Acer’s portable projector: pizazz at a price

Portable projector that can be used at home for movies as well as in the boardroom for presentations

Acer is aiming its PD723P pro-jector at road warriors looking for a compact and portable way to dazzle audiences with bright, sharp, hi-res images. By and large, the PD723 delivers on this promise, but it’s expensive.

The native resolution is XGA or 1024×768 pixels at 3,100 ANSI Lumens with a very high 2000:1 contrast ratio. However, thanks to the DLP (digital light processing) chip, a semiconductor image projection technology developed by Texas Instruments inside the projector, you get very good results from higher resolution sources as well. I tried out the PD723P with a Dell Latitude 600 laptop, which outputs video at 1400×1050 pixels by default on its external VGA connector, and was impressed by the crisp image. The PD723P can also be configured for a 16:9 ratio widescreen for DVD movies so it can double up as a home theatre projector.

The throw ratio is 49 inches at two metres distance, with a maximum screen size of 300 inches (7.62m) diagonally; projection distance ranges from 1.2 to 12.2 metres, and the unit is relatively silent at 28dBA when running, although some fan noise is inevitable in order to cool the 250 watt lamp (lifespan 2,000 hours, with Acer’s website quoting a rather hairy A$1,520 for a replacement module).

A key feature of any presenter’s equipment is that it’s quick to setup and easy to use. Although it has a plethora of inputs, so as to handle a variety of video sources (sound is also supported), it’s not difficult to get going with the PD723P. Plug it in, connect to a computer and that’s pretty much it. An on-screen menu that’s accessible both from the projector and the laser-pointer and mouse-cursor equipped remote lets allows image adjustments with minimal fuss.

You get cables for all the connectors as well, but, oddly, a DVI-DVI one is missing.

While the PD723P gets good scores for performance and ease of use, the price is on the high side. The local RRP is a massive $4,995, with the Aussie equivalent being A$4,199. Australian web stores have the PD723 for around A$3,000 however, so if you’re interested it definitely pays to shop around.

Acer PD723P DLP projector

Acer Computer, 09-969 5600

Cost: $4,995

Rating: 3.5/5 at RRP; 4.5/5 at street price level

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