For most business and education users, the number one feature to look out for in a data projector is brightness, because a lot of times, it’s neither possible nor practical to have a darkened room. In fact, some presenters rather have all the lights turned on, so that they can maintain eye contact with their audience. The NEC M311X (the exact model number for those interested: NP-M311XG) that we’ve here fits the bill to a T with its 3,100 lumens maximum light output. A 3LCD projector with a native XGA resolution (that’s 1,024 x 768 pixels), it’s also equipped with a generous 1.7x zoom lens and an HDMI video input.
Now, for those keeping track of NEC's projector lineup, you’ll notice that the M311X is very similar to the M300X announced in late 2010. Indeed, NEC has retained most of M300X’s specs on its successor, and tweaked a few areas to better target would-be buyers. For one, the newer M311X’s headline 3,100-lumen brightness is slightly higher than the M300X’s 3,000 lumens. Also, contrast ratio (full on/off) has improved to 3,000:1 (from 2,000:1). But perhaps more significant is the fact that the same NP15LP lamp now last 66% longer under Eco mode. According to NEC, the average length of time for the lamp brightness to drop by half with Eco mode enabled is now 10,000 hours; previously, it was 6,000. With Eco mode disabled, the average time span remains at 5,000 hours, which is still very long. (4000 hours is pretty much the standard for a 3000-lumen data projector these days.)
Before we dive into the useability and performance aspects, here are some other notable features of the M311X: