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Acer K520 Laser-LED Projector

Review Contents
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
Acer K520 Projector Acer K520
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100000:1 Contrast Ratio
2000 Lumens
PC 3D Ready
Street Price: n/a

Test Results and Connectivity

Acceptable brightness. Although the 2000-lumen rating for K520 is lower than the ratings for most projectors aimed at small classrooms and conference rooms today, it's very much in line with comparable projectors from a few years ago. More important, it is bright enough to be usable, even if you have to settle for a slightly smaller screen size than with a brighter projector.

At its brightest, in Bright mode and Eco off, I measured the K520 at 1900 lumens, a full 95% of its rating. Even with moderate ambient light, that translates to being bright enough for the 98" diagonal image, in the native 4:3 aspect ratio, that I used for my tests. For lower light levels and smaller screen sizes, you can switch to other predefined image modes, which came in at a range of 775 to 1078 lumens.

Turning Eco on didn't affect brightness at all in Bright mode, at a measured 1894 lumens. With the six other predefined modes, however, I measured a consistent 15% brightness drop in Eco mode, for a range of 664 to 928 lumens.

Somewhat surprisingly, the K520's color brightness is substantially lower than its white brightness, at 453 lumens in bright mode with Eco off. This level of difference is typical for DLP projectors that boost white brightness by adding a white panel in a color wheel. It's unexpected for a projector with a hybrid light source, but there are ways even with a hybrid light source to boost white brightness, and the K520 is obviously doing that.

In any case, the difference between the color brightness and white brightness means that color images, like photos or full color PowerPoint slides, won't be as bright on screen as a word processing document or a spreadsheet. It also explains why some colors look dark in Bright mode.

Good brightness uniformity. The K520 did a good job maintaining uniform brightness across the screen, with a 78% brightness uniformity score. I could see a slight difference in brightness on a solid white screen, with the bottom of the screen just a touch brighter than the top, but only because I was looking for it. With text or graphics breaking up the image on screen, I couldn't see any variation.

Good connectivity. The back panel on the K520 lacks a USB-A port, which means it can't read files from a USB memory key. Beyond that it offers only a limited set of connectors, but they include most of what you're likely to need.

  • 1 HDMI
  • 1 VGA IN (for RGB or component)
  • 1 S-video
  • 1 RCA composite
  • 1 USB B (for mouse control from remote)
  • 1 audio mini plug IN
  • 1 Stereo mini plug OUT
  • 1 RS-232 (DIN connector for external control)
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Limitations and Conclusion
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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