Epson Powerlite 826W 3LCD Projector Review

Audible Noise

The Epson 826W is reasonably quiet (35dB in High lamp output) for a multimedia projector.  There would be no problem with the presenter being heard, even without using a microphone and the built-in 10W speaker.  If a quieter environment is desired, dropping the 826W into Low lamp mode reduces the noise level significantly to 28 dB.  Combined with the aforementioned 20% drop in lumen output, the 826W would easily be quiet enough for comfortable video or movie viewing.  Comparing its noise level to a popular home theater projector, like the Epson 6500UB, 28 dB would be slightly less than the 31 dB noise level of the 6500UB when running on High lamp power.  The bottom line is that even in High lamp mode, the 826W’s fan noise is not objectionable for its intended uses.

Wireless Networking

With the optional wireless LAN module or USB key, the 826W allows for simple wireless connection to any desktop or laptop with 802.11 a/b/g capability.  Like the previously reviewed Epson 1735W, there are two ways to connect wirelessly to the 826W.  The first, is to use the optional USB key.  We did not have one for the 826W, but from our experience with the 1735W, you simply plug it into the rear USB port of the projector to record the network information.  Then plug the key into any available USB port on your computer and follow the installation screens that appear.  This only takes a few minutes and when done the computer image will project on the screen.

Shown: Two of the wireless LAN network menus

The second way to set up a wireless connection is to install the optional wireless LAN module, which plug into a slot about the dust filter.  You then set it up on your PC with software from the CD provided with the 826W.  Your computer will see the 826W as an available wireless network and you can connect to it.

Unlike the 1735W, the 826W’s software does not include a video player for wireless operation, nor does it allow for PowerPoint presentations wirelessly.  Basically, if you display video or do presentations on a regular basis, plan on using a wired connection.

wireless Lan

Network

Epson Powerlite 826W 3LCD Projector - Warranty

As was the case with the previous Epson multimedia projectors we reviewed, in additional to the usual two parts and service warranty on the projector and a 90-day warranty on the lamp, the Powerlite 826W features Epson’s excellent Road Service program.  If the projector fails and you can’t wait for it to be repaired, regardless of where you are in the U.S. or Canada, a phone call to Epson will send a replacement projector on its way to you.  When the replacement unit arrives, you simply use the prepaid airway bill and packaging provided to send the defective projector back to Epson.

In addition, each 826W comes with a PrivateLine technical support card with a special phone number and PIN for fast access to a support technician.  I had the opportunity to try out this feature when I reviewed the 1735W and was connected to a tech support person in less than 30 seconds.

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