Projector Reviews

NEC UM352W Ultra Short Throw Projector Review – Performance

NEC UM352W Projector – Performance:  Brightness, Noise, Interactivity

Brightness

NEC UM352W Projector – Brightness
Picture Mode Brightness in Lumens Avg. Color Temp.
High-Bright 3682  5905K
Presentation 3056  7694K
Video 2537  7980K
Movie 2674  6978K
Graphic 2614  8078K
sRGB 2810  7059K
DICOM SIM. 2619  8201K

 

These measured brightness levels are with the out-of-the-box settings for each of the projector’s picture modes.  The UM352W is specified by NEC to have 3500 lumens of light output and I measured over 3600 lumens in the brightest mode and in the range of 2600 to 2800 lumens in the better picture modes.

The UM352W has 3 lamp brightness settings where I measured a decrease of about 25% in the middle setting and a drop of 32% in Eco, or low lamp, setting.  It is rather difficult to measure the brightness uniformity with ultra short throw projectors, but visually the projected image appeared fairly uniform in brightness with perhaps no more that 20% light falloff between the center of the image and any of the corners.

I did note a little color non-uniformity in going from the right to the left sides of the projected image.  This was only noticeable when projecting a full white or light grey test image and not when projecting actual photos or video.

As with all 3LCD projectors, the white brightness and the color brightness are the same, as compared to some DLP projectors which may exhibit much higher white brightness than color brightness.

Noise

The NEC UM352W is specified to produce a noise level of 38 dB in normal lamp mode and 28 dB in Eco mode.  The value in normal (i.e., high lamp) mode is on the high end of what is typical for this class of projector, while the low lamp (Eco) mode noise level is more typical.  While the noise level, especially with the lamp operating in normal mode, is certainly very audible, it should not be distracting when this projector is being used in a conference room or class room environment (remember this projector will be up at the front of the room, well away from everyone except the presenter).  Changing to the “Eco” mode resulted in a noticeable decrease in noise level and to a level similar to that from a typical home theater projector when such a projector is operating in its normal mode.

The UM352W has a 20 watt built-in speaker that produces adequate volume to not only overcome the projector’s fan noise but also is sufficient to provide the audio in a classroom or moderately large conference room.  As is expected from such a modest size built-in speaker, there is no bass but it still works well for voice narrations and background music.

Interactivity

The key performance measure for a pen based interactive “electronic white board’ is how accurate the physical location of the pen’s tip aligns with the electronic drawing position.  While I admit that I did not do extensive investigation/testing into the projector’s interactive capabilities, I did find that after using the projector’s automatic function to calibrate the stylus pen’s alignment with the projected image, the pen’s physical position agreed very well with the displayed drawing position.