Projector Reviews

Epson PowerLite 5520W Business/Education Projector Review – Summary

Epson PowerLite 5520W Business/Education Projector Review – Summary: Summary, Pros, Cons

Summary

The Epson PowerLite 5520W is WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution projector claiming 5,500 lumens. It measured well over claim when measured at full wide angle in its brightest mode, Dynamic, at 7,192 lumens! This $2,199 projector provides an excellent value proposition for educators, as Epson’s Brighter Futures Education Program knocks the price down to $1,699. That’s a huge savings, especially when you consider school districts and universities will likely be buying several of these to add to their projector fleet.

Its 3LCD technology means the projector has as many color lumens as it does white ones, providing a more vibrant image overall than many of its DLP competition, especially in the face of ambient light. The 5520W has lamp life claim of up to 10,000 hours in ECO Mode, and 5,000 hours when operating at full power. Not bad – lamp based projectors generally have claims of 4,000 to 8,000 hours at full power. The lamp will last quite a while, even with heavy use, but when the lamp finally does need to be replaced, Epson’s prices are some of the lowest around.

Epson BrightLink 710Ui Inputs and Connectors
The Epson BrightLink 710Ui has all the inputs and connectors you'll need for your education applications.

The projector comes Epson’s usual warranty, which is excellent. That’s 2 years parts and labor with 90 days on the lamp, plus 2 years of Epson’s ExtraCare Road Service. With this service, you can have peace of mind in knowing that if your projector breaks, a refurbished unit is just a phone call away. The new projector will be shipped out to you within a few days so that you can get up and running as soon as possible, and when the new projector arrives, you ship back your malfunctioning unit (free of charge), and potentially save weeks of downtime as you do not have to wait for your original unit to be repaired.

Using an optional wireless LAN module, you can wirelessly project from Android devices, via Miracast. This allows you to mirror the screen from any Android device, which can be a real time saver with presentations – if you’re an Android user. If you’re a Mac user – like me – and you need the ability to project wirelessly, look elsewhere. With the popularity of Apple products, it is baffling to me when a projector works with Android and not Mac. Apple has strict security protocols, so I do get that sometimes, manufacturers want to save the frustration, but I’m going to have to mark this down as a definite con.

Epson BrightLink 710Ui Inputs and Connectors
The Epson BrightLink 710Ui has all the inputs and connectors you'll need for your education applications.

The Epson PowerLite 5520W has plenty of inputs and connectors to suit most business and education needs, and then some. I found the panel to be neat and simple. The projector has a wired LAN, an HDBaseT port, two HDMIs, a service port, and a VGA Computer connector and an Audio 1 input grouped together. It also has a series of BNC connectors, an Audio 2 port, a Monitor Out input, Audio Out port, an RS-232 connector for old-school command and control, and an input for a wired remote control. Its 10-watt mono speaker is loud enough for medium to large K-12 classrooms, conference rooms, and board rooms.

The color on the PowerLite 5520W is excellent. Nearly all of its modes have stellar color, besides the obvious eye-sore that are the Dynamic and DICOM SIM. modes. That is to be expected. Its best modes are Cinema mode (3,334 lumens), closely followed by sRGB (3,179) , then Presentation (3,450). Multi-Projector mode is next in terms of color (3,702). The remaining modes are, DICOM SIM. (3,198), and Dynamic (4,690). All modes are bright enough to combat ambient light, though I would recommend Presentation for situations with uncontrollable ambient light for best the best color while maintaining high brightness.

Pros

  • Measured Over 4,000-Lumen Claim – 5,904 in Dynamic Mode
  • $3,499 List Price – Brighter Futures Education Program knocks the price down to $2,699
  • WUXGA Resolution (1920 x 1200) – Impressively sharp!
  • Laser Light Engine – Light engine life of up to 20,000 hours
  • High Contrast Ratio of 2,500,000:1
  • 8-Point Touch – Two pens, six fingertips
  • 70” to 100” Diagonal Projection for Interactive Features
  • Redemption Code for SMART Learning Suite
  • iProjection Compatible – Connect up to 50 devices (Chromebook, PC, Mac, iOS and Android) simultaneously
  • Two-Way Content Sharing – Share content from the projector to devices that are connected and control which device’s screen to display; students can make changes and notes to send back to the projector
  • DuoLink – Allows side by side installation of two BrightLink projectors to create a larger, seamless interactive surface (up to 177” diagonally)
  • PC-Free Annotation – Two modes: Built-in Annotation and Built-In Whiteboard
  • Digital Zoom – Digitally zoom into the content to focus on a specific section of the image
  • 16 Watt Mono Speaker – Loud enough for larger classroom environments
  • Wireless Networking
  • Crestron Ready
  • Instant On/Off Function

Cons

  • No EdgeBlending – This would have been a nice feature to use with the DuoLink function so that the two projectors would not have to be placed with such accuracy
  • Loud fan – 38db
  • Cannot sit on a table and use the interactive features – must be inverted or vertical.
  • Cable cover is annoying because you have to unscrew two screws to get it off instead of an easy-release lever (this is a complaint I had with the 696Ui as well)

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