Posted on September 14, 2018 By Nikki and Chris Kahl
The Optoma ProScene ZU660 is a WUXGA (1920×1200) laser projector intended for use in boardrooms, higher education, museums, houses of worship and smaller entertainment venues. This $9,999 DLP projector boasts 6,000 lumens and has excellent placement flexibility – a major plus for the environments it is intended for – due in part to its interchangeable lens options and motorized lens shift. The ZU660’s street price is $5,999, making it an excellent value for both business and higher education applications.
This is a joint review written by myself and my brother, Chris Kahl, who I’d like to welcome to the Projector Reviews team. You’ll be seeing a lot of business and education projectors from him coming up. I’ll still be reviewing these higher-end projectors such as the ZU660 that is the subject of this review, but you can expect to see more reviews of home entertainment and gaming projectors from me from now on. Alright – welcome, Chris – and now, back to the review.
We’ll start this review of the Optoma ProScene ZU660 with a brief overview, followed by some highlights before moving on to the extensive list of special features. We will also tour the hardware – written by Chris – as well as discuss picture quality and performance before summing it all up for you on the last page. By the end of this review, you should have a pretty good idea about whether or not the ZU660 is the right projector for your business or education applications. Let’s get started!
We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report.
The Optoma ProScene ZU660 is a 6,000 lumen projector with WUXGA resolution (1920×1200) and a laser light engine. Projectors with laser light engines tend to be my favorites, as the projected image are usually high quality, bright, and have vibrant colors. Add to that the low cost of maintenance – a 20,000 hour light engine life and no need to change out air filters – and you’ve got yourself a good deal.
Lamp based projectors require that the lamp be changed out every 3,000 to 8,000 hours and lose brightness starting at several hundred hours running, whereas a laser projector starts to lose brightness starting at several thousand hours. Those lamp based projectors tend to have a lower upfront cost than laser based projectors, but obviously require more lifetime maintenance, while the lasers have a higher starting cost and low maintenance costs. As we say, there are always trade-offs.
HD content looks crisp and sharp on the Optoma ProScene ZU660.
The Optoma ProScene ZU660 has great color.
Small text is easily readable on the Optoma ProScene ZU660.
Text from PowerPoint presentations is easily readable.
Content from websites being projected by the Optoma ProScene ZU660 look good.
That 6,000 lumens is bright enough to handle some serious ambient light, such as what is seen in classrooms or museums. We tested the projector with the wide window of my living room open. Thanks to that high lumen count and laser light engine, the ZU660 performed admirably, still holding rather excellent color and clarity of picture. More on that on the Picture Quality Page, though.
The Optoma ZU660 has a host of features beneficial to both the business and education markets, as well as for, as mentioned, smaller entertainment venues. I could see the ZU660 being used in music venues for concert projections, in places such as The Whiskey A-Go-Go, Viper Room, or the old House of Blues in Hollywood, CA (may it rest in peace). I use those as examples because they are of the smaller venues I am most familiar with (fun fact – I was one of the last musicians to perform at that House of Blues before the tragic destruction of the venue to make way for some dumb hotel).
This laser projector has all the inputs and connectors necessary for your business and education applications, including HDBaseT for running AV signals over long distances. It has Crestron RoomView for command and control, which is a useful feature for those who are installing a network of these projectors. The projector has a multitude of interchangeable lens options, adding to the placement flexibility offered by the motorized lens functions such as a generous amount of lens shift, that HDBaseT, and some other awesome features we’ll get into on the next page.
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