Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-EW435 Business and Education Projector Review – Performance

Sony VPL-EW435 Business and Education Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise

Brightness

Color Mode Lumens
Vivid 1502
Dynamic 2111
Standard 1542
Presentation 2354
Blackboard 2638
Whiteboard 1644
Cinema 1278

I am usually pretty good at guessing which modes are going to be the brightest and which will be dimmest on these projectors, but this one got me! I would have assumed that Dynamic or Vivid would have been the two brightest modes, with Presentation to follow, but that was not the case. Oddly enough, Blackboard mode, a mode that is usually pretty dim on the other projectors I’ve reviewed, was the brightest of all the modes. Strange.

That said, Blackboard measured 2,638 lumens, which didn’t quite hit the Sony VPL-EW435’s 3,100 lumen claim. That’s too bad, but typical of most projectors. The only projectors I’ve ever seen hit or exceed claim are Epsons, and maybe an NEC or two. That’s rare. The next brightest mode is Presentation, which measured 2,354. In my experience, presentation modes usually come in second. Dynamic came in close after that, at 2,111 lumens.

The rest of the modes were in the mid-1000s, with the brightest of them, Whiteboard, being 1,644 lumens. Standard mode, the projector’s best mode, measured 1,542. That’s respectable, and should be enough for rooms with some decent lighting control. Vivid mode came in at 1,502 lumens, and Cinema, which would be the next best mode in terms of color, had only 1,278. Now, that 1,278 is still adequate for situations where you’ve got decent lighting control, but I’d still suggest Standard over Cinema.

Remember, this is a 3LCD projector, so it has as many color lumens as it does white ones. That means that you get brighter color than a DLP, and in my opinion, I find these 3LCDs to be better at handling ambient light. All of these measurements were taken at full power on the lamp, so keep in mind that if you use the lower power modes, the image will be dimmer. Now, if using Presentation or Dynamic mode in one of the ECO modes (Standard and ECO), they’ll still be plenty bright, you’ll just be sacrificing a little in the way of color.

Contrast

The Sony VPL-EW435 has a contrast ratio of 20,000:1. We don’t typically go by these manufacturer claims, as they tend to be all over the place. What we go by is black level performance, more so on home theater type projectors, but we look at black levels for business and education projectors such as this, too. The Sony is an entry level projector for business and education purposes, so it is reasonable to assume it would have entry level black levels. It does.

I would put the VPL-EW435’s black levels on par with entry level home entertainment projectors. You’re just not going to get true black on a projector like this – but rather, medium dark grey. That’s fine. This is not a home theater projector, which is pretty much the only time black level performance really matters. So, bottom line on this projector’s performance in terms of contrast? Better than most, weaker than some, but great for the price point.

Sony VPL-EW435 Journey to Space

Audible Noise

I didn’t even notice the fan, and I was standing right next to it while taking my photos. The spec sheet claims 29 db in ECO, but says nothing about full power, which is what I was running the projector at while viewing.

Since I didn’t notice it, I’d say the fan noise at full power is akin to the volume of the air conditioning in a classroom, or the fan on a computer. Not really noticeable at all, and if I had to guess, I’d rate it at around 34 db. That’s a total guess though, based only on my findings with previous projectors.

That does it for our discussion of the Sony VPL-EW435’s performance! Next up is our final page, the Summary Page, where I go over everything we talked about in this review, plus some pros and cons so you can make an informed decision when choosing the projector that is right for your classroom or conference room applications.