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Optoma ZW300UST Projector Review - Special Features

Posted on June 20, 2017 by Nikki Zelinger

Laser Phosphor Light Engine

It is becoming more and more common for projectors to have solid-state, lamp-free light engines. This Optoma is no exception. The ZW300UST uses a laser phosphor light engine rather than a lamp-based one. Blue laser diodes (semiconductors that allow the flow of energy in one direction only) shine onto a phosphor-coated wheel, which excites (stimulates) the phosphor into faster vibration, causing it to emit yellow light. That yellow light is then segmented to create red and green light, while the blue light passes directly through a "diffusion segment" in the phosphor wheel, and sends the three separate colors onto the DLP chip, which then emits the light through the lens and onto the projected screen.

Laser Phosphor Technology Graphic

This diagram provides a visual look at how a laser phosphor light engine works.

This eliminates the need for a lamp, firstly, giving the projector a longer rated lamp life than lamp-based projectors could ever hope for. Projectors with solid-state light engines will often have no need for filter replacements, making them incredibly low maintenance. Another added bonus of a laser light engine is a shorter cooldown time. The ZW300UST's laser light engine gives the projector a rated "lamp life" of 20,000 hours. Not bad.

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Low Maintenance

Thanks to the laser light engine, the Optoma ZW300UST is incredibly low maintenance. Optoma boasts that this projector provides more than 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation. For most business and education applications, you won't even reach that 20,000-hour mark before you're wanting to upgrade the projector because some new resolution came out, or better capabilities, etc.

Though the upfront cost of a projector with solid-state light engine is always more than their lamp-based competitors, you're paying for peace-of-mind and low maintenance. In the long run, you're saving money on replacement lamps, labor, and time as you will not need to have someone come out to service it for a very long time, possibly ever.

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PC-Free Media Player

The ZW300UST comes equipped with a PC-Free Media Player, allowing for PC-free presenting. This is an awesome feature, particularly in classroom, where you might have many students presenting per day. It saves on time, as the student can simply plug in a USB device and present, rather than getting all of those presentations on one computer. And who knows, the time saved may get you through several more presentations than you might have done otherwise.

Same goes for presenters in a business environment. If you've got multiple presenters, you can have back-to-back presentations with little downtime in between for setup, getting through the meeting quicker than without the PC-free presenting feature. The media player allows playback of video and audio files, as well as images and presentations shared directly from any USB device.


Wireless LAN Capability

We're seeing a lot more of Wireless LAN capable projectors lately, usually with an optional wireless dongle. The Optoma's WHD200 Wireless HDMI system allows for wireless presenting from a computer. No need for cables, or awkward placement of the computer, tethering the presenter to a less-than-optimal spot. Not all projectors have this feature, but it is a definite plus when they do. For those of you who prefer wired LAN, the ZW300UST has got that, too. Between the wired LAN, Wireless LAN, and PC-Free Media Player, you've got a lot of choice when it comes to how you are projecting your presentations.

3D Capable

This is always fun when you get the 3D feature on a business and education projector. Though it's not necessary, nor totally applicable in most instances, it's there, if you want it. The glasses required to view 3D are the DLP Link 3D glasses, which are not included with the purchase of this projector. You can find these 3D glasses on eBay or Amazon for around $40.

Perhaps, in a few years, presentations will feature 3D components for a more interactive learning experience. For now, we must make due with our boring, two-dimensional presentations. If there is a future where 3D becomes more commonplace, the 3D feature on a business and education projector will make more sense. Until then, we wait.

ZW300UST Connectivity

Worth mentioning briefly is the connectivity of the ZW300UST. In addition to connecting computers to the projector, you can also connect smartphones, tablets, 3D BluRay/DVD players, camcorders, Apple TV and Chromecast. Other streaming dongles are compatible as well, such as Optoma’s HDCast Pro and Amazon’s FireTV. Some of these devices will require additional accessories to be used with the projector.


The Optoma ZW300UST features a Game mode! What? Gaming on a business/education projector? Absolutely. Optoma is perhaps the leader in targeting gamers, among the projector manufacturers. So it's really not that big of a surprise that they might sneak a Game mode in there from time to time. This projector does well with games, and if you're interested in reading more about the ZW300UST as a gaming projector, I will be publishing a short review of that feature within a week of publishing this review. This mode has good color - but more on that on the Picture and Sound Quality page.


The Optoma ZW300UST has an excellent 5 year/20,000 hour warranty on the light source - whichever comes first. Also included in the ZW300UST's warranty is a 3 year Optoma Express Advance Exchange Warranty, should you need a repair. All this takes is a simple call to the Optoma customer service team, who determines if a repair is necessary. When a repair is indeed required, Optoma provides an expedited replacement for your projector, keeping your downtime to an absolute minimum. If you want to learn more about the Express Advance Exchange Warranty, you can read Optoma's literature on it here.

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