Getting a bright projector is important if you’re buying it as a presentation tool. So for this business projector category, we requested for projectors with a brightness of at least 3,000 lumens. We also narrowed down to those designed for conference room and classroom use, and which are preferably priced around S$1,300. Additionally, they all must have at least a native WXGA (1,280 x 800 pixels) resolution.
With up to 3,600 lumens, the Epson EB-U42 is a very bright projector and is thus well suited for larger boardrooms and in situations when the presenter wants to keep the room lights on. Equipped with a 1.2x zoom lens, this 3LCD-based projector can do automatic vertical keystone detection and adjustment (there's a slider for manual horizontal keystone adjustment), supports mobile screen mirroring, and features a variety of connectivity options including built-in Wi-Fi, VGA, and LAN, as well as two HDMI ports, one of which is MHL-enabled.
Image quality-wise, it’s ahead of both the NEC and Sony projectors, due to the aforementioned high white and color light outputs and a higher native WUXGA 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. So not only does it give us vibrant colors and sharp text for office presentations, it also offers a meaningful difference when watching HD videos and Blu-ray content. Under normal mode, lamp life is rated at 6,000 hours; but this increases to a good 10,000 hours if you use the power-saving eco mode (which also drops the brightness to ~2,200 lumens).
The 3,300-lumen NEC NP-ME331WG and 3,500-lumen Sony VPL-EW455 are capable projectors, too. What's going for the NEC projector is its 1.7x zoom range and 20W speaker (the Epson projector only does 2W, the Sony projector 16W); and what's going for the Sony projector is its very good image performance (about on par with the Epson projector) and up to 10,000 hours lamp life. However, both models require a separate module for wireless connectivity, and both are WXGA (1,280 x 800) projectors.
Very good performance aside, what finally seals the deal for the Epson EB-U42 is its attractive price. At S$1,329, this more-than-full-HD projector is only slightly more expensive than the NEC model that costs S$1,290. It's also more affordable than the Sony model, which is going for a rather steep S$1,799. NEC does have a brighter (3,600 lumens) model in the form of the ME361WG, but this is still a WXGA projector and it costs S$1,389. Sony also has another VPL-EW435 with a maximum brightness of 3,100 lumens that is going for a more budget-friendly price of S$1,399, but this too is a WXGA model.
|Criteria/Model||Epson EB-U42||NEC NP-ME331WG||Sony VPL-EW455|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section at the end.