Acer U5200 review

Acer's new projector has more features than you can shake a laser pointer at, from 3D to network management, but are these actually of any use to businesses? Jim Martin polishes his glasses for a closer look.

As well as the variety of ways to project content, the DLP chip inside the U5200 supports a 120Hz refresh rate, so it's 3D ready. Naturally, you'll need a compatible 3D video source and additional hardware: Nvidia's 3D Vision system is compatible, but this requires a pair of active shutter glasses for each viewer a big expense for a packed classroom or meeting room.

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The native resolution of 1,024x768 is unremarkable, but the 2,500-lumen brightness should be enough for clear viewing with accurate colours with the blinds drawn and lights dimmed. Don't expect the image to be clear with sunlight streaming through the windows, though. Contrast is better than many LCD-based projectors at 4,200:1 thanks to the DLP chip.

In our tests, colours were just as we'd expect from a DLP projector - vibrant and accurate. Contrast was also good. The six-segment colour wheel helped to add punch to yellows, which can appear greenish with a traditional three-segment wheel made up of red, green and blue portions. There are several colour modes to choose between, including standard, video, education, presentation and bright. The latter skewed colours so much it was virtually unusable, but standard delivered the best compromise between brightness and colour accuracy. The pair of 10W speakers are loud, and shouldn't have a problem filling a classroom.

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