The NEC NP-V311W ($649 direct) is a capable business projector equally at home in a conference room or classroom. It showed good data image quality in our testing, has a solid range of connection ports, is portable, and is 3D capable (though you’ll need to buy active-shutter glasses for 3D use). It’s a good choice as a data projector, provided you don’t use much video in your presentations.
The NP-V311W is a DLP-based data projector that offers a rated 3,100 lumens of brightness and WXGA (1,280-by-800) native resolution, for a 16:10 wide-format aspect ratio. The projector is reasonably compact at 3.7 by 12.2 by 9.7 inches (HWD) and quite portable at 5.5 pounds, though it lacks a carrying case. (NEC sells a suitable case for $54.) Behind the lens are plastic wheels to control the focus and the modest 1.1x zoom.
It has a good range of connection ports: 2 VGA-in ports for connecting to computers (each with its own audio-in jack) and one monitor-out (with an audio-out jack); HDMI; S-Video; three RCA jacks for composite video and audio: an RS232 port for PC control; and an Ethernet port you can use to control the projector over a LAN. (It comes with NEC’s Virtual Remote control software tool.) One connection it lacks is a USB type A port for running presentations computer-free from a USB thumb drive.
Data Image Testing
I tested the NP-V311W with the projector placed about nine feet from the screen, on which it projected an image about 60 inches diagonally. It was bright enough to stand up to an average amount of ambient light.
Data image quality was good for a data projector, and suitable for typical business and classroom purposes. Colors seemed fairly true; yellows and reds were a bit dull (though good for a DLP projector), and there was some mild green tinting to some grays. White-on-black type was blurred at the two smallest sizes, while black-on-white type was readable though not sharp at the smallest size. I noticed mild pixel jitter when using an analog (VGA) connector. I noticed rainbow artifacts—little red-green-blue flashes—in images that tend to bring them out. They’re generally not a significant issue in data images, and that should be true with the NP-V311W.
Video and Audio
With video, the rainbow effect was more notable than average for a DLP projector. Rainbow artifacts are likely to be noticed by people who are at all sensitive to the effect, and because of their potential for distraction I’d limit video use with this projector to short clips as part of a presentation. I also noticed a loss of detail in some bright areas. The video supports closed captioning.
Sound from the NP-V311W’s 7-watt speaker is loud enough to fill a smallish room, and of reasonably good quality. Another plus is that the projector is 3D capable, compatible with TI’s DLP Link technology, though to view 3D content you’ll have to buy active-shutter 3D glasses—NEC sells them for $85, though they can be bought elsewhere for considerably less.
The NP-V311W has a lower (XGA) resolution sibling, the NEC NP-V311X, which sells for about $50 less. With a boost in resolution for that relatively modest price difference, for most presenters the V311W is the better buy. But if you never use small or intricate detail in your presentations, the NP-V311X should be fine, and will save you some cash.
The NP-V311W has one real advantage over the Editors’ Choice NEC NP-M311W: its ability to show 3D content, which the latter projector, as an LCD-based model, lacks. That said, the NEC NP-M311W offers better image quality, with particularly good video quality for a data projector. It also has a notably generous 1.7x zoom—allowing much more flexibility in where you place the projector, while the NP-V311W has a modest 1.1x zoom. The M311W also has a port for a USB thumb drive, which the V311W lacks.
The NEC NP-V311W is still a very solid model for classroom or conference-room use, and if you do need 3D capability it could well be your projector of choice.
|Native Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Computer Interfaces||Analog VGA|
|Rated Contrast Ratio||3000|
|Video Interfaces||Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video|
|Rated Brightness||3100 ANSI lumens|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc