Epson PowerLite 410W
WXGA LCD Short-Throw Classroom Projector Review
The Epson Powerlite 410W is the successor to the 400W, which was Epson's first foray into widescreen short-throw projectors. The 410W keeps all of the features we enjoyed about the 400W, while increasing lumen output from 1800 to 2000 lumens. While it still lacks a digital input and costs more than comparable projectors, it is a well-built package that would be an invaluable tool in any classroom.
Short Throw. Like its predecessor, the 410W is capable of throwing a 100" diagonal 16:10 image from a distance of only 3' 6". This ensures that the projector will never need to be placed on a rolling cart between student desks, which is not only distracting to the students but opens up more possibilities for mischief. Keeping the projector close to the teacher makes life easier for everyone.
Wall-mount capability. As you might imagine, trying to ceiling mount a short-throw projector could be a tricky proposition. Rather than a typical ceiling mount, the 410W can be wallmounted on an extension arm which puts it at the perfect distance from your screen. This also keeps it safely out of reach, should anyone get the bright idea to attempt to tamper with it.
Lumen output. The key difference between the 400W and its replacement, the 410W, is lumen output. The 410W is rated at 2,000 lumens, and our test sample measured almost exactly to spec. After accounting for individual manufacturing differences between projectors, it is safe to say that your 410W will meet or exceed the 2,000 lumen specification. This is more than enough light for a small- to medium-sized classroom with moderate ambient light, as long as that light is not falling directly on the surface of the screen.
1280x800. We've made this observation repeatedly in the past few months, but if you missed it, 1280x800 is the most versatile resolution available in the education projector market. Not only can the 410W display 1280x800 signals natively, but also 1280x768, 1024x768, and 1280x720 HD video. Since these are all commonly-used resolutions in today's computers and video equipment, the benefits of this resolution cannot be overstated.
Low Maintenance. The 410W has a 4,000-hour expected lamp life in Eco-Mode. This means if the projector is run for six hours a day, 180 days per year, you'll need to replace lamps three and a half years from now. Replacement lamps cost a paltry $270, so when it does come time to swap the lamp out, the school will actually be able to afford the replacements.
The projector has a dust filter, located right next to the lens assembly, which needs to be cleaned every once in a while. This can be accomplished with a can of compressed air or a vacuum cleaner, and replacement filters are seldom necessary. Cleaning this filter semi-regularly (maybe once a year, at most) will extend the life of the projector and prevent dust spots from forming.
Loud speaker. The 410W has a ten-watt speaker, which is among the most powerful sound systems available in this class of projectors. While a projector's onboard speaker is always a poor replacement for an in-room sound system, the speaker on the 410W comes closer than any other to being an acceptable substitute.
Good connectivity/Wired Networking. The 410W has a fairly comprehensive connection panel, with two VGA inputs and one monitor passthrough. Each VGA input has its own 1/8" audio input jack, and the monitor passthrough has a 1/8" audio output as well. The 410W also has the standard s-video and composite connections, as well as a set of L/R RCA audio inputs and an RS-232C port for external control hardware.
Wired networking is also present, allowing for remote monitoring and control of projectors on the network. If a teacher forgets to shut down their projector, it can be done remotely. If someone tries to steal one, a network administrator can This is incredibly useful when projectors are mounted permanently in classrooms, and next-to-useless when they are placed on rolling carts. While not everyone can make use of this feature, it is very helpful to the subset of consumers who do use it.
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