Epson PowerLite 1715c

GCN Lab review

The PowerLite 1715C does not use Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology, as do other projectors in this review, but it doesn't quite use LCD technology, either. It features 3LCD technology, which uses three LCDs to create an image. This makes the images sharper and more vibrant, perfect for high-definition TV. It's also a clever way to allow the older LCD technology to go head-tohead against DLP in terms of image quality.

And Epson has managed to get its 3LCD technology into a 3-pound, 7-ounce unit.

Depending on how you plan to use the PowerLite 1715c, it can do very well. It does a great job with video display ' the only projector in the review to get a perfect score on all color registration tests. It displayed video flawlessly.

It also has one of the most unusual extra features we have seen on a projector. Tucked into the side is a little slide panel that covers a USB plug. The side of the unit becomes a wireless dongle that plugs into a nearby computer. Once the handshake is complete, you can stream video and audio from the host computer to the projector without stringing cables. Even with a full audio track, we could still stream a fullscreen MPEG video with no noticeable shuttering or skipping during a full-length movie.

So the PowerLite 1715c is pretty cool. But despite being fun, it's not optimized for the things you probably get paid to do: office presentations, PowerPoint slides and budget reviews.

Fine details are not as precise as those of other projectors, and text only looks good down to about 10.5-point size on average, forcing you to use some fairly large letters if you want everyone in the room to be able to see your words clearly. We also recorded a significant amount of digital noise when displaying images through the standard analog connection.

Its brightness also leaves a little to be desired, with only 875 lumens in the center of the screen ' fine for a darkened room but not quite up to par for ambient office light. It dropped off by only 10 lumens at the corners, so the images will look good if you can control the lighting environment.

The PowerLite 1715c is a fine personal projector, and it is affordable at $1,599 before any rebates are applied. But its lack of office skills makes it a bit of a risk for road warriors.

Epson America, (800) 403-7766,

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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