Mitsubishi WD380U-EST Ultra Short Throw WXGA DLP Projector Review

Specs for the Mitsubishi WD380U-EST

MSRP: $1299, Street Price $1249
Technology: DLP
Native Resolution: WXGA (1280×800)
Brightness: 2800 lumens
Contrast: 3000:1
Zoom Lens ratio: Fixed
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: Up to 3000 hours (Normal mode), 6000 hours (Eco mode)
Dimensions: (With lens) 12.8”W x 4.4”H x 10.2”D
Weight: 9 lbs.
Warranty: 3 years Parts and Labor on projector, One year or 500 hours on lamp

Mitsubishi WD380U-EST Projector Special Features

3D Ready – incorporates DLP Link 3D technology, when used with compatible 3D field sequential content and active shutter 3D glasses (not included) that support the DLP Link system.

PC-Free Presentation – The WD380U-EST can project slideshows or PowerPoint presentations (when converted to PtG files with included software), directly from a USB thumb drive.

Full Color Management – for individual adjustment of each of the projector’s primary (red, green and blue) and secondary (cyan, magenta and yellow) colors.  This allows the user to adjust the saturation, hue and brightness of each color to their tastes.

Crestron RoomView Network Service – The WD380U-EST supports Crestron’s RoomView management system.  This allows for centralized access and control over a single projector or multiple projectors simultaneously, as well as notifications which can be distributed to each projector.

Mitsubishi WD380U-EST Projector - Physical Tour

Appearance

The Mitsubishi WD380U-EST has its lens slightly offset right of center when facing the front of the projector.  The convex lens protrudes from the front of the projector because, like most ultra short throw projectors, the WD380U-EST does not project straight ahead, but rather upward diagonally from the projector, thus allowing it to be placed close to the screen.

A focus ring surrounds the lens, with its adjustment tab on top.  Fortunately, with as much as the lens protrudes, the WD380U-EST comes with a fairly substantial lens cap.  There is an IR receiving eye on the bottom right corner of the front panel and two front height adjustment feet in each corner.  Unfortunately, there is no rear height adjustment at all.  It continues to baffle me why manufacturers don’t include four adjustable feet on multimedia projectors, especially short throw ones, as it would be much easier to square the projector to the screen (with minimal or no keystone correction) if all corner feet were adjustable.

On the right side (while facing it from the front) of the projector are a 10-watt, built-in speaker, an air intake vent and a lock bar.  On the left side is an air exhaust vent.

Most of the left half of the top of the projector serves as a cover for the lamp.  There is a single screw on the top edge of the left side of the projector that, when removed, allows for removal of this cover.  This facilitates replacing the lamp when the WD380U-EST is ceiling mounted, without having to unmount the projector.

Toward the rear, in the middle, is a control panel with the most oft-used functions, plus indicators for power on and status (both lamp and temperature).  There are buttons for Power, Menu, Navigation (Up, Down, Left, Right and Enter).  The Enter button also functions to access the keystone correction and the Up/Down buttons also serve for keystone adjustment when not in the menu.  The Left and Right menu navigation button also function to switch between computer and video sources respectively.  Finally, the Up button also functions access the Auto Positioning, which provides proper display of a computer image.

Moving to the rear panel, we find a wide array of connections.  Starting at the top left, there is a second IR receiving eye and an audio output jack (for an external speaker system), followed by two audio input mini jacks and stereo RCA audio inputs.  These are followed by S-video and composite video inputs, RS232 serial control jack and a RGB monitor output jack.  Next are two RGB/component video inputs, an HDMI input, a USB Type B jack and a USB Type A jack (for PC-free presentations from a USB thumb drive).  Finally, we have an RJ45 jack for a network connection, a Kensington lock and the power cord jack.

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