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Epson PowerLite 1771W Projector Overview

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As with Epson's PowerLite 1751 and 1760W projectors, the company has refreshed its line to discontinue the 1770W and replace it with the PowerLite 1771W. While the 1770W required you to purchase the wireless LAN separately, Epson now includes it with the purchase of the projector. The updated model is also compatible with the company's iProjection app, which allows you to use an iPad or iPod Touch to control the projector (more on that below).

Dimensions

The PowerLite 1771W 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 and 1761W. Dropping the feet brings the height down to 1.7 inches. These new PowerLite projector are among the slimmest models that Epson offers for its small-business customers in this category.

The 1771W weighs in at 3.7 pounds, again the same as the other models. As far as comparisons go for full-sized models, this is a very light. If you need to go smaller and lighter, you can consider a pico projector. Pico projectors are roughly the size and weight of an iPod. (Click here to read more about them in this buying guide.

Display Specs

The native aspect ratio is listed at 16:10, which is the same as PowerLite 1761W. 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)

The throw ratio range is listed as 1.04 - 1.26. It can project from a distance of 30 inches to 300 inches, which, again, are the same specs that the 1761W carries.

Light output is listed at 3,000 lumens for both color and white light, and this is where the 1771W breaks from the 1761W. (The 1761W only offers 2,700 lumens.) Lumens are measured using the ISO 21118 Standard, according to Epson.

The 1771W uses a 230-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. As noted in overviews of other Epson models, it is somewhat interesting that this figure is the same for both modes; you typically receive more lamp life when the projector is in ECO Mode. Nonetheless, this remains consistent across the Epson line.

When purchasing a projector, the lamp lifetime is an important concern because replacing the lamp can get pricey. Replacement lamps can run the gamut depending on the type you need, but expect to spend between $100 and $200 for one - this not just your ordinary light bulb. 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 1711W comes with one 1-watt speaker, so the same as the 1761W and 1751. If you want a multimedia projector with powerful built-in audio, take a look at Epson's MegaPlex models. Those come with double 10-watt speakers built in, although you can expect them to also pack on quite a bit of weight in return. It's just the price one pays for a louder audio system.

If you're going to use the 1771W in a large environment, such as a lecture hall, and will require audio, you should 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 1770W, the PowerLite 1771W 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 Quick Connect 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 1771W does have the Type A connector, you will not be forced to use a computer for presentations. You can store your files on a memory stick or hard drive, connect it to the projector, and carry on.

Power

The power consumption is listed at 322 watts in Normal Mode and 212 watts in ECO Mode. The Normal Model is a biter higher than the 1761W, which isn't surprising because of the 300 additional lumens. The ECO mode power consumption is still the same.

Security

The 1771W comes with Kensington's lock provision, which is a commonly found hole meant for use with Kensington's popular locking systems. This is found in found in most Epson projectors. There is no mention of the password protection that the Epson VS-200 projector has. (Click here to 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 1771W 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 PowerLite 1771W, 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 1771W includes over the 1770W 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. For example, if you want to display a photo or website on your iPhone to the projection screen, you just need to pair the projector with the app -- never mind USB cables or even USB sticks.

If you don't have one of these Apple devices, you can also control the 1771W 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 PCs and Macs.

Additional features of the 1771W 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 1761W also has these features.

Takeaway

The MSRP for the PowerLite 1771W is listed at $999, which is $200 more than the 1761W. Whether the increased brightness is worth the extra money will depend on you projecting environment and content. If display performance is everything to you, making the leap could be worthwhile. If you simply need a lightweight, wireless-capable projector, however, the 1761W may meet your needs just fine.

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