Audible Noise, Networking
The Epson PowerLite W29 has a specification for producing 37 dB of fan noise in the lamp’s Normal mode. In fact, the projector was a lot louder and pulsed, emitting 44.5dBA of fan noise 36-inches from its exhaust. While we don't usually measure the audio levels of this class of projector and a single point doesn't tell you a lot, the W29's fan seemed particularly loud. It shouldn’t be a disruptive influence in the classroom if the projector is mounted on the ceiling, away from students and teachers to dissipate the noise.
The PowerLite W29 has the ability to connect with just about any school’s network via its RJ-45 port in the back. There’s an optional $99 USB-based WiFi adapter as well, which plugs into the W29’s USB slot. While Epson takes $120 off the price of the projector for schools, everybody pays the same $99 for the WiFi adapter.
The good news is that you don’t need the WiFi adapter to get the most out of the PowerLite W29. You can connect the projector to a wired network and be able to connect with phones and tablets using WiFi. Epson’s free iProjection app for Androids and iOS systems starts by searching for a compatible projector. It found the nearby PowerLite W29 on the first try. Within a minute I was able to take control of the projector by using the app to mimic the projector’s remote control’s features.
Later, I sent the projector photos, documents and Web pages from a phone. Unfortunately, the software doesn’t allow mirroring what’s on the screen. This might make it useful for a digital show-and-tell lesson.