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HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2014: Editor's Choice - Part 1

Best 3LCD Business Projector

Best 3LCD Business Projector

Compared to DLP projectors, 3LCD projectors tend to produce sharper images and punchier-looking colors. Most of them also sport longer zoom lenses. And since they always display the primary colors (red, green, and blue) simultaneously, 3LCD projectors don’t suffer the ‘rainbow’ effects like single-chip DLP projectors do. For this category, we look at three 3LCD projectors designed for conference room and classroom use, and which are priced no more than S$2,500 and are launched during our Tech Awards testing qualifying period. They all have an WXGA native resolution (that is, 1,280 x 800 pixels) and brightness of at least 3,700 ANSI lumens or greater.

Nominees: 

 

  • NEC P451W
  • Panasonic PT-VW345NZ
  • Sony VPL-EW276

 

And the Winner Is...

NEC P451W

The NEC P451W gets most of things one should look out for in a business-oriented projector right. At 4,500 lumens, it's the brightest of the three, which we found to be great for overcoming all but the strongest of ambient light in a boardroom.

Its 1.7x zoom lens is also the longest of the bunch; its 16W speaker the loudest; and it's the only projector here that comes with dual HDMI inputs. And let's not forgetting the vertical lens shift function, a rarity for projectors in this class. If you're looking for an entry-level installation projector for a large venue, the P451W should also make your shortlist.

Performance-wise, it's pretty much spot on out of the box, with razor-sharp text and good color saturation. Even for movies, we're impressed by its excellent contrast and preservation of shadow details. And if there's anything that you aren't happy with, there's a plethora of display controls you can fiddle with to get the image looking just right. If we've any gripe, it'll be that its otherwise excellent software tools are too Windows-centric.

The Panasonic PT-VW345NZ comes in a close second, but that's not because it's the cheapest of the bunch. It also turns in very good data and video performances; coupled with features like a 1.6x zoom lens, a compact and lightweight chassis (compared to the rest), fairly platform-agnostic software features, and Miracast support, it offers undeniably good value.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model NEC P451W
Panasonic PT-VW345NZ
Sony VPL-EW276
Physique 8.5 8.5 8.0
Features 8.5 8.5 8.0
User-Friendliness 8.5 8.0 8.0
Performance  8.5 8.0 8.0
Value 8.5 8.5 8.0
Overall 8.5 8.0 8.0
Price S$2,499 S$2,099 S$2,128

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.

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