Photography Tan Wei Te
LW362One advantage of DLP projectors over 3LCD is that you don’t need to change their filters as often. While the PT-LW362 is a 3LCD projector, Panasonic has designed it in such a way that you only need to do it when you replace the lamp. And if you were to use the most energy-saving Eco 2 mode, that’s a long 10,000 hours. Additionally, the filter is easy to get to because the panel is conveniently located on the side.
Equipped with one HDMI, two D-sub, and one composite video inputs, the PT-LW362, which has a native XGA (1,280 x 800) resolution, has you pretty much covered video-wise. For more bang for buck, Panasonic even manages to squeeze in a LAN jack, two USB ports (for functions like USB Display and USB memory viewer) and a monitor output. For admins, the LAN jack is compatible with PJLink control; useful if you need to manage different brands of projectors.
While wireless connectivity isn’t built-in, an optional USB module can be purchased. If you decide to go that route, there are free Windows and iOS/Android apps (e.g., Pixelworks’ VueMagic Pro) that you can use to conduct wireless presentations.
It’s not difficult to get a usable image from the PT-LW362 even if you’re projecting at an angle or onto a curved surface, thanks to its corner keystone and distortion correction features. For color surfaces like a green board, hue adjustment is available too. The lens has a decent 1.2x zoom ratio. While it doesn’t have a throw distance as long as 1.7x zoom projectors like the NEC M323W, you can still easily get a big 100-inch image 3.8m from the screen.
In my tests, the 3,600-lumen-rated PT-LW362 was indeed a very bright projector, though not significantly so compared to most 3,200-lumen 3LCD projectors. As usual, this is only possible in the Dynamic mode, which is the mode we reckon most people would use to combat strong ambient light. Coupled with the Daylight View function, which tries to enhance contrast and details, Arial at 7.5 points looked really crisp and colors punchy. Video performance wasn’t too shabby either, with sufficient details and a high-enough contrast. The built-in monaural speaker is nothing to shout about, but at 10W, it was much louder than the tinny 2W ones seen on many competing models.
AT A GLANCE
Brightness 3,600 lumens
Contrast Ratio 12,000:1
Zoom Ratio 1.2x
Lamp Life 5,000 hours
The bundled white remote is small and doesn’t have a lot of buttons.
A bright and performing projector suitable for classroom and boardroom use. Best of all, it’s not expensive.