Sony's cheapest 4K laser projector should steer you away from a big TV

Sony's cheapest 4K laser projector should steer you away from a big TV

Sony has just unveiled its latest two 4K laser projectors, and while one of them has the kind of premium price we'd normally expect for these things, the second is smaller and much more affordable and offers the same picture-quality technology. . This makes Laser 4K a very tempting alternative to a big screen TV.

The new smaller and cheaper option is called the Sony VPL-XW5000ES. Sony claims it's "30% smaller and 35% lighter" than the Sony VPL-VW790ES model that its two new projectors effectively replace, meaning it'll be much easier to place on a shelf or mount to the ceiling, and it usually means that you are more likely to be able to accommodate it in one room. Its exact dimensions are 18,1 x 7,9 x 18,6 inches / 460 x 200 x 472 mm.

Sony's XW5000ES puts out 2000 lumens of brightness, but achieves this with a 30% reduction in power consumption per lumen compared to the previous model, meaning it's more efficient (and therefore hopefully cooler and quieter) than previous laser options.

The Sony VPL-XW5000ES will retail for €5,999 / €5,999 (AU TBC price) when it launches in 'summer 2022' - expect July or August. Obviously it's still a very high price compared to what most people pay for a 4K TV, but it's more or less in line with the best 4K projectors and, what we're really interested in, also makes it competitive with the best 85K projectors. best XNUMX inch tvs.

The likes of the Samsung QN95B cost more for an 85-inch model... and they're obviously only 85-inches. This projector is made to get bigger, much bigger, for the same price.

The Sony VPL-XW7000ES is the big brother of the VPL-XW5000ES, although it's really not too big at 18,1 x 8,3 x 20,4 inches / 460 x 210 x 517 mm. However, its price is much higher at €27,999 / €14,999, which is much closer to the prices we're used to seeing for elite laser projectors.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector in living room showing basketball while 3 people watch from the sofa

Let's ignore the crude editing of this image and focus on the fact that these projectors are also available in white! This is the XW7000ES (Image credit: Sony)

For that extra money, you get a brighter 3200 lumens output, a new 70mm lens that promises even sharper focus across the frame, and a "Live Color Enhancer" feature designed to give more vivid colors where possible, while smartly secures things like skin. the tone does not become unreal.

Both models use the same "world's smallest" 0,61-inch SXRD panel for projection, with native 4K resolution. Both also feature Sony's X1 Image Processor, which has been proven in many popular Sony TVs. Excellent motion processing and upscaling to HD are two of the hallmarks of this processor, but perhaps most exciting are its 'HDR Remaster' capabilities - it's great to take SDR from hardware and give it an HDR look while maintaining realism in the image. . For those with a library of HD Blu-rays, these might be the best projectors available today.

And overall, you can expect high-end HDR performance from these projectors thanks to their lasers. Like the best OLED TVs, laser projectors can go full and true black in the areas that need it, meaning you get amazing contrast and range.

Finally, these models even promise to be perfect for gaming. At 4K 60Hz, Sony says you can expect around 20ms of lag, while at 2K 120Hz, Sony says to expect 13ms, which is competitive with the best gaming TVs. The only downside is that it can't do 4K 120hz, but gaming TVs don't come in 120-inch sizes, so we'll call that a giveaway.