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NEC NP41 review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 10 Jun 2009

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £535 (£615 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
3 stars out of 6

Features & Design
3 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Image Quality
4 stars out of 6

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.

Author: David Bayon

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