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.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: Sanyo’s PLC-XC50 is a 2,600-lumens, XGA LCD projector listing for $1,495 (street price may be lower). It has a lamp life of 3,000 hours, inputs for DVI-I, component, RGB, S-Video and composite signals, and a 7w mono speaker.SHORT-THROW: As far as short-throw projectors go, the Sanyo PLC-XL51 can project an 80”-wide image from about 3 inches. Yes, that’s 3 inches. We’ve not seen a shorter throw. It is a 2,700-lumens XGA LCD projector listing for $3,995. Another Sanyo choice is the PLC-WXE45, which projects an 80”-wide image from approximately 34”; it is a 2,000-lumens, 1,280x800 projector listing for $1,795.INEXPENSIVE: The Sanyo PLC-XW60 is selling for about $549; it is a 2,000-lumens, XGA LCD projector with inputs for component and video signals. It also sports “Power-Off and Go,” enabling the power cord to be disconnected right after a presentation.HIGH-DEFINITION: Sanyo’s PLV-Z700 is an entry-level, native 1,080p projector with a $1,799 street price. In addition to its HDMI input, it supports component and video input; it is a 1,200 lumens LCD projector
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.
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.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: The TLP-X150U ($899) offers 2,600 ANSI lumens and XGA 1,024x768 resolution and weighs only four pounds. It features closed-captioning capabilities, extensive multimedia connectivity and a USB port for “PC-free” presentations. Its lamp life is 2,000 to 3,000 hours (eco mode).SHORT-THROW: Toshiba’s TDP-EW25U ($1,869) is the company’s “extreme-short-throw-projection” projector, which can project an image of up to 100 inches diagonally from just four feet away. It is a 2,600-lumen, WXGA projector with a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.INEXPENSIVE: The Toshiba TDP-SP1U ($549) offers 2,000 lumens, SVGA 800x600 resolution and 2,000:1 contrast ratio and weighs just four pounds. Its lamp life is 3,500 to 4,000 hours.POCKET: Toshiba has a new, palm-sized TDP-F10U LED projector that weighs only 1.4 pounds. It is a 100-lumens, 1,000:1 contrast DLP projector that connects to laptops, DVD players and gaming consoles.
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.
The XGA PG-D4010X offers 4,200 ANSI lumens and DLP BrilliantColor. The projector has ultraquiet cooling fans to reduce fan noise and a filter-free DLP sealed system that prevents dust and dirt from entering core parts of the optics. A low-power “eco” mode extends the projector’s lamp life to approximately 3,000 hours.PROS: This projector is lightweight (about 12 pounds) and has a bright image at 4,200 ANSI lumens and front access to the bulb for trouble- free replacement. It features 1,080p highdefinition output. The lens is offset from the center for easy mounting. Controls are simple to navigate.CONS: NoneOVERALL EVALUATION: Though the PGD4010X is more expensive than some other projectors, the extra brightness of the image and the almost 1,000 hours of additional bulb life make it a good value. Also, replacement lamps run about $500 each, whereas those for many of the PG-D4010X’s lower-priced competitors can be as much as $800. These factors make this projector’s TCO good for schools.www.sharpusa.com MSRP: $2,495; street price: $1,749
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.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: ViewSonic’s PJD6220 (list price, $1,199; street price, about $900) is a lightweight DLP projector utilizing BrilliantColor technology. Its high brightness and contrast ratios make it suitable for many lighting situations. This projector features closed captioning for the hearingimpaired.SHORT-THROW: ViewSonic PJD5351’s short-throw ratio produces a 50-inch image at a distance of three feet; it weighs just 5.1 pounds.HIGH-DEFINITION: The company’s Precision Pro8100 Home Theater projector delivers full 1,080p HD resolution, and a C2Fine liquid crystal panel and “HQV Hollywood Quality Video” processor produce crisp HD images.