Ask Proxima C3327W-A LCD Projector Review

ASK PROXIMA C3327W-A PROJECTOR – PICTURE QUALITY:  Color and Picture Quality, Readability, Video Quality

Color and Picture Quality

To start, I connected my laptop to the C3327W-A via HDMI and fed the projector its native resolution (1280 x 800). As we noted with the Ask Proxima E1655U, the C3327W-A looked great in virtually any picture mode, displaying a sharp image with accurate, well-saturated colors. It’s particularly notable that the color is quite good in any Color Mode. This allows the presenter to use the brighter Normal or Natural modes even with presentations where good color reproduction is desirable. Many competing projectors require a drop down to Presentation or Cinema mode to achieve decent color balance, but this usually sacrifices a good deal of brightness. Kudos to Ask Proxima for maintaining good color in the brightest mode.

Viewing photographic images with the C3327W-A was very rewarding in any mode. In Cinema mode, photos displayed deep, solid colors and good brightness, resulting in a more natural look.  Also, in Cinema mode, the C3327W-A is able to provide very good contrast ratio of up to 4000:1.  This contributes to a more film-like image than is normally seen with multimedia projectors.

Normal Mode
Natural Mode
Cinema Mode
+Normal Mode
Normal Mode
Natural Mode
Cinema Mode
+Normal Mode

Readability

The C3327W-A provided a sharp image at any resolution or aspect ratio. Using our usual spreadsheet with a range of text sizes and colors, there was no problem reading small (8 pt.) text on a 70” diagonal projected image. This level of readability was no less with white text-on-black and yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds as well.

Switching to XGA (1024 x 768) resolution to test the C3327W-A’s ability to handle standard presentation resolution, the image quality remained quite good, with no noticeable color bleeding in the yellow text/blue background combination. The small 8 pt. text remained about the same as it was at the native resolution. It should be noted that it is unlikely that anyone would use text this small for a presentation, but with ever-improving projector display technology, it provides a good measuring stick.  As we’ve noticed in recent reviews, quality display of non-standard resolutions and aspect ratios is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

With resolutions higher than its default 1280 x 800, the C3327W-A continued its sharp, readable performance. We tried switching to 1680 x 1050 and then up to 1920 x 1080, to test its ability to scale and resize these higher resolutions and different aspect ratios. In each case, the larger displayed text looked essentially the same as it did at the C3327W-A’s native resolution. Only the smallest (8 pt.) text looked blurry at the 1920X 1080 resolution, but considering how small the text was, this is quite good performance. This speaks well for the Ask Proxima’s LCD panel convergence, as LCD projectors (which use separate panels for red, green and blue, and are usually pixel converged through a prism and the lens) can be prone to color fringing around smaller lettering.

Overall, Ask Proxima C3327W-A performed admirably with any of the supported resolutions we tested.

Native (1280 X 800) Resolution
1920 X 1080 Resolution
1680 X 1050 Resolution
1024 X 768 Resolution
+Native (1280 X 800) Resolution

Video Quality

To check the C3327W-A’s video performance, I used the DVD playback from my laptop computer, connected via HDMI.  Using Cinema mode, skin colors were well balanced on the C3327W-A.   Skin tones were natural and bright colors were well saturated. While the good contrast ratio helped with darker scenes, black levels were average.  As the C3327W-A is putting out over 2500 lumens in Cinema mode, you can’t expect black levels to match that of a 500 lumen home theater projector.  Using the projector in Eco mode definitely helps perceived black levels, so that might be a viable option for video presentations where you don’t need maximum brightness.  Nonetheless, for video viewing in an average lit room, the good color reproduction of the C3327W-A even in Normal mode still provides an acceptable image, making it a good choice for classroom video presentations.

Connecting the C3327W-A to a Blu-ray player (downscaled to 720P) via HDMI, the projector displayed the increased sharpness and color depth one would expect from Blu-ray reproduction.  As noted earlier, the C3327W-A’s built-in seven-watt speaker is is usable for rudimentary audio in medium-sized rooms.  However, if you intend to do video presentations with audio on a regular basis or in larger rooms; external, powered speakers are a must.

As is the case with most multimedia projectors, the C3327W-A is not designed specifically for movie or TV viewing. However, its video reproduction is more than adequate for conference room or classroom videos.

Image from a Blu-ray disk in Cinema mode
+Image from a Blu-ray disk in Cinema mode

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