Small and light, yet incredibly powerful - the Epson 1781W is a highly portable business projector that combines simple setup with great usability.
Light and slim design
Great image quality
No Bluetooth connectivity
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Projectors are becoming an increasingly popular way for businesses to liven up their boardroom, taking over from the days of having to crowd around a laptop, or spend time connecting up confusing networks of wires.
Epson's PowerLite 1781W projector is the latest offering that looks to provide such services, all packaged in a slender design that can easily be packed up and taken to a meeting.
As the name suggests, one of the stand-out features of the PowerLite 1781W is its lightweight build. Weighing in at just 1.67kg, the device is ultra-portable, which is incredibly useful if you need to take it to a meeting or presentation.
Thanks to its slimlime design, measuring in at 5cm tall and 29cm long, equivalent to many modern laptops, carrying it around is a breeze - and the device will easily slip into most laptop bags or rucksacks (if you don't want to use the handy carry-case Epson provides you with). There's also a two year warranty in case of any slips or spills, but the plastic body looks like it can withstand much of what a modern office should throw at it.
Setting the device up to start projecting is easy, with a small kickstand operated by a simple switch, and a lengthy power cable ensuring there should be no need to scrabble around for the right connections.
The PowerLite 1781W has a lamp life of up to 7,000 hours in Eco mode, and 4,000 hours in normal mode - more than enough for a couple of year's video-conferencing or film-watching.
The Epson 1781W is incredibly easy to set up, featuring a straight-forward plug and play process to get the device up to speed quickly. Along with a standard USB-A connector, there's also a USB-B port, along with HDMI and traditional computer and audio inputs, and both Mac and Windows platforms are supported.
This allows you to quickly connect up to your laptop or PC, with the Epson 1781W coming with speedy Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to present wirelessly from a laptop, tablet or even your mobile phone. There's no Bluetooth connectivity, but our tests found the Wi-Fi connection to be reliable and responsive across a number of devices.
Brilliantly, the USB connection also means that you can play direct from a portable device such as a USB storage drive, so there's no need to carry your computer to a meeting - as the projector's remote can be used to navigate through a presentation or product video.
Overall, the Epson 1781W is one of the easiest products to set up and use that we've ever seen, which is a major plus point for a business-focused device.
Along with its easy setup process, the Epson 1781W packs some of the highest-quality image projection we've seen for some time.
There's no 4K, with a native resolution of 1280x800 WXGA resolution, but this is barely an issue, with static images, HD video, and live streaming via videoconferencing all broadcast available in extremely high widescreen quality. With a brightness measured at 2600 lumens, the output is always clear and vibrant, thanks to Epson's own 3LCD 3-chip technology, and can be quickly adjusted for varying light levels.
The PowerLite 1781W comes with a throw range of between 30-300 inches (around 76cm - 7.62 metres), making it ideal for use in rooms of all sizes. The zoom option allows for further scaling without losing image quality or definition, making this an ideal device whether you're a start-up or a multinational business.
As the Epson 1781W is LCD-based, there's a lack of 3D projecting, but as that technology is yet to become widely-popularised, this won't be too much of a loss for many users.
There's a wide range of settings and playback options for the PowerLite 1781W, which can be accessed via the remote, or even through the device itself thanks to a number of easy access buttons on the top panel.
Unfortunately, the sound quality from the device is quite weak, with the Epson 1781W not packing the same audio punch that its high quality images deserve. If you are looking to play videos or audio as part of your daily use, it might be worth investing in some better speakers.
As with many projectors, heat can also sometimes be an issue, with part of the device getting rather warm once it gets up to speed, but this quickly cools down after shutting off.
But in summary, the PowerLite 1781W is an extremely high-level and top-quality projector.
With projectors now a common sight in homes and businesses these days, the need for an affordable and portable device is more important than ever.
It's fair to say that the Epson PowerLite 1781W ticks many of the boxes required for a top-notch projecting solution.
The slim and light build of the device helps it stand out from the crowd in terms of usability, making the PowerLite 1781W ideal for carrying around to multiple locations, and the incredibly useful plug-and-play functionality making it stand out from the crowd.
But this is also coupled with high-quality image and video capability, allowing for high-end viewing wherever you are, and making this a pretty smart choice if you're in the market for a new projector.
Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.
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