Mitsubishi WL639U review
Stunningly bright, this widescreen projector is great for businesses.
Review Date: 18 Sep 2007
Reviewed By: Jim Martin
Price when reviewed: (£1,437 inc VAT)
It may not be the prettiest widescreen projector we've seen, but the WL639U is certainly the brightest. Mitsubishi's latest business offering produces a stunning 3,500 lumens, which means you can project in daylight (although not direct sunlight) without leaving your audience squinting at the screen.
Sporting a resolution of 1,280 x 800 using three 0.75in LCD panels, it can handle 720p HD video natively, although you'll need to use software that won't automatically upscale to 800 lines if you want one-to-one pixel mapping for the best sharpness. Since widescreen is becoming more common for corporate presentations, it makes sense to invest in a widescreen projector these days.
Despite the HD credentials, you won't find an HDMI input on the rear, but you do get an HDCP-compliant DVI interface along with two VGA inputs and one VGA output. There's also S-Video and composite video with phono audio inputs for each. The VGA and HDMI inputs have two 3.5mm audio inputs between them. USB, serial and Ethernet ports cater for local control and remote management, and the unit can be secured using any standard Kensington lock equipment or by using the sturdy metal loop. A decent remote with integrated laser pointer is bundled along with a soft carry case.
The menus include colour-correction presets for a limited number of coloured walls and blackboards, and you can choose from standard, sRGB, presentation and cinema modes. There's both horizontal and vertical keystone correction, so you can project slightly from the side if need be. You'll also find a "low brightness" mode, which should ensure the lamp lasts 5,000 hours, equating to a cost of 9p per hour. In this mode, the fans aren't too distracting, but in standard brightness mode the higher fan speed is noticeably noisier.
Fortunately, image quality was more than acceptable, despite the relatively lowly 600:1 contrast ratio. Colours in our test were accurate and vivid, with white backgrounds appearing even and pure. In sRGB mode, skin tones were lifelike and this proved suitable for video clips, too, which played smoothly with no tearing.
Considering the superb brightness, the slight lack of contrast is an acceptable trade-off and, although it's relatively expensive, the WL639U's running costs should mean that TCO is still affordable in the longer term.
Author: Jim Martin
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