Posted on April 11, 2018 By Nikki Kahl
The Optoma W460 is an $849, WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution projector with a wall-melting 4,600 lumens. This is exceptionally bright! The W460 is a business and education projector, though I will focus more on its uses in the classroom during this review, touching on its practicality in conferences rooms here and there. We’re gearing up for our annual Classroom Projectors Report, and this Optoma is my final review in the queue. With such a bright lumen output, I was interested to see how the projector performs in terms of color and ability to combat harsh ambient light.
Classrooms are known among teachers to have some of the worst conditions for ambient light, with some rooms being unable to turn off all of the lights. Windows are generally wide and unshaded, and in some cases, may even give a full blast of light directly onto the screen surface, washing out the image. Bright projectors such as the Optoma W460 are generally the cure, so let’s get into the projector’s specs and other features to see what else it has to offer.
We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors Report.
The Optoma W460 has DLP technology, which uses a color wheel rather than panels to produce its colors. Unlike 3LCD projectors, DLPs do not have as many color lumens as white ones, which can, in some cases, lead to a more washed out image when in the presence of ambient light. With that 4,600 lumen claim, however, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but we’ll get more into color on our Picture and Sound Quality page.
The W460 is a WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution projector. WXGA is the business and education worlds’ 720p, with WUXGA (1920 x 1200) being akin to 1080p. The Optoma W460’s resolution should be plenty sharp for most classroom and conference room applications – WUXGA would really only be necessary for presentations in the engineering, medical, and graphic fields where an incredible sharp image may be required. The difference between these resolutions, aside from the amount of pixels, is the size of those pixels – WUXGA is sharper because it has smaller pixels.
1080p content looks good when projected by the Optoma W460.
The Optoma W460 is capable of producing a clear image.
Bill Nye Saves the World projected by the W460.
PowerPoint presentations look good on the Optoma W460.
Infographics look great projected by the Optoma W460.
The Optoma W460 is capable of handling various font sizes.
Websites look good when projected by the Optoma W460.
This is a lamp based projector with a manufacturer claim of 2,500 hours in Bright mode, 3,500 in ECO and 4,500 in Education Cycle, another power saving mode. This kind of sucks when compared to my recent reviews of the Epson PowerLite 675W and the Sony VPL-EW435 projectors, which both have a rated lamp life of up to 10,000 hours in ECO, and 5,000/4,000 at full power respectively. Granted, if running the Optoma W460 at full power, 20 hours a week for 10 months out of the year, the lamp should last just over three years at the 2,500-hour claim.
Lamp based projectors usually clock in between 3,000 to 8,000 hours, so this lower rating was a bit disappointing to me. Still, with such a high lumen count, I may be willing to forgive this – we’ll see. Keep in mind that projectors’ lamps dim over time, losing brightness over the first few years of operation, so even though the bulb may last three years, it won’t hold the brightness that long. Lamps are hardly expensive things these days, however, so replacing them won’t put a real dent in the budget anyway – just something to be aware of as you shop for projectors!
The Optoma W460 is exceptionally portable, weighing in at 6.75 pounds. This makes it an excellent choice for schools where the projector may be passed around from classroom to classroom, or businesses that will be sharing the W460 among conference rooms. At this weight, I’d consider it a serious contender for the road warrior who needs high brightness and high portability. It is a short throw projector – it can be ceiling or table mounted, resting on a table or podium between 3.36’ and 22.05’ back from the screen to produce a large image.
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