Epson rolled out four new Powerlite 1700 lightweight portable projectors at CES today. This are for the proverbial "road warrior." Three of the four models are direct replacements for the older models, but the line has been expanded by one. While the older models started at 2600 lumens, these begin at an impressive 3000 lumens - both color and white lumens. Epson briefed the press in December, but we were embargoed until today, to report on them (typical).
Epson's Powerlite 1781W, at $799 is a slight step up from the base Powerlite 1780. 3200 color and white lumens, and built in Wireless, with MHL support.
These projectors all weigh in at 4 pounds, which when combined with 3000 to 3200 lumens, allows them to tackle just about any room, even with a fair amount of ambient light.
I'll keep mentioning "color and white lumens" which is important, because much of the competition offers a lot of white lumens, but come up very short in "color lumens" which, at the minimum limits those others to colors washing out more in bright ambient light, and difficulty reproducing some colors such as rich reds, and yellows. That is not a problem for projectors like these, that have equal numbers of color and white lumens. (We even did a video demonstrating the difference, a couple of years back: Color Brightness: An Important New Metric for Projectors
The point being, that these projectors have a big advantage in this area.
These are the thinnest projectors Epson makes, making them suitable for easy transport (that, and weighing in at only 4 pounds!) They all have an internal 1 watt speaker.
Here's a quick run-down on the four models, pointing out their differences (which you won't be able to see from the photos - they all basically look the same.
All of these Epson portable models claim 4000 hours of operation with the lamp at full power, and a dazzling 7000 hours in Eco mode.
Considering these are portable projectors, which normally means limited hours per week, It is quite possible that most users will never have to change out a lamp. (14 hours a week usage in Eco is 10 years use!
Epson Powerlite 1780W - $749
Let's start with the entry level Powerlite 1780W. It is WXGA (1280x800), as are all but the top of the line 1795F, which is 1080p. With a mere 3000 lumens, this is the only model with less than 3200 lumens (not that 200 lumens is much of a difference.
It offers wireless, and MHL, but lacks the Miracast that some models offer. The zoom lens has a 1.2:1 throw as good or better than most sub-5 pound projectors. It is sold primarily through commercial AV dealers (including those online). This model has vertical keystone correction.
Epson Powerlite 1781W - $799
The Powerlite 1781 is similar (and WXGA), but slightly more powerful at 3200 lumens, has wireless and MHL support (including Roku support). The Powerlite 1781W has horizontal keystone correction in addition to vertical. So, basically this is a tad brighter, with a couple of extra features for an additional $50. The Powerlite 1781W (and the other models below) also add Screen Fit, Epson's friendly and fast feature for quickly matching the projected image to fit your screen. Since these are portables, that can be a real plus, considering they are likely being set up in different rooms, at different distances, on a regular basis.
To add my two cents, this is the "value" model - max features, performance for the money. That is, unless the performance you need is 1080p resolution instead of WXGA.
Epson Powerlite 1785W - $1099
The 1785W is a step up from he previous two portable projectors. It is still 3200 lumens, but adds support for Miracast, for streaming from compatible devices. The 1785W has the most complete feature set of the three models with WXGA resolution.
Epson Powerlite 1795F - $1299
Epson's flagship Powerlite 1795F - their most advanced 1080p business portable projector is 1080p resolution, and has Wifi, Miracast. Top down view shows lens controls, control panel.
I'm not sure what the F in Powerlite 1795F stands for - perhaps "Flagship" because it is the top of the line in this series. 3200 lumens (color and white, of course, as it's a 3LCD projector like all Epson commercial models but their laser projectors). What sets the Powerlite 1795F apart from the other models in this series, is that it is 1080p resolution
, rather than WXGA. That's the big plus for those needing to present detailed imagery and highly readable small type.
The Powerlite 1795F is unique in the new series as it is not replacing an older model. That is, it's the first Powerlite 1700 projector to offer the higher 1080p resolution.
Road Warriors - Rejoice!
All of these Epson models should be shipping this month.