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Epson PowerLite 1761W Projector Overview

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As with Epson's PowerLite 1750 and 1751 projectors, the company has refreshed its line to discontinue the 1760W and replace it with the 1761W. The price for the 1761W is raised a bit, kind of (more on that below), and now includes wireless connectivity as an automatic feature, as well as some more bells and whistles of the app variety.

Dimensions

The PowerLite 1761W is a 3LCD projector. It measures 11.5 inches wide by 8.3 inches in diameter by 2.1 inches high when the feet are taken into consideration, which makes it the exact same size as the 1751. Lowering the feet drops the height down to 1.7 inches. These models are among the slimmest projectors that Epson offers for its small-business customers in this category.

The 1761W weighs in at 3.7 pounds, again the same as the other models. This is a very light weight for a full-sized projector, but if you're looking for something that can fit into your pocket, take a look at pico projectors. Pico projectors are roughly the size and weight of an iPod. You can read more about them in this buying guide.

Display Specs

The native aspect ratio is listed at 16:10 (the 1751's native aspect ratio is 4:3). It can be resized to 4:3 and 16:9, according to the company, and the native resolution is WXGA (1200 x 800). (What's an aspect ratio? Click here to find out.) The resolution can be resized to the following formats, depending on your needs:

  • 640 x 480 (VGA)
  • 800 x 600 (SVGA)
  • 1024 x 768 (XGA)
  • 1280 x 1024 (SXGA)
  • 1400 x 1050 (SXGA+)
  • 1440 x 900 (WXGA+)
  • 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+)
  • 1600 x 1200 (UXGA)

All of this is the same as the PowerLite 1760W.

The throw ratio range is listed as 1.04 - 1.26. It can project from a distance of 30 inches to 300 inches, the same as both the PowerLite 1751 and the PowerLite X12.

Light output is listed at 2,600 lumens for both color and white light, which is the same as the 1751. (It has 200 fewer lumens than the PowerLite X12.) Lumens are measured using the ISO 21118 Standard, according to Epson.

The 1760W uses a 205-watt UHE E-TORL lamp (Epson's own lamp technology). The company says this lamp lasts up to 4,000 hours in both ECO and Normal Modes. It's curious that this figure is the same since you typically you receive more lamp life when the projector is in ECO Mode, but this little factoid has been consistent among the Epson line.

When purchasing a projector, the lamp lifetime is an important concern because replacing the lamp can get costly. Replacement lamps can run the gamut depending on the type you need, but expect to spend between $100 and $200 for one.

Lamp life can also vary based on the type of viewing modes used and in what type of setting it's used. As the company points out in its product literature, the lamp brightness will decrease over time.

Audio Specs

The 1761W comes with one 1-watt speaker, so the same as the 1751. If you want a multimedia projector with powerful built-in audio, take a look at Epson's MegaPlex models. Those come with two 10-watt speakers built in, although they pack on quite a bit of weight as well. It's just the price you have to pay for a louder audio system.

If you're going to use the 1761W in a large environment like a lecture hall, and will require audio, consider using an external audio source.

The fan noise is 30 dB in ECO Mode and 40 dB in Normal Mode, according to Epson.

Wireless Capabilities

Unlike the 1760W, the 1761W now includes wireless capabilities as a standard feature. The former model required purchasing an optional Quick Connect wireless USB key and wireless 802.11 b/g/n LAN card. Now, however, the wireless LAN module comes with the projector. The wireless USB key is still sold separately.

Inputs

There are several inputs: computer/component video: Mini D-sub HD 15 pin; composite video: RCA; audio in: mini stereo; HDMI; Wireless port 802.11 b/g/n; Type A USB connector; and Type B USB connector.

If you're not sure of the differences between Type A and Type B USB ports, here's a fast lesson on the difference between the two inputs: Type A looks like a rectangle and is the kind that you'll use with a memory stick. Type B looks like a square and is used for connecting other computer peripherals, such as a mouse.

Because the PowerLite 1761W does have the Type A connector, you will not be required to use a computer for presentations. You can store your files on a memory stick or hard drive, connect it to the 1761W, and carry on.

Power

The power consumption is listed at 293 watts in Normal Mode and 212 watts in ECO Mode. This is the same as the 1760W.

Security

The 1761W comes with Kensington's lock provision (a commonly found hole meant for use with Kensington's popular locking systems), which is found in most Epson projectors. There is no mention of the password protection that the Epson VS-200 projector has. (You can read more about the VS-200 and its features in this overview.)

Lens

The lens has a manual focus with an optical zoom. Click here to read an article from About.com's Camcorder site that explains the differences between optical and digital zooms.

The zoom ratio is listed at 1.0 - 1.2 - the same as the 1760W.

Warranty

A two-year limited warranty is included for the projector. The lamp is under a 90-day warranty. Epson also notes that the PowerLite 1761W is covered under the company's Road Service Program, which pledges to overnight ship a replacement projector -- for free -- if something goes wrong with yours. Fine print aside, this sounds like a good promise for road warriors.

What You Get

Included in the box: VGA cable, remote control with batteries, USB cable, audio adapter, security screw, and the software and user manual CDs. It also comes with a soft carrying case.

The remote can also be used at a distance of up to 19.7 feet, Epson says, and it features the following functions: power, source search selection, computer, video, A/V mute, freeze, user ID, auto, aspect, color mode, num, page up and down, E-zoom, volume, help, menu, enter, esc and pointer functions

Although Epson doesn't mention in its literature the types of Color Modes that are included with the 1761W, the inclusion of a Color Mode option on the remote gives hope that there are several available. Color Modes can be extremely useful if you need to project onto something other than a projection screen, such as a blackboard or a whiteboard.

One of the newer, bigger features that the 1761W includes over the 1760W is the addition of the Epson iProjection App. This app lets you display and control content using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can pair the projector with your Apple device and control it using the iPhone, iPod or iPad -- pretty cool.

If you don't have one of these Apple devices, you can also control the 1761W using a computer browser if the projector is connected to a network. Epson says you don't need to download any software and that it works with both Macs and PCs.

Other features of the 1761W include automatic vertical keystone correction (so you don't have fiddle with the image sizing); a sleep mode that can be set from one to 30 minutes of inactivity; and Direct Power On/Off, which lets you set it so you can turn the projector on and off with a wall switch. The 1751 also has these features.

Takeaway

The MSRP for the 1761W is listed as $799, but as of this writing (October 2012), Epson is selling the projector at a price of $699, which is the same price as the 1760W. Although you can't bank on the company offering that price forever, it is the same price as the step-down PowerLite 1750W projector. Since the 1761W comes with the included wireless capabilities and iPhone/iPad/iPod app features, it's kind of a no-brainer as to which one to pick. Once the price break ends, however, it will be to you to decide if wireless is worth an extra $100.

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