Business Projector Review: Lightweight Epson Powerlite 732c and 737c LCD projectors

Brightness

Yes, both projector models offer plenty of power. Remember that 2000 lumens of LCD projector can handle ambient light significantly better than DLP projectors with similar ratings. (I usually advise that you want 30+ percent more lumens in a DLP projector to do about the same job as an LCD projector like these two Epson projectors. (See article on DLP vs. LCD). Based on that, these projectors are easily more able to handle large rooms, and ambient light than DLP projectors with 2500 lumens. These projectors are capable of presenting to hundreds of people in rooms with normal lighting control.

Color handling

On the Epson projectors is excellent. You’ll find rich, accurate, saturated colors – vibrant reds, yellows, greens and blues. And if you are projecting photos, you’ll find the reproduction of flesh tones to be very pleasing as well. (Note: most DLP projectors have real trouble doing bright reds, and pure yellows, further separating the performance difference between the two technologies in this area.)

Image Quality

Epson projectors offer razor sharp image quality in their native XGA resolution (1024×768), but they do a superior job of compressing higher resolution images. There are two issues here – first, can a data projector lock onto these non-native resolutions, and 2nd, how much does the image (particularly text) quality deteriorate. Epson claims that they can handle sources up to UXGA (1600×1200), and that is consistant with reviews of Epson’s XGA projectors going back several years.

Perhaps equally important is how well the built in compression technology handles widescreen sources such as my widescreen Dell laptop. While projectors for years have been supporting the HDTV standard of 16:9 widescreen, many widescreen laptops (including Dell) do not use this standard. My Dell, for example is 16:10 ratio. I am pleased to report that the Epsons handle both WXGA and WSXGA+ without problem.

So, these Epson projectors pass the first test – they lock onto and display all the higher resolution sources I could throw at them. The next issue, is how much degradation in the image quality is there when these LCD projectors compress higher resolution sources. Epson 737c projector compression test. SXGA+ resolution, 9 point italic shown on Epson projectorsEpson has always had excellent compression technology, and it holds true for these projectors. SXGA+ (1400×1050), which is very popular on standard aspect ratio Dell (and other) laptops, looks about as good as it gets from an XGA projector. 10 point type (spreadsheets, emails) are easily readable, although not pretty. You wouldn’t want to spend hours in meetings looking at small type, but Epson does it well. On the image on the right, the italic type is 9 point on an Excel spreadsheet. Italic shows the most degradation, and it is still easily readable (although not pretty). Large “Powerpoint” like type (30 points and up) looks basically flawless even in the front row!

WXGA from my laptop also was very readable, and slightly cleaner looking than the the SXGA+ source. In summary, these two projectors should serve you for years to come without any concern with compatibility with the higher resolution computer sources that continue to become available and popular.

On larger type – typical of Powerpoint type presentations (24 points and larger) you are going to have to be sitting in the “first row” to detect any degradation of the type.

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