Sony VPL-VW300ES review

All things bright and beautiful...come with a high price tag.

Sony VPL-VW300ES
All things bright and beautiful

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It may seem ridiculous to be talking about a nearly £6,000 piece of tech being the entry-level option, but that's exactly where we are with 4K projections.

And considering the top 65-inch Samsung JS9500 TV is around the same price while this beamer is able to produce a far larger picture, it starts to make some sense.

For that proper cinematic feel it's hard to beat a big screen projector, especially one that's capable of filling a wall with 4K images.

Sony VPL-VW300ES

We liked

Aside from its ability to spew 4K images, itself a rarity, perhaps the highlight of the VPL-VW300ES is how little attention it needs out-of-the-box.

Both its Bright Cinema and Cinema Film modes are finely tuned for daylight and blackout conditions respectively, with the VPL-VW300ES's ability with nuanced colour and black levels quite something.

Just as appealing in these days of mixed quality video, the VPL-VW300ES manages as sublime performance with Blu-ray and even DVD as it does with native 4K sources.

It even does all this very quietly, especially in the blackout-specific Reference mode. Also, the motorised set-up is enjoyable, easy to do and exact in its results – a real slice of high-end design.

We disliked

It may be substantially shorter than Sony's top-of-the-range VPL-VW1100ES 4k projector, but the VPL-VW300ES remains a big boy beamer that's tricky to host without some careful planning.

Do be careful with Motionflow, which can introduce some obvious flicker and 'rips' around fast-moving objects, though only when on its strongest Smooth High setting.

And, of course, there's that high price. It may well be cheaper than other 4K projectors around, but let's not even pretend that the VPL-VW300ES could be judged good value.

At this price, the lack of 3D specs is a shame, too.


Is there anything wrong with the VPL-VW300ES?

Judged on any purely technical considerations, this 4K SXRD projector just refuses to put a foot wrong.

First, there's great colour and black levels, whatever the ambient light levels. Secondly, awesome Reality Creation tech that brings out Maximum detail from native 4K sources, Blu-ray and even DVD. Thirdly, the exemplary Bright Cinema and Cinema Film 1 & 2 presets and, finally, the hugely flexible optical zoom/lens shift options that make set-up a cinch.

If you've got the money, the space and the 4K source, the VPL-VW300ES is a shoe-in to become the centrepiece of your next home cinema.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),