Posted on August 1, 2021 By Philip Boyle
Recently I had the opportunity to review Epson Brightlink 1485Fi. The 1485Fi was purpose-built for teaching and collaboration. At $3,390.00, Epson believes that it is worth every single penny, and I agree with them. The Epson 1485Fi is certainly a premium collaborative projector, but not every school or business needs or can afford the projector equivalent of a Lexus with the premium accessory package. Recognizing that, Epson developed the PowerLite 700 series. These collaboration projectors start at a lower price, keeping many of the 1485Fi’s most valuable features.
Let’s take a look at the most affordable ultra-short-throw projector in Epson’s PowerLite 700 series, the Epson PowerLite® 725W.
In Epson’s own words, they built the PowerLite 725W to “…enhance engagement in today’s socially distanced classrooms.” Epson has looked around and leaned into our new normal. The first and most affordable of the four projectors that make up the PowerLite 700 series, the Epson 725W is a compelling choice for many educators and business collaborators.
Some features have been removed compared to the Brightlink 1485Fi, and certain performance specifications have been reduced to reach the PowerLite 725W’s suggested $1,890.00 price. Still, the 725W is a very useful collaboration projector. Let’s dig in.
The PowerLite 725W is a UST (Ultra-Short-Throw) projector that offers 4,000 ANSI lumens, which should be more than enough for most classrooms and meeting rooms, even with the lights on. Along with a bright picture, this projector’s black and dark details should benefit from the listed contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1. I will be taking readings to confirm brightness to see how this projector holds up to Epson’s claims and give you my opinion on its contrast performance.
One of the first places Epson lowered performance to reach a more budget-friendly price on the PowerLite 725W is the imager. I’m glad to see that Epson stayed with their 3LCD system, but they chose a WXGA resolution versus Full HD for the 725W. I will be looking carefully at the image quality produced by the WXGA sensors, specifically potential image artifacts like SDE (Screen Door Effect) that can be seen when projecting a large image in WXGA resolution. Epson recommends the maximum image size that the 725W can display as 120 inches, at a 16:10 aspect ratio, which offers up to 95 percent more interactive space than a 75″ flat panel. So in my testing, 120 inches will be my starting image size.
The PowerLite 725W offers built-in 5GHz wireless for Miracast® and iProjection compatibility. The built-in split screen allows simultaneous display of up to four connected devices. Epson also includes its iProjection™ software to connect, display, and share content from up to 50 devices. Lastly, the PowerLite 725W comes with a built-in 16W mono speaker.
The 725W comes with several image adjustments and simplified calibration capabilities, so you don’t have to be an expert to configure it once it’s installed. Like the 1485Fi, I highly recommend getting an expert to install this projector. Once the projector is mounted, the rest of the setup process is straightforward.
The Epson PowerLite 725W’s four thousand ANSI lumens (Epson’s listed specification) should be exceptionally bright and very useful in environments where ambient light is not fully controlled, like meeting rooms and classrooms. This 3LCD ultra-short-throw projector’s laser light source is virtually maintenance-free because there are never any lamps to replace.
You can connect your computer and compatible mobile devices via Miracast and still have the ability to interact with your PC content wirelessly. So you can physically move more freely around the meeting room or classroom rather than having your devices tethered by a cable to the projector. Miracast is a very mature and reliable technology that is easy to connect to, as long as you have a compatible device.
The PowerLite 725W is an excellent video conferencing projector when connected to a PC. You can then display various applications such as Zoom or Skype on the screen for the whole room to see.
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