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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

Strong Points

Good data image quality. The K520's data image quality isn't in the top tier, but it's more than acceptable for most purposes. In the brightest mode, colors are a little dark. But colors are fully saturated, and color balance is excellent, with suitably neutral grays at all levels. With every other preset, the colors fare much better, looking both vibrant and well saturated. The trade off is that color balance isn't quite as good as in Bright mode. With most presets, its gray scale is acceptably neutral through most of the range from black to white, but just a little off with the brightest shades.

One issue is that I couldn't get crisp focus across the entire screen. When I adjusted the lens for best focus at the center of the screen, text was easily readable at 7 points in the center area, but hard to read at sizes below 9 points at the top and bottom of the screen. If you don't need to show fine detail, however, this won't be a problem. Very much on the plus side, screens that tend to cause pixel jitter were nearly rock solid with an analog connection, with no obvious improvement when I switched to HDMI.

Eco-friendly and money saving. The hybrid light source in the K520 offers several advantages. Being mercury free is one important plus. So is the 20,000-hour rated lifetime, which lowers the total cost of ownership if you anticipate extensive use of your projector, since you don't have to buy lamp replacements. It also lowers the carbon footprint by eliminating the need produce or ship replacements. In addition, the light source uses less power than conventional lamps, which lowers both the carbon footprint and running costs. I measured the power draw at 106 watts in full power mode, which can be about 1/3 the draw of conventional models.

Better than expected audio. The K520's audio is surprisingly usable, with good quality and higher volume than you might expect from its 2-watt mono speaker. As with many projectors, one test clip with quietly spoken dialog was essentially impossible to hear from more than a couple of feet away. However, the sound in most clips was loud enough to fill a small conference room. If you need a higher volume or stereo, you can connect an external sound system to the audio output.

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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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