Epson Powerlite X15
Classroom and Conference Projector
October 25, 2012
Education Pricing.Epson's Brighter Futures education plan offers substantial discounts to schools. The X15 can be purchased for $459 which is almost 25% off the street price. Even better, replacement lamps sell to educators for only $99 which, coupled with the lamps long life, adds up to real savings over the life of the projector.
Presets.The X15's seven preset modes (Dynamic, Presentation, Theater, Photo, sRGB, Blackboard, and Whiteboard) work effectively to emphasize saturation, contrast, brightness, and color temperature for each particular projection environment. Theater mode is particularly well designed to make videos look like movies with a soft look as long as the sharpness setting is in the low end of its range.
Easy Slide and Quick Corner. If you happen to be projecting at an angle to the screen, you can adjust both vertical and horizontal keystone effects either automatically or manually. The manual slider is located just behind the zoom and focus rings on the top of the X15 and adjusts for horizontal keystoning. The Quick Corner adjustment is made in the Keystone section of the Settings menu, and it adjusts for perfectly rectangular corners regardless of the projection surface's flatness.
Connectivity.You will find all the usual suspects on the connector panel of the X15. Computer signals are handled by two VGA connectors, and video signals arrive via an RCA composite video connector or through the VGA connectors for component video. Digital signals are accommodated via an HDMI connector, and there are both audio in and out connectors. Rounding out the connections is a USB Type B input for single-cable data and video for PCs and Macs as well as USB-compatible storage devices.
Keystone Correction.It is unusual to find horizontal keystone correction on a projector in this class. It is even more unusual to find two options for keystone correction. The X15 scores on both counts. There is vertical and horizontal correction available on the control panel and on the remote control to the tune of ±30°. Horizontal correction is also available via the sliding bar located just behind the lens controls. There is even a manual mode called Quick Corner that lets you square up each corner of the image independently, a nice touch if you happen to be projecting on a non-flat surface.
Remote Control. The X15's remote control has easy-to-read button legends, and it has an array of direct action buttons for selections like aspect ratio, color mode, and individual source selection as well as an auto search button. A user-assignable button can handle any one of five functions including direct selection of ECO mode without going to a menu.
USB Type B All-in-one Connection.Epson provides an additional interface for connecting computers to the X15. The USB Type B connector accommodates a USB cable from a Mac or PC and sends the interface software to the computer automatically on initial connection. Once installed, files of any type can be displayed with both video and audio transiting the slim USB cable. If you want to avoid the hassle of separate VGA and audio cables, this is the way to go.
Computer-free Presentations. If your students want to show photos as part of a homework assignment, that is no problem for the X15 as long as the thumb drives or cameras holding the photos can be converted to a USB Type B connection. This can usually be done with a short adapter cable, and it eliminates the need for a computer to view these images.
Warranty.Epson offers a 2-year warranty on the projector and a 90-day warranty on the lamp. They also have a warranty policy that provides shipment of a replacement unit to you before you ship yours back if trouble occurs.