Despite its thin and flimsy carry case, the NP905G2 projector straddles the line between portability and a full feature set very nicely.
The NP905G2 is a solid LCD projector in a white/silver casing. Measuring in at 310x289x125mm and with a carrying weight of 3.7kg, this isn't the most portable of units, although NEC does throw in a rather flimsy carrying case if your shoulders are made of stern enough stuff.
In what seems to be an increasing trend in business projectors, the NP905G2 looks functional with decent rounded lines and (in the age of the iPod) enough white plastic to keep the fashion crowd happy.
The NP905G2 has adjustable feet at the back, as well as a single drop-down foot at the front. On first inspection, we thought the front foot might be a touch wobbly in operation, as it is surprisingly small, but it's a testament to the industrial design of the NP905G2 that it holds up rock solid, even at full extension.
There's one word for the NP905G2's remote, and that word is "big". Then again, rather than dump a ton of functionality behind slow menus, NEC's taken the step of putting just about everything you might want to do with the projector onto the remote, from source control to lamp mode to lens shift to ... well, we could keep on going, but we'd be here all day. The one downside to all these task buttons is that the remote is incredibly busy, and it can take you some time to work out where a particular function hides.
On the technical side, the NP905G2 is a widescreen LCD projector with a top resolution of 1,024x768 and an ANSI rating of 3,000 lumens. On the input side, the NP905G2's video support is a curious mix of high and low end, with composite, S-Video, multiple RGB and HDMI, although no component.
Then again, this isn't a home theatre projector, so component is unlikely to be missed much. Those pondering to sneak the NP905G2 home of a weekend for a bit of sly Olympics watching should note that while it'll support HD signals up to 1080p, the maximum resolution means it'll be downscaling most HD content. Other ports include LAN, USB (for connecting up a keyboard and mouse for remote PC control). Wireless networking is also an option.
The NP905G2 supports the Windows Network Projector function built into Windows Vista for direct network connection — presuming, that is, that your business has made the switch to Vista.
We set up and tested the NP905G2 with a variety of video sources, and were immediately impressed at the quality of the images it offered, both still and moving. In a room with a lot of other ambient light, images were crisp and clear, and even moving the projector around (to simulate set-up problems) we were able to smoothly adjust the screen geometry and get workable presentations up and running. Automatic adjustment based on sources worked well, and once we'd wrapped our heads around the intricacies of the remote, any adjustments were made with a minimum of fuss.
NEC rates the lamp life of the NP905G2 at between 2,500 and 3,500 hours, depending on whether normal or economy mode is used. With replacement bulbs carrying an RRP of $572, running costs works out between 16-22¢/hour, which is good value.
The NP905G2 sits in a curious middle ground for presentation projectors; while it's got a lot of features that could work well in a portable setting, it's hampered somewhat by its size.
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