Posted on January 4, 2015 Art Feierman
The Epson Powerlite 1985WU is one of a new breed of affordable high brightness projectors suitable for medium and larger venues. 100″ screens even in bright rooms handled well.
There used to be a time, not very long ago, when if you needed say 4000 lumens (twice what was typically used in auditoriums a decade or so ago), you spent a small fortune on a projector that was not only bright but loaded with features, including very expensive interchangeable lenses (and lens shift), that many people who needed the brightness did not require. In fact, typically a long or short throw lens for one of those projectors still costs more than this new Epson projector.
That’s the point of the Powerlite 1985WU, which is the flagship of Epson’s 1900 series, and highest resolution projector at 1920×1200 – WUXGA! If maximum placement flexibility isn’t a requirement, this projector may be just right. It still has advanced networking and an impressive list of capabilities, but at under $2000 instead of more like $5000+.
In other words, the Powerlite 1985WU is Epson’s top of the line, highest resolution, high volume, affordable projector. It should work well in university classrooms, large corporate rooms for training and meetings, board rooms and small auditoriums.
So, what we have here, is a very serious WUXGA projector. It’s large venue bright at 4800 lumens. That’s white and color lumens – which matters. If you have the interest, click for our video on the importance of color lumens). Overall it has a very impressive feature set. It costs less than half of Epson’s G series projector with the same resolution (but slightly brighter).
You obviously get a better return on investment if you don’t need the lenses, and perhaps some other advanced features such as edge blending (which no one had under $10,000 even a few years ago, and even fewer need). So, why spend for a projector with all the expensive bells and whistles, especially when it can more than double the price?
The Powerlite 1985 is one of the newest in Epson’s 19xx series. We previously reviewed the lower resolution (and older series) Powerlite 1945W with 4200 lumens (which remains current, street price $1699), and also the 1965 ($1899, XGA, 5000 lumens). The rest of the product series plays out like this:
The features sets do vary. Some have Wifi built in, some have MHL on their HDMIs. This chart may help you simplify which one best suits your needs:
We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.
OK, enough about all the different models in the series. Here’s a list of the key major features of the Powerlite 1985WU beyond the usual brightness and resolution already mentioned:
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