The Acer, with a $3,999 list price, is certainly price competitive with all those slightly lower resolution pixel shifters from Epson and JVC, although if you spend $1K more than the Acer, there’s the true 4K Sony VW285ES. That’s lamp based, but offering comparable black level performance, and real native 4K. Also more placement flexibility, and even an extra feature or two. But, besides the higher price of the Sony, remember you are getting a lamp, not a laser. Sony true 4K laser home theater projectors start at $24,999!
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If you are on a tighter budget and can life with the trade-offs, the Epson 5040UB currently selling in the low $2,000 range, matches/slightly beats the black levels of the Acer, and is feature loaded (including Lens Memory for going “wide screen”), but the Epson is not as ultimately sharp, being a 1920x1080 x 2 pixel shifter, vs the Acer’s single chip design and 2716x1528x2 pixel shifting.
Also 4K capable but still not as high resolution, the JVC RS440 is in house right now, and will be reviewed shortly. There, for about the same price, you get world class black level performance – superior to the Epsons, Sonys, and this Acer. But, you get less brightness overall, and like the Epson it is inherently, two very small steps down in resolution – slight as those differences are. Again, however, the JVC is lamp based, and its lamps don’t last as long, as say, the Epsons, and JVC charges far more (around $300 street) for their branded lamps, than most companies for replacement lamps.
That’s a quick placement of the VL7860 relative to the current competition, and as you can see from my summary, the Acer looks to be very competitive, compared to most projectors above, below, or around its price. You’ll just have to figure out if it is the right projector for your setup.
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