REVIEW MAY 30 , 2001
NEC's displays, historically, have proved top-notch, and their professional presentation products have carried this tradition to yet another level. I've previously reviewed two NEC portable projectors, and both, the VT540 and the MT1050, were just gorgeous in terms of anything that matters about a projectorcolor saturation, picture quality, brightness, etc.
But for the last several weeks I've had in my possession my first NEC ultraportable-class digital projector, the LT155. It's not the smallest projector on the market, but it is tiny, about the size of two subnotebooks stacked on top of one another (11.1" x 8.2" x 2.8"), and it weighs a scant 4.9 lbs. (not counting cables, etc.). Most important, it stands up well in comparison with its more expensive and bulkier siblings in NEC's product line.
One of the things that stood out immediately about the LT155 was its absolute lack of light spill. I know that a lot of projectors today hold their light spill down to a minimum. But with this unit, I mean the edges were perfectly sharp, not a single pixel of spill. Even the edges on a keystoned image were difficult to detect with just a little bit of ambient light to drown it out.
I was also impressed with the amount of control this ultraportable offers over image appearance. Even when watching video in composite mode, you get standard brightness/contrast controls, along with brightness and contrast on each separate color channel. It has four levels of noise reduction (including None) and three of gamma correction, and you can adjust hue, color and sharpness separately. It also accepts aspect ratios ranging from 4:3 to 16:9.
While I did try out these controls to see how they worked, I didn't need them. Regardless of source, the picture appeared optimum at the factory defaults. (This is actually unusual because signals from consumer DVD players, for example, often require significant fine tuning.)
Now, I mentioned that this projector stands up well against NEC's portables. This doesn't mean it's better in every respect. For example, it has only one RGB connector, and it lacks the ability to handle horizontal keystoning.
Post a message in the Creative Mac World Wide User Group.
Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, Digital Media Designer, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.