Projector Reviews

NEC P502WL Projector Review – Summary

Summary

The P502WL is a compact and modestly “installation” class projector that is also suitable for some business and education applications.  Its laser light engine gives it certain advantages over bulb-based projectors, the most notable being lower maintenance requirements and increased mounting flexibility.

The P502WL received out Special Interest Award for it combination of features, price and performance.

Like many other business and education class DLP projectors, the P502WL has substantially lower color brightness as compared to white brightness in its brightest picture mode.  This may be important if you need a really bright projector for accurately displaying color pictures, videos or graphics.  On the other hand, many potential buyers may find that the higher brightness picture modes are suitable for displaying the typical business or classroom presentation materials, where color accuracy may not be all that important.

The P502WL does have a few missing features as compared to more expensive installation class projectors, including some models from NEC.  Most notable, if lacks interchangeable lenses, does not have the built-in support for seamlessly joining together the images from multiple projectors to created super large, high visual impact images as used for certain marketing applications, and it lacks user adjustments for calibration of the projected image.  But it is still a good buy as an entry-level installation class projector and will also be suitable for many conference room and education applications (most likely at the college level).

Pros

  • Long life laser light engine should reduce maintenance costs
  • Can be mounted at any angle for projection in other than normal landscape mode
  • Suitable for applications requiring 24/7 operation
  • very sharp, high resolution display with excellent focus over the entire image
  • virtually no color fringing visible on displayed text indicating good optics with a very low level of  chromatic aberration
  • high readability of text and presentation graphics
  • excellent network support (wired and optional wireless) for control, monitoring, and multimedia presentation functions
  • support for Crestron Roomview, AMX Beacon and PJ Link for connectivity and control
  • multiple NEC projectors can be controlled and managed from a central PC using the supplied software
  • DICOM Simulation mode allows this model to be useful for medical education purposes
  • Several out-of-the-box picture modes available with reasonably accurate colors, one picture mode with very good color accuracy as well as a very bright mode for use in situations where the extra light output is needed
  • Excellent connectivity capabilities including support for HDbaseT
  • Built-in 20 watt speaker is loud enough for a moderately large conference rooms or classrooms although the sound quality of average, at best

Cons

  • Most of the available picture modes display at least certain saturated colors  too dark, relative to whites and lighter shades
  • Lacks user adjustments to allow for calibration of the white balance across the grey scale and calibration of colors
  • Lacks certain advanced features found on more expensive “Installation Class” projectors
  • Lack of microphone input means the projector’s audio system cannot be used by the presenter for their own live narration
  • the remote control can be difficult to operate in a dark room, since it has no backlight and there are many small button
  • While the 3 year length of the warranty is good, a rapid replacement service is only provided for the first year, while a few other manufacturers offer a similar replacement programs for the full duration of their factory warranties