Epson Powerlite W6 - Performance
5/9/2009 - Mike Rollett
For it’s $799 retail price, the image quality of the Epson Powerlite W6 makes it a bargain among multimedia projectors. Let’s see how it performs
The W6 is rated at 2000 lumens. As most Epson projectors come close to their rated spec and the W6 was no exception. In Game mode (the brightest), we measured 1791 lumens at mid-zoom range. As the W6 has a limited zoom range, the output did not vary much throughout the zoom range. At full wide zoom, we got 1796 lumens and at full zoom in it was 1782 lumens. Using Presentation mode, the output dropped to 1387 lumens. Photo mode and sRGB modes were identical for lumen output at 1152 lumens.
Theater mode, which provided the best image for movie and video viewing clocked in at 1093 lumens, much lower, but still quite bright for rooms with decent light control. Text mode was even less at 1006 lumens and Blackboard (a specifically designed color balance to work with school blackboards) came in at 1108 lumens. Game mode, while giving a slight bluish cast to the image, is still accurate enough to be used with most presentations. As the W6 has become a popular classroom projector, its light output is well suited for that application.Dropping the lamp into Low brightness mode resulted in a lumen output of 1364 in Game mode. This is about a 24% drop and is quite normal for projectors of this type.
The W6 provided a very sharp image with a variety of source material. Using my spreadsheet with a range of text sizes and colors, small (8 pt.) text was easily readable on a 90” diagonal projected image. This was also true of white text-on-black and yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds as well.From there, I fed the W6 a couple of higher resolutions (1440 x 900 and 1600 x 1200) to test its ability to scale and resize these resolutions. Many projectors have a tough time accurately displaying the different colored text/background combinations mentioned previously. Not so with the W6, which did an excellent job at all resolutions. Even the smaller text remained crisp and readable, with very little color separation or overlap, especially with the yellow text-on-dark blue background. As you would expect from this performance, the W6 also did an excellent job on lower resolutions like the old standard XGA (1024 x 768) resolution.
While the Epson W6 is not super quiet (35dB in High lamp output), it’s still not objectionable. It's certainly not objectionable and there would be no need for the presenter to raise his or her voice to be heard. If you need it to be very quiet, dropping the W6 into Low lamp mode reduces the noise to a very quiet. To put that in perspective, 30db is fairly typical for home theater projectors running at full power and in such a setup, any noise is undesirable. The bottom line is that even in High lamp mode, the W6 is not likely to cause any problems from fan noise.