Projector Reviews

NEC NP-L102W LED Projector Review – Hardware Tour

NEC NP-L102W LED PROJECTOR HARDWARE:  Overview, Control Panel/Remote Control/Inputs and Connectors, Lens Throw, Menus

NP-L102W Hardware Overview

The NEC is an impressive combination of light and compact.  At only 3.1 pounds, no road warrior is going to complain, especially since there isn’t a separate power brick, and because.  For those who carry brief cases, this small NEC should fit, even in the provided soft case.

The lens in the front is fixed – no zoom, which is typical of compact LED projectors.  It is offset to your right, if you are facing the projector.  Just right of center, behind one of the grates is the two watt speaker.   A sliding door protects the lens when traveling.  There is one adjustable foot underneath the projector, with a good amount of elevation range.

The top has the “control panel” which in this case isn’t a control panel, rather just a power button and a source select.  Do not lose that credit card remote control!

All the inputs are in the back.  There aren’t a huge number of inputs but there is variety.  We’ll run though those in a minute.  We’ll also look at that control panel, and the NEC’s menus:  Those for the main projector operation.  Those for the media player are in the Special Features section on a previous page.

NEC NP-L102W Control Panel and Remote Control

This NEC, I believe ties for the record of the least controls I’ve ever found on a “control panel”.

It’s simple. There’s the Power switch.  Press once for on, twice to power down. And right next to it is the Source button allowing you to choose from available sources, including those for the media player (there are two USB ports and the SD card).  For everything else, use the remote control.

The rest consists of the navigation area, with its four arrows in a diamond configuration, enter button in the middle of them.  In addition there four outer buttons.  Auto Adjust is to the left of the up arrow while Digital zoom is to the right.  Digital zoom has about 25 steps, but one directional only.  You can exit or go all the way to the maximum zoom, and then one more turns it off.  If there’s a way to zoom out in steps, I missed it.

But back to the remote.  in the lower left corner is the Menu button, and in the bottom right, Exit, for moving back up a level in menus.  That it’s it for the remote which runs on a provided, (common) lithium-ion button battery.  The remote does the job, but again, since there’s no real control panel, don’t lose the remote!

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The remote control is of the small “credit card” variety.  It’s layout is pretty straightforward.  Let’s start from the top left, with the button with a green dot.  That’s the power switch – press once to power up, twice to power down.  The NEC is quick, you’ll have an image up on the screen in just a couple or three seconds.

To the right of Power on the remote, are two buttons for volume up, and down.

The next two rows have the projector’s six input choices:  Computer (or component), Video, HDMI, SD card, USB A, and USB B.

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Lens Throw

Since there’s no zoom to this lens, there’s no need for the usual table showing the range.

It’s this simple, the lens has a fairly normal throw ratio.  That is, it doesn’t sit particularly close to the screen.  There are some pocket and compact LED projectors that might sit half the distance from the screen to fill the same sized area.  There are advantages to both longer, and shorter throw.

To fill a 100″ diagonal 16:10 (WXGA) screen, the front of the NP-L102W will sit 118 inches from the screen.  The projector also has a slight amount of lens offset.  For that same 100″ screen, the bottom of the image will be 2.6 inches higher than the center of the lens.  That works very well when placed on a typical conference room table, with most installed screens.

NP-L102W Inputs and Connectors

NEC is nice enough to label all the connectors found on the back, right along the back edge of the top of the projector.  If you look at one of the images in the first section of this page, you can see those labels.

Here’s a quick run through, from left to right:  On the far left low down is a kensington security slot, and next to it, the standard power receptacle.  Directly above that, sort of hard to spot, but once you know it’s there, easy to use, is the spring loaded SD card slot.  Moving to the right next up are first a USB A and then a small USB B connector.

HDMI is next, and then the VGA analog computer input.  A standard RCA jack for composite video, and two audio jacks – a stereo mini input, and a stereo mini output complete the back panel.

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Menus

All the menu items found on the NEC are pretty standard ones.  There are eight preset color modes.  There are no advanced color controls such as for calibrating but those were not expected on a small business projector.

The NP-L102 uses a common protocol when it comes to modifying preset modes.  If you are in  Presentation mode, or Movie mode, or any other, and you change a setting such as brightness or color saturation, you’ll find that you are now in User mode.  Next time you come back, the User settings will be unchanged, but if you change to some other mode, and later return to Presentation, it will be back to its defaults.  User will hold settings until the next time you make any settings change in any of the modes.  That will result in the User mode reflecting that most recent change.