Very bright with plenty of connectivity options. If you’re shopping for an oﬃce projector, shortlist this.
NEC’s ME331W is a multiple-purpose projector with a native 1,280 x 800 (WXGA) resolution. Based on 3LCD technology, it’s designed for business use, which is why NEC is keen to tout the beamer’s various eco features, including its long lamp life (up to 9,000 hours using Eco mode), and a mere 0.45W power consumption in standby mode.
In addition to its 3,300 lumens of brightness (in High Bright mode), the ME331W sports a 6,000:1 contrast ratio (with iris tech employed), 1.7x manual zoom, and a built-in 20W monaural speaker. Like most NEC projectors, you get a plethora of I/Os, including two HDMI inputs for digital sources and a wired LAN port. For certain settings where a secondary screen is needed (e.g., teachers who need to see the presentation on their own monitor), the projector also has a 15-pin mini D-Sub port for video output. While wireless networking is supported by the system’s software, you need to buy a separate dongle.
Setting up the projector is straightforward, thanks to clearly labeled buttons and features like auto power on, auto vertical keystone correction, and wall color correction. Wireless presenting using smartphones and tablets can be easily done through NEC’s MultiPresenter app, and there’s even a virtual remote tool for direct PC control.
Performancewise, at High Bright mode, the ME331W easily crosses the 3,300 lumens NEC has listed in its specs. That said, at this brightness level, the lamp will last at most 4,000 hours. For dimmer rooms, Eco mode is the way to go; but this mode will cut the brightness by about 50%.
For the most part, data projection is great, exhibiting sharp text and vibrant colors. There’s a slight green cast in High Bright mode though, so for photo-heavy presentations, switch to other presets like Presentation or sRGB. The Movie preset is well-tuned for motion pictures, oﬀering good contrast without sacrificing too much light output (~2,500 lumens). Some minute artifacts and black-level crushing are still present, but I won’t consider them deal-breakers.
To conclude, the ME331W is an all-rounder. The 1.7x zoom lens oﬀers flexibility, it plays nice with mobile devices, and the 20W speaker can go pretty loud.
The ME331W has both digital and
analog inputs, including HDMI and
AT A GLANCE
1,280 x 800 (WXGA)
Up to 3,300 lumens
Up to 9,000 hours (Eco)
By Ng Chong Seng Pictures NEC