Epson BrightLink 485Wi
Interactive Short Throw Projector
May 9, 2012
Have to touch the screen to interact. The 485Wi's interactive pens use a switch on the front that you have to press against the screen for the pen to tell the projector where it is. This limits you to screens with a hard backing, and it means you have to stand near the screen to interact. It also means that if you move the projector from room to room, instead of the more likely choice of permanently mounting it overhead or on a table, you have to either stay with a small image size, or you have to walk around the cart to reach the entire screen.
No 3D. With 3D becoming common in DLP data projectors, the lack of 3D in the 485Wi is worth mention. This shouldn't matter in most cases, but if you want to use 3D content in the near future, the 485Wi won't serve your needs.
The 485Wi offers more than enough in its core features to make it a strong contender, with a bright image, near excellent to excellent data image quality, better than par video for a data projector, 1280x800 native resolution, and a suitably short throw for an ultra short throw projector. Beyond that, it gets added points for the good quality audio with a usefully high volume, as well as for welcome conveniences that include automatic calibration and the ability to work in tabletop orientation, work with two pens at once, and annotate images from any image source.
The only real limitation for the 485Wi is that you can't use it for 3D. But keep in mind that current 3D data projectors are all DLP-based, which means they don't have the 485Wi's advantage of a guaranteed lack of rainbow artifacts. Ultimately, the 485Wi qualifies as one of the more impressive representatives of the ultra short throw interactive category, and one that -- unless you need 3D -- should wind up on your short list.
Ease of Use: 5