In the world of projectors, it can be hard to find models like the newest Optoma HD27. (Or The Optoma HD29Darbee 1080P Projector). This is a projector which can create insanely bright images with stellar picture quality behind them, all at a price that makes the home theater hobby available to almost every level of potential buyer out there.
Great home projectors are everywhere these days. How does this one stack up?
But even though it’s got a great picture, that’s only one of many components that need to come together to help the complete projector experience shine. Does the HD27 accomplish this in a stylish enough fashion to be nominated to our best home theater projector list for 2017?
Read on in our Optoma HD27 review to find out!
Price: $649 on Amazon
Summary: The Optoma HD27 3D DLP projector offers a premium projector’s picture quality and brightness at a budget price, but user should steer clear if they plan on using the washed-out onboard speaker as their daily driver.
What We Liked
- 8,000 hour lamp life
- Very bright in ambient light
- Stellar picture quality and color reproduction
What We Didn’t
- Settings menu is lacking any real customization
- Onboard speaker hurts the ears
Optoma HD27 Specs
|Screen Size||27.88" - 305.3"|
|Native Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Refresh Rates||60Hz (60Hz in 3D)|
|Display Technology||DMD DLP|
|HDMI Ports||2 1.4/MHL|
|Device Dimensions||9 x 11.7 x 3.7 inches|
Say what you will about Optoma’s no-nonsense approach to design that stretches to almost all of its products, at least you have to admit they’re distinctive. Straight out of the box it was obvious the 11.73″ x 3.7″ x 9.0″, 5.2lb Optoma HD27 was following in the footsteps of about a dozen other projectors before it, including its direct spiritual ancestor, the HD142X.
You wouldn’t be blamed for getting those two projectors mixed up with one another save for their black/white color difference – but that’s okay. Optoma has the right idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” towards their projector lineup, which can in some circumstances stifle innovation, but in this one just gives you a consistent product that never takes any attention away from whatever you’re trying to watch on it.
The Optoma HD27 3D DLP projector uses single DMD-chip DLP technology to create its images at a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a contrast ratio of 25,000:1 and ANSI lumen rating of 3200, with the ability to show an image as large as 305.3″ across from corner to corner at a distance of 32 feet.
Just as they were on the HD142X, port options on the HD27 have been dramatically streamlines with only two HDMI 1.4/MHL ports, a USB power port, one audio out and a lone 3D-sync slot.
User Interface and Settings
The user interface and settings menu of the Optoma HD27 is classic Optoma, with barely any real changes from the menus we’ve seen on their previous four projectors.
One standout here is the color presets, which let you easily swap between settings for “Game, Movie, Motion, and Bright”, all of which have their merits in their particular categories and do look visibly better for whichever medium you happen to be watching at the time.
Testing and Performance
Just as Optoma has gained fame for its no-frills design, it’s also very well known for making incredibly bright, colorful projectors that are priced at a budget compared to some others in the same space with competing picture quality.
At a distance of 10ft in near-total darkness with the projector set to its own preset “Bright mode”, we recorded a rating of 2,311 lux in the middle of the image, with a variable rate of 1,550 – 1,830 lux around the corners. At a distance of 5ft this stat jumped considerably to set an all time record, with 5,431 lux in the middle of the image, and 3,861 at the outermost corners.
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For a sub $700 projector, the picture quality on the HD27 was about as good as it gets in this tier. Thanks in due part to the inclusion of the Rec.709 cinematic color spec, the Optoma HD27 produces rich, vibrant, and expertly textured image quality that easily rivals projectors twice the cost or more.
The HD27 probably won’t be the projector you’d want if you’re a hardcore PC gamer. Even though the aforementioned Rec.709 color really helped some of the content we played shine, the response times and 60Hz limiter made it difficult to keep up the pace with our on-screen enemies during online multiplayer matches. Single-player response times were a bit better though, and if you’re gaming on a console alone, the 60Hz refresh rate still matches up perfectly with the max spec of the Xbox One and PS4 just fine (60FPS).
3D performance on the HD27 was fine, but the locked 60Hz refresh rate made for some quick nausea when we were watching an action scene in Guardians of the Galaxy. If you do a lot of 3D watching, you’re better off with the HD142X thanks to its 144Hz refresh overclock option.
Noise and Heat
The HD27 didn’t run too loudly when we had it performing at max spec, increasing the ambient noise level in our room from 39.1 dB to 45.4 dB. Heat coming off the unit itself was another issue though, with the surface of the unit averaging 128 degrees while the temperature coming from the vent itself maxed at a whopping 165 degrees.
In true Optoma fashion, while the 10W onboard mono speaker that comes stock with the HD27 was plenty loud enough to fill up the room without a problem…boy, did it sound terrible. Anything with the slightest amount of bass caused the whole unit to garble up and shake, while any highs or mids with some treble would send your eardrums running for the hills.
If you’re trying to watch movies or play a few games in a room that gets a lot of ambient light, but don’t have $1,400 to drop on premium options like the Epson Home Cinema PowerLite 1440 or BenQ HT4050, the Optoma HD27 offers a nice middle ground of price and color performance that entry-level customers deserve.
It runs hot around the collar, could sport better gaming performance, and the onboard sound is about one step above an external iPhone speaker – but for everything it lacks, the Optoma HD27 shines where it matters when it comes to its insane, record-breaking brightness and Rec.709 cinematic-quality color reproduction. You won’t find a better 1080p projector on shelves at this price point from a pure picture standpoint, so as long as you have a draft running through your home theater and an external stereo system to hook up to, the HD27 checks off every box.
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