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Sony VPL-VW85 - Review Summary 3

Posted on January 4, 2010 by Art Feierman

Nice! The Sony VW85 is a great projector. It's extremely well balanced. It's not without minor flaws, but technically, it's well done and puts a great picture up on the screen. You'll be spending something approaching $8000 and you have a right to expect an excellent picture, and the Sony VPL-VW85 will deliver. Even the remote control is particularly excellent.

Sony VPL-VW85 Projector: Cons

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  • A relatively dim "brightest" mode, of 725 lumens means it can't deal with very much ambient light, at all
  • Average sharpness (ok, that's more of a "typical" than a Con, but, sharpness is a big thing, for many, a key deciding factor
  • Likely average to below average lamp life
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  • Slight (but acceptable) pixel misalignment, only partially corrected on this unit by the pixel adjustment feature
  • Although not bad, could be a little quieter with lamp at full power
  • Documentation is typically weak in terms of explaining a number of settings features and modes, but competent at setup and getting started

Sony VPL-VW85 Projector: Typical Capabilities

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  • Lamp life is likely typical or below average in life
  • Documentation (I'm still waiting to see a projector that really does provide good explanations of all the menu functions).


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My last thoughts: Well, I'd rather have the VW85 over my RS20, if for no other reason, for the CFI for sports viewing. I'm even more intrigued, by JVC's DLA-RS35. The RS35 is essentially an VW85 with hand picked components and a higher level of quality control. That means the best of the optics, light engines, etc.

How much of a difference can that make? I'm not sure yet, but my contacts at JVC tell me you really can see a real difference. I suspect that means there probably won't be an VW85 projector in my theater, but, if JVC can prove to me that the RS35 really will look better, I may have one of those under my tree for the holidays. -art

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