First Look: Epson Unveils Lightweight, 3-LCD Mobile Projectors

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted April 16, 2002
Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

Epson says that it has released the lightest 3-LCD projectors ever made with the greatest brightness-to-weight ratio currently on the market. With brightness rated at 2,000 ANSI lumens, the EPSON PowerLite 730c may be the industry's brightest projector in the sub-4.4-pound category, while the new PowerLite 720c offers the same features with 1,500 ANSI lumens of brightness.

Both models feature two all-new Epson-exclusive technologies that include: a 15-degree digital auto-keystone correction that automatically engages and corrects trapezoid-shaped images without manual adjustments; and a 10-second cool down time designed especially for on-the-go presenters.

Another new feature is the projectors' new card-sized remote control (3.37" x 1.56" x 0.25"). This new remote stores inside a slot within the projector, which should make it easy to access and more difficult to lose. Other projector enhancements include an optical zoom for enlarging specific areas within an image and a cable lock feature for security-sensitive environments.

The heart of these projectors' advanced imaging technology lies in Seiko Epson's three-LCD projection system. These three 0.9-inch Seiko Epson LCDs are engineered and synchronized to achieve high levels of image quality, such as brightness distribution (illumination ratio), color saturation, color accuracy and efficiency. They create varying shades of red, green and blue that blend to produce a projected image with brighter, richer, truer colors and sharp black text. Both units also feature 400:1 contrast ratios, making it possible to produce blacker blacks and whiter whites.

The PowerLite 730c uses a Micro Lens Array (MLA) to achieve a good level of brightness. With MLA, a microscopic lens is placed in front of each pixel of each 0.9-inch LCD to increase light throughput for brighter and more vibrant images. With three LCDs inside the projector, there are nearly 2.4 million microscopic lenses in every PowerLite 730c. MLA allows more light to pass through each pixel, projecting images with rich, vibrant colors and crisp, clear detail.

Epson's SizeWise resizing technology is designed to give the projector lots of versatility, enabling it to accept every major notebook resolution on the market. For example, SizeWise resizing technology in these projectors should allow for compatibility with resolutions ranging from VGA (640 x 480) up to UXGA (1,600 x 1,200) with virtually no loss of picture content. The projectors are also HDTV-ready and support popular digital video signals such as 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i.

Epson's PowerLite projectors come with a two-year limited warranty that includes three technical support services - Epson's Private Line, Road Service Program and International Warranty. Through the Private Line, projector owners can access an exclusive expedited support telephone line (typically in less than one minute) by using a phone card that is included with the product. In the event that a projector should need to be repaired, Epson's Road Service Program can replace the product usually within 24 hours in the United States and Canada. International Warranty makes repair service available in 45 countries worldwide. These services are available for the duration of the warranty coverage.

Pricing and Availability
The EPSON PowerLite 730c and EPSON PowerLite 720c are respectively priced at $3,999 and $3,499 (estimated street price). Both models will be available in May 2002 through authorized pro audio/visual, national distribution, catalog and direct PC dealers, and select PC retailers throughout the country.

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