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Review Contents
Performance
4
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Mobile Presentation
NEC NP43 Projector NEC NP43
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1600:1 Contrast Ratio
2300 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

NEC NP43 -- Light and Bright
Portable Office Projector

Marc Davidson, August 7, 2012

Limitations

Unimpressive video quality. The NP43's 1024x768 resolution puts obvious limits on video quality. The connector you'll likely use with most video sources is the composite video port, which limits you to standard definition 480i. The VGA port will accept resolutions up to 1080i, but you'll have to get an adaptor that is not supplied with the projector. That might be worthwhile if you use a source with component video output regularly, but if you really care about high quality video, you should be looking at projectors with a higher native resolution to begin with.

Other than low resolution, video quality is a mixed bag. The contrast ratio is surprisingly good for a data projector, with relatively dark blacks and well saturated color with most source material in my tests. In some clips, however, color was a little oversaturated, making it a look harsh rather than rich. The projector also did a reasonably good job with shadow detail, handling most scenes well and showing only minor to moderate loss on the most challenging test clips.

The one real issue for video is that the NP43 shows rainbows in video very easily. If you're concerned that someone in your audience may be sensitive to seeing rainbow artifacts, you'll want to limit video to short clips if you use it at all.

Low volume audio. Few light-weight projectors offer an audio system worth having, but the NP43 may set a new low on this score. At full volume, I could hear spoken dialog well enough at two feet from the 0.3-watt speaker, but not from much farther than that. Also note that the fan noise is noticeable enough -- at a rated 37 dB with Eco off and 32 dB with Eco on -- to make the low volume that much more of an issue. If you need audio, plan on using an external sound system. And if you're sensitive to fan noise, you may find it bothersome in any case if you sit within a few of feet of the projector.

Shows rainbow artifacts relatively easily. The NP43 showed rainbow artifacts on data screens a little more easily in my tests than most recent DLP models, but still infrequently enough that even those who see the rainbows easily aren't likely to be annoyed by them. With video, however, the rainbows show far more often.

No 3D. The 3D support in most data projectors is so limited that you may not consider the NP43's lack of 3D significant. Even so, with 3D so widely available on DLP projectors, it's worth noting that the NP43 leaves it out.

Conclusion

The NP43 is a potentially appealing choice for anyone who needs to bring a projector along on a regular basis. The low weight makes it easy to carry, while the auto focus, auto keystone, auto sync, and 1.2x zoom make it easy to set up.

Usability for video is limited, but if you need good quality video, you should be looking at projectors with a higher native resolution than 1024x768 in any case. Arguably more of an issue is the meager choice of connection options, with no HDMI port and no USB A port to let you read files from a USB memory key. Minimalist as the choices are, however, the NP43 has all the connectors you absolutely must have.

Very much on the plus side is the good data image quality and brightness suitable for a reasonably large image with typical office lighting. If you need a regular traveling companion for presentations on the road, the overall balance of data image quality, brightness, low weight, and easy setup makes the NP43 a more than attractive choice for the price.

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Testing and Connectivity
Review Contents: Introduction Strong Points Testing and Connectivity Limitations and Conclusion
 

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