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NEC NP3250W Review

Feb 18, 2010 12:00 PM, By Jeff Sauer

With a small, stackable form factor and high brightness, this projector can go anywhere.

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Testing One, Two

In order to test the Stacking Correction feature, I tested a pair of NP3250Ws, and the two were refreshingly similar in basic output characteristics. Neither hit the 4000-lumen mark on NEC's spec sheet, but both were within about 8 percent (3686 ANSI lumens and 3711 ANSI lumens) in High Bright mode. Brightness dropped about 13 percent in Presentation mode, about 35 percent in sRGB mode, and about 46 percent in Video mode, with other preset mode brightness falling somewhere in the middle of those. I measured brightness uniformity at an excellent 94 percent for both units. Switching to Eco mode lowers brightness by roughly 20 percent in each preset mode, with the benefit of saving lamp life and power.

NEC's 600:1 contrast ratio estimate is solid, particularly in High Bright mode. I measured 625:1. Contrast did, of course, drop in other preset modes—down to less than 400:1 in sRGB mode. The NP3250W's colors lean toward green—particularly red—to a small degree, which isn't surprising in a business-oriented projector designed for higher brightness, and one can adjust colors settings to minimize the effect. Blue as well as the secondary colors were all good. Grayscales tracked on a very smooth curve from 7.5 IRE all the way to 100 IRE.

I used a variety of test patterns in both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios to test scaling and found that the NP3250W did a good job keeping text crisp and legible. 1x1 pixel test patterns cause minor moiré patterns in non-native resolutions, but the HQV chipset kept it to a minimum. And that's critical for NEC's stacking feature, although it's clearly best when stacking to help the projector as much as possible and stay with a native resolution.

The NP3250W has a MAP of about $3,500, but you can probably find it for less. The MAP may still seem a little pricey on a per-lumen basis, but NEC has built in an enormous amount of flexibility and features. Many aren't new, but the new stacking feature may strike a chord with organizations with larger facilities and multiple units. The ability to add a second projector to a room when needed and not have to hire outside rental-and-staging assistance could become quite attractive. On the other hand, rental-and-staging professionals might love the small form factor for smaller venues.

Product Summary
Company: NEC
Product: NP3250W
Pros: Stacking Correction Tool, native widescreen, excellent color reproduction, and good scaling on text.
Cons: Brightness is a little low, and geometric correction on the primary unit can be tricky.
Applications: Small-to-medium sized facilities and rental and staging.
Price: $3,499.99

Brightness: 4000 ANSI lumens (3200 Eco mode)
Contrast: 600:1 full on/off
Native resolution: 1280x800 (max)
Configuration: 3x0.74in. LCD with Micro lens array
Light source: 330W AC lamp (2000 hours, 3000 hours Eco mode)
Standard lens: Manual focus, f/1.7-2.2, f=24.4-32.5mm
Lens options: Five ranging from 0.8:1 wide fixed to 4.7-7.2:1 zoom
Zoom (standard lens): Manual 1.33:1 optical zoom
Projection distance (standard lens): 2.95ft. to 71.9ft.
Screen size: 30in. to 500in. diagonal
Keystone: +/- 40% vertical, +/- 30% horizontal
Loudspeakers: 10W stereo
Dimensions (WxHxD): 15.7"x 5.9"x 14.1"
Weight: 16.1lbs.
Warranty:Two year parts and labor (One year or 500 hours lamp)

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