Highly Recommended Award
Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.
If you were going to offer a new 3,000-lumen 1200x800 mobile presentation projector to a market that has seen just about everything, which feature would you make sure to include? Versatility? Convenience? Networking? Wireless presentation? You could make a case for any of them, but Epson included them all in their new, slim, 3.8 lb., PowerLite 1775W, priced at $1,199. The 1775W has a full complement of analog and digital inputs and can handle flash drives and USB-compatible devices such as cameras and cellphones. But that is not the heart of the matter.
The 1775W really hits its stride when your presentation calls for fast start and stop times, easy image setup, cable free projection, and compression software that puts your Powerpoint presentation on a thumb drive so you can leave your laptop in the car. Features like powered focus and automatic vertical and horizontal keystone correction make life easy. The built-in wireless LAN hardware even makes switching laptops during a presentation a breeze. A road warrior will drool over this projector . . . it is light, bright, and packed with convenience features that support all sorts of presentation environments. It is also a natural for brainstorming sessions where multiple computers will be connected for short durations.
Brightness and Uniformity: The 1775W exceeded its brightness rating with 3,110 ANSI lumens in Dynamic mode. Presentation mode delivered 2,485 lumens and Theater, Photo, and sRGB all put up 2,240 lumens. Eco mode dropped brightness by 45% which is more than the usual reduction, but with that came a 10dB reduction in fan noise. Uniformity was a very respectable 84% with the left side of the image slightly brighter than the right.
Image Size and Position: The centerline of the lens is 2.2" above the bottom of the image for a 100" image at a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is a good offset for tabletop and ceiling mounting, but you may need to make further adjustments by extending the front elevator foot of the projector. The projector can be tilted by unscrewing either rear foot to correct any horizontal leveling issues.
Compatibility: Computer resolutions from 640x480 to 1680x1050 are scaled to fit the 1775W's 1280 x 800 native resolution. Video signals from 480i to 1080p are also accommodated.
Preset modes: There are five color modes (Presentation, Dynamic, Theater, Sports, and sRGB) as well as blackboard and whiteboard settings. There is also one customizable setting for storing your favorite image adjustments.
On-Screen Menus: The 1775W's seven on-screen menus are pretty straightforward with minimal layering. Navigation is easy, and when image adjustments like brightness and contrast are made, the menu conveniently collapses to a single line at the bottom of the image.
Digital Input: The 1775W has an HDMI input that handles inputs from certain laptops and most DVD players.
Placement Flexibility: The 1.2:1 zoom capability gives you modest projection distance variation for a particular image size. For example, to project a 100" diagonal image in a 16:9 format, the projector is about 100" from the screen and can shift about ±10" and maintain that image diagonal.
Auto Source Search: On power up, the 1775W searches all inputs and selects the first active connection it finds. When the Source key is pushed on the remote, it begins searching and selects the next connection it detects. This is convenient when you have multiple sources connected but cannot recall which inputs are active . . . the 1775W will find them for you.
Network Connections and Management: Epson supports a remote monitoring application called Easy MP which uses a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to communicate with compatible computers and projectors. It can remotely monitor projector status such as lamp condition and internal temperature and alert maintenance personnel to possible problems.
Image Quality: You expect good data image quality in a business projector, and the 1775W delivers. Computer and photo projections were crisp and clean with good color saturation and easy readability even for small fonts at maximum keystone correction. Even with indirect sunlight streaming through unshaded windows, a complex 100" Excel spreadsheet image still had some punch. There were no color variations in white backgrounds, and edge-to-edge focus was very good.
In many cases, business projectors do not have particularly satisfying video projection capability, but that is not the case with the 1775W. Movie scenes had good color balance with a minimum of image adjustment, and flesh tones were excellent. The auto iris was effective in enhancing perceived contrast, and both blacks and whites were rendered with detail.
Connections: You will be hard pressed to come up with a source that the 1775W cannot handle. Computer signals are connected via the supplied USB cable or via the VGA connector, and video signals arrive via an RCA composite video connector or through the VGA connector for component video. Digital signals are accommodated via an HDMI connector, and USB devices like thumb drives and cameras connect through a USB Type A connector. There is also an audio in mini jack. Note that there is only one VGA input connector, so if you are viewing component video, you will have to route any simultaneous computer signals to either the USB type B or the HDMI connectors.
Auto Keystone Correction: Auto keystone correction is getting to be common on lower cost projectors, but it is usually confined to vertical correction only. The 1775W goes one better and provides auto correction of horizontal keystone correction as well. The auto correction range of ±20° horizontal and ±30° vertical is less than the manual correction range of ±30° horizontal and ±45° vertical, but in most cases you will not exceed the auto limits. There is even a manual mode called Quick Corner that lets you square up each corner of the image independently . . . a very nice touch if you happen to be projecting on a non-flat surface.
Computer-free Presentations: Do you need to show a bunch of photos or a PowerPoint presentation but want to leave your laptop behind? That is no problem for the 1775W . . . photos and converted Powerpoint files (Epson provides the conversion software) can be stored on a USB thumb drive that plugs into the 1775W without the need for your computer. Files can be selected and controlled with the 1775W's remote control.
Wireless Presenting: Imagine that you are presenting to a group that needs to connect briefly to their own laptops. Normally, that means a lot of cable swapping, function key activation, and other time-consuming and distracting maneuvers. With the 1775W's wireless connection hardware installed, you simply need to install a supplied USB key sequentially in each laptop PC (not Mac-compatible) and its output is wirelessly shown on the screen.
Quick start/stop: On applying power, the 1775W is up to full brightness in less than 30 seconds, so you won't be delayed by a long warm-up period. When it is time to shut down, you can pack up the projector about five seconds after you hit the power switch . . . there is no need to wait for a cool down interval.
Powered Focus: Unlike most sub-$1,200 projectors, the 1775W puts a handy feature at your disposal in the form of a powered focus ring. Just touch one of the two focus buttons on the remote or the top panel, and you will have a focused image in seconds.
Lamp Life: Lamp life for 3,000-lumen projectors seldom reaches 4,000 hours in normal mode, but Epson claims that the 1775W's 230-watt lamp does just that, and Eco mode extends lamp life to 5,000 hours. A replacement lamp can be purchased from Epson for $199.
Warranty Provisions: Epson offers a 2-year warranty on the projector and a 90-day warranty on the lamp. However, they have a replacement policy that provides shipment of a replacement unit to you before you ship yours back if trouble occurs.
Fan noise: Because the physical packaging is small and the lamp is putting out 3,000 lumens, there is a lot of heat that needs to be evacuated from the interior of the 1775W, and that means a high-speed fan. In normal mode, fan noise is about 40dB which is pretty loud if you are seated close to the projector. From ten feet away, you may not be distracted, but at three feet, the noise definitely competes with the speaker output. Eco mode lowers the noise to 30dB, but brightness drops 45% in the process. Still, that puts a lot of light on the screen, and Eco mode may be your first choice for most presentation environments.
Audio Quality: With only a single 1-watt speaker built in, the 1775W leaves something to be desired in terms of audio output. The audio clarity is good with no buzz or rattle, but hearing may be compromised in noisy environments.
Maintenance: Like most LCD projectors, the 1775W has an air filter that needs occasional cleaning with a small vacuum cleaner. The good news is that the filter can be replaced quickly if it becomes worn. Lamp replacement is made through the top of the projector, so it can be done easily even if the 1775W is ceiling mounted.
Remote Control: There are a lot of functions on the remote control including some double function keys depending on the current operation. Each function is clearly labeled, but in a darkened room, discerning what key does what can be a test.
Epson's new 1775W is a step up in terms of convenience features for power presenters. It handles nearly any signal source, puts up a bright picture from a small package, and lets you leave your computer behind for certain kinds of content. If you can live without automatic horizontal keystone correction, included wireless presenting, and powered focusing, then you may want to consider Epson's sister projector, the 1770W which sells for about $200 less than the 1775W. But if these features will improve your efficiency and versatility in responding to demanding presentation environments, then the new 1775W is definitely the projector of choice.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Epson PowerLite 1775W projector page.