Epson W6

Great compromise between home and office.

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Epson W6
  • Epson W6
  • Epson W6
  • Epson W6

Pros

  • Widescreen, low fan noise, decent speakers, instant off

Cons

  • Ugly white finish, 16:10 resolution is a compromise

Bottom Line

Epson’s W6 projector is a model that is great for projecting images from a widescreen notebook in the office, as well as for occasional home theatre use.

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With a 16:10 aspect ratio the Epson W6 is designed for displaying widescreen presentations from notebooks, which is great for the modern office. On top of this, it’s able to display 720p HD resolutions without stretching or scaling, making it a useful occasional home theatre projector.

The W6's 16:10 display resolution allows for both 4:3 (traditional) and 16:9 (widescreen) content to be displayed without impacting on projection sizes. While this aspect ratio means that there will be dead space when projecting both of these formats — it obviously won’t outperform a dedicated widescreen or traditional projector — this wasted space is minimal compared to displaying widescreen content on a traditional projector, for example.

Its native resolution is a respectable 1280x800 pixels, so it’ll happily display high-definition 720p content with only a mere 40-pixel strip unused. This is also the resolution of most 15in widescreen laptops, so the projector can natively display all the business presentations and portfolios you’ve designed to suit your laptop’s resolution.

The W6 is a 3LCD model, eschewing the DLP colour-wheel technology that is used in a large segment of home theatre projector models. 3LCD has the advantage of more compact packaging, lower noise levels and crisper imagery.

The casing of the W6 is a rather uninspiring shade of white, with a lens that’s hidden behind a sliding door. This is a definite plus for a portable projector — especially when compared to clip-on lens caps, which we find have a tendency to fall off at the worst possible time. It also has a set of highly adjustable legs, allowing it to be set up in wide variety of situations.

The control panel can be found on the top of the projector's body, right in the centre. It’s not as intuitive as some other systems we’ve seen, but it is still easy enough to navigate with a little practice. A remote control with all necessary buttons is included, and you shouldn’t need to navigate through many menus anyway once the W6 has been set up and calibrated.

A decent number of connections reside on the rear of the unit, hidden under a slight lip to stop any dust collecting. Composite and S-video are grouped for low resolution video content, while VGA and HDMI take care of the projector’s high-definition and high-resolution video inputs.

A projector isn’t worth buying unless it can output a clear, crisp and vibrant picture. Thankfully the Epson W6 is fantastic in terms of colour and image quality.

At 720p resolution, displaying content from a Panasonic DMR-BW500, the W6 was fantastic. Images were as crisp as we’ve seen from some dedicated home theatre projectors — on par with BenQ’s W500. Colour balance was also quite good, and it was surprisingly balanced and natural out of the box for a projector that can be used in the office.

Where it steps ahead of a dedicated home theatre projector is in brightness levels. The W6 is able to create an image with a brightness of up to 2000 ANSI lumens; in comparison, BenQ’s W500 is rated at a comparatively stingy 1100 lumens.

Because it’s a 3LCD projector the W6 doesn’t consume much power; it has a measly power consumption of 231 Watts. The other upside to this is a low fan noise level. In the projector’s low light mode, fan noise is rated at 28 decibels; in real-world terms this means the projector is largely inaudible when powered on.

Another nifty inclusion is the inbuilt 7 Watt speaker. It’s only a monaural speaker — so you won’t be playing any Bach or Tchaikovsky — but it’s able to crisply and loudly recreate audio effects to accompany your business presentations.

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