Posted on April 14, 2012 By Art Feierman
The Mitsubishi WD380U-EST is an ultra short throw WXGA (1280×800) DLP projector that is aimed directly at the teacher or presenter that needs to interact with the projected image without stepping in front of the projector. With the projector so close to the screen, the presenter will not interfere with the projected image, nor will he or she have to look back toward the lens of the projector. The “ultra” short throw designation comes from its ability to project an 80” diagonal image from only 25” (front of projector to screen). Usually, such a short throw is achieved by reflecting the image off a mirror, but the WD380U-EST uses a similar fixed lens setup as the recently reviewed Optoma ZX210ST, consisting of a fixed normal lens projecting through a second, convex lens. On the WD380U-EST, the convex lens is larger and the upward display angle is greater, thus allowing for bigger images at shorter distances. As is the case with fixed lens, short throw projectors, the WD380U-EST has no zooming ability outside of digital zooming. This requires the user to spend a little more time setting up the projector at the correct distance for the screen size desired, as well as at the proper height.
The WD380U-EST has extensive network capabilities. You can both present and control the projector from a networked (wired or wireless) computer. It also has the ability to do presentations directly from a USB thumb drive. In addition, the WD380U-EST is also 3-D ready, incorporating Texas Instruments’ DLP link technology. The Mitsubishi WD380U-EST has a specified output of 2800 lumens with a 3000:1 contrast ratio. The WD380U-EST is also reasonably portable, at only 9 pounds, giving it the flexibility to be easily moved from one location to another.
For those who do not require widescreen presentation, Mitsubishi offers the XD360U-EST, which differs from the WD380U-EST in that it is XGA (1024×768) resolution and is rated at 2500 lumens.
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