One of the major benefits to having a wireless network is when a display device has the facility to utilise the connection, therefore removing any copying of content from one drive to another when the devices are several feet away. The NEC NP901W is a rare beast in that it can connect to a network and stream content, making it perfect for either an office or home cinema.
The main difficulty with such a device is how comfortably it sits in both camps, and whether there is a tendency to either side. In the case of the NP901W it seems the focus is more on the office space rather than the home, as movie playback wasn’t particularly stunning on the image quality front. Detail levels were fine, to the point where the likes of text-heavy presentations could be seen with ease from across the room, but the colour quality wasn’t quite as eye-catching as hoped. The reds had some vibrancy to them, but only when pushed by some manual adjustment. In general the NP901W couldn’t quite give the action scenes within a blockbuster the amount of pop they deserved, instead turning out a slightly more muted end product with some greyer shades.
On the office side, performance was quite impressive, though, as the included applications have the ability to convert the likes of Powerpoint files into a readable format for the projector. In fact, the entire setup process is quite simple, in that a program is installed on the intended source computer rather than trying to search through hundreds of nearby terminals on a device not built with network browsing in mind. Instead the files can be tracked down with relative ease and speed, and scrolled through rapidly. The final playback depends on the speed of the network and computer being read from, but with a domestic Wi-Fi setup and two-year-old PC the playback was rapid and only occasionally slowed when other applications were opened.
Paying £900 for a projector does bring with it a certain level of expectation, and the NP901W certainly delivers on the office usage front if not, rather annoyingly, the home cinema front. Even though the functionality is there to play back movies, this unit is better used as a hub projector in a meeting room, and for that task it won’t let you down.
The Wi-Fi connectivity opens up a whole host of practical possibilities, allowing the unit to connect to a nearby network and stream information. The movie playback isn’t the projector’s strong point; instead, its ability to act as the hub for data from various terminals to display slideshows etc proves to be the main advantage.