Acer P5260i wireless projector review

4 out of 5
£599

For

Wireless, sub £600, HD

Against

Some colour wheeling

The P5260i DLP projector is essentially aimed at businesses. Upon its launch in June, Acer described the new wireless model as "designed to offer cable-free projection in various presenting environments".

Software bundled with the projector reaffirms this. You get Acer eView Management which adjusts your projector settings to suit any lighting environment and any type of content, and includes a Blackboard Mode, that allows users to project onto a traditional green chalkboard without the need to set-up a separate white screen.

Then there’s the Acer Quad-View technology, that divides the projection screen into four sections, allowing the user to display content from different PCs simultaneously.

There’s also the Acer eTimer Management tool that provides an onscreen visual cue to help keep presentations on schedule, and Acer eProjection Management for easy set-up of a video conference.

But is it suitable for a home environment?

Design wise, it fits right in. It’s 299 x 229 x 93mm and weighs in at 2.9kg so is fine on a shelf, but is also sleek and curvy so doesn’t stand out.

You can get an image anything between 58-762cm and the projector can be as close as 1m to the wall or screen, or up to 11.9m away. You have to be careful with positioning as the P5260i doesn’t have horizontal keystone correction.

Tech-wise this is a mid-range model. We weren’t blown away by the depth of the projected image. There was colour wheeling in some movies too, but it wasn’t distracting. The contrast ratio is a middle of the road 2000:1. At 2700 ANSI Lumens, it definitely wasn’t bright enough to have withstood daylight, but was sharp and bright with the curtains closed.

The Native XGA resolution on this HD projector is 1024 x 768 but the key feature of this machine, which really sets it apart from other projectors in its price range, as it features wireless technology based on 802.11b/g protocols that supports 1080i and 720p HD video projection.

This really does make a difference as, if you don’t want to spend cash on hiding cables in walls or putting them under carpets, you are then stuck with wires criss-crossing your lounge with most projectors.

The P5260i’s HD streaming video projection supports MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV9, AVI, DivX 3.11, 4x, 5x, XviD, ASF and VOB files (without encryption).

But what was really impressive is how easy the whole home cinema system is to get running, whether you are wireless or not. For wireless viewing, you use the included dongle and then follow the instructions that you can download from the Internet (or use the booklet provided). You can also download software if you need to. I couldn’t however, connect to the Internet wirelessly and use the projector wirelessly at the same time, which was a bit of a pain when I wanted to watch content from the BBC iPlayer.

For wired viewing, the P5260i has Analogue RGB, Component Video (D-sub), Composite Video (RCA), S-Video, DVI (HDCP), HDMI (Video and HDCP),and PC Audio (Stereo mini jack) inputs.

The fan was quietish, but there are also in-built speakers to distract from this, although for better movie viewing, it’s best to connect up to your home speakers.

Verdict

But overall – for ease of use, its wireless capabilities, and sub £600 price tag, this projector is definitely one for your Christmas list if you’re feeling cheeky.