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Acer PD727 review: Acer PD727

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The Good Good brightness. Solid construction. Looks the part of a business projector.

The Bad Bad rainbow effect.

The Bottom Line Acer's built an impressive looking projector. The images it throws out, however, are less impressive than we'd like.

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6.0 Overall

Review Sections

Design
The PD727 is a large projector -- 350 x 282 x 119mm ain't small by any stretch of the imagination -- and at a neat 4.0kg, it's not entirely portable, either. Then again, notebook PCs used to be sold in that weight range on their portability, so anything's possible. The basic design of both the projector and its remote is functional and without much in the way of pizzazz. This is a functional, business-themed projector, so that's quite a suitable design choice.

Features
The PD727 is a DLP projector with a native resolution of 1024x768 and a maximum 1,600x1,200 resolution. Acer rates it as having a contrast ratio of 2500:1 and a brightness of 3,700 ANSI Lumens. The company rates the lamp within the PD727 as good for up to 2,000 hours in normal presentation modes. In layman's terms, it's very bright and should display colours well -- at least in theory.

Connectivity options are quite varied, which is unusual for a business-themed model. Unsurprisingly, it supports D-Sub and DVI connections for laptops and PCs. Surprisingly, it's also home to an HDMI connector, which is far more in the territory of home theatre projectors. Component and RCA connectors are also offered - there's really not much you couldn't plug into the PD727 in real terms.

It's clear, though, that this is a projector that's been built with boardrooms, not living rooms in mind. The most striking example of this is in the audio outputs -- the PD727 has one, and it's a measly 3.5mm headphone style audio jack. No matter how you cut it, your Blu-ray disc of Spider-Man 3 is not going to sound good coming out of that.

Performance
We tested the PD727 with our standard Displaymate tests, as well as a variety of business materials. As it came with an HDMI connector, we also plugged in a Playstation 3 and let it rip with some HD entertainment options, although we strongly doubt many PD727 units will see much of a portable or home entertainment life like this.

There's a common problem with DLP projectors, known as the "rainbow effect". It happens when the colour wheel on the projector doesn't quite spin fast enough to fool the eye into seeing the projected image as a single colour; instead what you see is a slight rainbow across all colours. It's a somewhat subjective thing; some people see a rainbow in any DLP projection, while others see none. The PD727 suffered pretty badly from the rainbow effect, which is a great pity, as otherwise its image presentation was very good indeed, with superb brightness and generally very good image presentation.

As a business projector, the PD727 does have a lot going for it, not the least that you could connect any number of AV sources to it for your presentation purposes. While its general presentation was good, the extremely noticeable rainbow effect that we experienced is a definite negative, and one that makes it a hard projector to recommend.

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