If you own or have owned a projector, you are likely aware that they tend to have some drawbacks when compared to TVs. A few that come to mind include loud fan noise, dim projections in bright places, and failing lamps.

Panasonic’s new PT-VMZ50 Series takes aim at all of these issues while also managing to deliver it in the “world’s smallest and lightest” form-factor in its class. With the release of its new series, Panasonic may help pave the way for better projectors across the board.

Features & Specs

Brightness is a feature that matters a lot when it comes to projectors. The projector that I own has a 3,000 lumen output, which is not too bad compared to many out there. That being said, I typically have to pull the blinds when using it so there isn’t a struggle when watching movies, TV shows, or playing video games.

Panasonic’s PT-VMZ50 Series consists of five units that are largely defined by brightness and display resolution. The PT-VMW60 and PT-VMZ60 are the brightest of the two, with a 6,000 lumen brightness. PT-VMZ50U and PT-VMW50U come in second place with 5,000 lumens, and finally the PT-VMZ40U is the lowest performer in its release with 4,500 lumens.

The models with a ‘Z’ in them project a resolution of 1920 x 1200 while the ‘W’ offerings are only capable of 1280 x 800. The lack of 4K output seems a bit shocking at first, but since Panasonic is primarily marketing these units to schools and businesses, it is not too surprising after all.

Design

When you hear “smallest and lightest” you are probably thinking that these must be tiny. In comparison to many home theater projectors, they are not. The reason these garner the prestigious title of smallest and lightest in the world is because of the performance that they offer.

With most of the new units measuring around 16 x 5 x 14-inches, Panasonic’s new projectors are quite a bit smaller than competitors like ViewSonic’s PRO9510L that tack on a fair amount of volume with dimensions like 18 x 6 x 13-inches.

“Panasonic’s history of innovation continues with the expansion of our new series of high brightness portable LCD laser projectors,” said Scott Wellington, Projector Senior Product Manager, Panasonic Imaging and Visual Systems. “The new PT-VMZ50 Series sets a new standard in portable LCD laser projectors. Its small, compact and lightweight body make it easy to move.”

Pricing & Availability

While Panasonic has not yet provided pricing information, the new models may be in-line with what comparable projectors from ViewSonic and Optoma are fetching. The company plans to begin shipping models as soon as March of this year, with every model being available for order by the end of June. Head over to Panasonic’s website to learn more.


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