Home Top 10 Database Reviews CalculatorCalc Lamps Buyer's Guide
SHARE PAGE:
Review Contents
Highly Rated Projectors
Performance
5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Education
Epson BrightLink 450Wi Projector Epson BrightLink 450Wi
(add to Compare List)
Go to My Compare List

Street Price: n/a
Contrast:2,000:1
Lumens:2500
Weight: 14.1 lbs
Resolution:1280x800
Aspect Ratio:16:10
Technology:3 LCD
Lens Shift:Vertical
Lamp Life:2,500 Hrs
3,500 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, VGA In (x2), Network, USB (x2), RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i

Epson BrightLink 450Wi Interactive Ultra-Short Throw Projector Review

Marc Davidson, May 11, 2010

Introduction

The Epson BrightLink 450Wi offers two key features that distinguish it from most other projectors: It's interactive, and it has an ultra short throw. The interactivity lets you effectively turn any screen, blackboard, or blank wall space into an interactive whiteboard without the extra cost of an actual whiteboard. The ultra short throw lets it project large images at just a few inches from the screen, so you can interact with the image without having to worry about casting shadows.

In most other ways, the 450Wi delivers a fairly garden variety set of features, as an LCD-based WXGA (1280x800) projector rated at 2500 lumens. Meant for permanent installation, it is designed primarily as a data projector suitable for both business and educational use. In either context, if you compare it to buying an ultra short throw projector and an interactive whiteboard separately, you might consider it a bargain at $2,199 estimated street price, or $1,799 with an education discount.

Advantages

Excellent image quality for data sources. The 450Wi did an excellent job with data images on our tests, with no problems worth mention. It also makes up somewhat for the lack of a digital connection with nearly rock solid images, with little to no pixel jitter, even on images that tend to bring out pixel jitter in analog connections.

Ultra short throw. By definition, any ultra short throw projector should be able to project a big image with the projector right next to the screen. Even more important for an interactive projector, the distance between the screen and projector should be little enough so you can stand in front of the screen and interact with the image -- pointing, drawing, and entering mouse clicks by touching the screen with the interactive pen -- without worrying about casting a shadow.

The 450Wi easily delivers on both of these promises. Using the native 1280x800 resolution with its 16:10 aspect ratio, it can project a 59" diagonal (50" wide) image from just 2.7" -- that's inches, not feet. More precisely, that would be 2.7" from the front of the projector, although the image emerges from a window of sorts near the back, about 14" farther from the screen. For the maximum 96" diagonal (81.4" wide) image at 16:10, the projector needs only 14.5".

With short distances like these, you have to work hard to create shadows that actually cause a problem. You'll cast a small shadow when you interact with the image -- writing, drawing a highlight, or giving a command -- but it won't be much larger than your arm, which will effectively cover the shadow in any case. Even standing right in front of the screen, you won't cast more of a shadow than that, and you won't hide any more of the image than you would if you were standing in front of a standard whiteboard.

Nothing else to buy. Aside from the obvious savings of not having to buy an interactive whiteboard to use with the 450Wi, the package comes with everything else you need as well, except for a surface to project the image on. Included in the box are a complete wall mounting kit and two interactive pens -- in the U.S. and Canada, at least. (In some countries, the package includes only one pen.) Should you lose a pen, replacements are available from Epson for $70 street, or $54.75 with the education discount. Epson will ship the pen for overnight delivery for an additional charge.

Next Page
Advantages and Limitations
Review Contents: Intro and Advantages Advantages and Limitations

Reader Comments(7 comments)

Posted May 12, 2010 9:38 AM PST

By Gil Anspacher

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
Be careful with a short ceiling height. It is best to have 9' or more. Use the GREAT Epson calculator: http://www.epson.com/images/landing/calculator/index.html

and pay close attention of the height of the projected image. We have an 8' ceiling and with a 68" diagonal, the image will be 5'9" off the floor at top and 2'9" at bottom... and going down to 59" diagonal it is 6' and 3'2".

Another point: You can use Promethean ActivInspie with this projector,,, very cool!

Posted May 18, 2010 11:29 PM PST

By Jacque LaFleur

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
Wow this(ultra short throw) could be the future of giant screens in the home. Just a few mods such as film quality picture and an optimized setup for an 8' average height ceiling. Personally I want a screen height of 5-7ft all aspect ratios inclusive at a reasonable cost comparable to entry level 1080p projectors, but without all the annoyances of a front mounted projector or the cost of a costume rear projector room/cabinet. Throw in some 3D glasses for early adopters then 3D in the home would really take off!

Posted Jun 2, 2010 5:53 AM PST

By Bill

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
The Epson Brightlink 450wi and 450w/460, which are the same form factor without interactive capabilities, have a 2000:1 contrast ratio http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product/Specifications.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&sku=V11H318020 so I've been happy with the video image quality. However, I would like to see an HDMI or display port connection on the next version. Another nice point is the replacement lamps are only $169 with a lamp life of 2,500-3,500 hours. I also do some content over network IP and message broadcast using the RJ45.

Posted Aug 24, 2010 8:40 AM PST

By Jason Chung

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
I had the opportunity to try out both the Epson BrightLink 450Wi and the Dell S300wi Interactive Projector...if you don't mind the short throw lens of Dell (it sits an extra 8 inches away from the screen compared to the 450Wi) it is by far a better value projector especially with its low price.

Software is education ready (Dell comes with eInstructions Interactive Workspace - Epson only gives you basic tools), comes with digital HDMI ports, and I had to see it for myself but the DLP of Dell provided much better colors and sharpness of the screen compared to the BrightLink.

Bottom line: the BrightLink is a good interactive projector, but for the money Dell's way better.

Posted Oct 14, 2010 1:30 PM PST

By Jonathan

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
See the review on the Dell S300wi Interactive Projector in this website. It has some limitations, and isn't really apples-to-apples with the Epson. OK for a classroom, but for business use, I'd go w/ the Epson.

Posted Oct 29, 2011 8:11 AM PST

By David Fountain

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
Pens are expensive,so we made our own.

Posted Aug 23, 2017 8:34 AM PST

By David

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
We run project that places projectors in classrooms in poor schools.

Epson's interactive projectors are fine, but their support stinks. It isn't possible to determine, on their website, which model of pen works with the 450wi, which one works with the 455wi, etc. No, they're not interchangeable. The result is that we've purchased Epson interactive pens that won't work with our projectors. Dell is no better. Dell's website won't tell you what part number of OEM Dell lamp fits their S500wi projector. My emailed request for the information has gone unanswered for a week now.

Neither of these giant companies seem to understand the cost of fostering customer ire. I'm sadly disappointed in both. We currently own more than a dozen Dell projectors and more than two-dozen Epsons.

Incidentally, our very best and most reliable source of information is always ProjectorCentral.com

Post a comment

Commenting on this article is easy and does not require any registration. Your email address is necessary for you to activate your comment once it has been submitted. It will not be shown to other site viewers. ProjectorCentral reserves the right to remove any comment at any time for any reason. Foul language is not permitted, nor are personal attacks. No HTML allowed. All comments should remain on topic.

Name:

Email Address:(used only to confirm your comment)

Your Comment:

(Enter the numbers as they appear to the left)