Classroom Projector Report: Mitsubishi Projectors Commentary
For Mitsubishi, we considered the WD380U-EST (click for full review) in this year's Classroom Projector Report. We have also decided to look at other related projectors, which include the WD385U-EST, XD360U-EST, and XD365U-EST projectors.
8/4/2012 - Art Feierman
Mitsubishi Projectors - A Quick Look
Mitsubishi WD380U-EST(considered in Report)
|Mitsubishi WD385U-EST||Mitsubishi XD360U-EST||Mitsubishi XD365U-EST|
What they all have in common:
DLP technology, 3000:1 contrast ratio, 9 lbs., HDMI, Monitor Out (VGA), 10W mono speaker, closed captioning, network notification, network control, USB input, short-throw lens, 3000 hour lamp life in full power, 6000 hour lamp life in eco-mode, no filters, don't have to unmout to change the lamp, 3 years parts/labor warranty, 3D ready
The Mitsubishi WD385U-EST (MSRP $1999) is identical to the WD380U-EST (slightly cheaper at $1699) we considered in this year's Classroom Report, except that it is interactive while the WD380U-EST is not. Both are widescreen projectors with native 1280x800 resolution that offer 2800 lumens.
Like the rest of the projectors in the family, the WD385U-EST is a DLP projector with a 3000:1 contrast ratio that weighs 9 lbs. (relatively portable). All of these projectors come with a built-in 10W speaker, which has enough power to provide sound to a small/medium sized audience in a small/medium sized conference room or classroom. It also has an HDMI input (great if you want to connect to your laptop, cable/satellite box or gaming console), and a USB input for computer-free presentations straight from your thumb drive.
The WD385U-EST is an extremely short throw projector (hence the EST at the end of the name), which means you can place the projector close up to the screen. This is convenient if you have a small room and can't place the projector far back from the screen. It also means less shadows on the screen if you're up in front giving a presentation, and it means you won't be blinded by the projector's light.
The WD385U-EST and the rest in the family all have network control capabilities, as well as network notification so you can receive messages about your projector over the network. They also have closed captioning if you want subtitles on your screen, and are 3D ready!
Lastly, the WD385U-EST and its siblings have a nice lamp life--3000 hours in full power and an impressive 6000 hours in eco-mode. The WD385U-EST's replacement lamp costs $189, but you won't need to replae for a while due to that nice lamp life. The WD385U-EST also doesn't have filters, so you don't have to mess with those. You also don't have to unmount the projector to change the lamp, which is nice. Lastly, the WD385U-EST and its siblings all come with a 3 year parts and labor warranty.
If you want widescreen and interactivity, this WD385U-EST is a fine choice. But if you don't need widescreen, consider one of the slightly less expensive siblings, discussed below.
Slightly less expensive at $1499 (MSRP), the XD360U-EST is instead an XGA projector (1024x768 native resolution), which is pretty much the standard for business and education projectors. This means that the XD360U-EST is not widescreen. It also has a slightly lower brightness (2500 lumens instead of 2800). Like the others, the XD360U-EST is a very short throw projector, which makes it ideal for presentations in smaller rooms or where you might be standing up in front of a group and interacting with your projector or screen.
Speaking of interactive, the XD360U-EST is interactive too. Use the interactive pen to annotate whatever is projected on your screen, or buy an additional pen from Mitsubishi so you can use two pens simultaneously.
Other than the interactivity and a replacement lamp costing $189, the XD360U-EST is identical to the others in the series, and is a fine choice if you want interactivity.
Last is the XD365U-EST. For $1799 (MSRP), you get the lower of the two brightness options in the family (2500 lumens instead 2800).
Like the XD360U-EST above, the XD365U-EST is non-widescreen with native XGA (1024x768) resolution. It too is interactive, and has a slightly more expensive replacement lamp ($199).