NEC UM352W Ultra Short Throw Projector Review

We have reviewed NEC ultra short throw projectors in the past and the UM352W builds on NEC’s solid reputation for producing quality projectors in this category.  This particular NEC projector is heavy in terms of having a full suite of interactive features making it suitable for presentation or collaboration in the classroom, boardroom, or training room.  NEC describes this model as:

“…a bright 3500 lumen projector that provides a complete interactive solution with built-in whiteboarding, advanced collaboration capabilities, auto set-up and content delivery over wired or wireless LAN.  With its ability to be mounted to the wall directly above the screen on which it projects, this model helps eliminate the shadows and glare typically found with standard projections systems.  Any flat surface can instantaneously be transformed into a digital whiteboard where participants can share information and annotations from computers, tablets and smart phones from withing the room or remotely.  Concurrently, the UM352W can be used to control and annotate over any PC software.”

The model is targeted at both education and business markets.

The UM352W received out Hot Product Award for its combination of solid performance, great features and a competitive price.

Overview

The NEC UM352W is an ultra short throw classroom or business projector that will normally be wall or ceiling mounted just above the top and only a few inches in front off the projection screen/white board/white wall (the ideal location will vary by screen/image size). The MSRP is $1999 and NEC offers education discounts.

This NEC projector is designed for use with screen sizes from 59 inches up to 110 inches diagonal and for that maximum 110 inch screen size, the projector has a 32 inch throw distance.  That’s the distance from the projector’s lens to the screen while the front of the projector would only be about 18 inches from the screen.  It projects an image that is both bright, with spec’ed 3500 lumens, and sharp, with its 1280 x 800 native resolution.   It is able to project an image with good focus over the entire image and that can be difficult to accomplish  in a ultra short throw projector.

With a suggested retail price of $1999, it provides a good value with excellent performance and would be a very cost effective choice for a school or business needing an interactive electronic white board projector.

The projector can be controlled via the provided IR remote and/or controlled and managed via a networked PC equipped with the provided NEC “NaViSet 2” software or via Crestron RoomView(TM).   The UM352W offers very good performance for projecting presentations either from a connected PC, a USB flash drive or from internal memory.  It offers some accurate picture modes, providing good image quality with fairly accurate and well saturated colors, when displaying video and photos.

The UM352W offers a variety of inputs including two HDMI inputs, a VGA (analog PC) input, and a microphone input allowing a presenter to use the projector’s built-in speaker when making presentations.

The UM352W is provided with two interactive pens and the projector has a built-in camera/sensor that senses the location of the pens relative to the projected image.

The projector supports split screen modes allow for up to 16 images, from up to 16 users, to be displayed simultaneously.  These images can be coming from local or remote locations and originating from PCs or mobile devices.

The UM352W offers a comprehensive selection of display modes including a DICOM Simulation picture mode, for medical school training and medical imaging presentations.  This is used to provide a clearer picture of X-ray images (see details in the Special Features section).

NEC offers a very wide range of business and education ultra short throw projectors in their UM-series.   Lower priced models start at $1149 (i.e., UM361X) and go up to $2198 (i.e., UM351WI-TM).  Some of these, such as the WM351Wi-TM, come with the interactive touch module and with a wall mount.

The UM352W reviewed here does not come with either the interactive touch module (NEC model NP03Wi)  nor the wall mount (NEC model NP04WK1), but these are sold as optional accessories.  However, NEC does offer the same projector bundled with a wall mount for an extra $100, that is sold under the model number UM352W-WK, or you can get it bundled with both a wall mount and the touch module as model number UM352W-TM for $2398.

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.

Highlights

  • Offers a bright image with 3500 rated lumens, in brightest mode
  • Very sharp image provides excellent text readability for business/classroom presentations
  • Picture Modes offered with good color accuracy suitable for displaying video and photos
  • DICOM medical imaging simulation mode
  • Wired networking built-in and optional wireless networking
  • Can be controlled and managed from networked PC using supplied software
  • Supports an electronic White Board using the supplied two interactive pens and there is an optional interactive touch module available to add a finger touch interactive capability
  • Split screen mode supporting the display of information from up to 16 users/sources

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