Posted on January 25, 2019 By Nikki Zelinger
Epson PowerLite 109W Business/Education Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise
The Epson PowerLite 109W claims 4,000 lumens. At full wide angle, the projector beat its claim, measuring at 5,354 lumens in its brightest mode, Dynamic. We measure projectors at mid-zoom, however, because this is what most people can expect in a typical installation. At mid-zoom, the same mode measured 3,913 lumens. Not bad! That’s plenty to cut through some serious ambient light. We’re talking un-shaded windows and overhead lights serious.
The Epson PowerLite 109W projecting in a fully darkened room.
The Epson PowerLite 109W projecting in a room with a lot of ambient light.
Presentation Mode measured at 3,113, and, as you can see from the images above, can cut through plenty of ambient light. I had my curtains open for the ambient light photo, and took it at the brightest time of the day. Cinema and sRGB measured close to one another – 2,513 for Cinema, 2,285 for sRGB. The final mode, Blackboard, measured at 1,914 lumens. All of these modes will be able to handle the ambient light seen in the conference rooms and classrooms where the PowerLite 109W may be used.
The contrast claim of the Epson PowerLite109 is 15,000:1. We don’t have a way to check this claim, so instead, we look at how the projector performs in terms of black levels – that is, how close are the blacks to true black? On business and education projectors, home entertainment projectors, and even many home theater projectors, blacks are rarely true black. The closest I’ve seen to true black was on a $9,000 Sony, and I was surprised by that!
An overexposed color image to demonstrate black level performance.
An overexposed black and white image to demonstrate black level performance.
It’s more about whether or not the blacks are recognizable as black. In the case of the Epson PowerLite 109W, they are. Sure, they’re more of a medium dark grey, but in scenes from Journey to Space where the astronauts are in space, or in the renderings in the slider above, you can tell that it’s supposed to be the black of space. I have provided a color image of the Bigelow rendering from Journey to Space, as well as a black and white image, so that you can clearly see what color the blacks are. These images are overexposed to closely resemble the actual colors I saw in person.
The rated fan noise of the PowerLite 109W is 37db at full power, 28db in ECO Mode. I barely heard the fan at full power – I’ve reviewed other projectors with the same audible noise claim, and they were more noticeable than this one. When playing a film, or a presentation with audio, you’re not likely to hear the fan at all, even at full power. If you do hear it, it will be no more distracting than the hum of a computer or the air conditioning. In ECO Mode, I could barely hear the fan at all in a silent room. With audio, the sound is basically non-existent.
That does it for our review of the Epson PowerLite 109W projector! On the next page, I summarize everything you learned in the review, provide some insight as to the competition, and pros and cons to the 109W. See you on the last page!
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