HOME > Road Test: Optoma S365 for $379
May 18, 2018,
Lumens: 3600 Resolution: 800x600
Physical attributes. The connector panel is on the rear of the S365. Air intake is from the front left side, and hot air is exhausted from the right front side of the chassis. The power connector is at the lower left of the connector panel, and a keypad is located at the back left of the cover panel.
Optoma S365 Performance
Brightness. The S365 is rated at 3,600 lumens. Our test unit produced ANSI lumen readings as follows:
ECO mode. ECO mode reduces brightness by about 25%, but since fan noise is so low, you can enjoy full brightness without disturbing your audience. Of course, you can double lamp life by using Eco mode, so you may want to use it if ambient light conditions allow.
Brightness Uniformity.The S365 delivered brightness uniformity of about 66% which is better than most low priced projectors. There were no hot spots or vignetting, and the brightness differential was only visible in data projections with significant white space.
Throw Distance. The S365 is rated for throw distances from 3'11" to 39'7" and corresponding image sizes of 27" and 304". Diagonal images of up to 150" were bright enough to keep from washing out in moderate ambient light.
Input Lag. The S365 has an input lag of 54ms in Bright mode and 44ms in Game mode.
Fan Noise. Fan noise is very low for a projector of this brightness. The noise is composed of low-to-medium frequencies that do not bother most viewers. Switching to Eco mode did reduce fan noise a bit, but the decrease was minimal. Even in High Altitude mode, fan noise was moderate, but that may be a good time to invoke Eco mode unless ambient light is high.
Setting up the Optoma S365
Throw distance. The S365 specs list an image size range of 27" to 304". Its throw ratio of approximately 2:1 means that a 120" diagonal image is achieved with the S365 about 15.5 to a bit over 17 feet from the screen. To check throw distance for your screen size, see the Optoma S365 Projection Calculator.
Zoom.The S365's 1.1x zoom lens is minimal in range, so image size is largely controlled by the distance from the projector to the screen. Since the zoom range is low, its impact on brightness is minimal. Brightness diminishes about 6% from wide-angle to full-tele settings.
Our take on the Optoma S365
Does the market need another SVGA projector? The answer is "yes" if the value proposition is compelling, and the S365 easily meets that requirement. It is a small, bright projector with multiple analog and digital inputs, and it offers optional accessories like a wireless dongle and a carrying case. While its primary application may be data presentations, it holds its own as a video projector and is versatile when it comes to input source accommodation.
As a data projector, the S365 does a good job with small fonts even at full keystone correction settings. However, due to the 800x600 resolution, care should be taken with small font sizes for dense projections like spreadsheets.
The S365 is quite versatile and functions well as a video projector with nicely saturated color and good black levels. For the money it is an excellent way to project Saturday afternoon sporting events in the living room. Adjustments to brightness and contrast can be made to suit the room's ambient light level.
A notable feature of the S365 is its robust audio output. While most of its competitors offer a built-in 2-watt speaker, the S365 has a 15W speaker that is more than adequate for a medium-sized room. If you want to use an external speaker system, there is an audio output available on the S365's rear panel.
The S365's lamp illumination system is rated for 5,000 hours of operation in Normal mode, so lamp replacements are infrequent. You can stretch lamp life to 10,000 hours in Eco mode but it does reduce brightness by about 25%. A $379 projector that delivers 5,000 hours of operation gives you a total operating cost of only 7.6 cents an hour.
Optoma does offer an optional wireless dongle for the S365 for $79 that makes connecting your tablet, phone, and other portable media devices easy It is compatible with Miracast for Android devices and Airplay for Apple products. There is also a USB input that accepts memory sticks for PC-free presenting.
If 3D is your thing, the S365 is Full HD compatible, and picking up a pair or two of optional 3D glasses will set you up for one of the least expensive big screen 3D experiences available.
The Optoma S365 is designed for classroom and conference room presentation on a very low budget. For $379, you get high brightness with good contrast, color saturation, and color balance, along with excellent on-board audio. It is 3D capable if you want it. In addition, both wired and wireless devices (phone, tablet, etc.) are easily interfaced. Added bonuses of its easy portabilty, good brightness uniformity for the money, and exceptionally low fan noise make it a solid offering in the low budget market.
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