Epson has announced a significant update to its school and business projector line-ups with 12 new laser models introduced today in advance of the 2023 TCEA Convention and Expo for educators.
The revamped line includes new additions to both the BrightLink ultra-short throw and PowerLite standard throw, short throw, and ultra-short throw families. The introductions address several themes that emerged from Epson's research as critical today for classroom and corporate boardroom/hybrid workspace installations. Among these are easy and secure wireless connectivity for multi-modal environments in which every student or participant is connected to the display from a personal device; access to online web content without the need for a connected computer; and aspect ratio flexibility that easily enables wide formats for simultaneous display of group participants alongside shared content, or for class content displayed alongside a functional interactive whiteboard.
Also new, from a marketing perspective, is Epson's description of its laser projectors as "lamp-free laser"—a response to focus group research that surprisingly revealed ongoing confusion about the key benefit of laser projection. Along with touting high brightness, Epson is also calling attention to the larger image size of projection vs. the typical 75-inch flatpanel display, noting that a 100-inch diagonal image is fully 77% larger, while a 120-inch projected image in a 16:6 wide format presents a 96% larger image.
As always, Epsons offerings are all three-chip LCD designs that offer equal white and color brightness along with immunity to rainbow artifacts that can occur with single-chip DLP projectors.
Key among the introductions is the PowerLite EB-810E Ultra ultra-short throw, built on a similar platform as the recently introduced LS800 consumer projector and intended for classrooms and corporate meeting rooms. It offers the LS800's extremely short 0.16:1 throw ratio and pixel-shifting 4K-enhancement mated with a bright 5,000 ISO-lumen light engine. This provides the ability to display an 80-inch image with the back of the projector just one inch from the screen wall or up to a 150-inch image from 14 inches. With its onboard Wi-Fi and a 21:9 aspect ratio mode, the 810E integrates easily with the Microsoft Teams Rooms Front Row layout, including Wake-on-Sync functionality. It's scheduled for shipment in June.
Also notable is the BrightLink GoBoard 780Fi interactive UST, which integrates its own browser for PC-free access to web content and apps. Educators are greeted on the home screen by their apps, including access to Microsoft One Drive and Office, Google Classroom, Youtube, and the built-in browser for online content. The projector is rated for 4,100 ISO lumens and 1080p resolution—the latter being a common spec among several of the the introductions as Epson begins to consolidate its new offerings at 16:9/1080p vs. the slightly taller 16:10/WUXGA format. The 780Fi will ship in the May timeframe.
Two more interactive ultra-short throw models include the BrightLink 770Fi and 760Wi. Both offer 4,100 ISO lumens. The 770Fi has full HD resolution, and ditinguishes itself with ultra-wide 21:9 or 16:6 aspect modes with split screen support for simultaneous display of whiteboard and digital content. With an optional touch module it supports dual pens and up to eight users to collaborate at once, and offers PC-free whiteboard use that allows educators to draw, save, print and email screen content without a computer; you can also share whiteboard content to other networked BrightLink projectors. As with other new models, wireless connectivity with iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac, and Windows PCs is facilitated with Epson's free iProjection software, and the projector works with popular apps like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace.
The 760Wi has WXGA resolution and offers similar PC-free whiteboard functionality and pen/hand interactivity. It's intended as an easy drop-in replacement for existing installations of the BrightLink 595Wi, 695Wi, and 725Wi projectors; facilities can use the existing mount and touch module. Both the 760Wi and 770Fi will be available in March.
Additional non-interactive PowerLite projectors fill out the new entries. The Powerlite L210W (4,500 lumens, WXGA), L260F(4,600 lumens, 1080p, white) and L265F (4,600 lumens, 1080p, black) are similar standard-throw projectors; all feature built-in wireless capabilities and connectivity via iProjection software, and two full HD models support free Epson Projector Content Manager Software for digital signage design.
Two short-throw models include the L210SW and L210SF, each offering 4,000 lumens with WXGA and 1080p resolution, respectively. Both offer wireless connectivity plus split-screen capabilities for up to four signal inputs. New PowerLite ultra-short throw models include the 760W (4,100 lumens, WXGA), 770F (4,100 lumens, 1080p, white) and 775F (4,100 lumens, 1080p, black).
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Along with the EB-810E Ultra, the PowerLite L260F, L265F, 770F, 775F, and L210SF all provide a 21:9 aspect ratio option and Wake-on-Sync functionality to support MS Teams Rooms Front Row.
Except for the 810E due in June, all the new PowerLite models ship in March, and all the just announced BrightLink and PowerLite projectors will be subject to discounting through Epson's Brighter Futures program for educators.