Ultra Portable / Portable/Networking & Installation Projectors
Sony projectors are broken down into three different groups - ultra portable, portable/networking and installation projectors. Each type is tailored to meet the requirements of the most typical needs.
There are five different models in the ultra-portable category. The entry level model currently costs around $1300 and offers an SVGA 800x600 display through an LCD projector. Compatibility on this machine is limited to computers, videos and component videos, making it the most suitable for simple presentations that are often being moved around, for instance, a salesperson.
The most expensive model is the VPL-CX70, although the CS7 will also be a high-end model. The CX70 is again an LCD projector, but with a native resolution of XGA 1024x768 and 2000 ANSI lumens, promises as very good performance. At $2200, the price difference is significantly higher, but the higher resolution and brightness could affect the impact of your presentation in a positive way. An LCD projector with this kind of resolution will be able to play videos or DVD's very adequately, but don't expect them to have the same impact as DLP projectors with similar resolution.
The portable projectors range from around $3000 to $6000 in price. The entry-level model effectively gives a high quality ultra portable unit a few more functions such as auto-focus. However, for a relatively low price, the VPL CX75 is also equipped with wireless networking capabilities, and a space for a memory stick, meaning that you don't even need to take your PC for some simple presentations. However, it is the top of the range model that really starts to excite in this class. At twice the price, you have to pay for it, but this is a toy that will really impress in meetings. This is Sony's first projector to support Ad-Hoc networking, which will allow users to come to a meeting with data on their computer and transmit the data to the projector through the peer-to-peer network. The projector can also be hooked up to DVD players and is capable of playing HDTV.
The Installation Projector range is the most expensive area of Sony's projector output. Prices range from around $6000 to $14,000 for the most sophisticated model. Realistically, there is not a great deal that the entry level model in this class offers that the best of the previous class doesn't, but the second model up, the VPL PX40, is designed to operate in bright rooms. This projector produces 3500 ANSI lumens by using 3 LCD panels with a powerful lamp. However, in larger rooms such as auditoriums, or conference halls, the VPL FX51 may provide a better result, although it costs almost twice as much. At over 5000 ANSI lumens, the power of this projector is enough for anyone's demands. Again, the projector uses three TFT LCD panels and strong projector bulbs to create an extremely clear and bright image. This projector has a LAN capability but does not support Ad-Hoc networking.