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Epson PowerLite 905 Conference/Classroom Projector Review

Review Contents
Highly Recommended Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
Epson PowerLite 905 Projector Epson PowerLite 905
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Street Price: n/a
Weight: 7.4 lbs
Aspect Ratio:4:3
Lens:1.6x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:5,000 Hrs
6,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, VGA In (x2), HDMI, Network, USB (x2), RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 576i, 576p

Epson's new PowerLite 905 is a powerful classroom projector that has "everything but the kitchen sink" . . . and closer review might even remove that limiter. At a retail of $999 and an education program discount of $769, it will be highly competitive. This XGA projector has every conceivable input and output including a microphone jack and a whopping 16-watt speaker. Both data and video images are stunning, and its LCD light engine produces no rainbow artifacts one sees on many DLP projectors. At 7.4 pounds, the 905 is not designed as a portable projector, but cart mounting will get it from classroom to classroom if it is a shared resource. The 905 sample we received exceeded its brightness specification of 3,000 lumens and put up very viewable images in a moderately bright room, so ambient light control was not a major issue.

The primary appeal of the 905 is its versatility. It has a 1.6:1 zoom lens that lets you put up a 100" diagonal image anywhere from nine to fifteen feet from the screen. It offers single-cable audio and video via HDMI and USB connections. Both vertical and horizontal keystone corrections can be made, and it handles wireless presentations with an optional LAN module and USB key. Even with a dedicated classroom computer connected to the 905, its USB Type A input makes it easy to display student-prepared files on thumb drives, including certain presentation formats such as PowerPoint. About the only thing the 905 can't do is 3-D, but that is a small price to pay for its overall versatility.


Image Quality: In many cases, classroom projectors do not have particularly satisfying video projection capability, but that is not the case with the 905. 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 shadows and highlights were rendered with detail. Sharpness could be varied to give video a film-like appearance, and HDMI signals were rendered without any digital noise or harshness.

Computer and photo projections were crisp and clean with good color saturation and easy readability even for small fonts at maximum keystone correction. Even in a well-lit room, the 905's brightness overcame any tendency for the image to wash out. Edge-to-edge sharpness was consistent, and uniformity was excellent (90%) with no hot spots.

Brightness: The 905 exceeded its brightness rating with 3,170 ANSI lumens in Dynamic mode. Presentation mode delivered 2,435 lumens, Theater mode checked in at 2,050 lumens, and Photo and sRGB modes both put up 2,130 lumens. Eco mode dropped brightness by about 22% which is typical of LCD projectors.

Placement Flexibility: The 905's generous 1.6:1 zoom capability gives you plenty of projection distance variation for a particular image size. For example, to project a 100" diagonal image in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the projector is about 12 feet from the screen and can shift about ±3 feet and maintain that image diagonal. The centerline of the lens is even with the bottom of the image, and this is a good offset for cart mounting. If you need to raise the image for tabletop mounting, just extend the front elevator foot of the projector. The projector can be tilted by unscrewing either/both rear feet to correct any horizontal leveling issues although horizontal keystone correction is also available.

Connections: You will be hard pressed to come up with a source that the 905 cannot handle. Computer signals are connected via the supplied USB cable or via the two VGA connectors, and video signals arrive via an RCA composite video connector or through the VGA connectors 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 are two audio in mini jacks as well as a microphone input jack. Rounding out the connections is a USB Type B input for single-cable data and video for PCs and Macs.

Keystone Correction: Vertical keystone correction is common on lower cost projectors, but it is unusual to find horizontal keystone correction on a projector in this class. The 905 provides auto or manual correction of vertical keystone and manual correction of horizontal keystone up to ±30°. 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.

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Advantages and Limitations
Review Contents: Intro and Advantages Advantages and Limitations Considerations and Conclusion
Comments (1) Post a Comment
Randy Rogers Posted Aug 29, 2012 10:40 AM PST
The Powerlite 905 does NOT allow you to use an external monitor even with the projector off. We formerly used an ASK Proxima C185 computer that had that function. If the projector is off, the monitor turns off as well. Would be a nice feature to have to avoid having to swap video cables.

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