Posted on January 2, 2004 Art Feierman
I’m trying something new here, in attempt to cover more ground in a single review. Panasonic has just introduced 5 new projectors – their LB10 series, and they are all similar enough, to be tackled in one writing.
So first, what are they? Each of the 5 projectors are 4.7 lb., LCD based projectors. They are just ounces too heavy to make the cut, and be defined as “Featherweights” (under 4.5 lbs.) and they are small, but larger than the DLP projectors that dominate that lightest and smallest category. Also noteworthy – these Panasonics have one of the very best warranties in the industry – and the best of any major brand!
The two LB10 projectors with “V” (value) designations offer up 1600 lumens, while the other three claim 2000 lumens The whole LB10 series share the same feature sets, with only these differences: The two projectors with S designations are SVGA resolution (800×600), ideal for many schools and also those on extremely tight budgets, while the remaining three are true XGA resolution (the resolution the vast majority of users should be purchasing).
All in all, Panasonic’s choice to have all these similar designations for the different models seems to be perhaps the biggest problem Panasonic has with these models.
Panasonic has really done a great job with this new series, but before I go further, let me identify for you other differences between the models.
From a Pricing standpoint, the entry-level LB10SVU seems to have a street price (as of this writing) close to $1300, while the 2000 lumen “SU” is commanding about $400 more. (I expect most SVGA buyers will stick to the 1600 lumen SVU, since many are motivated by price, and especially in light of the pricing of the LB10VU. The “VU” is true XGA and should sell for the same price (give or take a few dollars).
That means that you can essentially choose between a 1600 lumen XGA projector or a 2000 lumen SVGA projector for the same price, and here’s a big tip! For all of you but those “large audience” presenters, the higher resolution makes more sense, than the slight difference in brightness. (And while the extra 400 lumens does make some difference, you aren’t likely to notice except in a side by side comparison.
Lastly, consider the LB10NTU, which I spent most of my time working with (I only “played” with the LB10NTU, and the LB10SVU – the high, and low end models). The “NTU” projector is identical to the LB10U, but with the addition of wireless networking. I’ll explore those extra capabilities and performance of the NTU in the Performance: Other section.
Let’s look at the physical layout of the LB10 series projectors.
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