Projector Reviews

Epson PowerLite 1785W Wireless Portable Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality

Epson PowerLite 1785W Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality: Color Modes, Video Image Quality, Text and Presentation Quality, Audio Quality

Color Modes

The Epson PowerLite 1785W 3LCD portable business and education projector offers six color modes and two brightness modes.  These six color modes, in menu order, are Dynamic, Presentation, Cinema, sRGB, Blackboard, and DICOM SIM.  Nearly every projector on the market today has the ugly emergency “bright” mode which has sickening yellows and greens, and should only be used when nothing else is bright enough; this Epson’s version of Bright Mode is called Dynamic, and the yellows and greens you might expect are barely noticeable at all!  Used in normal brightness, it’s pretty good, and with some minor tweaking in the advanced color menus, it could be great.  Using Dynamic mode in ECO brightness is not terrible, and really doesn’t affect the color, only significantly dims the light output.

Presentation mode looks quite nice on graphs and charts, but it runs a little too cool in temperature, with too much of a blue hue for skin tones.  It definitely makes for some sharp looking presentations, but if you’re going to be watching a documentary, educational film, or anything other than a presentation, I would recommend something else.

That brings us to Cinema Mode.  This is the one!  I found the color to be just right for a bright white, vivid and accurate colors and skin tones, and just all-around pleasing to the eye.  All photos taken in this review, save for the photos detailing color in the other color modes, were taken in Cinema Mode.  I found sRGB Mode to be very good as well, but a little warmer in color than Cinema Mode.  The difference is slight, but it is there.

Blackboard Mode is heavy in reds and magentas, and is designed for the sole purpose of being used when projecting directly onto a classroom’s blackboard.  This is literally the only time this mode should be used.  The final color mode offered by the Epson PowerLite 1785W is DICOM Sim.

DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) is a standard used in medical imaging, such as X-Rays, and DICOM SIM. is an enhanced gray scale protocol for training and educational purposes.  This mode can be used in medical classrooms to view MRIs or X-Rays, so that students may learn how to properly spot abnormalities in various parts of the body, whether human or animal.

Video Image Quality

I found image quality to be excellent.  Cinema mode provides accurate color that makes watching anything enjoyable.  The quality of the image has left me bugging my wife every time I put something new on “come see how good this looks!”  sRGB mode is another good choice for vivid, natural color, though it is slightly warmer than Cinema.  Presentation is a little cool in temperature, but not a bad choice either.  The Epson PowerLite 1785W is not 3D capable, but this usually doesn’t matter in most business and education applications as they currently stand.

Text and Presentation Quality

I tested text readability on a 90” screen, with a throw distance of 8 feet.  Standing 10 to 12 feet away from the screen I could easily read font as small as 10pt.  8pt font was difficult to make out, and while it may be clear enough for someone near the screen, I found it too difficult for me, even squinting.  It is not likely that you will be showing presentations, websites, or documents with something as small as 8pt font, but I feel it is necessary to be aware of.

Once I moved on to 12-point and 16-point, text is clearly visible and I would expect that an entire conference room or classroom would be able to clearly read it.  Webpage content is generally where the smaller sized text is found, while documentaries, presentations and subtitles tend to display text much larger for the purpose of being clear to everyone.  The Epson PowerLite 1785W is native WXGA (1280×800) resolution for crisp and clear presentations; coupled with the color quality and portability, this is a stellar choice for its intended market of business and education.

Audio Quality

The Epson PowerLite 1785W portable business and education projector has a built-in 1-watt speaker, mounted within the cool air intake vents on the right side (when facing from the front) of the projector.  This little speaker packs a punch!  Audio is crystal clear and loud enough to be heard throughout the entire room, even with the air conditioner running and conversations down the hall.  The kids have been playing MarioKart Wii while I’ve been down the hall writing this review and I can hear every sound…. And I mean EVERY sound.  (Someone just spun out on a banana peel!)

I’m happy to report that this speaker does not disappoint.  I recently reviewed another business and education projector that had an internal 2-watt speaker, which I couldn’t hear at max volume when I was sitting just two feet away.  Audio quality is not bad either, and while I probably wouldn’t stream music through the PowerLite 1785W all day, the purpose of the speaker in a business and education projector is for spoken audio to be clear for the audience to understand.  Epson succeeds with the 1785W.

Next up is our Performance Page, where was discuss brightness, contrast, and the audible noise made by the projector.  Does it live up to its claim of 3,200 lumens?  Find out next!