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DELL

GENERAL-PURPOSE: Dell’s 1409X ($749) is a 2,500-lumen DLP projector; with up to 4,000 hours of lamp life, it provides 1,024x768 XGA resolution and has HDCP, component, composite, S-Video, RS232 and audio input/output ports.INEXPENSIVE: The Dell 1209S lists for $549; for that price you get a DLP projector with 2,500 lumens, 800x600 SVGA resolution, up to 4,000 hours of lamp life and HDCP, component via VGA, composite video, S-Video, RS232 and audio I/O ports.POCKET: The M109S ($499) weighs less than a pound; it is a DLP projector with 858x600 SVGA native resolution and 50 lumens of brightness. It measures about 4”x4”x2” and offers connectivity to laptops, desktops, DVD players and gaming consoles. Its lamp life is up to 10,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: Dell recommends its 7609WU for HD use. This $4,999 projector offers 1,920x1,200 WUXGA native resolution, 3,850 lumens, up to 2,500 hours of lamp life and dual HDMI ports.
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INFOCUS

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The InFocus IN1102 ($1,199) is a DLP projector offering 2,200 lumens and WXGA 1,280x800 resolution. It connects to a laptop via USB, also accepts S-Video and composite and weighs less than three pounds. Its lamp life is 3,000 to 4,000 hours.INEXPENSIVE: The InFocus IN2102 ($549) is an SVGA (800x600), 2,500-lumen DLP projector with input sources from both composite and S-Video and a lamp life rated at 2,500 to 3,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The InFocus X10 ($2,299) offers “full HD” via the 1,080p DLP chip set; brightness ranges from 960 to 1,200 lumens, and it accepts input from HDMI, S-Video, component and composite sources. Its lamp life is 2,000 to 2,500 hours.

DUKANE

GENERAL-PURPOSE: Dukane’s model 8755J ($795) features 16-watt audio and a lamp life of up to 6,000 hours (when using the company’s “whisper” mode). It is a 2,200-lumen device featuring XGA resolution, inputs for component, S-Video, composite and RGB signals and digital keystone correction.SHORT-THROW: The 8763A ($1,595) is a moderate short-throw projector (throw ratio 1.0 to 1.2) used for schools. The 2,500- lumen projector offers XGA resolution, a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours and inputs for S-Video, composite, DVI and RGB.HIGH-DEFINITION: The 8303W ($1,345) high-definition (WXGA format) projector offers 2,500 lumens, a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours and inputs for S-Video, composite, RGB and DVI.

Sharp PG-F255W

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The Sharp PG-F255W ($1,495) offers 2,500 lumens, WXGA 1,280x800 native resolution, RJ-45 LAN connectivity and built-in closed captioning. Its lamp life is 2,000 to 4,000 hours.SHORT-THROW: The Sharp PG-F267X ($2,100) short-throw DLP 2,500-lumen projector throws a 100-inch diagonal image that can be projected from a distance of 51.2 inches from the screen. Lamp life is 2,000 to 4,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The new DLP PG-D3750W ($2,650) projector features 3,700 lumens and a 2,200:1 contrast ratio. It offers Wide XGA (WXGA) resolution (1,280x800). The PG-D3750W includes an HDMI connection, RGB and component inputs, S-video, composite video and stereo audio (five watts per channel). Lamp life is 2,000 to 3,000 hours.

NEC

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The NEC NP400 (list price, $1,199; street price, about $800) LCD projector provides bright images (2,500 lumens) and wired network connectivity to users who require remote monitoring and control at a value price. It includes built-in closed captioning, seven-watt audio, automatic keystoning and eco mode technology, which can boost lamp life to 4,000 hours.SHORT-THROW: The NP600S ($1,199) creates a 77-inch diagonal image from less than four feet; it is a 2,600-lumen projector and, like the NP400, has wired network connectivity and provides up to 4,000 hours of lamp life in eco mode.INEXPENSIVE: The NP200 is a DLP projector with a street price of about $600; it is an XGA resolution projector and has 2,100 lumens and a lamp life of 3,500 to 4,000 hours. Its inputs include composite video, dual component/VGA and S-Video.HIGH-DEFINITION: NEC recommends its NP500W ($1,399) for high-definition projection; with 3,000 lumens, it supports the 1,080i high-definition video mode.

OPTOMA

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The Optoma EP1691 ($760) is a 2,500-lumen WXGA DLP projector with a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours and HDMI, VGA-In, S-Video and composite capability.SHORT-THROW: Optoma’s short-throw (a 100-inch image at four feet) EX525ST ($1,099) features many connectivity options and XGA resolution, making it appropriate for a variety of environments, such as classrooms and conference rooms. This DLP projector features BrilliantColor technology for high-quality image clarity. Its lamp life is up to 4,000 hours.POCKET: Optoma’s PK-101 Pico Handheld Projector ($399) weighs four ounces and measures 2’x4”, which means it is a true pocket projector. It can project from as little as eight inches from your screen; from eight feet the image is 65 inches. A word of caution, though: the PK-101 does not connect to notebook computers, PCs or other devices unless the device has composite output. Please make sure to consult your device’s owner’s manual. It does connect to devices such as DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, digital cameras, camcorders and iPods (it includes an iPod kit with dock connector). Optoma claims a lamp life of 20,000 (yes, thousand) hours.

HITACHI

GENERAL-PURPOSE: Hitachi’s CP-WX410 ($1,499) is a 3,000-lumen, WXGA LCD projector with a 2,000- to 3,000-hour lamp life (regular versus whisper mode); its inputs include S-Video, composite, component and RGB. It has a 10-watt audio output.SHORT-THROW: The company’s CP-A100 ($2,495) extremely short-throw projector creates a 60-inch image from only 1.6 feet. It offers a brightness of 2,500 lumens, XGA resolution and S-Video, composite and component inputs.INEXPENSIVE: The CPX5 sells for between $600 and $650; it offers 2,500 lumens, XGA resolution and a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The high-end CP-SX635 (street price, about $4,000) has 4,000 lumens, 16-watt audio, HDMI input for high definition and a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.

EPSON

GENERAL-PURPOSE: Epson recommends its new model 826W ($999) as a general-purpose projector suitable for classroom use. It offers an extended lamp life of up to 6,000 hours, 2,500 lumens, a built-in closed-captioning decoder, an internal 10-watt speaker, network connectivity for remote presentations (via wired LAN) and optional wireless connectivity.INEXPENSIVE: Epson’s SVGA PowerLite S6, selling for $549, offers 2,200 lumens, plug-and-play USB connectivity (in addition to composite, S-Video and VGA) and a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: Epson’s 4,000-lumen model G5000 ($2,499) supports the 1,080i HDTV input signal; its lamp life varies from 2,000 (high-brightness mode) to 3,000 hours (low-brightness mode).

MITSUBISHI

GENERAL-PURPOSE: Mitsubishi’s new XD221U (street price, $700 at www.bhphotovideo.com), a 2,300-lumen DLP projector, has a 10-watt speaker and audio-mix capability (the projector can simultaneously project audio from two sources, such as a DVD and a third-party wireless microphone). It offers XGA native resolution and a lamp life rated at 4,000 hours in low mode.SHORT-THROW: The XD500U-ST (list price, $1,995; street price, around $1,300) projects a 60-inch image at a distance of only 33 inches, or a 100-inch image at a distance of 55 inches. It is an XGA, 2,000-lumen projector with a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours.POCKET: Mitsubishi’s XD95U (list price, $1,995; street price, about $1,000) is not quite “pocket,” but it is a DLP microportable XGA projector weighing three pounds and offering 2,200 lumens. Its lamp life is up to 3,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The Mitsubishi HC5500 (list price, $4,995; street price, about $2,300) LCD projector projects at a full HD (1,920x1,080) 1,080p resolution. Brightness is rated at 1,200 lumens and lamp life at 5,000 hours in low mode

CHRISTIE DIGITAL

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The Christie LX500 ($6,495) is a 5,000-lumen XGA (1,024x768) projector with a choice of four optional lenses, motorized lens shift and focus and a 3,000-hour lamp life.SHORT-THROW: The Christie LW400 ($5,495), with the optional 0.8:1 fixed short lens, can project a five-foot image from four feet away. It is a WXGA (1,280x800), 4,000-lumen projector with a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours in eco mode.HIGH-DEFINITION: The Christie HD405 ($24,495) is a 4,100-lumen DLP projector with native 1,080p HD (1,920x1,080) resolution. It offers a range of six optional lenses with vertical and horizontal lens shift. It accepts inputs of VGA through UXGA (1,600x1,200) and supports standard HDTV formats of up to 1,080i.