NEC U310W DLP Projector - Performance
March 2012 - Anthony Arrigo
NEC U310W Projector - Brightness
Ultra short throw projectors are rather difficult to determine brightness performance due to the interesting technology that allows for such large images with the projector just inches away. Different readings show up depending on how the light meter is angled towards the projector. Normally a projectors light output is measured by placing a special meter against the screen with the sensor facing the projector. This same method is used in measuring the light output of the NEC U310W, but very different readings occur if you tilt the meter towards the projector's lens. Much brighter readings. Because the readings are so far from what is reasonable, for the sake of this review I will report the numbers that come from laying the meter against the screen without tilting it towards the lens.
Presentation Mode is the default mode of the projector and it produced a lumen reading of 2350. The rated output of the projector was 3100 lumens. It was no surprise that the projector would not perform up to the manufacturer's specification since very few do. However, High Brightness mode did get us closer to the 3100 lumen mark by producing 2664 lumens. Video mode came in at 1097 lumens. A pretty significant drop but most projectors drop the brightness down because they are trying to achieve darker blacks and assume you will be turning the lights off for video viewing. Same is true for Movie Mode; however, brightness seems to increase to 1677. Blackboard mode saw a brightness level of 2350.
Please note that the numbers reported above are an approximate measurement, and results varied as I moved the meter around the projected image. Overall, the projector performed very well, and I could safely recommend the unit for conference rooms with lights on or a conference room with windows. The image will still have ample contrast and vibrancy to satisfy the needs of your audience.
NEC U310W Projector - Audible Noise
When evaluating the projector's audible noise, I often look for how many times I noticed the projector working while I am writing this. The specs for the fan noise are 36 DB in normal mode and 32 DB in eco mode. These ratings seemed about right. One could tell the projector was on in the beginning, but over time the typical fan noise became unnoticeable. Running in Eco Mode made the projector even less obvious. Temperature of the room plays a factor so in warm rooms the fan might be a bit louder, but in a nice air conditioned conference room, fan noise shouldn’t be an issue at all.