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Epson PowerLite 1776W Overview

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The 1776W is the most expensive of the four PowerLite projectors that Epson has updated for its portable models in the education category (the PowerLite 1751, 1761W and 1771W). The $1,099 price includes Epson's Quick Connect USB key (a $99 value), as well as a few other bells and whistles, including compatibility with the company's iProjection app.

Dimensions

The Epson PowerLite 1776W 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 updated projectors mentioned above. Lowering the feet drops the height down to 1.7 inches. These models are among the slimmest projectors that Epson offers for its education-focused customers.

The 1776W weighs in at 3.8 pounds, which is just a hair more than the other updated PowerLite models (and certainly not anything noticeable). This is a very light weight for a full-sized projector, but if you're looking for something that can fit into your pocket, you can take a look at pico projectors. Pico projectors are roughly the size and weight of an iPod, although they sacrifice audio and display specs to get there. (Click here to read more about pico projectors.)

Display Specs

The native aspect ratio is listed at 16:10. It can be resized to 4:3 and 16:9, according to the company, and the native resolution is WXGA (1200 x 800). 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 and 1771W.

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 3,000 lumens for both color and white light, so it is the same as the 1771W. Lumens are measured using the ISO 21118 Standard, according to the company.

The 1776W 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. It is a bit 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 across the Epson line.

When purchasing a projector, the lamp lifetime is an important concern because replacing the lamp can be pricey (this is no ordinary light bulb). 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 1776W 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 are not nearly as light. It's just the price you have to pay for a louder audio system.

If you're going to use this projector 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. Pretty typical for the PowerLite series.

Wireless Capabilities

The 1776W includes a wireless 802.11 b/g/n LAC module for wireless connectivity. Unlike the 1761W, this PowerLite projector includes the Quick Connect wireless USB key as a standard feature. The other models require you to purchase this separately, and Epson prices it at $99. The Quick Connect key is designed to let you connect the projector wirelessly to a computer without needing a network.

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 1776W, and carry on.

Power

The power consumption is listed at 322 watts in Normal Mode, which is a biter higher than the 1761W. This isn't very surprising because of the 300 additional lumens it displays. It is also the same as the 1771W. The ECO mode power consumption is the same for all three PowerLite models, at 212 watts.

Security

The 1776W 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. Epson also mentions that it comes with a password protection sticker, but it's unclear if it has the same password protection as the VS-200 projector. (Read more about the VS-200 by clicking here.)

Lens

The lens has a powered focus with an optical zoom. This is a change from the 1771W, 1760W and 1751, all of which have manual focus. This article from About.com's Camcorder site goes over the differences between optical and digital zooms.

The zoom ratio is listed at 1.0 - 1.2 - the same as the 1771W.

Warranty

A two-year limited warranty is included for the projector. The lamp is under a 90-day warranty. Epson also says that the projector is covered under its Road Service Program, which promises to overnight ship a replacement projector - for free -if something is 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 cable, security screw, Quick Connect wireless USB key, wireless LAN module 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 1776W, 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 1776W includes over the 1775W 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 1776W 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.

Another main feature of the 1776W is that is has both automatic vertical and horizontal keystone correction. (The 17611 and 1771W only have automatic vertical, as does the 1775W, the model this one is replacing.) Both of these keystone correction features are designed to help you to obtain a clearer horizontal picture depending on the size in which you're displaying. Along with the Screen Fit feature, you should spend less time fiddling the image sizing.

Other features of the 1776W include 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 1771W also has these features.

Takeaway

The MSRP for the 1776W is $1,099, so it's the highest among the four PowerLite models discussed here. For the extra money, you get the Quick Connect USB key, automatic horizontal keystone correction, powered focus, and the upper end of the display performance (3,000 lumens, etc.). If you're choosing between the 1776W and 1771W, you consider how much horizontal correction will benefit you since you always pick up the Quick Connect later down the road.

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