with your family or in bed with the movie playing on the ceiling, it can easily get the job done.

How to Pick a Short Throw Projector?

Some features make a projector suitable for your usage, and you should consider them before making a purchase. However, not all features are specific for short throw projectors.

Throw ratio

Of course, the most crucial determinant of whether this is a short-throw projector or not is the throw ratio. It shouldn’t be more than 1.

Yet, this is not the preferable ratio to go with because a projector with a throw ratio of 0.5 is ideal. Models with lower throw ratios exist as well, but they are usually more expensive and lack some other essential features that might make the usage limited for some people.

Display Technology

The display technology comes next. DLP technology is the best and most common technology nowadays. Despite being the oldest technology, it offers the most efficient high-quality image. On the other hand, some people like LED more because it is more durable.

Brightness

The Brightness of the image produced by the projector is on the top of our list as well. We recommend you settle for at least 1500 lumens if you will be using your projector indoors in low-lit rooms. On the other hand, if you want to use it outdoors, then 3000 lumens and above are more suitable.

Contrast ratio

It is defined as the ratio between the darkest and the brightest colors the device can project. The bigger the range is, the better.

For instance, a projector with a contrast ratio of 5,000:1 won’t produce vibrant colors whereas a projector like Optoma GT1080Darbee with a contrast ratio of 28,000:1 will produce dynamic colors that you will truly enjoy.

Native Resolution

We all want a projector that can provide a sharp and clear image. It is really annoying when the image is just pixelated, and it is enough to make you ditch the movie or lose interest in the game if you use your projector for gaming.

If the resolution is 800X480 or below, you won’t be getting a clear image.

On the contrary, 1080p and 4k resolution are the ultimate best option.

Differences Between Short and Ultra-Short Throw Projectors:

Short Throw Projectors

A short-throw projector can be used in any confined room. To create a 100” (16:9) image, a short-throw projector should be placed at a distance of 90 – 120 cm. They are typically used in training and educational institutions, as well as home theaters.

Ultra-Short Throw Projectors

As technology develops, ultra-short projectors starting appearing. They can provide a 100” image while being placed at a distance of 8 – 50 cm. This eliminates all the possibilities for shadow creation and foot traffic passing between the projector and the screen.

Just like short-throw projectors, ultra-short-throw projectors are used mainly for business and educational purposes. However, they are gaining popularity at homes as well, and manufacturers are currently working on introducing more cost-effective ultra-short-throw projector models.

Uses of The Best Short Throw Projectors

Confined Spaces

Perhaps this is the main advantage of owning a short throw projector. When projectors first came out, you could only use them in large halls and theaters.

But, as technology developed, things started turning around. This is mainly because projectors weren’t popular at home or in schools back then. Nowadays, if someone lives in a small apartment, they can still create their own home theater using a projector.

Education

Education is another driving force behind the short through projectors market. A lot of these projectors are used in training rooms and at schools.

Also, conference rooms that are not that wide can benefit a lot from short through projectors. They take less space, more user-friendly, and they are easier to install.

Not to mention, they save a lot of money because you don’t bear all the cables cost and you mount them to the wall instead of the ceiling.

Gaming

A lot of the short-throw projectors are excellent for gaming. For hardcore gamers, using a projector is a game-changing experience.

Some projectors are even used as golf simulators like the Optoma GT1080Darbee. Also, if your new projector supports 3D, you will have a large range of games that you can start on, and the experience will be only better.

Final Verdict

Short throw projectors have a lot of uses. Even if it was a little overwhelming to figure which one is best for you, once you set your priorities, you could easily find one that fulfills your needs because there’s a wide variety available on the market.

To cut it short, if you are only looking for a high-resolution projector that you can use to enjoy your movies or watch your Netflix series without having to go through the hassle of looking for good speakers, then LG HU80KA is the best projector for you.

If you are up to a high image quality 3D movie experience, then you can go with Optoma GT1080Darbee, BenQ HT2150ST, or ViewSonic PX706HD.

And if you are a gamer, then Optoma GT1080Darbee is your best option, but you can also use ViewSonic PX706HD or BenQ HT2150ST.

And lastly, we think that the Epson VS250 is the best short throw projector for your home theater because it is affordable, and it gets the job done.

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