Ask Proxima C3327W-A LCD Projector Review

ASK PROXIMA C3327W-A REVIEW – HARDWARE TOUR:  Appearance, Setup and Menus, Remote Control

With its very low profile and small footprint, the C3327W-A has a sleek appearance. The C3327W-A has its lens positioned to the left of the center of the projector when facing it. There is no sliding lens cover, as typically seen with a projector of this design, but the lens is recessed enough that it’s protected from most accidental contact. Nonetheless, it would be nice to have the sliding cover that also provides video and audio mute (A/V Mute) with some of the C3327W-A’s competitors. There are buttons to mute the audio and blank the display on the remote however. To the right of the lens, on the front panel, is a large air intake vent and to the left of the lens, along the top edge, is an IR receiving eye that can pick up signals from above the projector as well as in front. Height adjustment is obtained via a push button, adjustable foot in the center front of the C3327W-A. Unfortunately, the rear corner feet are not adjustable.

On top of the projector, just behind the lens, are two recessed rings for lens focus and zoom control. There is a nicely laid-out control panel toward the rear, with some basic controls. There are buttons for Power, Menu, Navigation and OK (Enter). The menu Up/Down navigation buttons double as adjustment buttons for keystone adjustment and the OK button serves as an input selection button when the Menu is not displayed. There are also indicators for Power and lamp status. To the right of the control panel is the cover for access to the lamp. Having the cover on top of the C3327W-A allows for easy access even if the projector is ceiling mounted. The screw to release the cover is on the rear of the projector.

There is an intake vent and air filter that comprises the left side of the projector. The air filter can be easily removed from the projector for cleaning. On the right side of the projector is the hot air exhaust port.

 

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Moving to the rear panel, Ask Proxima has provides the typical connection options for a projector in this class. There are single 1/8” audio input and output jacks, followed by a set of stereo phono jacks. Next are a set of component video jacks (one of which serves as a composite video input as well) and an S-video input jack. There are two computer input (VGA) jacks, with the second one also serving as a computer output jack when setup to do so. These are followed by a LAN port and an HDMI input. Below the connection panel is the built-in 7-watt speaker and a lock bar, with a Kensington lock port and the AC power cord connector to the left of that.

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Setup and Menus

The Ask Proxima C3327W-A starts up very quickly (and has instant shut down as well), projecting a readable image on the screen in a few seconds. Placement is a bit touchy, as the short-range 1.2X zoom doesn’t give you much flexibility in the distance the projector can be placed from the screen.  Also, the single height adjustable foot does not help much to align the image vertically.  So, to avoid keystone correction, the projector must be placed on a table that’s very close to the height necessary to match the screen. Fortunately, the C3327W-A has both manual and auto-keystone correction.  We tried this with a small amount of front height adjustment and found it to work very well, with minimal distortion on the image edges.  The built-in test patterns (see the Special Features page) greatly assist in this setup.  Once the display size and position are properly set up, the C3327W-A can then have its image optimized through the Image Adjust menu used in conjunction with the test patterns.

As we noted with the previously reviewed E1655U, Ask Proxima has made its menu system well organized and easy to navigate. You simply bring up the menu; select the Image Adjust menu and the appropriate Image Mode (Normal, Natural Cinema etc.) for your presentation. From there you can also make the usual adjustments for Contrast, Brightness and Sharpness, but the C3327W-A’s default settings will be more than adequate for most presentations.  There are a number of adjustments available, including: Brightness, Contrast, Color Temp, RGB white balance (grayscale) and Sharpness.

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Ask Proxima C3327W-A Menus

Image Menu

Allows for the selection of an image mode that matches the needs of the presentation.

Image Adjust Menu

Allows for adjustments to optimize the image.

Test Pattern Menu

Allows the user to select from a number of built-in test patterns to assist in optimizing the image.

Network Menu

Allows for the setup of network-based control of the projector.

The C3327W-A has a built-in 7-watt speaker.  While this would unacceptable for presentations with sound in larger venues, it’s unlikely that this projector would find itself in such a venue.  The 7-watt speaker is acceptable for  the classroom and conference room.  Also, for larger venues, the C3327W-A has two audio output jacks to connect to an externally-powered speaker system.

Remote Control

The C3327W-A’s remote is small, but well laid out, allowing easy access to the most used functions.  Power and input buttons are right on top where they belong.  They are followed by buttons for menu navigation and selection.  The rest of the buttons are grouped in four rows and columns, with volume up/down buttons below them.  Other buttons include: menu button, keystone, timer, lamp, digital zoom, image mode, blank and freeze, audio mute, info, language, screen display, test pattern display and autoset.  The remote is not backlit (as is the norm) and has gray buttons (except for the red Power button) on a white background.

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