What’s The Best Ultra Short Throw Projector Out There?

A Short Throw (ST) projector, on one hand, has a throw distance (the distance between projector and screen) of 3 feet. An Ultra Short Throw (UST) projector, on the other hand, has a throw ratio of less than 0.4 or 0 to 3 feet or anything below 4 feet.

You can simply place the projector above or under the screen, where it won’t get in the way of your line of sight. Its key benefit is that anyone doing presentations, it won’t get in your way and you won’t end up making shadows over the screen.

In-home cinemas, UST projectors work excellently when it comes to room placement too. If you want to know what are the Best Ultra Short Throw Projector options out there, then keep on reading.

Further reading: What is the Ultra Short Throw Projector? Things to Consider Before Buying

Top 9 Best Ultra Short Throw Projector Reviews

1. VAVA 4K UST Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

The VAVA UST projector scores high points with us because even though it’s pricey it’s worth every cent. This Ultra Short Throw projector allows you to set it up without necessarily needing to mount it on your ceiling.

VAVA 4K UST Laser TV Home Theatre Projector | Bright 2500 ANSI Lumens | Ultra Short Throw | HDR10 | Built-in Harman Kardon Sound Bar | ALPD 3.0 | Smart Android System, White
VAVA 4K UST Laser TV Home Theatre Projector | Bright 2500 ANSI Lumens | Ultra Short Throw | HDR10 | Built-in Harman Kardon Sound Bar | ALPD 3.0 | Smart Android System, White

 

It works without the assistance of professional installers and whatnot. We had ours sit next to the wall next to our game console and Blu-Ray Player. Furthermore, the projector projects a huge 100-inch image on a 100-inch screen perfectly and squarely.

You can always adjust the image using keystone correction and lens shift. Its largeness and image clarity make even a 65-inch HDTV look like an old-timey CRT TV. The image quality of this UST projector definitely makes it a worthwhile purchase in our books. You can maximize its potential by using Chromecast with it.

Pros

  • The futuristic design is reminiscent of Apple.
  • It can double as an affordable HDTV alternative.
  • Get Chromecast to unlock more features and apps.
  • Brighter compared to projectors of its class and price point.
  • It’s a simple box without too much unnecessary ornamentation.
  • The minimalist software features match the minimalist design.
  • The remote is easy to use and the (software) user interface is intuitive.
  • It’s confirmed as UST. Its UST features work as advertised without failure.
  • 4K image quality with HDR10. VAVA offers you more bang for your buck or more pixels per inch.
  • Advanced laser light source at 2,500 ANSI lumens makes this one of the brightest UST projectors out there.

Cons

  • It produces a high-pitched sound. 

2. Optoma GT5600 Ultra Short Throw Gaming and Movie Projector

Before buying this projector, we did our due diligence. Compared to the VAVA 4K Projector, it’s about half the price. However, there are several UST projectors cheaper than it. We still stuck with this one and had it become part of this list because it’s quite bright for a device its size.

Optoma GT5600 Ultra Short Throw Gaming and Movie Projector, 3600 Lumens for Ambient Lighting, Easy Setup with Auto Keystone, 100-in Image from Only a Few Inches Away
Optoma GT5600 Ultra Short Throw Gaming and Movie Projector, 3600 Lumens for Ambient Lighting, Easy Setup with Auto Keystone, 100-in Image from Only a Few Inches Away

 

It also allows easy cable management since it’s so near the screen with its throw shortness. This UST projector also doubles as a gaming projector on top of being a dependable home cinema display device.

It can deal with ambient lighting from your windows or even outdoors. You can therefore use this for backyard movie viewings with its 100-inch image. As a UST projector, it projects a 100-inch projection from only a few inches away.

Pros

  • 1080p Full HD resolution.
  • 3,600 lumens of brightness.
  • 1080p resolution for a razor-sharp video every time.
  • It offers a 20,000:1 contrast ratio for vibrant, eye-popping color.
  • It can display 3D content via its GT5600 features (3D glasses required).
  • The image on the screen can be adjusted with auto keystone and other correction features.
  • Screen mirroring features from Android or iOS (Apple) mobile devices care of USB connectivity.
  • This is an Ultra Short Throw projector that produces 100 inches of image goodness even though it’s not 4K.
  • It offers 15,000 hours of lamp life from its LED lamp. With this device, you can view movies for 4 hours every day for 10 years.

Cons

  • Some units end up dead in a month.
  • There are users who claim the device is falsely advertising that it’s a laser projector.

 

3. LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater CineBeam Projector

The LG HF65LA Projector is an Ultra Short Throw home theater projector with LED lamp tech. LG is a world-renowned corporation and the LG HF65LA Projector reflects its world-class quality. It also has a Bluetooth sound output, thus you can install or connect Bluetooth speakers, headsets, or EarPods to it.

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater CineBeam Projector with Smart TV and Bluetooth Sound Out
LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater CineBeam Projector with Smart TV and Bluetooth Sound Out

 

This Full HD UST projector doesn’t only offer quality imagery at an Ultra Short Throw distance. Its 1080p resolution (not as impressive as 4K HDR but more than serviceable) fills up the screen with many pixels that can be as clean and clear as the best UST projectors out there.

It just falls short in terms of its 1,000 ANSI lumens that work okay but can’t deal with ambient light as much as a 2,500 ANSI lumens or 3,600 ANSI lumens projector could. It does check the rest of the boxes like up to 100 inches of screen size and 30,000 battery life. It’s even LG Smart TV compatible.

Pros

  • UST projector.
  • Bluetooth sound out.
  • 30,000-hour battery life.
  • Full HD resolution of 1080p.
  • It has a wattage of 6 watts.
  • It’s lightweight at 4.2 pounds.
  • 1,000-lumen image brightness.
  • It has a 150,000:1 image contrast ratio.
  • This is a tabletop mounting-type projector as well.
  • This UST projector features DLP display technology.
  • It’s compact at 5.04 inches by 5.2 inches by 12.2 inches.
  • It works with Smart TV tech as well for mirroring purposes.
  • It offers Bluetooth sound connectivity, a VGA port, and DE-15/DB-15 video input.

Cons

  • It’s rather dim compared to many of the UST projectors on this list.
  • It lacks a remote so you have to control it using the unit’s control panel.

 

4. Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector

The CinemaX P2 is a 4K Ultra Smart Projector that offers the brightest whites, the deepest black levels, and the most stunning color range. The images pop out and the motion is close to real life. It offers a home theater experience the way it’s supposed to be presented with its wide color gamut and crystal clarity.

Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector for Home Theater 3000 Lumens Superior Image with Laser & 6-Segment Color Wheel
Optoma CinemaX P2 Smart 4K UHD Laser Projector for Home Theater 3000 Lumens Superior Image with Laser & 6-Segment Color Wheel

 

The UST and UHD laser projector have amazing color performance exactly because it uses a laser light source. Its 3,000 ANSI lumens might not be as bright as the 3,600 lumens of Optoma, but Optoma isn’t 4K. The additional pixels make the projector image sharper and make full use of all those lumens.

Another thing that characterizes the CinemaX P2 from its competition is the fact that it’s a smart projector. It’s smart because it can connect with Google Assistant and Alexa. You can make it work with voice commands.  It also has an auto-focus that ensures a clear, crisp image.

Pros

  • Optoma tabletop UST projector.
  • It comes with a USB hardware interface.
  • Its brightness measures 3,000 ANSI lumens.
  • Space-saving design that projects a 120-inch image.
  • SmartFIT auto geometry ensures 4-corner alignment.
  • HDR10 tech projector with a 1,500,000:1 contrast ratio.
  • 3,000 lumens of brightness from its advanced laser light source.
  • Compatible with voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa.
  • It has an advanced laser light source to ensure the highest brightness.
  • It’s a true 4K Ultra HD projector. Its on-screen pixels amount to 8.3 million.

Cons

  • Some units ended up with slanted or warped images.

 

5. ViewSonic Ultra Short Throw 1080p Projector

The ViewSonic 1080p Projector PX800HD is known for its razor-sharp imagery and stunning color. It separates itself from the rest by having a little extra on many departments. For one thing, its screen size isn’t limited to 100 inches and it and go all the way to 150 inches.

ViewSonic 1080p Projector Ultra Short Throw with RGB Rec 709 100,000:1 and Low Input Latency for Gaming, Watch Netflix with Dongle (PX800HD)
ViewSonic 1080p Projector Ultra Short Throw with RGB Rec 709 100,000:1 and Low Input Latency for Gaming, Watch Netflix with Dongle (PX800HD)

 

For another thing, its 709 color accuracy features might involve many technical processes to make it all possible, but in the end, even casual viewers can see the difference in color vibrancy. It also helps that this UST projector offers a 0.23 Ultra Short Throw lens and 2,000 lumens of brightness in Full HD.

Sure, it’s outdone by both Optoma projectors on this list so far and the VAVA 4K projector in terms of brightness and/or resolution. However, its maximum screen size really allows you to see the full resolution and crisp quality of Full HD and its millions of pixels. It even comes with its own speaker for good measure.

Pros

  • 2,000 lumens of brightness.
  • UST projector with a 0.23 throw ratio lens.
  • It’s pretty big for a UST projector. Not portable.
  • It works fine in ambient lighting or daylight setting.
  • Low latency makes it the average gamer’s choice for projectors.
  • It offers good screen adjustment for keystone correction from corner to corner.
  • The colors are also cinematic featuring an RGB color wheel with Rec. 709 color accuracy.
  • Its UST lens allows you to have the device 11 inches from the screen to project up to 120 inches of screen size.
  • It’s quite versatile in terms of seamless integration with ChromeCast, Fire TV Stick, and Roku for effortless entertainment.

Cons

  • The focus control is hard to fine-tune and clunky.
  • The speaker isn’t high quality and the fan is loud.

 

6. LG HU85LA 4K UHD UST Smart Home Theater Cinebeam Projector

As for the LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater Projector or Cinebeam Projector, its name reveals many of the things that make it a must-buy as a UST projector. The Cinebeam is a UST projector that can produce up to 120 inches of image real estate at around 7.2 inches or more than half a foot away from the screen.

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater Cinebeam Projector with Alexa built-in, LG Thinq AI, and LG webOS Lite Smart TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime and VUDU)
LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater Cinebeam Projector with Alexa built-in, LG Thinq AI, and LG webOS Lite Smart TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and VUDU)

 

Furthermore, it’s a super-bright 4K UHD projector just like the VAVA 4K and the Optoma CinemaX P2. Although Full HD or FHD is more than serviceable for even projector screen sizes, there’s another dimension of realism, motion detail, and individual frame detail unlocked when you go Ultra HD or UHD.

Pros

  • Decent enough sound from its built-in speakers.
  • It offers a 2160p or 4K Ultra High Definition display.
  • Great value for a UST projector of its expensive price.
  • UST projector that can project 120-inch images at 7.2 inches away.
  • Beautiful picture. It really maximizes video picture quality with its myriad of favorable specs.
  • Super-bright at 2,700 ANSI lumens of brightness. Only laser projectors offer more brightness.

Cons

  • There’s some difficulty in aligning the picture with the screen due to the lack of a lens shift.

 

7. Epson Home Cinema LS100 3LCD UST Projector

Naturally, you just know Epson—the world-renowned PC, TV, printer, and home electronics manufacturer—would deliver when it comes to their UST projector offerings. They indeed did with the This Epson UST projector delivers the standard 100-inch or so image size at mere inches away from the screen.

Epson Home Cinema LS100 3LCD Ultra Short-throw Projector, Digital Laser Display with Full HD and 100% Color Brightness
Epson Home Cinema LS100 3LCD Ultra Short-throw Projector, Digital Laser Display with Full HD and 100% Color Brightness

 

It separates itself from the rest of the projectors on this list in terms of affordability. While the LG HU85LA has great value for something so expensive, the 3LCD UST Epson projector prides itself on being affordable but not low-grade.

Because it uses advanced 3-chip LCD tech, it can keep up with DLP level quality without the rainbow effect being an issue. It also has some of the best brightness and contrast ratio available. It’s the brightest projector so far at 4,000 ANSI lumens and it offers the deepest blacks with its 2,500,000:1 contrast ratio.

Pros

  • 100% Color Brightness.
  • 1080p Full HD resolution.
  • HDMI hardware interface.
  • Eco-saving instant on/off feature.
  • Wall-mounted projector mounting type.
  • World-renowned Epson’s UST projector offering.
  • 20,000 hours of operating time or lamp lifespan.
  • Advanced 3-chip design for its 3LCD projector tech.
  • Amazing deep black contrast ratio up to 2,500,000:1.
  • The image size is listed as reaching 10 feet diagonally.
  • 4,000 ANSI lumens of brightness care of laser technology.

Cons

  • Some units have issues with blurry corners.
  • Other units suffered from the lens fogging up from the inside.

 

8. Bomaker 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

BOMAKER or Bomaker might not be a big company like Epson or ViewSonic, but that doesn’t mean its 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector offering doesn’t belong here. For one thing, it’s the latest 2021 edition of the product, thus you’re assured that it uses all the latest projector technologies.

Bomaker 2021 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector | Tri-Laser TV Home Theater Projector with HDR 10, MEMC | 2500 ANSI Lumens | Quiet Operation 25dB | 30,000 Hours | 15,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
Bomaker 2021 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector | Tri-Laser TV Home Theater Projector with HDR 10, MEMC | 2500 ANSI Lumens | Quiet Operation 25dB | 30,000 Hours | 15,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio

 

For another thing, it’s a highly-rated tri-laser home theater projector that doubles as a TV with MEMC and HDR10 functionalities. It also has 30,000 hours of operation time for its lamp, a dynamic contrast ratio of 15,000:1, and quiet operation at 25 decibels.

What this means in simple terms is that it possesses all the technologies necessary to make the resulting image bright and clear enough to appear like you’re viewing your movie on an HDTV instead of a projector screen, among many other trimmings.

Pros

  • USB hardware interface.
  • Quiet operation at 25 dB.
  • Affordable wattage at 30 watts.
  • It comes with its own remote control.
  • Wall-mounted projector mounting type.
  • 0.25 throw ratio via RICOH wide-angle lenses.
  • It comes with built-in speakers for good measure.
  • It uses a true 3-channel laser for ultimate brightness.
  • A long tri-laser and projector operating life of 30,000 hours.
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution to fill out its significantly large image size.
  • 2,500 ANSI lumens that put it right up there on the list of brightest UST projectors.

Cons

  • Lack of sharpness for a supposedly crisp 4K resolution.
  • Poor audio from the speakers when compared to other projectors of its class.

9. LG HU80KA 4K UHD Laser Smart TV Home Theater CineBeam Projector

Last but not least is the LG HU80KA UST Projector. This projector looks like a simple tall gift box with a lid on top of it and a lunchbox handle behind it. This makes it different from the LG HU85LA Cinabeam it shares specs, a brand name, and a manufacturer with because that one looks like a blown-up cigar box instead.

LG HU80KA 4K UHD Laser Smart TV Home Theater CineBeam Projector - 2500 Lumens, Black
LG HU80KA 4K UHD Laser Smart TV Home Theater CineBeam Projector – 2500 Lumens, Black

 

Aside from aesthetics, the LG HU80KA UST Cinabeam Projector is essentially a budget version of the LG HU85LA Cinabeam. It comes as a taller and slimmer black projector with fewer lumens (2,500 lumens instead of 2,700 lumens). Its screen size can go as high as 150 inches at 14.1 feet. The LG Cinebeam overall gives great value for a 4K UST projector of its price level as outlined below.

Pros

  • Tabletop mounting type.
  • It’s compatible with HDR10.
  • Affordable wattage at 280 watts.
  • Built-in speakers offer 7W + 7W Stereo.
  • Bluetooth connectivity and hardware interface.
  • Great value for your money in affordability terms.
  • LG Smart TV is compatible with mirroring and networking purposes.
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution to fill out up to 150 inches of screen real estate.
  • 150-inch screen size at 14.1 feet. 100 inches at 9.5 feet. 40 inches at 3.6 feet.
  • Its graphical specs go above and beyond in order to deliver high-resolution graphics or video pictures.

Cons

  • The loud humming from the unit is distracting.

What to Look for in an Ultra Short Throw Projector?

Here are the things you should look for when shopping for your UST projectors that are likely of the mini, pico, or mobile projector. Just keep note that these three types of UST projector have different sizes, with some about the size of a game console and others about the size of a smartphone or MP3 player.

Ultra Short Throw vs. Short Throw

The throw ratio of a Short Throw projector ranges from 0.4 to 1. This translates to a throw distance of 3 to 8 feet. An Ultra Short throw projector, in contrast, is any Short Throw projector with a throw ratio of below 0.4 or below 3 feet.

It can even be as close as 6 inches or half a foot away from the screen (usually the pico projector variety). Make sure to get a UST projector instead of just an ST one to minimize the throw distance for presentations and home cinema applications.

Brightness in ANSI Lumens

Brightness serves as an important metric too. It’s measured in ANSI lumens or lux lumens, but usually more the former than the latter. Furthermore, lumens measure how much ambient light your projector can withstand.

Due to its smallness, a UST projector might not be as bright as their standard-throw counterparts. However, most projectors—even the faintest ones—tend to work in a completely dark room with the blinds or curtains drawn.

1,200 lumens typically serve as a good average brightness for mobile UST projectors. The brighter ones go up to 3,000 lumens by the way. Those you can bring with you outdoors during daylight (but in the shade though). ANSI lumens serve as the true measure of projector brightness.

Pocket Projectors with Phone Capabilities

Back a decade ago, the concept of micronization or having a pocket projector was mind-blowing in and of itself. Not coincidentally, it only makes sense that a small projector should have a short or Ultra Short Throw for the sake of power efficiency.

Not all UST projectors that you can insert in your pocket or bag are “smart” or have processing power comparable to a modern smartphone. However, if you can find an affordable UST smart projector, it gives you extra functionalities like connecting to the web to view streaming sites.

Just watch out for the fact that these pocket projectors tend to have less brightness and to be underpowered. They have battery life limits and can only be so bright exactly because of their battery power.

The Argument for Mini Projectors

A mini projector that’s UST is usually just a smaller projector you can plug on a socket. As a UST projector, they lack the “smartness” of mobile phone projectors or pico projectors. They may lack several connections, either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, or the ability to run apps.

However, it has a comparably higher level of brightness in lumens in exchange for these missing features. They’re not as bright as a standard-sized projector due to size allowing for more lumens design-wise. However, as far as UST projectors as a whole are concerned, they’re the brightest of the bunch.

They’re typically Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors but sometimes they’re micronized Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projectors as well with LEDs serving as their lamps.

Connectivity to Wi-Fi and Source Media Devices

How smart is your UST projector? Check it out via the specs under connectivity. You don’t need a projector that can double as a smartphone in terms of running apps or feature richness. However, a projector’s connectivity tells you whether or not you can use it wirelessly.

Can it work with Bluetooth devices so that it can connect to your speaker, soundbar, headset, or EarPods? Can it connect to your Wi-Fi so that it can network with other connected devices? Or even stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Disney+?

Check also if your prospective Ultra Short throw projector has all the prerequisite ports. It should have HDMI, USB, and VGA. Some ST projectors even feature S-video, component, or old-timey A/V RCA connections so that you can make it work with a CRT connection or a classic game console!

Mobile Phone Projector Tech vs. Mini Projector Tech

If you can only afford the biggest UST projector available and can’t pay extra for smallness, mobility, and smartness, then the LCD or DLP mini projector is your best bet. Otherwise, you might have to invest in an exclusively DLP pico projector.

A phone-sized smart projector enables you to project your movies, shows, data, and presentations anywhere you go. You can be on vacation camping or on a business trip to Japan, and they’ll pull you through. However, a UST mini projector can work just as well as a smart projector. You simply need laptop or desktop PC connectivity.

The smartest of projectors can’t beat the price of a laptop you’re likely to already own. Besides this, a projector should ultimately be a display device rather than the source media itself when push comes to shove.

To Summarize

A UST projector is typically either a mini projector, mobile projector, or mini projector with its own battery that you can connect with your smartphone or laptop. Even if it doesn’t have a battery, it tends to be smaller than its standard throw counterparts.

You can use it for presentations or for home cinemas. It’s portable and designed to be placed near the screen. If you want to get the best UST projector, make sure that it has a long-lasting battery, sufficient brightness, or the right size.

It should also be quite affordable enough for you to get. Just remember that the more features the projector has the more expensive it gets. Pico projectors tend to have lower brightness so make sure you get one that’s especially bright.

James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right projector.

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