NEC NP-M311X XGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review

NEC M311X Projector - Brightness

Except where noted, the following measurements were made with the lamp’s Eco setting off.  The M311X is rated at 3100 lumens, and that rating was a bit overoptimistic based on our testing.  We measured 2545 lumens in High Bright mode (the brightest) at full wide zoom.  As our measurements are typically lower than the manufacturer’s rating, we consider anything within 10% of the rated output to be excellent.  As the M311X measured almost 20% below its rating, the rating is a bit high, though not inconsistent with some of the competition.  The output varied slightly going to the middle of the zoom range (where all subsequent measurements were taken), dropping to 2405 lumens.  Going to full telephoto zoom resulted in a greater drop to 2109 lumens.  On the plus side, there was little variation in brightness across the full image.  Also, the M311X’s High Bright mode is as good as some projectors’ Presentation mode, so you’ll be able to take full advantage of the available lumen output for almost any presentation.

Using Presentation mode, the output dropped to 2144 lumens.  Movie mode, which provides the best color balance for video presentation, dropped to 1792 lumens.  Graphic mode came in at 1690 lumens, sRGB (equal to Movie mode in color balance) at 1769 lumens and Dicom Sim mode was 1690 lumens.  Video mode experienced the biggest drop, down to 1509 lumens.

There are four settings for the Eco lamp mode: Off, Auto, Normal and Eco.  In Auto mode, the projector switches from Off to Normal depending on the picture level, so there are essentially three lamp levels.  Changing the Eco lamp from Off to on Normal mode resulted in a 24.5% drop in lumen output to 1815 lumens in High Bright mode.  Going to Eco mode dropped the output to 1304 lumens, a 45.7% drop from the lamp output with the Eco mode off, which is a greater drop than normal for most Eco modes.  Nonetheless, 1304 lumens is enough for any presentation environments with even a modicum of light control and enables the user to take advantage of the M311X’s 10,000 hour lamp life.

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NEC M311X Projector - Audible Noise

For a small, lightweight, high output projector, the NEC M311X is very quiet in its Eco modes (33dB in Normal lamp mode, 26dB in Eco lamp mode).  There would be no problem with the presenter being heard, even without using an amplified sound system.  No rating is given for the projector with the Eco mode off, but subjectively, it is not much louder than the Normal mode.  If the aforementioned 45.7% drop in lumen output (in Eco mode) is acceptable, the M311X would easily be quiet enough for comfortable video or movie viewing.  To put this noise level in perspective, 26 dB is close to the noise level of many home theater projectors running in modes that don’t put out over 1300 lumens.  The bottom line is that regardless of the lamp mode, the M311X’s fan noise is never objectionable.

NEC M311X Projector - Wired and Wireless Networking

The NEC M311X not only offers the ability for wired network control and presentation, it also offers wireless network capability with the installation of an optional wireless LAN module (about $58 street price).  Through the use of included software, either connection choice will allow for remote management and control of the projector.  The user can also check the lamp hours as well as enable warning notifications by email.

Again using the included software, the NEC M311X also offers full projection capability from any networked computer.  The M311X also supports Crestron’s RoomView, allowing multiple devices on the network to be controlled from a single computer or Crestron controller.

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