Highly Recommended Award
Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.
The NEC NP60, at 3000 lumens and only 3.5 lbs, is currently one of the brightest sub-4 lb projectors on the market. And with street prices around $1299, it's easy to see why many people think the NEC NP60's unique combination of lumen output, portability, and low price is a value proposition for the mobile presenter that is tough to beat.
ANSI lumens: 3000
Contrast (full on/off): 1600:1
Light Engine: 1024x768, native 4:3, 0.6" single-chip DLP, 220W lamp
Video Compatibility: HDTV 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p. NTSC/PAL/SECAM.
Data Compatibility: Computer resolutions up to UXGA (1600x1200).
Connection Panel: Composite, S-Video, VGA-in, mini-DIN PC control, Kensington lock.
Lens and Throw Distance: 1.20:1 manual zoom, auto focus lens. Throws a 100" diagonal 4:3 image from 12.1' to 14.6'
Lamp Life: 2,000 hours (3,000 hours in eco mode)
Warranty: Three years.
General Impressions / Feature Set
The NP60 is a tiny projector, with a footprint of 9.7" x 7.1" and a height of less than three inches. Combined with a total weight under four pounds, the NP60 is about as small as a high performance presentation projector could ever hope to be.
Zoom range on the NP60 is a rather standard 1.2:1, and a 100" diagonal 4:3 image can be attained from 12.1 feet to 14.6 feet. However, instead of the standard manual focus, the NP60 has an auto-focus lens. A sensor on the front of the case below the lens detects the distance from lens to screen, and adjusts focus accordingly. While it is not always a perfect match, it is usually very close. In a presentation setting, this is a nice convenience during setup.
The NP60 has a mild upward throw angle of about 15% of the image height. For a 100" diagonal image, the bottom edge of the image will be projected 9 inches above the lens centerline. If the NP60 is placed on a conference table, this offset will usually put the image at an appropriate height without needing to tilt the projector and apply keystone correction.
The connection panel is rather minimal, with composite, s-video, VGA, and a mini-DIN PC control port. While a USB port for PC control would have made the projector more versatile, cramming 3000 lumens into 3.5 pounds is enough of a technical feat that the lack of a USB port is forgiveable.
The NP60 houses a bright, powerful lamp in a small case, so there is not a lot of room for fan noise suppression. In high lamp mode, audible fan noise is quite a bit higher than a typical home theater projector, or even a larger commercial presentation projector. Switching to Eco-mode brings the audible noise down to a lower level, so this will likely be the preferred operating mode for most users in a small conference room.
The NP60's remote control is filled with direct-access controls, including powered focus adjustment in case the auto focus needs some fine tuning. Lamp control is likewise available from the remote. However, the buttons are small and there is no backlight, so there is a bit of a learning curve.
The menu system is simple and easy to navigate. It includes several image modes for presentation of different types of content. "High bright" and "Presentation" are great for text documents and PowerPoint slide shows, while "Movie" "Graphic" and "sRGB" have more balanced color and less intense lumen output, making them good choices for photos or diagrams.
Menu options are also available for enabling/disabling auto focus and auto keystone. Both are adjustable from the menu if these options are disabled. You can also have the NP60 save your keystone settings if the projector is to be used in a fixed installation.
Lumen output dropped about 20% in low lamp mode on our test unit. For example, High Brightness mode dropped to 2155 from 2700 ANSI lumens, or 21%. Since the lumen output of the NP60 is so high, many users can use low lamp mode to extend the life of their projector's lamp from 2,000 to 3,000 hours without compromising visual integrity. Replacement lamps cost roughly $330, so adding another 50% to your lamp's lifespan can be a cost-saving measure over time.
The NP60 produces a clear, sharp picture, which is a crucial attribute for a data projector. Each edge of the picture is razor-sharp, and text down to 10 point font is easily readable. Compression of non-native resolutions can lead to some artifacts and text that is difficult to read, as with all data projectors. So, to get the most out of your NP60, be sure to feed it a steady diet of XGA source material.
Contrast performance on the NP60 is more than adequate for its intended application. Text documents maintain their clarity, data graphics are displayed well, and even digital photographs have a good amount of pop to them.
The NP60's color performance was at its best in Movie and sRGB modes, which are also the least lumen-intensive modes available. sRGB mode in particular would be perfect for digital photography or data graphics use.
The NEC NP60 currently holds the record of being the brightest sub-4 lb. XGA projector we've yet seen. With impressive features and capabilities for its weight class and price, the NP60 is a highly recommended addition to any mobile presenter's road kit. It delivers outstanding performance for the price.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our NEC NP60 projector page.