GCN LAB REVIEW

Epson PowerLite 1735W

GCN LAB REVIEW: If ambient light levels aren't a concern, the Epson PowerLite 1735W is a good choice for an accurate presentation projector.

When the world seemed to be moving to Digital Light Processing projectors, Epson America was left behind for a time. Instead of adapting its projector line to the proprietary world of Texas Instruments’ DLP, they stuck with LCDs. Epson’s projectors were bright but large compared with most DLP models.

GCN LAB SCORECARD

Epson PowerLite 1735W

Pros: Great color accuracy, can run presentations from a USB drive.
Cons: One of the dimmest tested.

Portability: A-
Features: A-
Color accuracy: A
Brightness: C+
Value: B
Price: $1,649

However, technology has advanced again and LCDs are coming into their own. The new 3LCD technology has made those projectors smaller than before and given them color accuracy scores that rival DLPs.

The Epson PowerLite 1735W is an example of 3LCD technology, with its three optical chips helping to produce highly accurate images. Until DLP moves to multiple optical chips, 3LCD projectors will hold the edge in that area. And the 1735W has a lot of extra features, including one that is unique in our review: It can run presentations or even movies from the USB port, eliminating the need for a computer. Talk about ease of use.

Simply plug a key drive into the USB port and the screen will display the list of files on the drive. If you have a PowerPoint presentation or a movie on the drive, you can play it. The ability to play movies means the 1735W has some intelligence inside the box. However, it did not work with all the movies we tried, even though they were all in the same format.

The W in the model number refers to widescreen. The native resolution is 1,280 x 800, which is a 16-by-10 ratio. That means most movies will display properly and the projector will sync with most modern laptop PCs that also have wide screens. The 1735W performed well on tests for color registration, which is important for movie display, so the projector would be as good for entertainment as it is for business. And you can easily carry the light, 4-pound device anywhere.

Its Achilles’ heel is its lack of brightness. It could only eek out 415 lumens in the center of our test screen, the dimmest level in the review. It had almost perfect image uniformity, with 410 lumens in the corners of the screen, but that is not good enough to balance the overall weak light power. If you knew you were going to be in a dark room for your presentation, the 1735W would be fine. But most traveling presenters never know what conditions they’ll have to work in, and ambient light could wash out important images.

If you aren’t worried about ambient light levels, the 1735W is a good choice for an accurate presentation projector — or a fun movie projector after-hours.

Epson America, 800-463-7766, www.epson.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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