High qual­ity pre­sen­ta­tions made easy

Ep­son EB-U42

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - By Ng Chong Seng

As more PCs get wider and higher-res­o­lu­tion screens, busi­ness users are also look­ing for pro­jec­tors ca­pa­ble of show­ing off their con­tent bet­ter than what’s pos­si­ble with tra­di­tional WXGA (1,280 x 800) pro­jec­tors.

The EB-U42 is one of Ep­son’s more re­cent busi­ness pro­jec­tors with a na­tive, “more than full HD” WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) res­o­lu­tion. It uses the com­pany’s 3LCD tech, which means it boasts the same max­i­mum light out­put - 3,600 lu­mens - for both white and color light.

It’s also equipped with two HDMI video in­puts (one ne of which is MHL en­abled) and built-in wire­less LAN con­nec­tiv­ity. With the lat­ter er and Ep­son’s iPro­jec­tor app, p, you can eas­ily project images ges from your phone to the big g screen wire­lessly. Con­nect­ing ting the two de­vices couldn’t be e sim­pler too: just use your mo­bile de­vice to scan the QR code on the screen and you’re in. If you need to show con­tent from mul­ti­ple sources, the pro­jec­tor is also ca­pa­ble of more ad­vanced tricks, in­clud­ing a split screen mode that puts two images from two dif­fer­ent sources side by side.

While both zoom and fo­cus ad­just­ments (the lens has a 1.2x op­ti­cal zoom ra­tio) have to be done man­u­ally, you’re aided by the pro­jec­tor’s au­to­matic ver­ti­cal key­stone ad­just­ment and a smooth hor­i­zon­tal key­stone slider for cor­rect­ing dis­tor­tions. Like most other pro­jec­tors in this class, the EB-U42 can cy­cle through sources to look for the sig­nal au­to­mat­i­cally. And if it’s hooked up via a VGA or USB ca­ble, it will dis­play the im­age au­to­mat­i­cally when a sig­nal is de­tected.

At 3,600 lu­mens, the Ep­son EB-U42 is a very bright pro­jec­tor and is thus well suited for larger board­rooms and in sit­u­a­tions where the pre­sen­ter wants to keep the room lights on. In my tests, col­ors looked ex­tremely vi­brant and Arial at 7 points ap­peared very sharp, even for a 120-inch pro­jec­tion. How­ever, at this bright­ness, the lamp is rated to last at most 6,000 hours. If you’re okay with a re­duced bright­ness of 2,200 lu­mens, you can switch to the Eco mode, which will pro­long the lamp life to 10,000 hours.

Thanks to the afore­men­tioned high white and color light out­puts and na­tive WUXGA res­o­lu­tion, the EBU42 also of­fers a mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence in im­age qual­ity when watch­ing HD videos and Blu-ray con­tent. You get more de­tails on-screen, which is not pos­si­ble if you’re us­ing a WXGA pro­jec­tor. My only gripe is that the built-in 2W mono speaker is noth­ing to shout about; you could prob­a­bly get bet­ter au­dio from your lap­top’s own speak­ers.

What re­ally seals the deal for the EB-U42 is its price tag. At $1,329, it of­fers the best bal­ance of price and per­for­mance among pro­jec­tors in the sub-$1,500 range. Yes, there are other pro­jec­tors that can go as bright and are priced cheaper, but you’d be hard pressed to nd one that also of­fers full HD res­o­lu­tion and built-in wire­less LAN sup­port.

An af­ford­ably priced, full-HD busi­ness pro­jec­tor with built-in wire­less net­work­ing makes the EB-U42 an easy rec­om­men­da­tion.

The EB-U42 has two HDMI ports, and one of them sup­ports MHL.

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