Projector Reviews

Epson BrightLink 585Wi Projector Review

EPSON BRIGHTLINK 585WI Projector Intro:  The Epson Brightlink 585Wi is an ultra short throw, interactive projector, sporting 3300 lumens.  It targets the education projector market, suitable for both K-12 and higher education applications.  Features include WXGA resolution, Wired and Wireless networking, including advanced features, Dual Pen use, and classroom filling sound.  The Brightlink 585Wi is the middle of three new interactive projectors.  The Brightlink 575Wi projector is similar, but with 2700 lumens, while the flagship Brightlink 595Wi has more advanced interactivity, including pen free, touch interactivity – use your fingers.  Epson’s pens work as well on that 595Wi.  There’s also a non interactive version, the $1499 Brightlink 585W (no “i”), for those not interested in full interactivity. This Brightlink series of projectors from Epson may primarily focus on schools, (including large educational discounts), but is also widely sold for business use as well.  It brings ultra short throw and interactivity to conference rooms, training rooms, and at trade shows.   The Brightlink Pro 1410Wi projector has even more features, and targets the executive boardroom but costs significantly more.

Brightlink 585Wi Projector - Overview

I expected great things from Epson’s Brightlink 585Wi, considering that it’s predecessor received our Best In Classroom: Interactive Projector two years ago.  This newer version builds on that older projector’s strengths.  Interactive functions seem slightly improved.  Sharpness, often a challenge with ultra short throw projectors had been very good, but the 585Wi is excellent, rivaling traditional throw distance projectors.

I’ll be mentioning education, and the classroom quite a bit, but in reality, the Brightlink 585Wi is just as at home in a corporate boardroom, conference or training room.  It’s also very suitable for use at trade shows and other events where interactivity is designed, and fast, smooth operation demanded.

Networking features are advanced.  Network administrators should find all the features they are looking for.  The 585Wi has both wired – LAN networking, and Wireless.  Wireless is accomplished by simply inserting the included wireless dongle into its slot, and, of course configuring.

Of course if your purpose is to place one of these (or its siblings) in a school classroom, then you’ll appreciate that Epson offers an aggressive education program.

The Epson Brighter Futures education program includes huge discounts from the $2199 MSRP, an extra year of warranty, and an extra year of their support programs. Finally, schools get to purchase Epson’s long life replacement lamps for $99, that’s about half to 1/3 of what most lamps sell for these days.

The last Epson ultra short throw interactive projector we reviewed, we mounted directly to a whiteboard – basically drafting table style.  This time around we kept things simple, going for a basic table top setup.

The projector can be mounted above the “screen” surface, be used table top, or mounted to the display surface.  As an added bonus, it can be used to project horizontally using a table as the display surface.  That means an interactive table. That may work well in a small classroom, an engineering station, or a museum display.  The interactivity is the key reason for that type of setup.  Epson offers the type of mount that you need for your configuration.  You can see an example of their wall mount in one of the images above.

The Epson comes with two interactive pens and a pen case.

Remember, if you plan to use this projector interactively, that a traditional screen surface really doesn’t work.  A whiteboard or a “hybrid” combination of screen and whiteboard work better.  The reason, of course are the pens.  They are pressure sensitive, so pressing against a traditional screen surface is just going to push that surface in an inch or so, before the pen’s contacts click.  In other words, you’ll end up stretching the screen surface, not a good thing.

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.

Brightlink 585Wi Highlights

  • Very bright projector – 3300 white, and 3300 color lumens, for better than most color
  • Impressive interactivity, tools, pens, etc.
  • Support from 3rd party interactive software programs
  • Wired and Wireless networking, including Crestron RoomView support
  • Sharp image
  • Ultra short throw design doesn’t “blind” the presenter/teacher/student
  • Extensive selection of inputs and connectors
  • Multiple color modes, most with very good to excellent color
  • Speaker system capable of handling small and medium sized classrooms
  • Excellent warranty and support programs
  • Additional breaks (on price, warranty) for educational institutions