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Sanyo PLC-XU355 review: Sanyo PLC-XU355

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The Good Wireless connectivity. Quick set-up.

The Bad Picture quality is only average. Can't do wireless network and wireless projection at the same time. Speakers are weak.

The Bottom Line Sanyo's projector is notable for the inclusion of wireless connectivity, but not much else.

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6.9 Overall

Review Sections

Design

Sanyo's PLC-XU355 is a mid-sized projector with a business/education focus. As such, looks aren't its strong suit, and this all-white box won't win any favours with anyone who wants smooth corners or colour choices. It's a functional projector with stiff but not sticky zoom and focus controls built into the lens and a mirror of the main remote control functions on the top of the projector itself.

Features

The PLC-XU355 is an XGA (1024x768) capable projector with a claimed brightness rating of 3500 ANSI Lumens and a relatively low contrast ratio of 500:1. It's a 4:3 standard-definition projector, in other words. Connectivity out the back comes in the form of composite video, S-Video, D-Sub and DVI inputs, as well as RCA stereo to feed the PLC-XU355's 7-Watt speakers.

The PLC-XU355 is network capable, either via a tethered Ethernet cable, or via wireless, which is one of the unit's key selling points. A small USB stick is provided with the PLC-XU355. When plugged into a PC or Mac, it'll allow for wireless mirroring of that system's display via an application supplied on the stick.

Performance

Under wired connections we had no problems with the PLC-XU355, but the same couldn't be said of its wireless performance. For what it's worth, we were unable to get the PLC-XU355 to work with a system running Windows 7 RC 1, but hopefully that's just a driver issue that will be resolved when Windows 7 reaches final release status. Mac OS X is supported, although we did discover one interesting quirk with that connection method — the supplied Network Capture software takes over the in-built wireless connection. This means you can run the projector, or have Wireless network connectivity — but not both. That could be a problem if network connectivity is important to a presentation.

Keeping on the wireless front, we also noticed a definite screen lag when transmitting wirelessly. For many presentations this shouldn't be a problem, unless you're also transmitting or using sound, at which point you'll almost instantly end up out of sync.

Connecting up via DVI for best possible picture, we found the PLC-XU355's video output on a projector screen to be passable but not exceptional, which is pretty much par for the course for an XGA only projector. In video definition terms, its output is only ever going to max out at 720p, so this isn't the home theatre projector of your dreams, although if you just want big and don't necessarily want good, it'll do in a pinch. As a presentation projector it's not too huge or heavy to lug around, and its basic function set combined with quick set-up do give it some appeal.

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