When using a data source, the 745c puts out a clean, bright image that shows its strengths clearly. On a 100" diagonal image, full text documents and spreadsheets are crisp and sharp in all areas of the picture.
In addition to quick set-up and an extremely bright image, the PowerLite 745c offers wireless networking capability via an 802.11b/g cardbus card that connects to the front of the unit, over the exhaust vent. The included software installed quickly and behaved as advertised; however, as with any networking appliance, issues may arise from incorrect IP address or firewall configuration. As with typical wireless connections, it lacks the bandwidth for full-motion video. But is ideal for PowerPoint presentations and other still media. Furthermore, upon the establishment of a wireless connection, the unit switches sources automatically to display the computer desktop. While it can be switched back, there is no way to disable this option.
Another excellent mobile presentation feature of the 745c is its 512mb USB thumb drive. This drive can be loaded with digital pictures, mpeg movies, sound files, or even PowerPoint slide shows (once converted into a file called a "presentation" that the projector can understand - a converter is included on the disc). This feature can eliminate the need for a computer altogether, thereby cutting down on setup time and reducing the chances of technical complications. While this would make the 745c an excellent projector for digital photography, the projector lacks sufficient color saturation or contrast to make it an ideal tool for the display of digital photography. [NOTE: As of 3/30/05, we have been informed by EPSON that the USB thumb drive is not included with retail models of the PL745c. -bl]
In high brightness mode the 745c's fan noise is moderate and not particularly objectionable. Fan speed and fan noise are reduced in low-brightness mode. However on our test unit there was an accompanying high-pitched electric buzzing sound that was more noticeable when sitting in front of the unit than behind it. So in a conference room setup in which the audience is behind the projector it would not cause any distraction. ProjectorCentral has been informed by EPSON that this buzzing noise is a flaw in some of the earliest units produced, from which our test unit was drawn, and it has been eliminated in those manufactured subsequently.
There is also some light leakage through the front and rear of the unit - through the front vents, and through the case surrounding the connection panel in the back. In a table-mount situation, this could create a visual distraction in a darkened presentation room.
As far as video is concerned, the 745c is not a strong contender as a crossover product. The engineers at EPSON clearly designed the 745c to be a powerful, wireless, optionally computer-free presentation tool for mobile presenters. Therefore they didn't compromise the weight or form factor of the unit by adding features that would make it perform well in home theater applications. If you're shopping for a projector and intend to use it frequently for home theater video, the 745c is probably not for you.
The Epson Powerlite 745c is an excellent, full-featured multipurpose data presentation projector. It combines a small package, a crisp, bright image, and an expansive feature set that make it ideal for sales reps, trainers, and speakers on the road. The 745c is a lot of projector in a very small package, and it is highly recommended for mobile presentation applications.
|Review Contents:||Specs and Performance||Performance and Conclusion|