Gateway 205 DLP Projector review: Gateway 205 DLP Projector

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Small, lightweight design; good contrast ratio; full-featured remote control; stays cool during operation.

The Bad Very low brightness; short AC cable; must sit very far back to project one-meter screen; no speaker; short one-year warranty.

The Bottom Line The Projector 205's excellent portability and features may win over busy travelers, but its low brightness makes it best for very dark rooms.

7.4 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Service and support 7.0

Review summary

Gateway's Projector 205 is one of the smallest and lightest SVGA models out there, but it's packed with features, some of which are available only as options on other entry-level projectors. While this &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwebopedia%2Ecom%2FTERM%2FD%2FDLP%2Ehtml" target="_blank">DLP projector was a bit of a dim bulb on our brightness tests, it should still please traveling professionals who might also want to use it for occasional home-entertainment applications.

The Gateway Projector 205's simple, boxlike design has stylish flair--a metallic-gold case highlighted with a mirrorlike control panel. The protected location of the lens, recessed more than a half-inch into the front panel, might explain the absence of a lens cap, but in a bag, it could still suffer the slings and arrows of travel. The focus ring is easily accessible. A typical selection of connectors is conveniently grouped on the rear panel.

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The projector is small--about the size of a hardcover best-seller--and weighs only 3.8 pounds.
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The mirrorlike control panel gives stylish flair to the typical X-shaped button design.

The projector measures 9.8 by 6.6 by 2.2 inches (W, D, H)--about the size of a hardcover best-seller--and weighs only 3.8 pounds. Packed with a remote control and cables in the soft but flimsy-feeling case, the weight climbs to a still-feathery 4.9 pounds.

The Projector 205 is less adjustable than we'd like. The front leg does not extend very far and provides only six levels of elevation rather than a continuous range. Even when level, the projected image has a definite trapezoidal, or keystone shape, which the device cannot automatically correct. The projector will automatically search for a connected signal source but only when it is first turned on; otherwise, you'll need to switch to the new source via the Source button on the control panel or via the remote. There is also an Auto button that tells the projector to adjust itself to your laptop's signals, but we think the projector ought to handle this on its own.

Gateway's accessory list includes cables for VGA, S-Video, and composite video. A component-video cable for connecting to video sources, such as a DVD player, via the VGA port is an unexpected bonus; usually it costs extra. The composite-video cable contains stereo-audio connectors, but the Projector 205 has no audio capabilities; Gateway says that this is because the company provides the same cable pack for its Projector 210, which does have audio.

The Projector 205 has a native SVGA resolution of 800x600, but it can accept signals at resolutions up to SXGA (1,280x1,024). The lens offers a relatively large optical-zoom range of 1.3X, but it produces small images. To generate our standard image size of one square meter, we had to move the projector back until it was more than eight feet from the screen. The exact placement of the projector is further limited by its relatively short, six-foot AC cable.

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The Projector 205's ports include a USB connector for emulating a laptop's mouse.
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The remote control includes hard-to-find features, such as a laser pointer.

The Projector 205's ports include composite-video and S-Video, as well as a VGA connector, which also handles component-video connections. A USB connector lets the projector emulate a laptop's mouse. Our test unit featured, curiously, a 6W direct-current external power supply, which is of little benefit to a projector with a 150W lamp. Gateway says that this connector has been removed from the latest versions of the Projector 205.

The included, 6.4-inch remote control includes hard-to-find features, such as a laser pointer, plus mouse-emulation capabilities. Unfortunately, those left- and right-mouse buttons, which will probably be used frequently, are placed in a circular shape, which is stylish but difficult to use. The least-used buttons (digital zoom, antikeystoning, and image freeze) reside in a recessed area on the underside of the remote.

Gateway recommends that the projector's bulb be replaced every 1,500 hours--500 hours sooner than most other low-cost projectors suggest. The replacement bulb for the Projector 205 costs $349. To remove the old bulb, you have to unscrew two screws that secure the lamp module cover and one screw that holds the bulb module in place.

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