Posted on October 12, 2018 By Chris Kahl
Epson PowerLite 1785W Projector Review – Special Features: Onboard Media Player and File Browser, User Friendly Wireless Connectivity, Gesture Presenter, Automatic Image Correction, Split Screen
The Epson PowerLite 1785W portable business and education projector has an onboard media player for PC-Free presentations. I found the file browser to be incredibly easy to use, as it resembles Windows Explorer, and it is somewhat intuitive. The remote control allows simple navigation through folders and selection of files, and will play images as a slide show by pushing the center “Enter” button when an image file is displayed on the screen.
The remote control has a wireless mouse function. This is extremely convenient when standing up before your audience narrating and discussing your presentation. This function allows you to control your PC without having to take your attention away from your on-screen presentation to manipulate a laptop. This ability is only available when your computer is connected to the projector via the computer port, HDMI port or USB-B; you are not able to use the wireless mouse function of the remote control when you project from an MHL device.
It doesn’t get much better than this! The Epson PowerLite 1785W offers great wireless connectivity to PCs and Macs, as well as portable smart devices. To connect using your smart phone, Epson offers a free app called iProjection, which is quick to install and allows the user to mirror the device screen, display photos, PDF’s, web pages, utilize the camera and display images, command and control as a remote control, and even multi-device projection when multiple projectors are in use.
I had a bit of fun playing with the camera function, though the live video feed from your phone or smart device is delayed and updates at right around a one-half second interval. This choppiness between frames does make it impossible to watch videos, but the purpose of this is for sharing of still images, files and web pages. Still, I would have liked to see a better frame rate here to allow videos to be shared from smart devices wirelessly. It is also important to note that audio does not pass from your wirelessly connected smart device to the projector speaker.
Another interesting aspect of the Epson 1785W’s wireless connectivity suite is its ability to connect to Android devices via Near Field Communication (NFC.) This connection isn’t used for data transfer, just to find the projector via an existing Wi-Fi network without having to manually locate it. QR Code connectivity is offered as well, and was the method I used to find the PowerLite 1785W with my Samsung Galaxy. Both the QR Code and NFC method are accessed via the iProjection app.
The Gesture Presenter sub-menu is found within the Settings menu. Use these options to start/stop Gesture Presenter, enable it by turning it on, and position the Markers used to control your presentation.
Use the Markers, circled in blue, to advance to the next slide and return to the previous slide. Simply cover the Marker with your hand, the project's sensors see the gesture and complete the command.
The Epson PowerLite 1785W features a sensor built into the front of the unit. As you will read in the following section, this sensor is used in Automatic Image Correction. It is also used to allow a presenter to control his/her presentation by using hand gestures, without using the remote control. Gesture Presenter requires that the projector be connected to a computer using a cable or network connection; and also requires the computer to be connected to the projector via the USB-B port. The exception to the USB-B rule is if you are using EasyMP Multi PC Projection or screen mirroring to connect your computer to the Epson PowerLite 1785W.
The Epson PowerLite 1785W portable business and education projector excels at being portable. Not only is it the size and weight of a laptop computer, it comes with a soft carrying case and has something called “Automatic Image Correction.” What is Automatic Image Correction? It’s pretty much as close to a plug-and-play screen fit as you’re going to get. Turn the projector on and you’ll get a blue screen with a yellow rectangle and instructions to make the rectangle larger than your projection screen. Once you follow the instructions to the next screen, the automatic system takes over, displaying a reference pattern that a sensor (located on the front of the unit in the right corner) will “see” and make the appropriate adjustments to the size of your projected area, corner correction, and even focus!
This setting can be disabled though, if you are like me and prefer a tailored, precise fit. I disabled automatic image correction in favor of a manual “Quick Corner” option which allows the digital adjustment of all four corners, independently of each other. Now, even with off-center positioning of the projector, I get a perfect image on my screen every time. This means, assuming the aspect ratio of your presentation or video is the same as your screen, you can eliminate blank space around your image and overspill around your screen digitally. This is a huge advantage over having to adjust the feet of a different projector, shift it left or right to get it just perfect, and have to repeat this any time it gets bumped or moved; the amount of time saved is incredible!
As a projector intended for business and education applications, the Epson PowerLite 1785W offers a function suited best for that market: the ability to show content from two independent sources on the same screen at the same time. Audio is routed automatically, or can be selected manually if you prefer to use audio from one source but don’t require it from the other. I also found it useful that either source can be enlarged when needed, screens can be swapped, sources can be switched, the alignment of the two sources can be changed and the QR Code for connecting to a portable smart device can be displayed without having to use a separate menu. This feature is well suited for video conference calls where you may want to see two images on the screen.
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