Epson PowerLite 410W
WXGA LCD Short-Throw Classroom Projector Review
No zoom. The 410W, like many other short-throw projectors, has no physical zoom. The lens is fixed, and the only adjustment that can be made is focus. It does include a digital zoom; however, the use of this feature causes the projector to use less than its full 1280x800 pixel matrix, which requires the application of scaling. For the best possible sharpness and clarity, scaling should be avoided, and so we do not recommend the use of the digital zoom feature on the 410W. Instead, use the optional wall-mount arm to place the projector at the perfect distance from your screen.
No digital input. As discussed above, connectivity is excellent - with one exception. The projector lacks any sort of digital input, making it more difficult to get high-definition content or video onto the screen. Since the projector is 1280x800, it has the potential to be a good choice for classroom video; during our testing it certainly showed promise in this regard. However, the lack of DVI or HDMI inputs makes it more difficult to use the 410W with HD content, due to HDCP limitations. Your only option is to obtain a component-to-VGA adapter instead.
Big lens. The 410W has a large lens which takes up half of the projector's front panel. In a classroom setting, where idle (sometimes grubby) hands are always present, a big shiny lens is an attractive target for vandalism. The lens is easy to scratch or smudge. But if the projector is wall-mounted out of reach, no problem.
Cost. The 410W costs a little more than its competition, but it has Epson's trademark high level of fit and finish. At $1299, it's not the least expensive option for short-throw projection. However, most competing short-throw projectors are XGA, not WXGA, making the 410W much more versatile when it comes to what content it can display natively.
The Epson PowerLite 410W is a highly-polished 1280x800 short-throw projector that is ideal for classroom settings. It has a bright picture that is sharp and detailed. It has an easy mounting solution thanks to the optional wall-mount arm. While it lacks a digital input, connectivity is otherwise excellent. Though it is not the least expensive option for short-throw classroom projection, it is one of the best.
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