NEC VE281X DLP Multimedia Projector Review

Appearance

NEC’s VE281X is a very well thought out projector, mainly because they have removed a lot of the bells and whistles that aren’t used anymore by most presenters and educators. They have however, kept the really important inputs. All this mainly was to make things simpler, and to get the presenter up and running quickly.

You will notice that the projector is compact, but slightly bigger than other portable projectors on the market. Starting from the front we have the 1:1.1 zoom lens. It recessed within the projector body. This helps prevent any damage to the lens during transport and ultimately is a nice physical characteristic that any good traveling presenter should be looking for. The exhaust port for heat is also in the front.

The top of the projector is pretty minimal in its features. Once again, kept simple, but you will want to keep a sharp eye on the remote since it is the only way to control the projectors functions. You of course can control the projector using the RS232 input, but this would generally be used for those who permanantly mount the projector.

The back of the projector is where you will find all the inputs. As mentioned, this is a pretty stripped down projector in terms of inputs, but still very capable. It was NEC’s intention to keep this projector simple. Starting from the left you will find the AC input. Thankfully, it uses a standard power cable like you would find on a PC. Usually plenty of those laying around an office so if you lose the power cable, chances are you can be up and running in no time. Above that you will find the audio input that will supply the 7 watt internal speaker. Next we have the HDMI port for inputting a HD signal. As you might expect, just to the left of that is the VGA port.To keep with standards and to assure you can still project from older technology like a VCR, there is a Composite input. The NEC VE281X has a USB input as well as a RS-232 input. Keep in mind that the VE281X is part of a series of projectors with the VE28 prefix. Features very so if you decide on a different model in that series double check to make sure the projector has the inputs you need.

The bottom of the projector is pretty straightforward. It can be ceiling mounted. Most will place this projector on a table and for that there is a adjustable front foot, and rear foot.

NEC VE281X Setup and Menu

As mentioned above, the NEC VE281X has a adjustable rear foot and a adjustable front foot. This combination of adjustability should allow you to get the projector aligned quickly without using up a lot of your audiences time. The projector does have keystone correction, so in a pinch you could use that to get a nice square image. If you can, always try to avoid keystone correction because it does degrade image quality a bit.

You will notice that the VE281X has a automated turn on feature. So, once it detects a signal, it will turn itself on and begin projecting.

Menus

The menu system was pretty straightforward. Certainly found it to be very easy to use. Switching color modes and traversing the menu system was easy enough that even if you were not familiar with the projector, it should be easy and fast to get up and presenting in a short amount of time. I recommend reading the manual, at least as it pertains to the menu system since it has some interesting features that you might find useful. A good example would be the way it reports carbon savings.

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NEC VE281X Menu Slideshow

NEC VE281X Remote Control

The remote is very well laid out and fortunately it is not too big, but not so small that you have to keep looking at the remote to control some of its key functions. The projector does feature a virtual remote control, so with a software installation, you can bring up a virtual remote that has all the features of the physical remote control. Please note, this feature is most reliably used using NEC’s VGA cable, or your typical USB cable if that is how you are providing the projector an image. Third party VGA cables may not work. Since the projector does not have allow for anything but changing the source and auto adjusting the image from the top of the projector, you will want to keep an eye on the remote.

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