Epson PowerLite L400U Installation Laser Projector Review

The Epson PowerLite L400U is a WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 3LCD laser projector intended for larger meeting spaces and the field of higher education. WUXGA is the business and education world’s 1080p, and offers full 1080p support. This $2,499 projector features some pretty awesome color, brightness and excellent clarity and will suit many medium-sized auditoriums and large university lecture halls well. Epson claims a brightness of 4,500 lumens, which simply tears through some fairly heavy ambient light. It’s equipped an RJ-45 network port for interfacing with existing networks, and supports an optional wireless module for WiFi connectivity. Once connected to a network, this projector accepts connections from smart Android and iOS devices via the free Epson iProjection App. It also offers support for USB mass storage.

This projector is part of Epson’s PowerLite L Series, and has 6 siblings! That’s not really a surprise from Epson, as they are they have the largest market share of projectors by a long shot – around 50%. This family of laser projectors includes the WXGA L500W and L610W models, with a list price of $1,999 and $2,599 respectively. The L610 XGA model at $2,399, and of course, the WUXGA models of L510U, L610U, and L615U, at $2,799, and $3,499 for the L610U and L615U. This family’s brightness ranges from 4,500 lumens to a wall-melting 6,000, and offers vertical Lens Shift and a zoom ratio of 1.60:1 for good placement flexibility.

At $2499, the L400U is the lowest priced WUXGA laser projector we’ve found yet, to review.  It’s also worth mentioning that Epson’s L500 (at $1999) is tied for the least expensive WXGA laser projector we’ve reviewed.

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Epson PowerLite L400U Specs
Price$2499
Technology3LCD
Native Resolution1920x1200
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)4500
Contrast2,500,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio1.60:1
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight17.1 lbs.
Warranty3 years
Projector Reviews Hot Product Award
2019-2020-Best-in-Classroom-Education-Projectors-Report-Higher-Edu-Price-Performance

Overview

This review of the Epson PowerLite L400U laser projector will start off with a quick overview and a list of highlights. Then, we’ll list and discuss some of the special features this projector offers. Following that, we’ll take a tour of the hardware. We’ll discuss picture and audio quality (yes, this model has audio!) before taking a look at just how well the L400U performed and if it met our expectations. We’ll finish off with a summary page where – you guessed it – we’ll summarize this review. By the end of our journey, you should have a pretty good idea if the Epson PowerLite L400U will meet your needs for a high-resolution laser installation projector.  And off we go!

Epson’s PowerLite L400U is a 4,500 lumen laser projector with WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution powered by 3LCD technology. 3LCD projectors offer a significant advantage over DLP projectors in that they offer as many color lumens as white lumens, whereas on a typical DLP business and education projector, you would have to expect to sacrifice more brightness than with 3LCDs for great color.

3LCD projectors and DLP projectors each have advantages – and disadvantages over the other.  No surprise there, since the market is split fairly close to 50/50. As just mentioned, a key advantage of 3LCD over DLP projectors in that they most often are capable of really good, accurate color, typically 20-25% below their brightness (lumen) claim.  On a typical DLP business and education projector, you would have to expect to sacrifice up to 30%-50% of the brightness in order to achieve similarly good color. This in part has to do with many DLP based business/education projectors having a clear slice on their primary color wheel (laser projectors have a separate phosphor wheel, which we won’t concern ourselves with, at this time).  
 
The trade-offs: DLP’s deliver more white lumens, per dollar spent, typically than a 3LCD, so I typically expect a DLP laser projector selling for the same price, to have 10-25% more white lumens.  Bingo.  For the same price, you start with more white lumens, but by the time both technologies (in a typical laser projector) have really very good color, their overall brightness should be pretty comparable.  That of course is “in general,” there are plenty of exceptions, which is one reason why we do these reviews, so you know what you are getting!

At Projector Reviews, we measure the brightness the projector puts out in each preset picture mode.  While we will certainly let you know if it meets the manufacture claim, what is far more important than the number of lumens is how well did it perform? We’ll discuss that on the Performance Page.

Another advantage for 3LCD over DLP – there’s also none of that annoying rainbow effect which, if you’re like me and, perhaps ~5% of the population, and you are bothered by it, 3LCD offers a real advantage.

The L400U measures in at 5.35 inches tall, by 17.32 inches wide and 11.97 inches deep, weighing in at 17.1 lbs. This projector is likely to find a home in a higher education classroom, lecture hall or large meeting space in a ceiling mounted configuration. Its vertical Lens Shift and 1.60:1 zoom lens gives this projector some good placement flexibility – a vital asset in these larger venues. This bright projector is capable of projecting images as large as 500 inches diagonally for some of the larger screens. We have a saying here – there’s always trade-offs – and when you project a larger image, you trade away brightness.

Now, because it’s such an absurd thing to say, I need to say something about it.  While this projector may be capable of focusing to an image 500 inches diagonally, the amount of brightness you would loose would be tremendous.  Folks who need an image that large are not even looking at this price point – and rightly so – as they need a projector with brightness in the range of 10,000 to 25,000 lumens or more, in the expected price range of no less than $15,000 to $20,000.  Obviously, any practical use of the L400U will be on a much smaller screen than its theoretical 500 inches.

Epson L400U Video Image Quality
Beautiful color in this scene from Journey to Space.

This projector offers just about everything you’ll need for use in business and higher education, from Crestron support, to Miracast, wired networking, wireless networking via an optional wireless module, a good compliment of inputs and connectors including dual HDMI, VGA and Audio-In MiniJacks, and the DICOM SIM. color mode for use in the medical field.

Highlights

4,500 White Lumens
4,500 Color Lumens!
WUXGA Resolution (1920 x 1200)
Laser Light Engine – Low Maintenance with a 20,000 life!
3LCD Technology
Wireless and Wired Networking
2,500,000:1 Contrast Ratio
Vertical Lens Shift and 1.60:1 lens offers good placement flexibility
Supports Miracast – Easily project what’s on your screen (iProjection App)
PC-Free Presentations
Instant Off
10 Watt Speaker – Loud enough for large K-12 classrooms
Epson Extra Care: 3 Year Rapid (overnight) Replacement Program – the best warranty in the business!

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