Sanyo PLV-Z2 - Summary, Pros, Cons
This is easy!
Sanyo’s Z2 is an outstanding performer, and a breakthrough in price performance. The Z2 rivals highly acclaimed older LCD projectors such as Epson’s TW100 (which I used extensively), and sold for over twice as much.
At the $2000 price point, there still isn’t a real competitor in terms of a high res DLP projector. True, InFocus has announced the WSVGA Screenplay 4805, a completely new DLP projector that barely resembles the 4800 (a minor variation of their X1). Pricing isn’t set yet so we’ll have to see what that looks like when the time comes, but right now, the best of the competition out there that is less expensive, consists primarily of Epson’s Home-10 (reviewed) for about $1300, Sanyo’s similarly priced Z1, and possibly Hitachi’s new equivalent model, which I haven’t seen yet. At $2000 the Z2 dominates, with Panasonic’s soon to ship L500 threatening to be a serious competitor (editor's note: The L500 is now shipping, review to be posted before 3/26/04), but everything else is left in the dust.
If two grand is your budget, and your room doesn’t have any placement challenges that the Sanyo can’t cope with (and it’s extremely flexible), you might as well stop looking, break out the credit card, and start watching!
[Image: Sanyo Z2 front]
As home theater projectors go, the Z2 changes the game, sure, you can spend many times more in the search of perfection, but $2000 will buy you one fine home theater projector, and hopefully leave you enough funds for a good screen, proper sound, and quality cables.
· Excellent color overall
· Wonderful flesh tones
· Good black levels even with aperture open
· The best black levels (shadow detail) of any LCD projector when itsaperture is closed
· Horizontal and Vertical lens shift simplifies placement and mounting
· Four savable user settings for image quality/color
· Economy mode for reduced cost of operation (longer lamp life)
· Sufficient brightness for screens up to 110”
· Enough brightness to maximize performance (aperture, and lamp) on 92” screens
· 3 year warranty
· Quiet even in full power mode (near silent in low lamp mode).
· Side venting (can use on shelf)
· Remote not fully backlit (partial)
· A few hundred more lumens would allow optimum performance on larger screens.
· Menus a little confusing to navigate (you’ll get used to it)
· Sanyo’s no DOA policy. (If there’s a flaw in a new projector, they repair, not replace it). As a result, most dealers also will not exchange a defective one for a new one. Sanyo will pay freight to send it in and make it right!
· Sorry, there’s nothing typical about this projector, for now, it’s a class of one, in its price range.