Overall Rating: 4 stars
Ease of Use: A
Product Support: A
Company: Epson America, Inc., 3840 Kilroy Airport Way, Long Beach, CA 90806. Phone: (800) 463-7766. Internet: www.epsonbrighterfutures.com or www.epson.com.
Description: The Epson PowerLite Presenter is a portable projector/DVD/speaker combo that can be used without a computer to display the contents of a DVD, CD, USB memory device, iPod, or a variety of other electronic media.
Specifications: The PowerLite Presenter offers 2,500 lumens color and white light output and a manual zoom and focus. The unit includes an integrated DVD player, two 10-watt virtual surround-sound speakers, microphone input, and closed captioning.
The PowerLite Presenter is 9.4" x 13.2" x 5.4" in size and weighs 9.5 lbs. The device features a USB connector, HDMI port, microphone input, headphone output (stereo minijack), and digital audio output. The native WXGA resolution (16:10 aspect ratio) is helpful for use with widescreen computers and tablet notebooks.
Minimum System Requirements: The PowerLite Presenter has no special system requirements. The device can be operated with computers running Windows 2000 or later. The USB "plug 'n play" features are compatible with Windows 2000 or later and with Mac systems via an adapter (not included).
Warranty: The 2-year limited warranty provides two technical support services, Epson PrivateLine phone support and the company's Road Service projector replacement program. The PrivateLine phone support program enables projector owners to directly access an expedited support telephone line by using a phone card that is included with the product. The Road Service projector replacement program offers projector exchange options available typically in one business day anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. The projector bulbs have a 90-day limited warranty.
Installation: As with all projectors, the installation includes some decisions related to where the device should be set up. The PowerLite Presenter can be used with a standard ceiling mount or placed on any tabletop or cart surface at a 90-degree angle from the display surface.
The farther the projector is from the display surface, the larger the image will be. The Presenter can display images from about 3' to 35' in size.
The projector is ready to use once it is plugged in and a DVD is inserted or the unit is connected to the appropriate electronic media device. A computer connection requires a few cables but no special software. The remote control requires the installation of batteries for use.
The user's manual is on a CD-ROM and must be accessed by computer. Installation Rating: A
Features: The PowerLite Presenter reminds me of the film strip or movie projectors we used when I first started teaching, only in a much better incarnation. The Presenter can be used without the sometimes cumbersome setup of a computer, cart, cables, etc. It can be carried to a location in its case, placed on any handy surface, or plugged in, and it can have nearly any type of electronic media inserted (DVD, CD, USB flash drive, etc.) for use.
The device is extremely easy to use, even with a computer, due to the USB plug-'n-play instant setup feature. Images can be projected immediately from a PC via the USB connection.
With 2,500 lumens, the PowerLite Presenter is bright enough for most class or conference rooms. In addition, the Auto Color Mode selects the optimum projection setting, based on the available light in the room.
The Presenter has native WXGA resolution (16:10) and is ideal for use with widescreen computers and in any situations requiring a large picture. The two 10-watt speakers offer Dolby and virtual surround sound (which means that they create the perception that there are more sources of sound than the two speakers). A microphone input allows voice amplification. Overall, the sound quality is very nice for a portable projector.
Among other innovative features, the PowerLite Presenter can display content from a variety of input devices, such as a camcorder, digital camera, iPod, or gaming console, as well as with all of the devices that most digital projectors can use. USB memory devices can be used to display JPEG or PowerPoint slide shows or other content without a computer.
The PowerLite Presenter has many additional features and functions that increase its flexibility. Movies can be paused or searched in fast forward or reverse or played in slow motion; portions of content can be skipped. Users can zoom in or out on an image, play files without sound, or use headphones. The advanced playback features enable the repeating of a chapter, track, title, or file, as well as changing the play sequence and selecting the language, subtitles, camera angles, and much more.
When first introduced, projectors were energy hogs with bulbs costing in the $400 range. Epson's E-TORL lamp technology offers more lumens per watt with increased energy efficiency and cost savings than lamps used with competitive projection technology with similar lumens specifications. In economy mode, the E-TORL lamp technology can result in up to 4,000 hours of lamp life.
All in all, the PowerLite Presenter is a well-designed and extremely effective way of handling multimedia presentations. The unit's flexibility and the many ways it can be connected to display presentations, along with its ability to work without a computer, make it an excellent classroom projector. Features Rating: A
Ease of Use: The PowerLite Presenter is extremely easy to set up and use. The controls are intuitive and standard, for the most part. The quick setup information is enough to get anyone started right away. Ease of Use Rating: A
Product Support: The support is excellent for this projector for the first-time buyer. The included quick-start guides, manuals, online FAQ, and other related materials are very helpful. An email contact is available on the company's website. Phone support is offered Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. In addition, the Presenter includes a 2-year limited warranty that provides Epson PrivateLine phone support and the company's Road Service projector replacement program.
Epson's Brighter Futures program offers additional product support options available at an extra cost. The program includes extended Epson limited warranty coverage for 3 years, dedicated education account managers, special product pricing, and toll-free technical support for all Epson projectors. Product Support Rating: A
Recommendation: I recommend the PowerLite Presenter for all new purchases in any K-12 or other educational setting. The flexibility and ease of use of this device will be an enormous asset to everyone. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Charles Doe, media specialist, Hastings Area Schools, Central Elementary School, Hastings, MI.