Sony VPL-VW285ES Projector Review

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Sony VPL-VW285ES Projector Review

In a world full of "fauxK" projectors that upscale lower resolutions to 4K, it's hard to find a projector that offers a true 4K display. Only a few native 4K projectors exist, but the only ones anyone deems worthy of buying come from Sony.

"The VPL-VW285ES is Sony's entry-level 4K projector, but it has boss-level image contrast."

The VPL-VW285ES is Sony's entry-level 4K projector, but it has boss-level image contrast. If you don't mind spending $3,000 more for upper management contrast and the ability to save your zoom, lens focus and shift settings, we recommend the VPL-VW385ES. If not, we're confident the VW285ES will still exceed your expectations for high quality images.

What Kind of Bulb Does It Use?

This projector uses an ultra high performance (UHP) lamp that lasts up to 6,000 hours. UHP lamps require a brief cool down period after you turn them off before you can turn them back on again. You can buy a replacement bulb for $500.

What Works

  • This projector creates beautiful images. With great image contrast, several pre-calibrated picture settings, 4K resolution, 3D compatibility, and resolution upscaling, you're guaranteed to enjoy whatever content you're watching.

  • The VPL-VW285Es is an affordable native 4K projector. There's a lot of confusion on the market over what a true 4K projector is. Currently, Sony is the only company delivering 4K projectors without significant picture compromises.
  • As usual, Sony is on the minimalist side of the port game, but offers the right amount of options. There are two HDMI ports, a USB port, an ethernet port, and, not one, but two 12V triggers for your screen/speaker automation needs.

  • This projector uses an LCoS technology which means it doesn't display rainbow artifacts on the screen.

What Could Be Better

  • This projector doesn't have Sony's Picture Position feature. This feature allows the projector to remember your lens zoom, focus, and shift settings in different modes.

  • Gamers can't take full advantage of this projector's features. Even with input lag reduced to its lowest point, the lag is measured at 36ms at 1080p and 55ms in 4K. Additionally, the projector will down-scale 4K, 10-bit video game content to 8-bit. Reviewers note that gamers might have a better experience at 1080p in general, making this a poor choice for even casual gamers hoping for an upgrade.

Warranty and Customer Service

Sony's customer service team is responsive and thorough. Projector repairs and parts are covered under a three-year warranty while the projector lamp is under a 90-day warranty. You can return this projector under Best Buy's 15-day return policy and Amazon's return policy. 

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The Gizmos Team