Epson PowerLite 725W Business/Education Projector Review - Performance: Color Modes, Image Quality, Text and Presentation, Audio Quality, Brightness, Contrast, and Audible Noise
The Epson PowerLite 725W has five preset modes.
Dynamic Mode: The brightest mode. The Dynamic mode should be selected when using the projector in a room with uncontrolled ambient light sources that cause the image to appear faded on your screen. Unlike the typical Bright mode on most projectors, the Epson 725W maintains decent color in Dynamic mode with only a slight green/blue tint added to the image.
Presentation Mode: Designed for use with content generated in programs like PowerPoint and Excel.
Cinema Mode: Designed for viewing entertainment content like movies and television. On this projector, the Cinema Mode is the second most accurate color mode for entertainment content.
sRGB Mode: The most color-accurate mode on this projector and provides, in my opinion, the best picture performance on this projector.
Blackboard Mode: Designed to use when using a typical green chalkboard as your projection surface. The overall purple overtones in this mode make it unusable on any other type of typical projection material.
Image quality is not bad (see the images below), considering the type of use this projector will get in the classroom and meeting room. Most of us are much more familiar with writing on a whiteboard. For me, the whiteboard was the most effective way I could collaborate with my team. But does the PowerLite 725W display text or presentation data with enough quality to be acceptable for either a business or education customer? The answer is yes, with some caveats.
TEXT AND PRESENTATION
As a whiteboard projector, the 725W's image quality is good enough. At the 120-inch image size, I could see a noticeable screen-door effect might be a problem for some users. For example, SDE can make finer text and projected details fuzzy and a little harder to read. I preferred a 100 inch diagonal or smaller display size because detailed content appeared sharper and clearer. The WXGA resolution is good enough for most professional uses and the video quality is decent for a business and education projector.
The 725W offers a 16-watt built-in mono speaker. All the sound is in the mid-range and high range, which should be perfect for the classroom. The projector is more than loud enough to let students hear content clearly even when they are sitting in the back of the room.
I tested with a whiteboard screen from Elite ProAV. One of the first things I noticed was the consistency of detail that this Epson projector provided almost all the way to the edges of the screen. It looked really good.
Epson claims a brightness of 4,000 lumens for the PowerLite 725W. With no adjustable zoom, everything on this ultra-short-throw projector is wide zoom. I took my brightness measurements several times as it was hard to get a consistent reading. I basically split the difference to get the following results.
Like many previous Epson ultra-short-throw projectors reviewed on this site, the PowerLite 725W beat its own brightness claim by over 1,000 ANSI lumens, coming in at 5,005 lumens. Based on our previous experience with Epson projectors' actual brightness rating claims, I was not surprised when my tests showed a higher number. The chart below shows my brightness readings for the other four of the five out-of-the-box modes for the 725W.
I also took measurements in Dynamic Mode and Epson's Quiet (ECO) lamp mode. Results are in the final row of the chart below.
Dynamic in Quiet Mode (Sometimes called ECO)
The Epson PowerLite 725W has a contrast ratio claim of 2,500,000:1. Contrast refers to black-level performance, or "how black" the blacks look. Business and education projectors don't require excellent black-level performance in the same way home entertainment or home theater projectors do. So business and education projectors tend to hang out in the medium-grey to medium dark-grey spectrum. We don't expect them to have true black. The 725W has average black-level performance. Check out the photos above.
The Epson PowerLite 725W has a rated fan noise of 36dB at full power and 27dB in ECO Mode. That's pretty standard for Epson projectors and business/education projectors in general. At full power, the audible noise was pretty noticeable. It was less so when a movie was playing. The PowerLite 725W has a Quiet mode that works very well. While not completely silent, there were times I forgot that the projector fan was running.