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NEC M353WS Projector NEC M353WS
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10000:1 Contrast Ratio
3500 Lumens
PC 3D Ready
Street Price: n/a
$1,299 MSRP

Short Throw Projector

Allan Abbott, April 22, 2016


Brightness. It is rare when we test a projector that exceeds its brightness specification, and it is unheard of when our test measurements are 25% higher than specified. But that is exactly what we found with our test unit. NEC specifies brightness at 3,500 lumens, but in the High Bright setting, we measured light output at 4,355 lumens. Here are the other readings:

NEC M353WS ANSI Lumens

Normal/Full Lamp
High Bright

Color Brightness. The M353WS's color brightness measured 62% of its white brightness in Natural mode, which is the highest reading among the various presets. High Bright measured 29%, Presentation was 45%, and Movie, 57%.

Brightness Uniformity. As with most short-throw projectors, brightness uniformity was a bit low at 71%. However, the brightness increased smoothly from the top to the bottom of the image, and the difference was unnoticeable for video projections although some viewers might detect the difference on data projections with lots of white space.

NEC M353WS Remote

Eco Modes. There seems to be a trend toward multiple Eco settings, and the M353WS is no exception. Normal Eco reduces brightness by 18% and Full Eco by 43%.

Audio. The M353WS is head and shoulders above its competition when it comes to audio performance. Unlike its 10-watt brethren, the M353WS sports a 20-watt speaker that can easily handle a medium-sized room. It is also buzz- and rattle-free over its entire range.

Input Lag. While gaming may not be the prime application for the M353WS, it has a Bodnar lag reading of only 33.2 milliseconds which means it will keep up with fast-changing source material.

Fan Noise. One advantage of the M353WS's relatively large case size is that it suppresses fan noise. The fan noise is also restricted to the low- and mid-frequency range, so it is not intrusive even for viewers sitting next to the projector. At altitudes over 5,500 feet, you must set the fan to high altitude mode which increases fan speed and noise substantially.

Lamp Life. The lamp in the M353WS is rated at 5,000 hours for full brightness. In Eco modes, lamp life is extended to 8,000 hours, and fan noise is reduced. The replacement lamp on this model is listed at $299 from NEC.

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Set Up and Install
Review Contents: Introduction Key Features Performance Set Up and Install
  Limitations and Conclusion

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Comments (1) Post a Comment
Dale Posted Apr 27, 2016 11:29 AM PST
Noticed the spec is 10,000:1 contrast ratio but there is no mention in your review of really how good or bad the black levels tested. We all know the differences in contrast ratio claims from the various manufactures and I have noticed as of late sometimes it gets overlooked in your reviews. Since you rated the performance five stars...were the black levels actually decent? To me this is one of the most important aspects of a projector especially if it is going to be used for video and movies. Thanks for all your reviews!

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