Projector Reviews

Maxell MP-WU5503 Laser Education Projector Review – Hardware

Maxell MP-WU5503 Laser Education Projector Review – Hardware: Overview, Inputs and Connectors, The Lens

Overview

The Maxell MP-WU5503 projector is intended for larger venues like higher education classrooms and lecture halls, museums, and auditoriums. Though Maxell (previously Hitachi) is primarily focused on the education market, it would also be at home in larger conference rooms, meeting rooms, and board rooms. It measures 19.0” wide, 16.7” deep, 5.3” tall, and weighs a solid 18 pounds. That said, let’s talk about the rather unique design of the Maxell MP-WU5503 laser projector.

I say it’s rather unique because, at first glance (before I received the unit for review), I thought it was an ultra short throw projector. Of course, it’s not – the lens is just super recessed in a sort of weird rectangle shape. If the goal was to stand out from the crowd, Maxell certainly achieved that. So its recessed lens sits slightly off-center, with the IR sensor and exhaust vent flanking either side. The right side of the projector also has hot air exhaust vents, while the left has the air filter and cool air intake vent.

The top of the MP-WU5503 has the lens controls – all manual. That’s focus, zoom, and lens shift, all located behind the lens. Behind that is the most simple control panel ever, which I’ll get into on the next page, in what will probably be the shortest paragraph I have ever written about control panels. The back of the projector is home to the inputs and connectors panel, which has plenty of bells and whistles for education applications. Now, let’s take a look at that inputs panel.

Inputs and Connectors

Maxell-MP-WU5503_Inputs

The Maxell MP-WU5503 has great connectivity. Starting from the left, there’s an Audio Out for connecting wired external speakers, followed by two stacked Audio In ports. Then there’s that HDBaseT for when you need to run signals over long distances, a wired LAN (RJ-45), and a USB port for the optional wireless module on top of the LAN connector. A pair of HDMIs follow suit, along with Composite Video ports, a VGA Computer In port, then a second Computer In connector that doubles as a Monitor Out. The back panel is wrapped up with the obligatory RS232 connector for old-school command and control, and the 16-watt mono speaker below it.

The Lens

The MP-WU5503 has excellent placement flexibility, due in part to its 1.70:1 zoom lens. That’s about as good as it gets on business and education projectors, save for those that give the option of interchangeable lenses. This one does not, but that 1.70:1 zoom will go a long way in most environments. That it has lens shift is even better – and that lens shift is generous indeed! +56.5% Vertical, and +4.6% Horizontal. Vertical lens shift is where it’s at, my friends. It’s not often that you’d need to shift the image too far horizontal. And, once installation is done, you’re pretty much good to go on the position of that image!