Similar in many ways to the Editors’ Choice Epson PowerLite 1880 MultiMedia Projector, the Epson PowerLite 1835 XGA 3LCD Projector is a little less bright and a little less expensive. Rated at 3,500 lumens, it’s a better fit than the 1880 for a small to mid-size conference room or classroom where the 1880′s 4,000 lumens would be overkill. Beyond that, however, it offers many of the same strengths, including high-quality data images and above-par video for a data projector. That’s enough to also make it an Editors’ Choice for data projectors.
Like the Epson 1880, and as the name clearly says, the 1835 is built around an LCD-based, XGA (1,024-by-768) engine. It’s also the same weight as the Epson 1880, at 7.4 pounds. That puts it in a weight class that’s most likely to wind up permanently installed or on a cart for moving from room to room, but is also light enough to use as a portable. A lot of projectors with similar weights, including, for example, the DLP-based Optoma TW762, even come with soft carrying cases. Epson doesn’t provide one for the 1835, however, so if you want one, you’ll have to buy it separately.
Connections, Setup, and Brightness
Setting up the 1835 is standard fare, with a manual focus and manual 1.6x zoom. The back panel offers a typical assortment of connectors, including an HDMI 1.3 port; the usual VGA, S-Video, and composite video inputs; a USB Type A connector, which lets you show JPEG, BMP, PNG, and GIF files from a USB memory key; and a USB Type B connector, which you can set to either let you send data images over a USB connection or control your PC’s mouse pointer from the projector’s remote. In addition, you can add a Wi-Fi dongle ($99 direct).
For my tests, I used a 78-inch wide (98-inch diagonal) image, which was easily bright enough to stand up to typical levels of ambient light in a conference room or classroom. As one point of reference, using recommendations developed by SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), 3,500 lumens would be bright enough for a 275-inch diagonal image in theater-dark lighting.
Data and Video Image Quality
Data image quality for the 1835 is near-excellent. On our standard suite of DisplayMate tests, colors were bright, eye-catching, and vibrant in all color presets, and color balance was good, with suitably neutral grays at all levels with most presets. The only exceptions were Theater mode, which showed a slight greenish tint at some gray levels and a reddish tint at others, and the brightest mode, which was a bit yellowish-green in its brightest levels. However, it’s common for projectors to have color balance problems in their brightest modes, and if you’re bothered by this issue in one mode, you can simply switch to a mode that doesn’t have the problem.
More important for most data applications is that the 1835 maintains detail well. Text at small sizes is not the crispest I’ve ever seen but both black text on white and white text on black qualify as crisp, clean, and easily readable at sizes as small as 6.8 points. Also very much on the plus side is that with an analog connection, the image was rock solid with only a hint of moire patterns even on screens that tend to bring out both pixel jitter and moire. If the slight moire patterns are an issue for your needs, you can use a digital connection to get rid of them.
Video quality in my tests was good enough for sitting through a full-length movie, which makes the 1835′s video above par for a data projector. It’s not even close to what you’d expect from a home theater projector, but it’s eminently watchable.
The 1835 did a good job with skin tones and shadow detail (details based on shading in dark areas), and I didn’t see any motion artifacts or posterization (shading changing suddenly where it should change gradually), even in scenes that tend to cause those problems. Also worth mention is that because it’s an LCD projector, the 1835 can’t show the rainbow artifacts that DLP projectors can show (because of the way they produce color), and which some people find annoying.
One potential problem the 1835 shares with the Epson 1880 is fan noise. I’m not usually sensitive to fan noise, but the 1835′s fan, with its 37 dB rating in Standard lamp mode, was loud enough for even me to notice when I was sitting within two or three feet of the projector. In Eco mode, it drops to a far quieter 29 dB, which is a lot easier to ignore. But if you tend to find fan noise bothersome, you may well consider this a problem if you’re sitting near the projector and using it in Standard mode.
Also worth mention is that the sound system, with its 16-watt mono speaker, is easily loud enough for a large conference room or even a small auditorium. However, the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired, with a bottom-of-the barrel echo effect. It’s good enough for spoken words in most situations, but if you need good sound quality, plan on using an external sound system.
Whatever the Epson PowerLite 1835′s XGA 3LCD Projector shortcomings for sound, it does an excellent job for a data projector overall. It’s bright, it’s easy to set up thanks to the 1.6x zoom lens plus a suitable variety of connectors, it offers near-excellent data image quality plus above par video quality, and it includes a useable, if not particularly impressive, sound system. All of this adds up to making the Epson PowerLite 1835 XGA 3LCD Projector an impressive little brother to the PowerLite 1880 and an easy pick for Editors’ Choice for data projectors for a small to mid-size conference room or classroom.
More Projector Reviews:
|Native Resolution||1024 x 768|
|Video Inputs||Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video|
|Computer Interfaces||Analog VGA, HDMI|
|Rated Contrast Ratio||2000|
|Rated Brightness||3500 ANSI lumens|
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