The NEC NP216G is a compact DLP projector in terms of design. It’s made of sturdy plastic and has most of the controls on the top surface. The projector supports 3D, but there’s no dedicated button to switch to the 3D mode directly. Instead, users have to browse deep into the setup menu to enable 3D support for each input source.
The NP216G supports a native resolution of 1024x768. This isn’t a full-fledged, home entertainment project but is designed more for presentations and similar tasks. NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology is supported, which is pretty unique for a projector these days.
Connectivity to the projector is present through the two D-Sub connectors, an S-Video and a composite connector. 3.5-mm audio connectors are also available for inputting audio from a PC to the projector’s 7W built-in speaker. NEC claims that the lamp life is extended to 5,000 hours with it. Although the NP216 is not an HD projector, it still offers good quality image. Text and fonts appear clear.
We set the projector at a distance of roughly four metres and got an image much larger than 55 inches. The colours on the NP216 are pretty accurate and vibrant. It’s got great black levels and it’s better than most LCD monitors and TVs that we’ve seen. Colour fringing is visible on all white areas of the screens surrounded by a black body. We noticed this across all test patterns, as well as the mouse pointer. In movies, however, the effect is very minimal and doesn’t distract you. We also tried out the 3D Vision feature and were rather surprised.
While a resolution of 1024x768 can only bring in so much detail, the quality of the demos and games that we tried was satisfactory. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX570 connected to the projector using a D-Sub cable and synced to the NVIDIA active 3D glasses.
The NEC NP216 isn’t meant for entertainment, but with a built-in 3D Vision feature, it’s wrong to say that the product is only meant for presentations. Watching movies on it was enjoyable and we think it makes a decent, budget entertainment projector for your home. The ability to view fairly decent 3D content is an added bonus feature, especially for a price of R 60,000.