Classroom Projector Report 2013: NEC VE281X

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NEC VE281X Projector

NEC VE281XOur second NEC projector featured in this year’s Education projector report is the VE281X, with the V being NEC’s “Value” designation.   Although definitely not loaded with features, it has the basics pretty well covered, and that includes being the least expensive of the 15 projectors covered in this report to have an HDMI input.

The official price of the VD281X is $449, which is a very good price for an XGA (1024×768) native resolution projector.   Unlike the NEC M311X we also discuss, this NEC is a DLP projector.  The VE281X has a zoom lens with 1.15:1 range which is minimal, but having some zoom sure beats having none at all, when it comes time to place the projector.  The VE281X projector is 3D capable, just add the 3D glasses (part number: NP02GL) which have a lower than most brands list price of $85 a pair.

Brightness is pretty typical, measuring over 2500 lumens in presentation mode (claim is 2800 lumens).  However, in High Brightness mode, this projector actually beat 3000 lumens.  That’s not the mode to go to if respectable color is important to you, but know you’ve got that extra brightness if needed.

Sound is very good with a 7 watt audio system built in, and lamp life is also very good.  NEC’s 2 year warranty is pretty typical, but this is the first time I’ve seen a projector with a lamp warranty of 4000 hours (or two years, whichever comes first).  Since most lamps come with 500 hour warranties, and some with 1000, this is impressive.  At just over five pounds (2.3 kg), this is a true portable, that should work well for teachers who need to move their projector from room to room, or even from school to school.

Overall, we found the NEC VE281X projector to be an excellent value for the bucks spent, with Tony definitely favoring it over the slightly less expensive InFocus IN114, which he also reviewed.

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