Review: Epson PowerLite 4650 XGA 3LCD Projector
The PowerLite 4650 is the best buy projector in its class today, not only for its low price tag and brightness but because it is inexpensive to operate.
When it comes to filling a house of worship with images and video, Epson’s PowerLite 4650 XGA 3LCD projector offers a big step forward, along with a few small steps back. With a $1,999 price tag, it offers the most brightness for the dollar in a large-venue projector, but its XGA resolution can only go so far, and it lacks the ability to use interchangeable lenses. At 6.3 by 18.6 by 14.0 inches, the PowerLite 4650 weighs just 14.3 pounds, making it one of the smallest and lightest projectors able to deliver 5,000-plus lumens of light. In fact, its size and weight make it possible for one person to set it up. On the other hand, it is only available in white and lacks a handle to carry the PL4650 around. The projector can be aimed with a single adjustable leg up front and a pair in the back. To hang it from ceiling, the PL4650 has four threaded mounting screws underneath.Inside lookAs is the case with every Epson projector, the PL4650 relies on LCDs to create the image. The projector, however, tops out at XGA resolution, but is able to use input video streams of up to 1,920 by 1,200 resolution. It can display two separate video feeds side by side and uses a single air-cooled lamp. Unlike its large-venue peers, it lacks the ability to use optional lenses. That’s not such a bad thing because the included lens is one of the most versatile optical devices in the projection world, and optional lenses on competitive projectors can cost a lot more than the complete PL4650 on its own. The projector can fill screens from 30 inches to 25 feet, and the PL4650’s optics have a wide 2X zoom lens. It can compensate for being off center with horizontal and vertical keystone correction of up to 30 degrees. The system also has Epson’s Quick Corner, Arc Corner correction and Point Correction image compensation built-in. Together, they make getting a sharp rectangular image easy, but time-consuming.
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