Of the three new WXGA projectors in NEC's recently-refreshed M series, the M323W is the most affordable. Still, it comes in at a higher price tag than both the Canon LV-WX320 and Epson EB-W31, which is substantial if you're on a shoestring budget.
So what extras does the M323W offer to command such a premium? On paper, this DLP projector's 3,200-lumen brightness and 10,000:1 contrast ratio specs are on a par with the Canon and Epson models. Its up to 8,000-hour lamp lifespan (under Eco mode) is longer than what the Canon beamer is capable of, but shorter than the Epson projector's 10,000-hour claim. But the M323W does pack a few items that its peers lack, most notably a long 1.7x lens zoom ratio and a powerful 20W speaker. If you need the added placement flexibility, or is looking for a projector better suited for a larger room, the M323W may just be it. The M323W has a USB port that accepts USB flash drives, so you can present without a PC. It's also the only one in this roundup to come with two HDMI ports and a monitorout terminal. Sadly, NEC isn't able to fit in a wireless LAN module, though that's still achievable if you buy the optional dongle. For administrators, unified control and projector management can be done through the free software provided.
With fast sensing of computer signals, one-touch optimization, automatic keystone correction, and an integrated lens cover that lets you mute audio and video quickly, the M323W is easy to setup and use. Our main gripe is that at 3.5kg, the projector isn't as portable as the others.
The 1.7x lens zoom ratio provides a lot of placement flexibility.