Projector Reviews

Optoma ZU506T-W Professional Installation Laser Projector Review- Hardware Page

Optoma ZU506T-W Professional Installation Laser Projector Review – Hardware: Overview, Inputs and Connectors, The Lens

Overview

The Optoma ZU506T-W is a medium-sized projector. It’s about 15” wide and 12” long, standing about 5” high. There are good options for image alignment with the adjustable feet to square it up.

The ZU506T-W weighs in at 12.12 lbs, which is not bad at all for 5000 lumens. I recall the days when every projector was labeled as a desktop and portable, even if they were north of 35lbs. 5000 ANSI lumens in a 12-pound package is great. Especially with all the features.

You can use the Optoma ZU506T-W in all of the major projection roles, it will do Front, Rear, ceiling and rear project in both modes as well.

There is one IR sensor in the front of the ZU506T-W, which does a good job of catching the signal from the remote. I could have sworn there was a sensor on the back as it performed really well while I was testing it.
The Optoma has a great design that is very common these days. The airflow goes from left to right, with the intake on the left and exhaust on the right. Keeping all the hot air away from the lens. The speakers were spaced on either side of the projector as well for optimal performance.

On the top front left you will find the adjustments for Focus, Zoom and lens shift. As well as a very elegant keypad. I did like the ID design of this model, very clean and simple.

There is a loop on the front of the left side, that allows you to connect a safety cable or security cable, depending on your need.
All of the IO connections of the ZU506T-W are located in the back. We will get into them later as it is chocked full, having 2 HDMI, 2 VGA a monitor out, Mic, audio in and even a USB A port that is strickly for providing power to your favorite streaming device.

Inputs and Connectors

The input panel for the ZU506T-W
The input panel for the ZU506T-W

The Optoma ZU506T-W has a great range of connectivity, giving you all you may need and more. Supporting even the most advanced installations.

On the IO panel, you will find. 1- HDMI 2.0, 1 X HDMI 1.4, 1 X HDbaseT, 1 X Composite Video, 2 X VGA, 1X S-Video, 1 X Audio in, 1 X Mic / Audio in, 1 X USBA for Power, 1 X VGA out, 1 X audio out, 1 X 12 V screen trigger. Also 1 X RJ45 for Lan connectivity.

That is a great amount of connectivity for any projector. You can easily replace 80% of the projectors on the market with this type of IO Panel. You have all of the latest connectivity with HDMI and HDBaseT, as well as VGA to support legacy installations.  This is a professional grade IO panel.

The USBA connector provides 5V with 1.5a. If you plan on using a Google Chrome Cast or Android stick for your wireless presentation and streaming needs, make sure and consult their requirements. This should work for most, but some devices like the 4K Google Chrome Cast Ultra, require 2.5 amps. 

The Lens

OptomaU506T-W-Review-FrontNC

A 1.6X zoom is a great feature for a lens. It gives you a lot of flexibility for the installation range. I am not sure why they didn’t go for the full 2x zoom, but I guess you have to watch your costs somewhere.

The Lens on the ZU506T-W is recessed so that provides it some protection should you decide to bring it around your office from place to place. The 1.6x zoom lens has an F stop of F=2.5-3.26, F=20.91-32.62. Along with a projection distance of 3.28’ to 32.8’ you have a decent amount of runway for installation. I found the focus to be very uniform throughout the zoom range. The ZU506T-W is specified for a screen size of 20.8” to 331.6” which is a huge range. You have a monitor size on the low end, all the way up to a theater size on the high end.

The lens also has a great throughput to support the 8% vertical lens shift. This is not an easy feature to implement. You need to have a quality lens that can accept the light from varying angles as well as the optical path to support it.