Portable Business Projector Review:
Epson Powerlite 1815p Wireless Networking Projector:
Summary, Pros, Cons
The Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p are solid, from start to finish. Excellent image quality is combined with more than enough lumen output to handle the needs of probably 98%+ of presenters and facilities, plus some very slick wireless and wired networking capabilities come with the Powerlite 1815p. Setting up the wireless networking, normally a major league challenge for all but serious IT personnel, turned out to be pretty straightforward, with only one or two minor issues not clearly defined in the documentation.
Epson backs up the Powerlite 1815p and the Powerlite 1810p, with their excellent two year warranty with overnight replacement. Not the longest in the business, but a better warranty and support combination than all but one or two competing manufacturers have to offer.
Basically these two Powerlite projectors offer just about everything a projector could be asked for for permanent installations, except for the option of interchangeable lenses and adjustable lens shift. For those capabilities, one traditionally must start shopping for bigger, heavier projectors (typically 12 to 20 pounds). Few installations demand those extra capabilities, which makes these two Powerlites ideal for not just normal portable usage, but a wide range of installations - in all types of environments from boardrooms and conferencerooms, to classrooms and training rooms, multi-purpose rooms, and even hotel ballrooms and small to medium sized auditoriums, not to mention church sanctuaries, which are a huge market for projectors.
One of the really impressive features of the Powerlite 1815p's wireless networking, is its ability to allow your computer to still access the internet as usual, while using the wireless feature to still talk with the projector. As mentioned earlier, this is possible because the 1815p can look like one more device to your internet router. This is a huge plus for those that want to have access to the web, while still choosing wireless presenting capability. The other huge benefit is to be able to show full frame MPEG2 videos at full speed, nice as smooth as one would get with a wired setup.
Let's look at the Powerlite 1815p and 1810p's strengths and weaknesses.
Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p: Pros
- Excellent overall image quality with rich, saturated and accurate colors
- Easy to setup wireless networking (1815p only)
- Extremely sharp image when fed XGA resolution sources
- Very good compression technology for easily readable smaller type, and virtually perfect larger type sizes when fed higher resolution sources than XGA
- Excellent wireless networking capabilities, including ability to present wirelessly while the "presenting" computer can still access (and present) off of the internet.
- Locked on and worked well with every resolution thrown at it, all the way up to UXGA (1600x1200)
- Extremely bright, suitable for all but large room (ballroom and auditorium) use, even with moderate lighting.
- Ability to do full frame high speed video, wirelessly from MPEG2 files (1815p only)
- Excellent warranty - 2 years, with 2 years of overnight replacement
- Lamp can be changed out without unmounting the projector
- Filter can be changed/cleaned without unmounting the projector
- Overall, lots of inputs
- Built in pointer system
- Very well laid out menu structure
- On board interactive Help
- Good sound quality for a projector in its size and weight range. Should handle classroom, training room usage, without need for additional speakers
- Superior documentation - there's tons of it, but more detail than most competitors provide, and the fold out Quick Guide should get just about everyone up and running in a few minutes
- Advanced networking (wired - both projectors) including email notification for maintenance and issues
- Can do presentations, show images, from PC Card (or other smaller media cards, with adapters)
- A relatively light weight and portable projector of one that can output almost 4000 lumens!
- Quick powerup and powerdown
- Very good price/performance
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Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p: Cons
- Noisy, but not badly so. In full power, the fan level (37db) is easily audible, but not so loud that it should be a problem
- No HDMI or DVI (digital) inputs
- Remote control is small, with many, very small buttons, not backlit
- Lacks either "filter free" design, or self cleaning filter system, which means more maintenance time for those managing a number of projectors. (DLP's are more often than not, filter free, and some new LCD projectors are showing "self cleaning" filters.
Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p: Typical Capabilities
- Lamp Life 2500 hours at full power, 3000 hours at low power
- Physical size for a high powered portable
- Overall color handling (for an LCD projector) and much better than most DLP projectors
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Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p Summary:
I must truly be impressed with these two Epson Powerlite projectors, the list of Pros just kept getting longer and longer, and then I was struggling to find even a few real "Cons", and while the Epson projectors as part of a group - sub-10 pound high power portables, are very similar in many general ways with competitors, little about the individual features of these Epson's are average. Are they the best out there? I sure don't know, there are roughly 500 business projectors on the market today, from almost 70 brands, so very few get reviewed anywhere. That said, these two projectors definitely look to be serious contenders in their class, at least in part based on my experience over the years, both reviewing projectors, and having owned an online projector reseller that sold most of the top brands
Stay tuned, our next business projector review will be of a directly competing projector from Panasonic, one of Epson's most serious competitors. It should be interesting!