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One of the most established projector brands in the classroom and business projector markets, NEC also offers digital cinema projectors for the home theatre, alongside innovative, bright laser phosphor projectors that give virtually maintenance-free operation. When looking for a proven, high-performance home, office, or classroom projector such as NEC’s laser-driven installation projectors, start by choosing the best brightness level for your needs and budget.
The best projectors can produce natural images and have no trouble displaying high-contrast and projecting a bright, high-resolution image at large screen sizes. You’ll want to look for versatile installation options and the appropriate throw ratio for your needs. Consider whether you need the features the best 3D projectors or UHD 4K models offer.
Keep reading to learn more about the best NEC projectors and how they compare to the best projectors from other brands, such as Panasonic projectors.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With built-in HDBaseT and dual HDMI inputs, this projector is ideal for educational institutions, large conference rooms, and events. It has built-in 20W speakers for audio playback.
Equipped with a number of advanced features, the NEC Professional NP-P554W projector is ideal for events, conference rooms, and home theaters. It features powerful 20W speakers that provide high-quality audio. This projector boasts a built-in HDBaseT that simplifies cabling in commercial applications. With dual HDMI inputs that support HDCP, this projector enables switching between dual high-definition sources fast. However, its lamp life of about 8,000 hours in Eco mode is a bit low.
An impressive 20,000:1 contrast ratio delivers accurate dark colors, offering great dark room performance. This device is suitable for educational institutions, corporate conference rooms, and events. It has horizontal and vertical lens shift functions that enable a fast setup. Cornerstone and pincushion adjustment options allow correcting the image shape fast during installation. This NEC projector has a VGA port and USB interface for easy connectivity and it has onboard controls for navigating the OSD menu.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This projector has an efficient lamp with a long life. It gets very bright and it’s ideal for use in brightly lit spaces. An HDBaseT interface simplifies cabling.
The NEC PJ-P525UL projector supports a number of installation methods offering flexibility and features leveling feet, simplifying placement on flat and slanting surfaces. This projector has an interface that allows hassle-free ceiling mounting and boasts incredible contrast ratios, achieving contrasts of up to 500,000:1 and producing deep black scenes. The lens on this model is easy to adjust, zooming up to 1.6x. However, this unit is big.
This projector has USB and HDMI ports, allowing users to connect to computers and storage drives easily. It is remarkably bright, producing images of up to 5200 lumens. The projector is ideal for both dark home theaters and brightly lit lecture rooms. Equipped with laser tech, this projector is quite an energy efficient, providing a lamp life of up to 20,000 hours. It has a sealed optical engine that protects sensitive internal components.
Award: BEST WITH MULTI-DISPLAY SUPPORT
WHY WE LIKE IT: Featuring up to 9000 lumens of brightness, this projector is ideal for brightly lit environments. It features Picture by Picture tech and boasts a wide variety of input ports.
Featuring an excellent native resolution, the NEC NP-PA903X-41ZL projector produces crisp videos and very clear text. Thanks to Picture by Picture technology, this projector is suitable for multitasking, showcasing various windows simultaneously. It has an advanced video processing system that offers smooth performance. With horizontal and vertical lens shift abilities, this projector supports hassle-free setup. An included remote control enables changing settings easily. However, this model comes with a long-throw lens that rules out installing this device in small rooms.
A very bright lamp on this model produces up to 9,000 lumens of light, making this device a good choice for home theaters, well lit conference rooms, and some outdoor settings. This projector uses advanced scaling tech to enhance low-resolution media, providing incredible quality. This projector comes with a lens hole cover and lens screw to protect and lock the lens. It also has an HDBaseT interface for transferring audio and video signals with the same cable.
Award: BEST FOR TRAVEL
WHY WE LIKE IT: This projector is portable and will appeal to event managers and people who travel for business. It has a rich selection of ports and decent native resolution that offers brilliant visuals.
The NEC NP-V300X projector boasts modern DLP technology, producing vibrant images that will appeal to movie lovers. It has native XGA 1024 x 768 resolution and supports a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200. This model is compatible with a wide variety of source resolutions, including VGA, WXGA+ and UXGA. The projector is remarkably quiet, featuring a fan noise of just 37 dB. However, it doesn’t come with a carrying case.
It has a rich collection of connectivity options, including HDMI, S-Video, and VGA. This model also has an RJ-45 Ethernet port for connecting the network. Built-in button controls on this device enable changing the settings easily. This projector produces up to 3000 lumens of light, offering brilliant visuals. We like its relatively compact construction that will appeal to users who travel for events or business. The projector has controls for zoom and focus, offering simple operation.
Award: BEST CUSTOMIZATION OPTIONS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A wide selection of inputs on this model allows connecting to computers, consoles, and even DVD players. This projector has decent resolution and excellent zooming and keystone correction functions.
This NEC NP-M282X projector is a versatile unit ideal for work and movies. It has a reasonable 1024 x 768 resolution, producing text and media with fine details. This model uses a DLP chip from Texas Instruments, offering reliable performance in a variety of situations. With top-facing controls, this device allows hassle-free adjustment and it has a one-touch Eco mode preset for simple operation. This model also boasts horizontal and vertical keystone correction. However, it uses a filter that needs occasional replacement.
Featuring auto keystone adjustment and dials for focus and zoom, this projector supports precise customization. It boasts a wide variety of inputs for simple connectivity. With component video inputs, this device is compatible with DVD players, and it has VGA and HDMI ports for plugging into computers. It has a maximum brightness of 2800 lumens and it’s ideal for educational institutions and businesses. This projector has excellent contrast ratios up to 10,000:1, providing excellent dark room performance.
Award: BEST SHORT-THROW PROJECTOR
WHY WE LIKE IT: A short throw distance enables placing this projector near the screen, making this model useful in small classrooms and home theaters. It produces bright imagery that is ideal for well-lit rooms.
Equipped with a short-throw lens, the NEC M352WS projector is the display device of choice for small home theaters and conference rooms. This device has a Texas Instrument DLP chip that provides seamless performance. With a maximum brightness of 3500 lumens, the projector produces bright pictures and it counters glare in well-lit classrooms and conference rooms. This model features HDMI and USB ports for connecting to computers and storage drives. However, this unit is big.
With excellent contrast ratios of up to 10,000:1, this projector performs well in dark rooms, delivering deep black hues. It features VGA and AV inputs for connecting to older computers and DVD players. This model also has a LAN port that facilitates connecting to the workgroup network and works with an optional dongle for wireless connectivity. It has a native 1280 x 800 resolution, offering great picture and text quality.
NEC stands for Nippon Electric Company. One of Japan’s oldest electronics companies, NEC began doing business in Tokyo in 1898, manufacturing telephone and switchboard equipment. The company started exporting in 1909 and became a major global PC and networking corporation by the 1980s.
Today, NEC operates several sub-divisions and joint ventures, producing laptops, PCs, PC graphics cards, networking hardware, radar systems, and electric vehicle batteries in partnership with Nissan. NEC’s projector division operates as Sharp/NEC Display Solutions, a joint-venture with Japanese electronics company Sharp. Sharp/NEC markets a wide range of professional and commercial projector models alongside digital cinema projectors for home use.
Their current installation projectors benefit from high-output, low-maintenance light sources and sophisticated color processing technology. They also offer some projectors with TCO-certified energy efficiency. In addition, they provide portable projectors and ultra-short-throw projectors using the latest imaging technology.
(Pro 1) High Brightness: With advanced technology and multiple light source options, the NEC lineup gets high marks for lamp output. If you’re looking for a bright, high-quality image, NEC has numerous models that may fit the bill. In addition to high-output education projectors, they produce portable and short-throw projectors with over 1,000 lumens of brightness.
(Con 1) App Integration Lags Behind Some Others’: Given that NEC focuses on high-end and commercial solutions, it’s not surprising that their budget projectors may not have the latest smart TV and smart home device integration. Some competitors offer budget projectors with more connectivity options.
(Pro 2) Available DLP Laser Projector Models: Combining the energy efficiency of a laser light source with DLP’s excellent image quality, these models work well in both the home cinema and professional environments. NEC’s laser-phosphor projectors enjoy the advantages of laser projectors while maintaining high brightness with crystal-clear images.
(Con 2) Limited 4K Range: Compared to some of the hottest home theatre projectors from consumer electronics brands, NEC models more often stick with Full HD or WUXGA native resolution formats. This allows for great image quality in most sizes. But if you’re after the very latest in sharpness on very large screens, you may want a higher-resolution projector.
(Pro 3) Flexible Installation Options: NEC Display Solutions offers some highly versatile projectors, with the widespread use of features like lens shift, optical zoom and configurable mounting hardware. NEC also produces models with
(Con 3) Limited Portable Projector Availability: NEC offers lightweight projectors that provide excellent image quality, but they produce fewer truly portable units than some competitors. Those seeking a DLP high-brightness mobile projector or a battery-powered solution may want to look elsewhere.
NEC Display Solutions offers an outstanding range of HD projector and interactive projector models alongside more traditional education and auditorium projectors. They also produce some top-rated home cinema models and low maintenance, high-value, solid-state UST projector units.
You might want to consider a new digital projector if you often give presentations at work. Whether you lecture audiences, deliver sales pitches, or produce whiteboard content, new NEC projectors allow for custom solutions with excellent data image quality. Thus, they work well for medical and science professionals, schools, and businesses.
Alternatively, you might be looking to upgrade your home theater setup with a high-quality projector. Compared to a big-screen TV, a projector affords a unique, more cinematic experience for viewing your favorite movies and playing video games. Today’s projectors can produce a bright image on a 100-inch or larger screen, creating more immersive entertainment than you get from a monitor or TV.
Modern projectors have more computing power and better optics, allowing for higher native resolution and more natural color rendition compared to older units. New NEC models may also employ more efficient light sources, leading to a longer lamp life and cooler operation. Laser light units have a rated lifetime of up to 20,000 hours, compared to older lamps that only promise 1,500-3,000 hours. Thanks to innovations like dust-sealed DLP optics modules, new projectors also run more quietly and have reduced maintenance needs.
Classroom and auditorium projectors generally last anywhere from 3 to 5 years, in normal conditions and under near-constant operation. Home cinema and large venue projectors may remain in use for much longer, depending on service intervals, the installation environment, and the hours of operation.
Most conventional projector lamps come with a rating of 1,000-5,000 hours under normal use conditions. LED and laser projectors have many longer-lasting illuminators, giving about 20,000-hours of use.
Many of NEC’s projectors come with features promoting increased durability and lower maintenance requirements. These may include extensive dust-sealing, automatic cooling circuits, and a power-saving eco mode.
To maximize the lifespan of your home projector, make sure to place the unit in an area with adequate airflow and keep it away from excessive heat, dust, and moisture. Occasional lens cleaning may also help maintain clear, sharp images. During more frequent operation of your projector, check the lamp and lens temperature periodically; if the unit is hot to the touch, allow it to cool or run a cooling cycle, if so equipped.
To prolong the lamp life, use the projector’s eco mode whenever ambient light permits. Eco mode generally lowers brightness output to save energy and reduce wear and tear.
NEC offers a 3-year limited warranty on most of its digital multimedia and cinema projectors. The terms of the warranty depend in part on the type of light source the projector uses. This warranty covers parts and labor, insuring against manufacturing defects, and excludes accidental damage and normal wear and tear.
Laser-driven installation models get an extended 5-year limited parts and labor warranty. The laser light source units come with a 20,000-hour warranty.
Older models, portable models and mini projectors may get 2-year limited parts and labor warranty. OEM conventional lamps get a 500-hour, 1-year limited warranty, and replacement lamp units get 500-hours or 90 days of coverage.
Also included is a 30-day “DOA” guarantee, allowing customers to return and replace any unit found to be dead on arrival.