Gadget Review: A projector for home and office

Ricoh’s new PJ WUL5860 laser projector is loaded with features that make it a versatile product for both professional and personal applications

By Anirban Bagchi

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Published: Sun 28 Jan 2024, 4:55 PM

Of all the reasons that may come to your mind for moving to a new house, needing more wall space is usually not among them. You might want to upgrade to a new house if you fall short on floor space, or when a similarly sized apartment is renting for less somewhere. But needing more wall space? That’s pretty rare.

Rare, that is, until you buy the Ricoh PJ WUL5860 projector. In my time with Ricoh’s new multi-purpose projector for business and entertainment these past few weeks, I was tempted to think of moving from my normal, middle class Dubai rental apartment to a Duplex at the least, which could give me high double-storeyed ceilings with walls stretching up to the roof unobstructed by a floor in between. And this had everything to do with the 303-inch screen size that the WUL5860 is capable of projecting.

For context, that is a screen over 25 feet across. Talk about an IMAX theatre at home! The ceiling in my humble abode is, unfortunately, only the standard 10 feet or so above the floor.

But the size of a screen is not everything in projector performance. Usually, the larger you make the screen the worse the picture quality gets, with the images appearing washed out, blurry, drab and generally not in focus, while the contrast goes for a toss.

Not so in this Ricoh. With a whopping 5-million-to-1 contrast ratio, no matter what screen size you view it at, the silhouettes are perfectly crisp and sharp against bright backgrounds and foregrounds, and the details are not lost in the blackness when viewing darker images.

Most importantly, the Ricoh has a native resolution of 1920 by1200 pixels, and is also 4K ready with a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. This makes it full HD, rated at WUXGA high-resolution, and it returns clear, well-defined and detailed pictures, at all screen sizes.

Behind the performance are top-notch features. Rather than using the more common high-voltage mercury lamp, this Ricoh uses a solid-state semiconductor laser light source, which is not only a very bright 4,000 lumens but also has a 20,000-hour long life. And it’s environmentally friendly too, containing no harmful mercury elements.

A highlight feature is the built-in four corners correction function. Installation conditions can often cause image distortion, leading to deformation after set up, especially at the edges. Ricoh deals with that by providing individual adjustments for each corner of the projection screen. When paired with horizontal and vertical keystone adjustments, this enables a perfectly rectangular view, without distortion.

More than a home projector, however, the PJ WUL5860 was intended as a professional tool, for use in office environments and events, for presentations and other allied screenings. And it is full of features that cater to the professional segment as well.

Of course, for a projector with such top-notch specs, PowerPoint presentations are child’s play. This is actually a more accomplished professional tool, returning superior visual performance in a variety of environments with the DICOM-SIM mode, which optimises it for displaying monochromatic and medical images like X-Ray film, MRI scans and tomography images. The built-in speakers, however, are too feeble for anything more than small boardrooms.

In terms of portability, the 5kg weight makes it a breeze to carry in the provided sleeve and slinged carry case, while a dust-proofing rating of IP6X makes it suitable for outdoor use without increasing maintenance costs and reducing service life. This is done by mitigating common issues caused by contaminants, such as image speckling and brightness decline.

Crucially, it also supports 360-degree installation, making it suitable for a wide range of mounting points. You can project it not only on walls but also floors and ceilings. This is a boon for people like you and me, who might use it primarily for home entertainment, giving us the flexibility to aim it at various angles and on to various surfaces in our homes.

The only snag in making it a home entertainment device is the Dh7,250 official price, which is high for a home projector. But when you factor its features and professional capabilities into the equation, it’s perhaps among the best multi-purpose projectors out there.

Now all you need is a Duplex apartment to project it from floor to ceiling!

Ricoh PJ WUL5860 Laser Projector

Hits:

- Great image quality

- Supports various professional formats

- Long life & eco-friendly

Misses:

- High price

- Feeble built-in speakers

Price: Dh7,250

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