Projector Reviews Images

Epson PowerLite W29 Projector Review -- Hardware Tour

Posted on May 25, 2016 by Art Feierman
EPSON W29 PROJECTOR REVIEW - HARDWARE TOUR: Overview, Control Panel, Connectors, Remote Control, Audio, Lens Adjustments Surprisingly small and compact considering its output, the PowerLite W29 has been designed to be carried or wheeled from room to room as needed. It is quick and easy to set up and takes 5.6 seconds for it to start displaying an image. Two minutes later, the projector gets to full brightness. It pulls fresh air through a filter on the side across the hot lamp and out a grille in the front. During a week of daily use, it never got hotter than 148 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s easy to open the door, remove the filter and change it. The same goes for changing the lamp, which takes a couple of minutes. The image is inclined just enough so that the bottom is roughly at the level of the projector. This makes setting the W29 up on a table or shelf a snap.

Overview

Surprisingly small and compact considering its output, the PowerLite W29 has been designed to be carried or wheeled from room to room as needed, but it is also designed to be ceiling mounted.  It is quick and easy to set up and takes 5.6 seconds for it to start displaying an image. Two minutes later, the projector gets to full brightness.

The lens, front IR sensor for the remote, the exhaust, and a drop down button for the adjustable front foot are on the front. All the connectors are on the back.

It pulls fresh air through a filter on the side across the hot lamp and out a grille in the front. During a week of daily use, it never got hotter than 148 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s easy to open the door, remove the filter and change it. The same goes for changing the lamp, which takes a couple of minutes.

The image is inclined just enough so that the bottom is roughly at the level of the projector. This makes setting the W29 up on a table or shelf a snap.

Control Panel

On top of the projector is a control panel that goes beyond the basics. In addition to the expected on/off switch, there are buttons for selecting the source, opening the Menu and escaping to the previous screen. It has volume controls as well as a handy Help button. The PowerLite W29’s panel has three LEDs that show that the projector is running, the lamp’s status and if it’s overheating.

The Powerlite W29 - offers networking, 3000 lumens, and a very low cost for a WXGA projector this well equipped.

The Powerlite W29 - offers networking, 3000 lumens, and a very low cost for a WXGA projector this well equipped.

The stand-out addition on the control panel are dedicated buttons for vertical keystone correction. You can use them to bring the image’s top or bottom corners in or out until you have a rectangular image. In addition to an electronic control in the panel, the W29 has a mechanical lever for changing the vertical keystone correction. The projector also has horizontal keystone correction but you need to dig into the Menu to use it. It can handle adjustments of up to 30-degree up and down in addition to right and left adjustment.

Inputs and Connectors

In the projector’s back is its plug panel, which is up to date and well-marked. Overall, the PowerLite W29 has a good assortment of input ports that straddles old and new technology, but does without any DisplayPort inputs.

PL_W29 inputs

The back of the Epson W29 - loaded with inputs including USB, HDMI, Computer, Video and Audio

 

On top of a power cable, there are ports for:

  • USB-A and B for using a thumb drive and connecting to a notebook
  • RJ-45 Ethernet networking
  • HDMI input
  • Two analog VGA inputs as well as a VGA output
  • S-Video
  • Composite with audio
  • Audio-in and -out
  • RS-232 for maintenance and control

It worked well with a wide variety of input devices, including a Microsoft Surface 3 tablet, a Kangaroo Plus mini-desktop, a Pioneer DVD player, a Google Nexus 9 tablet, iPad Pro and a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. In addition, I used a StarTech HDMI Pattern Generator to project sample images.

Remote Control

The 5.7- by 1.8- by 1.0-inch remote control has a good variety of buttons, but lacks key backlighting – something that should be on the remote for every classroom projector. It uses a pair of AA batteries that are included. With infrared receivers front and back, the W29 has the ability to turn either of them off.

While the remote control is mostly white with blue or black printing, the top row is cordoned off with a black background. This area has the on/off key as well as ones for doing a source search or connecting with a Computer, Video, USB or LAN content. It’s expected to the ones that will be used the most in classroom activities.

Next down is a section with a numeric keypad for things like entering IP addresses into the PowerLite W29. Its keys double for changing the Aspect ratio, the Color mode or running the projector’s Auto optimization routine. Below them is a four-way pointer with an actuation button in the middle. At its corners are buttons for opening the Menu, Escape, using the Pointer as a mouse substitute (if the projector is tied to a computer with a USB cable) and selecting which of two users is in control.

Next down, the PowerLite W29’s remote has three sets of two buttons. They can move a presentation’s pages forward or back, adjust the digital zoom or turn the volume up or down. The last row contains buttons for muting the sound and video, dividing the screen into two side by side images; you can use either of the VGA and HDMI inputs for this but not the USB input. Finally, there’s an image freeze button as well as one for Help.

Instead of the popular laser pointer for highlighting an item on the projector’s screen from across the room, the PowerLite W29 has a software pointer that can be moved around with the remote control. There are three pointer icons available: a double arrowhead, a circle and a single horizontal arrow.

Click Image to Enlarge

Audio

The projector includes a 5-watt amplifier and a single speaker that’s in the back next to the plug panel. It’s loud enough for all but the largest classrooms, but puts out flat and hollow audio. In other words, it sounds much better for spoken word programming than music. There are two outputs for driving external speakers or connecting to the room’s sound system. Unlike some other Epson classroom projectors, you can’t plug a microphone into the projector to use it as a room-wide public address system.

Lens and Image Adjustments

Epson W29: Distance from lens to 100" diagonal 16:10 aspect ratio screen
Wide-angle (closest) 9 ft 3 inches
Telephoto (furthest) 11 ft 1 inch

In addition to the keystone correction lever, the PowerLite W29 has ones for focus and optical zoom. The focus lever is in the front and it’s too easy to accidentally move one while adjusting the other. Like others in its class, the W29 doesn’t have optional lenses for different throws.

Its lens is recessed in the front of the projector and rather than a lens cap, the PowerLite W29 has a cover that slides open and close with a small lever. It also blanks the image so the plastic door doesn’t melt when closed.

This table shows placement range, for a 100" 16:10 screen.  We take these numbers right from the Epson manual.

© 2023 Projector Reviews

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram