Conference Room Projector Review
Image Quality: The PC images that the NP2200 delivers are as good as any we've seen in this class of projector. Colors are well-balanced, lines and graphics are sharp and detailed, and uniformity in nearly flawless. It's not often that a quality data projector also puts up memorable video images, but that's the case with this projector. The Movie mode is a little bright and you may want to drop the brightness by using Eco mode, but skin tones are natural and the highlights and blacks are better defined than you might expect from a projector with a 600:1 contrast ratio. If you really want to optimize the video image, you can dip into the Detail Settings menu, choose one of six color temperatures, and adjust contrast and brightness of red, green, and blue.
Fan Noise and Heat: One of the advantages of a physically larger projector is its bigger fan which moves air with larger blades that make less noise. A larger exhaust opening also means lower air velocity which accounts for the minimal heat flow you can detect just a couple of feet from the NP2200. That may not mean much for a ceiling-mount application, but if it is on a conference room table or a portable cart, your audience will appreciate it.
Audio Quality: Ten watts may not seem like much, but the NP2200 speakers deliver all the sound most medium-size rooms will need. Not only is the sound not tinny or buzzy at high volume settings, but there are controls for bass, treble, and balance to fit the audio output to the room characteristics.
Ceiling or Tabletop Operation: For tabletop projection, the maximum vertical lens shift leaves the centerline of the lens intersecting the bottom edge of the image. Thus the image may not hit your screen unless your tilt the projector upward and use keystone correction. Conversely, when flush ceiling mounted, you may need to angle the projector downward to hit the screen, or use a drop tube to bring the projector down closer to the level of the screen. In essence, the lens shift feature is most useful when the projector is placed on a rear shelf at roughly the same height as the center of the screen. Check your room dimensions and screen position in advance to make sure that you can position the image effectively.
Optional Lens Cost: While it's convenient that optional long- and short-throw lenses are available, they cost nearly as much as the projector.
On-Screen Menu: There's no problem with menu contents or navigation, it's just that the menu takes up a fair amount of the center of the image. This may make image adjustments tedious, and the position of the menu on the image cannot be changed.
Remote Control: Despite some thoughtful button grouping and color-coding, a backlight for the remote would help with menu selection in darkened rooms.
In the category of bright projectors with good data and video quality, the NEC NP2200 is a standout. It is relatively large and heavy, so it's not designed for portable applications. But for a high impact visual message in a medium-size room, this is an excellent choice. Lens controls and connection options make temporary setup or a permanent installation easy, and the audio and video quality will get your audience's full attention. At $2,399 the NP2200 is a winner.
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