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Acer K520 Projector Acer K520
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100000:1 Contrast Ratio
2000 Lumens
PC 3D Ready
Street Price: n/a

Acer K520 Laser-LED Projector

Marc Davidson, September 17, 2013


Rainbow artifacts. As with most single-chip DLP business projectors, the K520 shows rainbow artifacts, but they're a potential problem only with video. In my data testing, I saw the red-green-blue flashes strictly with test images that are designed to bring them out. Few, if any, people are likely to be bothered by them. With video, however, I saw them often enough that anyone who is sees them easily probably will find them annoying.

Limited 3D. The K520's 3D is limited to working with a PC only and at up to 1280x720 resolution. However, the key limitation, as with most 3D projectors, is the need buy enough pairs of DLP-Link glasses for your audience, at $70 or more each.

Poor video quality. Video quality is the K520's weakest area. Most bothersome is that movement--whether in the form of the camera panning or a still shot with someone walking across the field of view--showed a jerkiness that's reminiscent of, but more annoying than, silent movies modified for playing at modern day speeds. Combined with the tendency to show rainbow artifacts easily, this makes the K520 best limited to short clips only, if you use video at all.

Surprisingly short warranty. Acer's warranty for the K520 light source is only 90 days. That's common for a standard lamp but unusually short for laser-LED light sources, which usually have warranties measured in years and in thousands of hours. However, Acer says its service department will replace the entire light source--including LEDs, laser, and phosphor element--for $249, so the short warranty isn't a deal breaker. The warranty for the projector itself is one year.


Although the Acer K520 is obviously the wrong projector to get if you need to show much video, and its short warranty makes it less attractive than it could be, there's still a lot here to like. The eco-friendly and cost saving features are among the projector's best points, with its mercury-free light source offering a 20,000 hour lifetime and low power usage.

Also on the plus side is that the projector scores well, or at least well enough, on all the most important issues for any data projector. It delivers good data image quality, a bright enough image for a small to medium size conference room or classroom, the connection options you're most likely to need, and suitable audio for a small room plus an output for connecting to external audio systems if you need to.

If 1024x768 is the resolution you're looking for, you don't need to show fine detail like small fonts, and you expect to use the projector enough to benefit from the potential savings from low power use and long life for the light source, the K520 is certainly a reasonable choice. It may even be the right fit for your needs.

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Testing and Connectivity
Review Contents: Introduction Strengths Testing and Connectivity Limitations and Conclusion
Comments (2) Post a Comment
Nabi Posted Oct 20, 2013 11:43 PM PST
Be cautious about all these claims for 'low cost of operation' in LED projectors. I've had an ACER k11 for almost exactly 3 years now--no more than 2500 hours on it. Since Acer rates the lamp at 30,000 hours I was more than a bit annoyed when a message popped up a few days ago warning that the lamp was reaching the end of its 'useful life' in full power (standard) mode. I extrapolate that perhaps LEDs very rapidly lose their punch or maybe there's a quality control problem. Following on the heels of an HDMI connection problem on a virtually new Acer k330 projector, I'm beginning to wonder if merely sticking with (buying bulbs for)the two more conventional projectors I have--a BenQ and Sanyo is more economical.
mark Posted Feb 11, 2014 12:41 AM PST
The warning is only a timer and has no link to the condition of the lamp. I guess the the firmware is ported from other mercury lamp projectors from Acer. just reset the hours meter and the warning will disappear.

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