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First Look at the 3-Pound Mini-Projectors

Evan Powell, June 29, 2000
Review Contents

Every year at the INFOCOMM show the industry gets to see just how far projector technology has advanced in the twelve months since the prior show. And this year was no different. Projectors are getting smaller and brighter at a pace that seems almost unbelievable. And while there were stunning new products being shown in every weight and price class, the most attention-grabbing newcomers were the 3-pound mini-projectors. Here are our first impressions...

NEC MultiSync LT150 and LT85

Of particular note was NEC's debut of the MultiSync LT 150 and LT85. These are identical 3.3 pound, 800 ANSI lumen projectors with the exception that the LT150 is native XGA resolution, and the LT85 is native SVGA. These two miniprojectors have two notable features that distinguish them from the rest of the 3-pound crowd. First, they incorporate NEC's new VORTEX image enhancement technology, the purpose of which is to improve color, contrast and detail in the video image. Second, they have a PC card slot for PC-free presentation capability.

Now, evaluating image quality based on a vendor's trade show demonstration is not the way to go about a review. But this is a show review, not a product review. And we can say that the picture quality from the 3.3-pounder in NEC's booth looked markedly better than the other three-pound projectors being demonstrated on the show floor. This despite the fact that these products are all built around the same Texas Instruments 0.7" DLP chip and PLUS optical engine. So it is possible that NEC's claim that VORTEX technology enables them to produce better image quality from the same light engine has some merit. A closer look is warranted, and we will get some samples as units are available.

The other major distinguishing feature between the NEC LT150 & LT85 versus competing products in the 3-pound class is that they have a PC card slot that enables the presenter to download presentations into the projector itself and leave the laptop in the car or at home. Many buyers who want a 3-pound projector to minimize total carrying weight will see this as a significant added benefit.

The good news is that the NEC LT150 and LT85 look like exceptionally strong offerings. The bad news is that you will have to wait until sometime in the fall to get your hands on them. No official release date is published, but if you think in terms of October you probably won't be too far off.

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Buy the NEC LT150 online here:

 

Buy the NEC MultiSync LT85 online here: