Optoma GT720 Projector Review

Time for a short summary of the Optoma GT720 projector’s pros and cons and capabilities.

Optoma GT720 Projector - The Bottom Line

With a typical $699 street price and a $749 MSRP, this is one of the least expensive projectors around, targeted for the home. In addition, it can easily double as a good basic business portable projector. (Tax write-off anyone?)

Before I summarize, let’s talk award. That the GT720 is a competent gaming projector is of no doubt. While our gamers indicate that there’s better around, especially for non-gaming, both think there’s a lot of bang for the buck at the Optoma GT720′s street price.

I have been stumped: Does the GT720 deserve a Hot Product Award, or a Special Interest Award? As it turns out, I’ve opted for the conservative choice of a Special Interest award. It’s not that the GT720 may not deserve a Hot Product Award, but our criteria would call for this to be one of the very best gaming projectors under $1000, to qualify, and it’s only the first we’ve reviewed for gaming.

As a result, without any other game projectors to compare the Optoma GT720 to, I’m not comfortable with the Hot Product Award. Sure, after reviewing 3-4 more gaming projectors, hindsight might say – give it a Hot Product award, but, then I’ve got an ace in the hole, which is that the newer GT750 projector should be in, and review posted before the end of of August. And with the Optoma GT720 and at least one other projector considered for gaming by then, it will be time to start giving out HOT Product awards for the strongest gaming projectors.

By Thanksgiving, look for us to give out our first specific gaming awards: Best In the Game, and Best In the Game – Runner-up. By that time we will have seen at least four or five game projectors!

The GT720, is, of course, first and foremost, a gaming projector! Both Pete and Scott, our gaming projector bloggers, find that the GT720 does very nicely. Both have much more expensive projectors, yet see real value, and ability, for about 1/3 of what their projectors cost.

This is the first official “gaming projector” (or any projector) we’ve considered for its gaming abilities. Read Pete’s, and Scott’s full blogs about the GT720, if you are into gaming, and want to learn what a couple of heavy hitters think!

One more time, for your convenience – here are two summaries from our serious gamers, about the GT720′s game performance:

Pete summarizes the GT720 projector as a gaming projector:

The Optoma GT720 is a fabulous choice for gamers on a budget.  It throws an extremely bright and respectably sharp image (720p).  It’s made for a shelf mount configuration, like most gamers use, and it also is notably portable – both because of its size and its built-in-speakers.   I could easily see myself packing the GT720 up (in the included travel backpack) for a night in a friend’s house or taking it “down the hall” for a movie night in the lounge.  Unfortunately, we did not test the GT720 for 3D gaming, although future game projectors will be, as soon as we are set up. There are better choices for home theater enthusiasts, but the GT720 is great for gamers who have limited space and are on a budget. – Pete

Scott S’s two cents about the GT720 as a game projector:

The Optoma GT720 is bright, easy to set up, has built in sound, lag is a non-issue, and the best part…it is portable! This makes it a fun, and capable gaming projector that is easy to transport to a friend’s house. Another huge plus for motion control gamers out there is that the Optoma GT720 is a short throw projector. You can set it up in front of you on your coffee table and you will never walk in front of the projector’s light path. While I loved this projector for its gaming abilities and portability, I felt it was a weak performer when it comes to movie viewing. Though it would be passable for the occasional movie. The black level leaves much to be desired, and the color always seemed a bit “off” to me, though the GT720 wasn’t calibrated until after Pete and I looked at it (see Art’s comments). This projector is affordable, portable, and very capable when it comes to gaming. I would definitely recommend the GT720 for those purposes. If you intend on using it primarily for movies and television viewing you may want to look elsewhere. – Scott

GT720 Brightness: Ahh, I do love the GT720′s brightness. With Brilliant Color opened up to 10, the projector is a light canon, with multiple modes measuring over 1800 lumens, and the brightest, breaking 2100 lumens! That’s a good amount of horsepower to cut through ambient light in your favorite room. Consider that the average home theater projector offers about 1000 lumens it its brightest mode. Ok, the GT720 is no where’s near up to dealing with sunlight, but some modest lighting won’t destroy the picture.

Look folks, if movies or sports are your thing, and gaming is just a curiousity, you can do better, but if the reverse is true, then the Optoma GT720 looks to be a good place to start your life as a gamer with a real (immersive) display – aka projector! Movies just aren’t this projectors strength, but it does extremely well on sports and TV with ambient light present.

Wireless needs mentioning. The GT720 claims wireless PC abilities with an optional module. We did not receive this module, and therefore could not test it. It is there for PC presenting, primarily, and I consider it a legacy feature, so to speak from the GT720′s beginnings as a cross-over portable business projector.

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