Four short throw projectors review

Projecting at a short distance


Acer U5520B

The fact that many manufacturers have business use in mind for their ultra short throw projectors is immediately clear when looking at the first projector in this test. The U5520B truly is a business model, which comes with a bracket that allows it to be mounted directly to the wall. The device has an average price of over 1217 pounds / 1360 euros, which makes it the most expensive participant in this test.

The projector can only be used when it is hanging; a possibility to rotate the image is missing. The device has a big mirror in the front that reflects the image of the lens to the screen. The U5520B uses a full hd DLP chip, as do all other projectors in this test. It also has a 280 watt light source, which is supposed to be able to produce 3000 lumen.

Acer U5520B

The performance of the U5520B is reasonable. As is usually the case with business projectors, the device is primarily optimized to have a brightness that is as high as possible. This is done well, because with the exception of the Optoma GT5000 that we cover later, the U5520B generates the brightest image. In part thanks to the big mirror the image is also uniform in terms of brightness and the distortion of the image is minimal as well.

Unfortunately the contrast is disappointing and ends up at only 641:1. The projector gives dark parts quite a boost, which results in an average gamma value of 3 and an image that is clearly too bright across the board. The colour balance is slightly blue, but this is pretty constant across the board. The colour quality is reasonable, although it is worth mentioning that especially the coverage of green is not that great with the U5520B. The projector is unable to saturate this colour enough in order to show the entire Rec.709 or sRGB range. Add to that the fact that the projector cannot show red and green bright enough, the end result is a slightly flat and colourless image.

Acer U5520B

The U5520B does not have a game mode and in all modes we tested the input lag was 52 ms, which is not a great score if you want to play video games. The noise levels are quite high as well: at a distance of 10 centimeters we measure nearly 50 dB right above the device, which is considerably higher than all other models in this test. The image processing of the projector is unfortunately not great: with an HQV score of only 50 points the U5520B ends up in last place at the moment.

All in all it is clear that this is not a projector for home use. The device primarily stands out because of its bright image, good image sharpness and geometry. This is fine for in the board- or classroom, but not a great choice for in the living room.


four products discussed in this review

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