Optoma jam-packs its EzPro 737 projector with technogoodies. In addition to picture-in-picture, monitor loop-through, and one of the best remote controls in the business, the EzPro 737 can tap into a wide variety of video sources. Unfortunately, the profusion of features can't hide the performance problems. The EzPro 737 needs to tweak its output before it can compete with the likes of the Mitsubishi XD50U or the Dell 3200MP. The EzPro 737 measures 9.68 by 8.27 by 2.8 inches (W, D, H), making it a little bigger than the Dell 3200MP. Its gray-and-silver magnesium case is tough enough for daily travel, and its travel weight (including cables) is 5.1 pounds, placing it right in the middle of the pack weightwise.
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|The EzPro's travel weight is right in the middle of the pack.||The top control panel's seven-button layout lacks dedicated keystone-correction buttons.|
The top control panel's seven-button layout lacks dedicated keystone-correction buttons, but the menu button yields a wealth of features. Our favorite is the White Segment control, which lets you adjust the imaging chip's color wheel. The menu's earthy color scheme can be hard to read, however. There are also LED indicators for power, temperature overload, and lamp life.
All of the EzPro 737's input connections lie along the back; they're well marked, but the type is too small to read in the dark. The power outlet is on the side.
With a single front leg and a threaded rear leg, the EzPro 737 is easy to set up and balance. To get the projected image just right, the system has a 20 percent optical zoom, but it requires a long 7.4 feet to fill a one-meter (diagonal) screen. The EzPro 737's long list of features belies its size. Unusual bonuses include picture-in-picture and a VGA-out port for adding a monitor or a second projector. An M1-DA connector covers DVI, VGA, and composite video; an M1-A to VGA/USB cable is included, but the others are $40 to $45 extra. Cables are also included for the S-Video, VGA-out, audio, and RS-232 serial ports. They all fit into the included, padded case. No international cables come with the projector.
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|Cables are included for the EzPro's S-Video, VGA-out, audio, and RS-232 serial ports.||The EzPro 737's remote control is one of the best we've seen.|
The DLP-imaging engine creates rock-solid XGA images and can accommodate sources from 640x350 to 1,280x1,024. The world's television standards are covered: it can project DVD and HDTV signals, as well as NTSC, PAL, and SECAM.
The EzPro 737's remote control is one of the best we've seen. It stays in contact with the projector's twin infrared windows up to 20 feet away. Presentation pros can page forward or back through slides or use the laser pointer. A door conceals dedicated controls for keystone correction, volume control, mute, zoom, freeze-frame, and the menu. The large navigation disc can move your computer's cursor, but you'll need to keep the remote's door closed for it to work.
The 150-watt bulb has an estimated life of 2,000 hours. The projector warns you 30 hours before the lamp's demise. The replacement module sells for $400 or 20 cents an hour. In CNET Labs' &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edisplaymate%2Ecom">DisplayMate tests, the EzPro 737's 425:1 contrast ratio was its sole performance highlight. Its measured brightness of 948 ANSI lumens trailed the group's scores. The color temperature was slightly cool at an average of 5,983 degrees Kelvin. Color balance was just as disappointing; the EzPro 737 missed many shades of blue, purple, and orange, and it came up short in the yellow-green range. It could display only 213 of our standard 255 levels of gray, and what it showed was bluish. The worst part was that the image had only 59 percent uniformity from corner to corner, with blotches of white and dark.
CNET Labs contrast ratio tests (Longer bars indicate better performance)
The projector operates within generally pleasant parameters. It warms up quickly--48 seconds, by our count--but it takes a long 2 minutes, 13 seconds to shut down. We measured a moderate 159 degrees Fahrenheit at its exhaust port, but the top of the case gets hot to the touch during operation. Its 38dB of fan noise is the quietest (by a hair) of the group.
CNET Labs brightness tests (Measured in ANSI lumens)
The 32-page electronic manual covers the basics. Optoma's Web site offers an online throw calculator, downloadable manuals, and data sheets, as well as troubleshooting tips, FAQs, and a glossary. You can e-mail tech support or check out the discussion boards. If you need to talk to a technician, it's a toll call on weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. A recent call put us on hold for 12 minutes.