Panasonic PT-LB75U and PT-LB75NTU Portable Projector Review: Summary, Pros and Cons
In handing out our Hot Product Award, the PT-LB75NTU was really rather obvious, as it is an excellent portable overall, but with exceptional networking. The PT-LB75U, on the other hand, is simply a very good projector, but more typical. It has a number of strengths, but not as impressive as its networking sibling. Still, when considering everything, including the best in class warranty, it too deserves our Hot Product Award, even if not with the maximum level of enthusiasm that I have for the PT-LB75NTU!
Two major comments first. One, these two new projectors are evolutionary, and have improved slightly over the last generation.
Second, is that they have also grown, which is not necessarily a compliment. They are physically larger than their predecessors, and have added a full pound to their weight. The older models were, although not the smallest projectors around, compact enough, and lightweight enough for the serious road warrior that carries their projector, especially on airplanes. With the 75s, the increase in both bulk, and weight has moved these projectors into the general portable class (up from "micro-portables"). As such, they are most likely to stay at home in the office, either mounted or moved from room to room, or for only occasional distance travel.
I now see these projectors as much better low cost solutions for ceiling mounting in classrooms and training rooms. That the lamp door is in the back, instead of underneath, allows the lamp to be changed without having to unmount a mounted projector. This is always a big selling point for schools and businesses, as it cuts down on a huge amount of time and people resources, if you have a large number of projectors in operation (as many high schools and middle schools do).
The wireless networking capabilities are extremely impressive, and one thing I can see the PT-LB75NTU doing, is to work incredibly well in a training environment, where students - be they school or business students - can all take turns projecting information. The ability to have 16 projectors hooked up at the same time, wirelessly, is a built in feature that I cannot recall any other brand's projectors (let alone portable projectors) offering. With rapid switching between projectors, (wirelessly), and the ability to view thumbnails of the screens of all 16 at once, this projector makes for a room full of interactive presentations. Great for internal meetings, without the fuss of switching cables between each presentation, or the expense of wiring the room for up to 16 computers!
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As described on the General Performance page, Daylight View is a nice touch, it helps, automatically, to improve the image quality in well lit rooms, but keep in mind, there is only so much it can do. What it does do, is save you the time, if you end up in one of those situations, of not having to manually adjust contrast, brightness color saturation, etc., to squeeze every last ounce of watchability out of the projected image.
Of course there are a couple hundred portable projectors on the market, so when it comes to the basics, these Panasonic projectors are very much like many others, when it comes to most things.
Besides the networking on the LB75NTU, the other key things that make these Panasonic projectors a bit special are:
As good a warranty as is available from any manufacturer of portable projectors, possibly the very best
Color handling that is very good, better than average among the portable 3LCD projectors, and much better than almost all of the DLP portables. Keep that in mind if you are looking for a smaller, lighter projector. Most of the really small projectors - under 4 pounds, are DLP projectors, and few can match the Panasonics when it comes to color. While there are smaller 3LCD projectors that also have great color, they are still much larger than the small DLP models.
Panasonic PT-LB75NTU and PT-LB75U Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities
Panasonic PT-LB75NTU and PT-LB75U Projector: Pros
- Very good brightness for a smaller portable projector, achieving almost 3000 lumens in our measurements
- Very good color accuracy
- Excellent wireless networking on the PT-LB75NTU
- Good menu system
- Daylight View 4 improves performance in bright rooms
- Rear lamp door, means lamp can be changed without unmounting projector
- Basic presentation controls from remote
- More dust resistant than most, with touch sensitive buttons, electrostatic filter
- Exceptional warranty
- Good security features
- Excellent remote control
- 3 second power up, can be unplugged immediately after power down
- Quieter than most portable projectors
- Computer 2 input can be changed to a monitor out, from menus
- Very good value proposition (bang for the buck)
Panasonic PT-LB75NTU and PT-LB75U Projector: Cons
- Larger than previous LB series projectors, and a pound heavier, making them less suitable for frequent travel
- No digital inputs (although that is most common on portables)
- Limited 1.2:1 zoom lens (again, typical of many portables, but some in class have more zoom range, for placement flexibility)
Panasonic PT-LB75NTU and PT-LB75U Projector: Typical Capabilities
- Selection of inputs
- Lamp life is average 2000 hours full power, 3000, eco-mode, but some others offer longer low power modes
- Size and weight
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Panasonic PT-LB75NTU and PT-LB75U 3LCD Portable Projector: Summary
These new LB series projectors are now more typical in terms of size and weight than their lighter, smaller predecessors. They are also better suited as low cost projectors for installation, than earlier versions.
Overall, excellent projectors that produce a clear, sharp, image with very good color. We consider the PT-LB75NTU to be exceptional based on its wireless networking capabilities. The PT-LB75U stands out less than the NTU version, when compared to its peers, but is still a "cut-above" projector, especially when considering both price and warranty, as well as pure performance issues.