NEC NP41 review

10 Jun 2009

Tiny and portable, but the package suffers as a result.

Price when reviewed: 
615(£615 inc VAT)
3

Marketed as an ultra-mobile projector, NEC's NP41 is smaller than most in the group and weighs a portable 1.6kg, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in the feature department.

It's one of the few here to focus its image automatically, doing so flawlessly and with a pleasing mechanical whirr, and it followed that up with decent auto-keystone correction as well. The onscreen menu is easy to navigate using the remote, and the 14-second power-down time is among the most rapid in the group.

At 2m, the projected 55in image was pleasingly sharp and evenly focused, but the quality of the colours left a little to be desired. True, they're nowhere near as oversaturated as some of the TFT-based projectors here, but the dirty greens and dull reds weren't quite up to the expected DLP standard. This isn't helped by the 2,300-lumen brightness; it isn't quite the lowest here, but it certainly lacks the punch of the better models.

The build quality feels a little cheap, with a white plastic finish and a flimsy lens cap on a string, although the three-year on-site warranty reassures on that front. And then there's the operating noise, which is among the loudest of the group, coupled with a set of limp speakers that struggle to be heard above the noise of the fans. Finally, the 1.44m minimum projection distance is one of the highest here, which undermines the portability a little - this isn't a short-throw projector.

The ability to look past these drawbacks will depend on how important that portability is. If you'll largely use your projector on the move it's a solid choice, but used regularly in a meeting room in the office, with its replacement lamp cost of £263 plus VAT, the NEC NP41 will soon outlive its welcome.

Details

Price ex VAT £535
Price inc VAT £615
Overall rating 3
Image quality 4
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 3

Basic specifications

Projector technology DLP
Resolution 1024 x 768
Lumens brightness 2,300 lumens
Contrast ratio 1,600:1
Keystone correction? yes
Speakers? yes
Speaker type Mono
Speaker power ouput 0W

Dimensions

Dimensions 246 x 177 x 72mm (WDH)
Weight ERROR: Script can't be evaluated

Optics

Max diagonal image size 7.6m
Measured image size at 2m 55.0m

Lamp & running costs

Lamp power 200W
Lamp life, standard mode 2,500hrs
Lamp life, eco mode 3,500hrs
Replacement lamp cost

Power & environment

Typical power consumption 265W
Peak noise level 37.0dB(A)
Idle/eco noise level 32.0dB(A)

Video inputs/outputs

VGA inputs 1
DVI inputs 0
S-Video inputs 1
Composite video inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0

Data ports and connectors

Front panel memory card reader no
Other memory media support None

Audio inputs/outputs

3.5mm audio input jacks 1
3.5mm audio jacks 0
RCA (phono) inputs 0

Miscellaneous

Carry case yes