Sanyo PLC-XL50, XGA Ultra-Short Throw Business Projector Review

Most impressive. Sanyo has done an excellent implementation of an ultra short throw projector, and one that has no betters, when it comes to how close it can be positioned from the projection surface.

Sanyo PLC-XL50 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Sanyo PLC-XL50 Projector: Pros

  • Ultra short throw lens: Designed to operate only a few inches from the screen
  • Ideal for all types of special applications, from digital signage to classroom, to command and control centers
  • Slightly exceeds brightness claim of 2000 lumens
  • Works horizontally or vertically, therefore can project on both vertical, and horizontal surfaces
  • Extensive image controls
  • Digital zoom, which should prove handy with this type of design
  • Very good color handling, with plenty of saturation, bright reasonably accurate primary and secondary colors including bright reds and yellows – which are a problem for some projectors, incuding many DLP models
  • Very good three year parts and labor warranty, with fast turn-around
  • Quieter than most projectors

Sanyo PLC-XL50 Projector: Cons

  • Menus, while extensive, rely on small icons that need the accompanying text description, and several menus are multi-page, which isn’t ideal
  • No zoom lens – although, since a few inches closer or further from the screen can halve or double the size of the image, I don’t know that lacking a zoom is a real loss.
  • Sanyo’s initial DOA policy
  • Remote control – not bad, but more features/controls would be a plus
  • Lack of remote mousing
  • Projector exhibited a slightly uneven background, shifting slightly to red in the upper left-hand corner – this is occasionally seen in 3LCD projectors, and can be due to minor shipping damage (this review unit has been around a while)
  • Could be brighter (newly released PLC-XL51 is 35% brighter)
  • Lacks a digital input (DVI or HDMI)

Sanyo PLC-XL50 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Manual
  • Lamp Life (assumed – as Sanyo provides no estimates)
  • Color performance compared to other 3LCD projectors
  • Not much else about this Sanyo is “typical”
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Sanyo PLC-XL50: Competitive Aspects

When in use in ideal applications for its design, the PLC-XL50 competes more with large LCD monitors and plasma displays, than it does with the typical projector, which simply won’t work in those environments.

The projector can produce a larger image, for significantly less money than the 60″ and larger flat panel displays, and be much simpler to set up. Just taking advantage of its design, however, also allows the PLC-XL50 to compete with traditional projectors, in many typical locations, such as conference rooms. One huge benefit, is that the presenter – be it, in the boardroom, classroom, or elsewhere, doesn’t come between the projector and the screen, and also doesn’t get blinded by the projector.

It’s almost too easy, have a cabinet or or other furniture right below your screen, and set the projector down, and you are ready to go.

This is especially ideal when working with electronic whiteboards, such as the SmartBoards.

Sanyo PLC-XL50 Projector: Bottom Line

I am extremely impressed with Sanyo’s implementation of an ultra short throw projector. The PLC-XL50, despite the unusual design, performs as promised with overall image quality comparable to other good 3LCD projectors. The ability to work close in, closer than other projectors, should make the Sanyo a first choice for many applications. The ability to project onto floors, ceilings and other horizontal surfaces, opens up a host of additional applications that other projectors cannot be used for.

The cost per lumen is relatively expensive for the PLC-XL50, but for most specialty applications, the ability of the Sanyo projector to work in those situations, will usually provide an excellent return on investment.

Even when competing with tradtional projectors in classrooms and boardrooms, the close proximity placement may save significant installation costs, to offset the higher cost per lumen.

Better still, the projector solves the problem of the presenter getting between the projector and the screen.

Congratulations to Sanyo for a breakthrough type projector, and for earning our Hot Product Award. Well done!

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