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NEC NP-ME331W Portable Projector Review - Hardware Tour

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Art Feierman
NEC NP-ME331W Projector Review – Hardware Tour:  Appearance, Connector Panel, Control Panel, Lens, Remote Control


The NP-ME331W is packaged in an attractive white case with a footprint (width and depth) that comes in at 14.5 x 11.5 inches and is 4.3 inches high.  As shown in the 1st gallery photo above, the zoom lens is located in a recess toward the right side of the front panel.  There is a ventilation exhaust vent toward the left side of the front panel and the IR window for the remote control receiver is located to the lower-right of the lens.  There is release for the front foot (i.e., use to tilt the projector upward) located at the bottom of the front panel, as seen in the 5th photo above.

The right side of the projector, as seen in the 2nd photo above, has the air-inlet ventilation grill.   The rear of the projector, as seen in the 3rd photo above has the connector panel (more details on this is provided below) and the projector's single speaker.

The left side of the projector, as seen in the 4th photo above, has an ventilation exhaust grill that wraps around from the front panel.

The top of the projector, as visible in several of the photos above, has the projector’s control pad and access to the lens focus and zoom adjustments (more information on these are provided below).

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Connector Panel

NEC NP-ME331W Connector Panel


The projector’s connector panel is shown in the photo above.  From left-to-right and from top-to-bottom there are connectors for:

  • USB Type A port
  • RJ-45 LAN port
  • USB Type B port
  • HDMI 1 input
  • HDMI 2 input
  • Analog computer input (VGA style) connector
  • Analog monitor output connector
  • RS232 control port
  • Analog stereo audio input mini-connector
  • Analog stereo audio output mini-connector
  • Composite video input connector (RCA style)
  • Right and Left analog audio input connectors (RCA style)
  • Power connector at the bottom-left of the connector panel


Control Panel

NEC NP-ME331W Control Pad

The projector’s control panel, as shown in the photo above, is located on the top of the projector.  It includes the essential buttons to turn the projector on/off, display and navigate the on-screen menus, to select the input signal source, to adjust the speaker volume and to switch the projector into power saving ECO mode.  There are 2 status lights at the bottom of the control pad.



NEC NP-ME331W Lens


As shown in the above photo, the mechanical zoom and focus rings are accessed through a opening in the top panel of the projector.  This model’s lens does offer excellent focus over the entire projected image, and the zoom range is wide at 1.7:1. The throw ratio (throw distance to screen width) range, as listed in the NEC spec. sheet for this model, is 1.3:1 up to 2.2:1.  This means for a 80 inch wide screen the projector can be located anywhere between 104 and 176 inches back from the screen.  As a result, this model offers very good placement flexibility, for a given screen size, than does many competing models that offer a more limited zoom range.

As is typical for this class of projector, digital keystone correction is offered, but no optical lens shift.

NEC NP-ME331W Lens Cap

The NP-ME331W is supplied with a clear snap-on lens caps as shown in the photo above.

Remote Control

The NP-ME331W’s remote control is a small, white remote with mostly dark gray buttons.  The Menu, Exit and navigation buttons are blue.  This makes for easier to access these often used buttons in minimal lighting, but the remote has no backlight.  This is a somewhat generic NEC projector remote where certain buttons (i.e., DisplayPort input, Computer 2 Input, and Focus/Zoom) do not work with this specific projector model.

Buttons are appropriately grouped and allow access of many of the important functions without resorting to the projector's on-screen menus.  For example, while many projector remotes allow for scrolling through the various inputs, the NP-ME331W’s remote allows the user to individually select each video input.  Scrolling through Picture modes and switching aspect ratios can be performed on the remote with the on-screen menu.  There are also buttons for  image freezing, audio volume, digital zoom, help,  and keystone correction.

Buttons are also provided for making presentations, either from presentation slides stored on a USB memory drive or for controlling a connected computer being used for the presentation.

Overall, the level of access and control available with the NP-ME331W's remote is very good.

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