I want to start off with a good look at NEC’s current affordable laser projectors. We’ve reviewed two series of them – both are highly suitable for conference rooms, larger classrooms, and lecture halls, etc., as well as many digital signage applications. These are high volume projectors, with new generations of models consistently winning our Hot Product Awards. These are laser projectors that are likely to be purchased in significant large volumes for use in a university or corporate setting.
The one that most impresses us, that I’ll touch on in a sec, is one of the two NP-P525 models: the P525UL, which has WUXGA resolution (and more). Its WXGA sibling, the NP-P525WL, it is well worth noting – is a true value, with an education price just a few dollars over $2,000. That makes it one of the best bargains around in a laser projector considering its capabilities!
These two 525's are very bright and extremely capable laser projectors, bundled with pretty rock bottom prices and a killer feature set.
The NP-P525UL really is something special. Yes, it is 3LCD, (its predecessor was a DLP laser projector) and yes, it is WUXGA, and yes, NEC says it produces 5,200 lumens – both white and color lumens, although those are “peak” lumens in the center of the screen. Officially it is 5,000 lumens, although you’ll often see the 5,200-lumen number in dealer ads.
We reviewed this NEC just a month and change before publishing this – boy, did it perform! It did measure just over 5,000 lumens, so right in line with its claim (and better than most). Typical of 3LCD (or LCoS projectors), they offer as many color lumens as white ones. whereas most DLP projectors output far lower color lumens vs white). That essentially enables 3LCD projectors like these, to achieve excellent color without sacrificing a whole lot of lumens.
Translated – more color lumens means when you are using the brighter modes, expect good reds and yellows! Those can come out dark red (think wine color), and with greenish yellows, when a projector is short on color lumens. These NEC's certainly are not.
And, the NP-P525UL it is important to note, isn’t the typical lower-cost laser projector sporting WUXGA resolution, that is because it also supports 4K content!
That is still a pretty rare ability, and it is a feature that extends the projector’s life in terms of future compatibility/planned obsolescence. There are limits of course, but the NEC does support 4K at 30 fps (no HDR). Count that as a real plus, a capability that should be really appreciated in school settings where projectors tend to stay in operation years longer than in many business settings. In those business settings, the addition of 4K capabilities is still likely to also extend useable life.
Yes, you can find laser projectors for less than these, but don’t expect 4K support. Got it?