Acer Introduces New Projectors in New York


At it’s Next@Acer press conference last week (see Norbert Hildebrand’s Display Daily), Acer Inc. introduced three new projectors, the K138ST, the P5515 and the U5320W. Acer also showed, without formally introducing, the P1285.

Perhaps the most interesting of these projectors was the K138ST. This DLP-based LED projector is said to produce 800 lumens and is targeted at mobile applications. In particular, Acer says the “K138ST is an ultra-portable short throw LED projector with all the essential entertainment features enabling people to enjoy cinema on the go”.

The Acer K138ST LED Projector on static display at Next@Acer

The Acer K138ST has a short-throw lens and is capable of projecting a 100-inch WXGA image with only 1.7m distance to the projection surface. While the full specifications are not available, it is said to be smaller than a sheet of A4 or letter-sized paper and weigh just 0.75kg (1.7lbs). The K138ST has built-in DTS sound audio with 2 x 3W speakers so it can easily be carried anywhere without requiring additional speakers. If external sound is desired, the projector has an audio output jack and supports Bluetooth audio.

The K138ST has what Acer calls “LumiSense+”, an intelligent ambient light sensor. This allows the projector to optimize image brightness and color saturation based on ambient lighting conditions, ideal when carried from place to place. According to Acer, this is the first LED projector with this capability. The company says the projected image is vibrant and sharp with 100,000:1 contrast at WXGA resolution, while built-in Bluetooth audio connectivity allows it to wirelessly stream audio to a nearby Bluetooth speaker or home theater.

Inputs include VGA and HDMI/MHL plus audio input. In addition to the audio outputs, there was a 5V USB port, for charging your phone or powering an external speaker. There was also a DC input port, although the external power supply was not shown at Next@Acer.

The projector was not operating at Next@Acer, which may be just as well. The other operating projectors all looked terrible on the 68th floor of the WTC-4 building with 360° windows and with no curtains surrounding Acer’s demo area. This brightly-lit area with lots of glare was a prescription for poor front projection images. The journalists (including me) at Next@Acer took almost as many pictures (including lots of selfies) out the windows as they did of Acer products.

The Acer P5515 is a 1080p, 4000 lumen projector targeted at the business market, especially mid-sized conference rooms. It has built-in 2 x 10W speakers for sound. In addition to the normal keystone correction, it also supports 4 Corner Correction, enabling users to adjust distortions from any corner, so that images can be projected on sloped or asymmetric surfaces. The unit was not on display at the show.

Another new projector was the Acer U5320W, an ultra-short throw projector that can be placed as close as 23cm (9.1”) from the projection surface, and the ability to project up to 100″ images at a distance of 50cm (19.7”). It also eliminates shadowing and enhances viewing comfort, a significant benefit for classrooms. The U5320W’s WXGA resolution, 3,000 lumens output and 2 x 10W speakers. When paired with an optional Acer SmartPen II, the U5320W is ideal for classroom settings, according to Acer, allowing on-screen writing from up to a 32-foot (9.7m) distance for up to two users, and working as a remote control to encourage interactive learning.

All three of these projectors share a common set of proprietary image enhancement technologies:

  • Acer ColorBoost3D (in the lamp-based projectors) is intended to present true-to-life colors through an optimized 6-segment color-wheel design, advanced lamp illumination technology, and powerful image processing. It can reduce brightness decay and color shift while displaying 2D and 3D content through enhancing color brightness, while also compensating color saturation and color temperature.
  • Acer ColorSafe II technology allows the projectors to be “virtually immune” to color decay. It also uses dynamic RGB gain control, intended to secure color fidelity, even after prolonged use.
  • Acer DynamicBlack improves image contrast by analyzing on-screen content frame-by-frame, then dynamically adjusting lamp power to optimal black levels.

Acer_P1285_Projector_resize.jpgThe P1285 projector is designed to go with Acer’s BYOC concept.

One projector on display was not formally announced, the P1285. Preliminary specifications for the projector say it will have XGA (1024 x 768) resolution, 3200 lumens in the standard mode and 2560 lumens in the ECO mode. Lamp life is said to be 4000 hours in the standard mode, 6000 hours in the ECO mode and 10,000 hours in the ExtremeEco mode.Acer says the projector was optimized for Acer’s BYOC (Build Your Own Cloud) concept. As such, not only does it simplify wireless connectivity, but the Acer rep said it could be used to show four images on the screen at once and these images could be coming from anywhere in the world. – Matthew Brennesholtz