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Sony VPL-EX120 LCD Projector - A Comparison

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Sony VPL-EX120 Specs
Price 890
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1024x768
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2600
Contrast 2,500:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.30:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 3000 hours, 6000 eco-mode
Weight 7.1 lbs
Warranty Three years Limited Parts and Labor

The Sony VPL-EX120 is very similar to the Sony VPL-EX175 projector which we did review

Sony VPL-EX120 Projector Comparison
Direct Links to the Sony VPL-EX175 Review:
Sony VPL-EX175 Projector

This article discusses the Sony VPL-EX120 's differences.

Sony VPL-EX120 Projector Comparison

Check out our review of the Sony VPL-EX175 projector.

The VPL-EX120, the second in Sony's VPL-E Series, is a step up from an entry level projector. The following is a comparison between the VPL-EX120 and the most advanced (and consequently more expensive) projector in the series, the VPL-EX175, which we recently reviewed in-depth.

The VPL-EX120 and its sibling have multiple similarities. Both have wired networking capabilities and basic inputs including component and s-video. Like the VPL-EX175, the VPL-EX120 is around seven pounds with dimensions about 5" x 12" x 11" (HxWxD). At this weight and size, the VPL-EX120 is moderately compact, which is beneficial when it is being transported from room to room in your school or office building, or even in your carry-on if you're a road warrior businessperson.

Additionally, the two share XGA resolution (1024x768) for decent picture clarity, as well as 3LCD technology which allows for accurate colors. The lamp life also runs for the same amount of time - 3000 hours when used at full power and 6000 when used in eco-mode.

There are also several differences between the VPL-EX120 and its counterpart as well. Price-wise, the VPL-EX120 has an MSRP of $890, compared to the VPL-EX175's much higher MSRP of $1420. Consequently, the VPL-EX120 is not as bright at 2600 lumens, as opposed the VPL-EX175's 3600 lumens. That being said, the VPL-EX120 is better suited for presentations in a smaller space, on a smaller screen, and where there is less ambient light. There is a significant difference in contrast ratio as well. The VPL-EX175 boasts 4000:1, whereas this VPL-EX120 has a contrast ratio of 2500:1. Since there is around 40% less contrast in the VPL-EX120, the pop in the image that the VPL-EX120 produces is not as striking.

Also, there is a significant difference in sound. The VPL-EX120 comes with a single 1 watt speaker, versus the VPL-EX175 which has one 10 watt speaker. The speaker in the VPL-EX120 is sufficient for intimate settings where audio is not a priority. For large group presentations where sound is a priority, the VPL-EX175 is highly qualified.

The photos Above were taken using the Sony VPL-EX120's sibling, the VPL-EX175. With that noted, the images from the VPL-EX100 projector should look fairly similar to the one we reviewed, save for being dimmer and with less contrast.

Above, the VPL-EX175 in Standard mode.

Above, the Sony VPL-EX175 projector in a higher resolution setting, showing off the Sony's sharpness.

So why choose the VPL-EX120? It is markedly less expensive than the compared sibling. It is brighter and has better contrast than the entry level projector in the series, the VPL-EX100. In addition, the VPL-EX120 has a 3 year warranty which is the longest period for warranties in the market!

So if you're looking for for the sweet spot of moderate price and moderate feature set, then the VPL-EX120 is a great choice - bringing you enough brightness and contrast to handle presentations in a small to medium sized conference space. But if you're looking to fill a larger screen in a bigger/brighter room, have a larger than average audience and audio is a big part of your presentations, then you're better off with one of the brighter, more powerful models in the series with bigger speakers and that is packing more punch!

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