The Epson PowerLite 1775W projector (*Est. $1,150) is generally well received by reviewers. At less than 4 pounds and the size of a netbook, the Epson PowerLite 1775W offers full-sized portable projection performance in a relatively small package, making it ideal for frequent travelers. "A road warrior will drool over this projector," writes ProjectorCentral.com. "It is light, bright, and packed with convenience features that support all sorts of presentation environments."
Reviewers praise the PowerLite 1775W's bright images, remote-controllable focus, and true-to-life color. But they positively rave about its convenience features, including the Screen Fit auto-adjustment feature that fixes both vertical and horizontal "keystoning" -- the trapezoidal distortion that can happen when a projector is angled up or placed off-center. Startup and shutdown are ultra-quick, reviewers say, the wireless connection between projector and laptop is easy to establish, and it's controllable via a browser window by any computer when it's connected that way.
Drawbacks of the Epson PowerLite 1775W include the high-speed fan, which while always noisy, doesn't always do a good job of cooling the unit, reviewers say. The 1-watt sound system is clear, but basic, and you'll want to turn to an external sound system for presentations in big spaces or in noisy settings. Reviewers who tested the brightness of the unit found varying results; some said it was brighter than the 3,000 lumens it claims, others found it to be less. Most agree that it is plenty bright enough for almost any portable application.
Its best competition is the InFocus IN3114 (*Est. $1,050) . Though most experts looking at both give the edge to the Epson PowerLite 1775W, the InFocus IN3114 still earns generally high scores across the board. At 7.1 pounds, the IN3114 isn't as portable as the Epson, but it compensates for that with more brightness. Its 3,500-lumen rating means that the InFocus IN3114 is bright enough to use in large conference rooms under tough lighting conditions, reviewers say. Brightness isn't the only strong point of the InFocus IN3114. A high-quality zoom lens helps maintain a sharp image even if the projector has to be set up well away from the screen. Images stay in focus from edge to edge, and the sharpness of this XGA projector also stays excellent in the corners. Reviewers say blacks are reasonably deep and colors are vivid and nicely saturated.
Reviewers report few major issues with the IN3114, though some complain about moderate fan noise and excessive heat output. ProjectorCentral.com complains about inconvenient controls and difficulty mastering the user interface, adding that while those issues can be overcome, more time is "required to get conversant with the projector than other models we've seen."
The Mitsubishi XD600U (* Est. $1,600) is another high-end portable digital projector that bears consideration. It weighs slightly more than the IN3114 at 7.9 pounds and carries a bigger price tag, but it also surpasses the IN3114 in brightness by 1,000 lumens with rating of 4,500. Professional reviews are available from ProjectorCentral.com and Sound and Video Contractor Magazine, both of which give it high grades.
The XD600U is a 3D-capable projector, which doesn't mean much right now for business users but might in the future. While 3D is a nice extra, it's the XD600U's other attributes that separate it somewhat from the pack. The high brightness means it can do the job even in a large venue. That makes it a suitable choice for those who need a projector that's small enough to be portable yet sufficiently powerful for a large room. Other attractive features include a 1.5:1 manual zoom lens for placement flexibility, easy maintenance, great connectivity and built-in wired networking..
Experts generally like the Mitsubishi XD600U, but also have some quibbles. ProjectorCentral.com's Bill Livolsi's criticisms of the XD600U are mainly related its 3D features. He does note, however, that its images can be uneven when displaying a full page of small text. Jeff Sauer of Sound and Video Contractor Magazine, meanwhile, says the biggest problem with the XD600U is inaccurate colors when the projector is in presentation mode.
For those who are as concerned with value as performance, experts say the 4.2-pound, 2,600-lumen Vivitek D511 mobile business projector (*Est. $475) is a great budget buy. Among the experts looking at this DLP XGA projector, ProjectorCentral.com gives the D511 5 stars for value and a Highly Rated designation. ProjectorCentral.com reviewer Allan Abbott says the D511 offers great bang for the buck and represents an outstanding value.
The D511 is unquestionably portable and while it's not as bright as some projectors, it is still bright enough to perform admirably in a small conference room. Users say that it takes some adjusting to get a clear and sharp picture on the D511, but once you've locked in, images are sharp edge to edge, color saturation and balance are good, color backgrounds are free of hot spots, shadows and highlights are detailed, and high-definition videos look very good. This projector also has 3D capability, though few business users will need that feature for the time being.
There are a few negatives. Reviewers say the quality of sound from the speakers doesn't match the sharpness of the pictures in a medium-size room. Also, the credit-card-size remote control is easy to misplace, and because the remote's range is limited, you'll have to stay close to the projector to use it.
The ViewSonic PJD5123 (*Est. $320) also receives some strong reviews. Its light weight (5.7 pounds) and budget price tag makes its strong feature set (including preset picture modes for displaying on white boards, blackboards, bright surroundings, cinema settings, etc.) very attractive, reviewers say. Though feedback from users isn't particularly abundant, there are enough buyers weighing in at Amazon.com to see with some confidence that it pleases most of them.