Interactive Short Throw Projector
September 20, 2011
The Acer S5201M is a new interactive short throw, DLP-based XGA projector rated at 3000 lumens. It provides refined image quality at a street price under $800. The short throw design easily fits a big picture into a small room, the S5201M can produce an image that is 1.6 times wide as the distance of the projector from the screen. The projector includes a full complement of features, including the Acer SmartPen and virtual whiteboard software, 3D capability, dual HDMI inputs and a 4,000 hour eco lamp life. The Acer S5210M makes it easy to engage the audience with a big and bright image, a short throw that provides minimal image interference and a unique software package that enables on-screen interaction between the audience and the presenter.
The short throw design and XGA resolution make the S5210M best suited for the professional or educational environment. The case size (11.4"x10"x3.9") and near 8 pound weight are appropriate for fixed location or room to room use. With a fixed lens (no zoom function), the image size is adjusted by physically moving the projector. A mobile cart is a good solution for the classroom while office users will want to make sure available mounting locations provide a suitable screen size.
I tested the projector in several different conference rooms. The projector was a great fit for small 4 person breakout rooms that contain a single circular table. Placing the projector at the table edge provided only three feet of throw distance, yet the S5210M generated engaging 70" diagonal image. Comparatively, a standard throw projector with a 2:1 throw ratio would provide an image diagonal of only 23". Selecting the "light yellow" Wall Color image preset improved image color balance when using the beige wall as a screen.
I used the projector to give a presentation in a small executive office using only the included media player and a flash drive. Leaving the laptop at my desk allowed me to go from a cold start to presenting in about a minute. Additionally, I did not have to deal with toting around a laptop or connecting the laptop to the projector. The remote control worked perfectly to advance the slides and its built-in laser pointer was handy.