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Published on February 24th, 2012 | by Greg


Epson VS350W: 3700 Lumens For Under $1000

It’s Os­car week- and this Sun­day, we’ll be en­joy­ing the big show on a gi­ant screen. And we can’t help but sug­gest a change in your au­dio­vi­su­al equip­ment, though we don’t mean that you need an­oth­er TV. But if you’re tired of be­ing lim­it­ed to a tiny screen, less than five feet across, we’ve got the per­fect so­lu­tion (and it’ll save you some mon­ey).

Ep­son was nice enough to send one of their lat­est pro­jec­tors our way, which came in handy dur­ing the Su­per­bowl last month and for many pre­sen­ta­tions in the mean­time. We set up the VS350W Mul­ti­me­dia Pro­jec­tor, and com­pared it to a pre­vi­ous Ep­son mod­el, the EX7200. The VS350W of­fers plen­ty more bright­ness, at 3700 lu­mens ver­sus 2600, though runs at the same na­tive res­o­lu­tion (WX­GA or 1280×800). As al­ways, Ep­son went with 3L­CD in­stead of DLP tech­nol­o­gy, which are now more or less equal in our opin­ion. And the 16:10 as­pect ra­tio is a more nat­u­ral fit than 4:3 for many cas­es.

As we said in the pre­vi­ous re­view, pro­jec­tors do have some down­sides, re­quir­ing a fair bit of throw
dis­tance, a dark room, and that you place the unit care­ful­ly to avoid block­ing the im­age. But the bright­ness of the VS350W meant that we could play Dance Cen­tral dur­ing the day­time with­out wor­ry­ing about hav­ing the shades com­plete­ly closed. We loved the in­stant on/off fea­ture, which re­moves one of the most an­noy­ing things about most pro­jec­tors- the warm-up and cool-down time. The lamp is built to last over 4000 hours, and we’re still us­ing the orig­i­nal bulb on the EX7200 de­spite a cross-coun­try trip and sev­er­al moves. We’ll def­i­nite­ly trust the build qual­i­ty of Ep­son’s pro­jec­tors, and there is a two-year war­ran­ty in place as well. We didn’t need it, but they al­so in­clude Pri­vate­Line toll-free sup­port for im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance.

The re­mote is sim­i­lar, de­cent if un­ex­cep­tion­al, and runs on two AA bat­ter­ies which are in­clud­ed in the box. As be­fore, we liked the ad­di­tion of a car­ry­ing case. The built-in speak­er won’t be of much use for movies or gam­ing, but can han­dle some sound ef­fects for pre­sen­ta­tions. This is a pow­er­ful sys­tem that is ex­cel­lent for sta­tion­ary busi­ness or class­room use and pret­ty good for road war­riors and home users; the on­ly down­sides are the fair­ly large foot­print and sev­en pound weight, as well as a lack of dig­i­tal in­put. We’re used to HD­MI, and were a bit sad that the in­puts here are com­pos­ite, S-video, and VGA.

The VS350W bal­ances bright­ness and price, leav­ing most com­peti­tors in the dust. Blacks were rich and dark, and we no­ticed no ar­ti­fact or con­trast is­sues, re­gard­less of source. It’s not ul­tra-qui­et- they list it at 35-40 dB, which seemed ac­cu­rate when us­ing a clean air fil­ter. And the dust fil­tra­tion sys­tem does re­quire some main­te­nance, but it’s sim­ple. Over­all, this is a great pro­jec­tor, and easy to rec­om­mend to any­one up­grad­ing an old­er mod­el or in need of an ex­treme­ly bright and rea­son­ably priced unit. Avail­able on­line and in stores for around $920.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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