This projector has a bit of an interesting story. Originally, Maxell was a part of Hitachi, but it was spun off a few years back. As of April 1, 2019 (no joke), Hitachi projectors will henceforth be known as Maxell brand. If you bought a Hitachi projector within the last few weeks or months, the Maxell projectors are the same, just under a different name. You can expect the same support and distribution. Hitachi (and now Maxell) has had a focus on the education market – this particular projector was featured in our education report – but they don’t publish their education pricing online.
The Maxell MP-WU5503 is a $6,299 laser projector with WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution claiming 5,000 lumens. It has 3LCD technology, which yields its own advantages over DLP projectors, though DLPs have some advantages over 3LCD as well. Projectors with 3LCD technology produce as many color lumens as they do white ones, so they maintain better color in the face of ambient light than DLPs. By comparison, a DLP projector costs less to make, tends to be more portable, and you’ll get more white lumens dollar for dollar than a 3LCD projector. As we say, there are always trade-offs.
The Maxell MP-WU5503 has a laser light engine with an impressive lifespan. It has the standard 20,000 hour claim when operating at full power, but kick it into ECO Mode, and that claim goes up to 50,000 hours! Talk about a significant jump. Most laser based projectors I’ve reviewed have a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours, maybe 30,000 if you’re lucky, but this is the first I’ve come across that claims 50,000. I’m sure Art has come across a claim or two as high as this in his decades of playing the projector game.
The Maxell MP-WU5503 has a great deal of depth to its color, due in part to its 3LCD technology and laser light engine.
The MP-WU5503 has excellent color handling in multiple modes.
The Maxell handles skin tones particularly well in Cinema Mode.
Small text is ultra sharp when projected by the Maxell MP-WU5503.
PowerPoint Presentations really pop when projected in Standard Mode.
Websites of all kinds look good when projected by the Maxell MP-WU5503.
The benefits of such a high lifespan of the MP-WU5503 will be much appreciated in the education market. Though this projector (and all laser projectors) has a higher upfront cost, it provides an excellent value proposition when it comes to maintenance. With a lamp based projector, you’ll be switching out a lamp every 3,000 to 8,000 hours, and calling in maintenance to do so. With a laser light engine, you can expect the projector’s light source to last about a decade when operating at full power – two or so when operating in ECO Mode. Impressive.
We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report which includes this projector.
This projector comes with some pretty awesome features for higher education and large venues, particularly in the form of Advanced Networking. This guy has HDBaseT, among other advanced networking features, and lens shift. That lens shift makes things a lot easier during the installation process – but more on that on the next page! It has several more features that we’ll dive into on the Special Features page. For now, let’s look at the highlights of the Maxell MPWU5503 projector!