The Epson PowerLite Presenter portable projector and DVD player combo includes two 10-watt speakers with virtual surround sound, microphone support, and built-in closed-captioning capabilities. WXGA resolution displays content from wide-screen notebooks, and the unit supports a host of input devices, such as a camcorder, a digital camera, and an iPod.PROS: The USB plug-and-play connectivity makes for easy setup and eliminates toggling between projector and display. The controls are easy to use and well defined. The PowerLite Presenter projects in native 16:10 (WXGA) aspect ratio as well as 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and offers USB connectivity for viewing JPG images without a computer. The built-in microphone is a nice feature.CONS: Cannot be mounted on a stationary mount. The 10-watt speakers may not be powerful enough for all locations.OVERALL EVALUATION: The variety of inputs and the clarity of the controls make this projector an excellent choice for anyone looking for a mobile projector in the mid-price range. The HD projection at an aspect ratio of 16:10 makes wide-screen viewing a real pleasure. Every school needs a couple of mobile projectors, and this one is designed for mobility.www.epsonbrighterfutures.comPrice: $808 through the Brighter Futures program
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).
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: Canon’s new LV-8300 ($1,099) LCD Multimedia Projector provides 3,000 lumens, WXGA native resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:10, which allows it to support data and images from wide-screen notebooks and desktop computers in WXGA-resolution computers in their native format, making compression distortion unnecessary. Its lamp life is up to 4,000 hours.SHORT-THROW: The LV-8300 projects an 80-inch image from 7.5 feet.HIGH-DEFINITION: Canon’s three new LV-Series projectors also support Blu-ray and DVD players; the DVI-I interface ensures a digital connection that supports HDCP and high-definition content. (HD signals supported include 1,080i and 720p.) The LV-7375 ($1,499) offers 3,500 lumens and a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours.
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.
NEC Display has announced two new portable short-throw projectors, the NP500WS and the NP600S. The NP500WS, a wide-aspect ratio projector, features 1,280x800 native resolution at 2,100 lumens, while the NP600S provides a 1,024x768 native resolution at 2,600 lumens. Each has a contrast ratio of 600:1 and provides up to 4,000 hours of lamp life. The NP500WS and NP600S projectors work well with whiteboards and create a 77-inch diagonal image from just three feet, ten inches. In fact, either can be mounted on the wall directly above the screen or whiteboard. The integrated RJ45 connection provides quick connection to the LAN and ECO Mode technology, which increases lamp life to as much as 4,000 hours while lowering power consumption and reducing noise.
Epson has introduced the PowerLite® 4000-Series installation projectors.
NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) announces the latest in the NP Portable Series with the fully featured NP216 DLP projector. Dual VGA inputs provide multiple computer inputs and eliminate the time-consuming process of alternating between computer sources from one input. The latest TI DLP Link technology offers users the ability to project 3D images. Additionally, the variable audio-out feature enables users to connect self-powered external speakers to the projector, adjustable by the projector remote control. Lamp life is extended up to 5,000 hours with the use of its Eco Mode technology and lowers power consumption to 217W (0.49W in standby mode).
Epson’s BrightLink 450Wi is an intelligent projector that allows educators to turn any standard whiteboard or smooth wall into an interactive-learning area. This enables educators to easily integrate interactive capabilities and eliminates the need to purchase and install dedicated interactive whiteboards. The ultra-short-throw Epson BrightLink 450Wi interactive projector comes with two digital infrared pens and wall-mount hardware for easy installation.PROS: The BrightLink 450Wi has all the functionality of an interactive whiteboard without the cost or trouble of mounting an IWB. The projector can be permanently mounted as close as 2.8 inches to the wall. It is easy to set up, and the controls are well defined. Because of the USB plug-and-play, there is no need to use a VGA cable to project when using a Windows PC or Mac. The BrightLink 450Wi projects in native wide-screen aspect ratio as well as 4:3 aspect ratio. The built-in microphone input for voice amplification is good for narrating presentations.CONS: It would be nice if this projector included auto keystone adjustment, as found in other Epson projectors (users can adjust keystone manually). The built-in speakers may not amplify enough for all locations. Users must use the pen to manipulate objects, versus the finger-touch technology found in some IWBs.OVERALL EVALUATION: In addition to providing the functionality of an IWB, the BrightLink 450Wi projects an image larger than that of most IWBs. The variety of inputs and the clarity of the controls make the product an excellent choice for any school looking for an ultra-short-throw projector with interactive functionality.www.epson.com/brightlinkRetail price: less than $2,000—Joe Huber