Optoma ZW300UST Projector Review

June 20, 2017

/ By Nikki Zelinger

    • The Optoma ZW300UST is a business/education installation projector claiming 3,200 lumens, with WXGA resolution, DLP technology, and a laser light engine. This is a solid-state engine with a rated lamp life of 20,000 hours. In most cases that’ll serve you for several years of continuous use before having to get that light engine replaced, saving time and money. Who doesn’t love that?  But, unless you have a digital signage type application, you'll likely be using the projector far less than that. For most applications, the projector will be obsolete long before you get near 20,000 hours. For example, if used in a conference room or classroom, figure 10 years minimum!

The ZW300UST is 12.3 pounds and can be table-top, wall or ceiling mounted. Wall mounting is most likely your best bet, as it's less expensive typically than ceiling mounting in a conference room or classroom, (and if no drop ceiling in the room, a much simpler install). I would consider this projector to be mid-sized, for a UST, and not very heavy. If necessary, the projector could potentially be passed around classrooms or conference rooms, but it wouldn’t be considered a true “portable” projector. More likely, in that case, it would be put on a cart, with other gear (as is often typical for K-12).

Optoma’s UST line consists of just two projectors – the ZW300UST (reviewing here) and the ZW300USTi. Both are WXGA resolution, with the same technology and light engine, weight and overall feature set, with the ZW300USTi having interactive capabilities. If you’re looking for an interactive projector, consider the Optoma ZW300USTi. Though there are only two projectors in this line, that's not to say that Optoma won't expand the line, with projectors of different resolution or brightness.

This projector has an MSRP of $3,399 (the ZW300USTi is $400 more). The 3,200 claim is more than enough for handling quite a lot of ambient light, and – spoiler alert – this one measured over claim. In our 2017-2018 Best Education Projectors Report (published less than two weeks ago), the Optoma ZW300UST won the 2017-2018 Best In Classroom: Ultra Short Throw or Interactive Projector Award - Best Value, and the Hot Product Award. This is one of the two projectors that I worked with before the report but couldn't finish writing up in time. As a result, I passed my results and opinions of the ZW300UST on to Art so he could make the call on awards.

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