Projector Reviews

Epson PowerLite L400U Installation Laser Projector Review – Summary

Epson PowerLite L400U Projector Review – Summary: Summary, Pros, Cons

Summary

Projector Reviews Hot Product Award

We are proud to award the Epson Powerlite L400U with our Hot Product Award.

We found the price tag at $2,499 to be quite aggressive for a 4,500 lumen WUXGA laser projector.  The out of the box color is far superior to many other business and education projectors we have reviewed, even among 3 LCD units.  The feature set the L400U provides is more than enough for applications in business and education and we feel this projector is an excellent choice.

The Epson PowerLite L400U is a 3LCD WUXGA installation laser projector intended for business and education applications. With a list price of $2,499, it will likely find a home in higher education classrooms, lecture halls, and medium sized auditoriums more so than K-12 classrooms. Epson claims the L400U has a brightness of 4,500 lumens, and the actual brightest measurment we got was of Dynamic Mode in wide-zoom at full power at 5,128 lumens!  Even in its better, albeit dimmer color modes and mid-range zoom, there is still plenty of brightness to cut through some heavy ambient light.

It measures 5.4 inches tall, by 17.3 inches wide and 12.0 inches deep, weighing in at 17.1 lbs.  This projector will likely find itself ceiling mounted in most locations, and includes a cord cover to clean up the look. The projector supports wireless connectivity with the use of an optional wireless module, not included, for existing networks. Mobile devices and remote computers can projector content via Miracast and the Epson iProjection app, with a convenient embedded QR code to quickly locate the projector on the network.

Epson L400U Inputs and Connectors

There are a hand full of inputs and connectors, but what there is should be plenty for the vast majority of business and education applications. There are two HDMI ports, one of which supports MHL, but I couldn’t find anything in the documentation to tell me which one. Two VGA ports with accompanying 3.5mm MiniJack Audio Inputs. Computer 2, the second VGA port, also doubles as a Monitor Out port – to get it to function as an input instead of an output, you’ll need to change a setting as discussed on the Hardware 1 page. You’ll also find a single USB type A port for USB mass storage or the optional wireless module, a USB-B port for Service only. An RJ-45 Network port for wired networking, a Audio Out mini jack for connecting to external audio equipment, and the obligatory RS-232C port for “old school” command and control.  There are also physical security options such as a metal lock bar and a Kensington lock port.

The Epson PowerLite L400U has six color modes: Dynamic, Presentation, Cinema, sRGB, DICOM SIM and Multi-Projection. Dynamic mode is this projectors version of the obligatory “Bright” mode and has some sickly greenish color, but not as bad as what some other manufactures offer. Presentation, Cinema, and sRGB mode all offer some nice color, with Cinema having the best. Multi-Projection offers a fairly bright, yet cooler color mode, and has customization options to calibrate color to match other projectors when operated together for larger images, or when image stacking.

Epson L400U DICOM SIM X-Ray
A chest X-Ray, projected in DICOM SIM mode.

DICOM SIM should only be used for medical imaging as it was not intended to be used for anything else, and as such the color is horrendous. DICOM SIM is an enhanced grayscale protocol for viewing X-Rays, CT Scans and MRIs.

There are four brightness modes: Normal, Quiet, Extended, and Custom. Normal operates the laser light source at full power and brightness, while quiet lowers brightness a bit but nearly silences the fans. Extended is this projector’s true ECO Mode, and can offer a laser light source lifespan of up to 30,000 hours, versus 20,000 hours in Normal or Quiet mode. Custom allows the user to adjust the brightness manually.

Overall, this projector offers a vivid image with accurate color and a high level of brightness at a price that doesn’t bust the budget. Text and images are rendered very sharp for readability of even 8pt text and 20 feet back from the screen. The brightness the L400U has to offer simply cuts through some heavy ambient light, that means even in a meeting room with large windows, presentations, charts and more should be easily viewable with minimal loss in quality.

Epson Extra Care – 3 Year Rapid Replacement

Epson offers the best warranty in the business, hands down. That’s three years that Epson will guarantee their projectors will be free from defects in workmanship and materials. If your projector has a problem during the warranted period, simply call the phone number on the projector (they give you a card for your wallet too) and talk to a real, live person! No phone trees or transfers to waste your time, this is a direct line to Epson’s Projector Support.

Simply explain to them what the warranty issue is, they will ship you a replacement projector – that’s a replacement, not a loaner, which cuts down on the hassle immensely. Once you receive the replacement, pack the busted unit in the box and send it back. Epson covers all shipping charges within the Lower 48 states and you’ll likely be back up and running within one or two business days. Epson will require a credit card authorization to release the replacement projector, but that’s just good business – send your broken one back within 30 days and you won’t be charged.

Art likes to sing the praises of Epson’s Extra Care Rapid Replacement program, because he has had to use it before and found it to be everything he could have hoped for from the leader in the industry.

Pros

  • Exceeded brightness claim of 4,500 by 13.96% at 5,128 lumens!
  • $2,499 List Price
  • Laser Phosphor Light Source – Up to 30,000 hours in ECO Mode
  • WUXGA Resolution (1920×1080) – The Biz/Ed version of Full HD
  • 3LCD Technology for Accurate Color
  • Decent Placement Flexibility with Geometric Correction, Vertical Lens Shift and 1.60:1 Zoom Lens
  • Split Screen
  • Optional Wireless Module
  • Includes Cable Cover
  • PC-Free Presentations via Miracast
  • Onboard file browser and media player
  • Supports Crestron and Control4
  • Instant On/Off
  • Loud 10.0 Watt Speaker
  • Very quiet operation

Cons

  • Remote is not backlit
  • No Mention of MHL in the User Manual though the Epson Website says it supports it
  • Contrast was very much exaggerated – Black was grayish
  • No support for 3D Content
  • Wireless Not Built-In

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