Projector Reviews

Acer S1386WHN Short Throw Projector Review – Summary

Acer S1386WHN Short Throw Projector Review – Summary: Summary, Pros, Cons

Summary

The Acer S1386WHN is a DLP, WXGA (1280×800) short throw projector intended for use in business and education environments. This projector is designed for use in the classroom, boardroom and conference room, where a longer throw projector is either not wanted or not practical. A short throw allows the presenter or teacher to stand right up close to the image, with minimal shadow on the image.

Acer claims a brightness rating of 3,600 lumens, but my measurements only reached a maximum of 2,162 lumens in its brightest mode. Still, color is pretty good with decent brightness, connectivity is great for the intended markets and the internal 16-watt speaker means all but the largest classrooms will experience adequate sound. Not bad for a projector with a list price of only $649!

Acer S1386WHN Conference Room Projector
The Acer S1386WHN offers a good compliment of inputs suitable for education and business purposes.

There are a good amount of inputs and connectors to handle the vast majority of needs in the business and education environment. There are two HDMI ports, one with support for MHL.  Two USB-A ports, one with DC 5V Out. A composite video input, along with twin VGA inputs for connectivity to PC’s and Macs, a VGA port to allow a monitor to be connected, and an RS232 for old-school command and control. There is also a RJ-45 Network port for LAN connectivity, and two mini jacks for Audio In and Out.

The S1386WHN offers connectivity to mobile devices via its eDisplayPro app, allowing tethered connectivity for Android 5.0 devices and newer, but not for iOS. iOS devices are supported via WiFi connectivity, assuming you add the optional wireless dongle to the projector. PC’s can be tethered via USB. The robust onboard media player will accept content from USB storage media, and has functions to navigate content easily.

The Acer S1386WHN has five color modes to choose from: Bright, Presentation, Standard, Video and Education. If those five aren’t enough, there are three user configurable modes called User 1, User 2 and User 3. These three user modes are based off pre-set color modes, but allow you to adjust the R/G/B Gain via the Color Temperature Sub-Menu, Brightness, Contrast and Gamma. There are multiple special features to help improve image quality.

Bright mode was the brightest color mode, measuring in at 2,162 lumens. The next brightest mode was Education, which had warmer temperatures than Presentation Mode and was my choice for the presentation images found within this review, measuring in at 2,119 lumens. The third brightest mode was the User configurable User 1/2/3 modes, which were based off presentation mode by default (it can be changed to a different pre-set mode to base your settings off of), and measured in at 2,048 lumens.

Standard mode and Video mode both had pretty good color, and measured in at 2,040 and 2,033 lumens respectively. Presentation mode, which was a bit too cool, measured in at only 2,008 lumens. Bright Mode, running in ECO Mode, measured in at 1,471 lumens – that’s not bad for an ECO mode and is definitely usable with the lights turned off and the blinds closed.

The bottom line on the Acer S1386WHN – I found it to have a decent measured brightness with pretty good color, and the 16 W speaker makes it especially useful in all but the largest of venues.  Overall, at a list price of $649, I would call the Acer S1386WHN a good choice when you need good brightness and color in a short throw projector.

Pros

  • $649 list price
  • WGXA Resolution (1280×800)
  • DLP with Sealed Light Path
  • No filters
  • 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio looks pretty good
  • Decent brightness with good color
  • Short throw – Convenient when space is an issue
  • Automatic Image Correction, Corner Adjustment, Vertical and Horizontal Keystone Correction
  • Up to 4 Way Split Screen
  • Smooth focus wheel with resistance
  • Optional wireless connectivity to network, Android and iOS Devices
  • USB Tethering to Android Devices
  • 16 W Speaker is loud enough for all but the largest classrooms
  • PC-Free Presentations – Display media on smart device or USB Media
  • Network Connectivity with PC’s and Macs

Cons

  • Did not meet claim of 3,600 lumens – Maximum measured was 2,162 lumens, only 60% of claim
  • USB Tethering Not Compatible with iOS Devices
  • Fixed focal length means there is no optical zoom – the projector has to be physically moved to adjust image size