Projector Reviews

Epson PowerLite 109W Business/Education Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality

Epson PowerLite 109W Business/Education Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality: Color Modes, Video Image Quality, Text and Presentation Image Quality, Audio Quality

Color Modes

The Epson PowerLite 109W has five color modes: Dynamic, Presentation, Cinema, sRGB, and Blackboard. Of those five, there are three modes that have excellent color. Dynamic mode, which is the brightest mode, has strong greens and yellows, which is to be expected. As brightest modes go, however, this Epson’s isn’t half bad. That is, in the worst ambient light conditions, it will do fine. Sure, there’s a bit of a sickly green look to it, but not so bad that you can’t recognize what the colors want to be.

Presentation mode’s color takes on a cooler tone than Dynamic, but still has a touch of those green/yellows associated with bright modes. It will be quite suitable for presentations and can cut through a good amount of ambient light – more on that on the Performance Page. Cinema is the best mode, in my opinion, with the most natural looking color. sRGB also has natural-looking color, but I favor Cinema over sRGB because sRGB has a warmer, but more desaturated hue. Cinema just looks more vibrant.

The final color mode to discuss is Blackboard, which has the stereotypical magenta hue so that it looks good on blackboard material. I do not have access to a blackboard, so I couldn’t test the color on the material it is intended for. Still, it looks as good as any other blackboard mode I’ve seen. Now, onto our discussion of the video image quality.

Video Image Quality

WXGA is a suitable resolution for business and education projectors, though don’t expect it to be as sharp as WUXGA, as it has slightly larger pixels. WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution, as mentioned earlier in this review, is the business and education worlds’ 720p – still HD, but at the lower end of the spectrum.

That said, I did find the video quality to be quite good! I used Cinema mode for the photos of Journey to Space, and for the photos of the educational Netflix show, Explained. The images were nicely sharp and the color looks great and quite natural looking. I particularly like how the projector handled the color on the image of the primate from Explained, and skin tones in all the images provided.

Text and Presentation Quality

Text and presentation quality on the Epson PowerLite 109W is pretty good! As you can see from our first image here, text is readable at all sizes. Even 8-point font is clear enough to read, as is 10-point font, though I don’t recommend including those sizes in your presentations. 12-point font is readable in a variety of styles, as seen from the various website images included in the slider above.

It definitely does better on text that is not condensed – the photos of our website, ProjectorReviews.com, show that the condensed font is not as easily readable as the photo before it, from the SpaceX website. It is still totally legible though. All of these photos were taken in Presentation mode, which I feel does an excellent job on presentations and websites. This is the mode I would recommend for these types of applications, and instances where there is a lot of ambient light present.

Audio Quality

The Epson PowerLite 109W has a 16-watt speaker with some serious power! With the volume turned all the way up, I could hear the audio from Journey to Space and Explained from the other room, with the door shut. Mid-volume was comfortable when in the same room with the projector. That single 16-watt speaker is located on the back of the projector, and whether you’re in front of it or behind, the audio is crisp and clear, though lacking in bass (as is expected).

The speaker has enough power for a medium to large sized K-12 classroom, and for college classrooms that are not lecture halls. There are just so many projectors better suited for higher education lecture halls – some by Epson, others by competing manufacturers – that I can’t recommend this for that application. However, the projector would be suitable for any of the classrooms I attended college in – my school had classrooms the size of regular high school classrooms, and no lecture halls.

You could hook the PowerLite 109W up to an external speaker system if you want more robust sound, but in your typical K-12 classroom, I don’t see the need – the built-in speaker will do just fine. That does it for our discussion of the picture and sound quality! It’s time to talk performance. See you on the next page!