Projector Reviews

Panasonic PT-LRZ35U RGB LED DLP Projector Review – Summary

Panasonic PT-LRZ35U RGB LED DLP Projector Review – Summary: Highlights, Value Proposition, Pros and Cons

HIGHLIGHTS

The Panasonic PT-LRZ35 Series is Panasonic’s first portable projector to use a discrete RGB LED light source. Panasonic knocked it out of the park on their first use of an RGB LED light source in this class of projector. Panasonic’s new light engine achieves their stated goal of superior color reproduction and enhanced picture quality especially compared to traditional implementations of DLP. This RGB LED DLP single-chip projector offers a lot of performance and features for its manufacturer’s suggested price of $2,999.00, or at a wide range of authorized dealers selling at $1699.00.

Panasonic’s claims that the LRZ35 series is the smallest and lightest R/G/B LED DLP projectors in the 3,500lm class. The PT-LRZ35U’s weight of 14.77 pounds and small form factor should benefit installers and users needing to move it between meeting rooms or classrooms. So, yes I would agree that it is one of the smallest and lightest in this specific class of projector

The PT-LRZ35 Series is 3D-ready and while it’s nice to see a business class projector offering 3D as a feature, I don’t think this is going to matter to the business user. That being said, 3D could have real appeal to consumers considering using this projector in their home theater. The LED light engine practically eliminates rainbow artifacts found on DLP projectors that use a color wheel. The 3D performance of the projector should benefit as well through the reduction of many of the negative side effects, sensitive users associate with active 3D systems.

Panasonic’s filter-less design of a sealed optical unit and dust-resistant cabinet will surely be a welcome feature and the 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation is very competitive. Panasonic claims that in addition to being bright and compact, the PT-LRZ35U’s picture quality is very good and I would have to agree. Colors and whites are visually balanced which is typically only found in 3LCD projectors. While I can’t go as far as to say that the balance is equivalent to 3LCD, primarily because Panasonic does not publish these specs. Color balance and accuracy are far superior to traditional DLP systems that use color wheels including many laser DLP systems in this price range.

The PT-LRZ35U delivers a dynamic contrast ratio of 30,000;1 and as I wrote up front, I think the actual visual performance appears well above this number to my eye.

While not a deal breaker I don’t like the limited implementation of USB on this projector. The inability of the user to display content directly off a USB drive is a disappointment for me. Further, the PT-LRZ35 series has no built in wireless capability and can’t even be used with Panasonic’s own optional USB WiFi dongle. The USB Type A output is designed primarily for USB powered HDMI smart devices. Even though Panasonic claims this is a good wireless solution for team environments, I don’t agree. Wirelessly casting to consumer electronic devices is not a substitute for the wireless needs of the business segment. This will matter to many AV managers and business users alike.

The PT-LRZ35U has manual vertical lens shift, a 1.3x zoom lens and dual HDMI inputs. Although the PT-LRZ35 series has no DIGITAL LINK/LAN (HDBaseT) compatibility. It does offer compatibility with Crestron, AMX and PJLink protocols.

VALUE PROPOSITION

The picture quality of this projector really is amazing. Panasonic nailed it in this regard. Colors are vibrant without being oversaturated. The contrast and brightness are enough to allow the LRZ35U to be successfully deployed in a wide range of environments.

Its overall picture quality, including brightness and contrast, slightly exceed Panasonic stated ratings in our testing and to my eyes. Colors are consistent and the images this projector produces are just pleasant to watch. Even though it’s not necessarily the primary market, the Panasonic PT-LRZ35U has been purpose-built to fit into a wide range of use cases including home entertainment rooms.

The Panasonic PT-LRZ35U checks almost all the feature boxes you would expect from a business class projector at its price point and adds a few that are not normally seen on this class of projector. Its excellent picture quality, size, and overall feature set are why I am recommending you consider the LRZ35U for your business or home projector needs. It’s also why we are giving the Panasonic PT-LRZ35U a Projector Review special interest award. We really like it and think you will too.

PROS

  • 3,500 lumens
  • $2,999.00 Suggested Price
  • Light engine life of up to 20,000 hours
  • WUXGA Resolution (1920 x 1200)
  • Supports 1,920 x 1,200 via HDMI
  • R/G/B LED DMD Technology
  • 30,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Vertical lens shift provides excellent mounting flexibility
  • Low-noise operation of just 24 dB in Quiet Mode
  • Quick On/Quick Off for instant image display and no projector cooldown
  • Built-in 10W speaker, mic input, and variable audio output
  • Advanced Networking via Crestron, AMX and PJLink
  • Filter free design
  • Network monitoring and control
  • 3 year warranty

CONS

  • Lacks power lens adjustments (Zoom, Focus Shift)
  • No ability to receive and down-convert 4K in the projector
  • Wireless connectivity is not available for this series
  • USB implementation is not robust enough
  • The built-in 10-watt mono speaker sounds a bit hollow