Optoma UHD35 projector assessment: Fabulous 4K image for the value

The UHD35 is a 4K projector that prices only some hundred {dollars} greater than many 1080p projectors. It is vivid, has pretty correct colours and appears much better than you may count on of a “finances 4K projector.” And it serves up eye-watering element on a big display screen, the form of sharpness that no 1080p projector can match.

Like

  • Vivid with wonderful sharpness
  • Correct shade
  • Prices solely barely greater than 1080p rivals

Do not Like

  • Mediocre distinction ratio
  • Restricted zoom and no lens shift

Whereas general the picture on the UHD35 seems good, it nonetheless has the identical points frequent amongst projectors comparable in worth. There’s no lens shift, the zoom is minimal and the distinction ratio — a side of picture high quality much more vital than element and backbone — is pretty common. It is also noisy, which is true of all small projectors, however the sound from the UHD35 is extra wheeze than whirr. After which there’s the HDR image high quality, which is improved over the sooner UHD30 however nonetheless not nice.

General although, the UHD35 seems actually good: Vivid, vibrant colours, 4K element, all in a projector that solely prices a number of hundred greater than some nice 1080p projectors just like the Epson HC2250 or BenQ HT2250A. For those who’re seeking to step up in sharpness with out going too far into debt, it deserves sturdy consideration.

4K4U

  • Native decision: 3,840×2,160 pixels
  • HDR-compatible: Sure
  • 4K-compatible: Sure
  • 3D-compatible: Sure
  • Lumens spec: 3,600
  • Zoom: Handbook (1.1x)
  • Lens shift: None
  • Lamp life (Eco mode): 10,000 hours

The UHD35 is a 4K projector and, as you’d count on, can settle for a 4K sign as much as 60Hz. Apparently, it will possibly additionally settle for 1080p as much as 240Hz, in the event you’ve obtained a gaming rig able to such a framerate.

One spec enchancment of the UHD35 over its predecessor is its claimed gentle output, now at 3,600 lumens. The UHD30 was no slouch both, at 3,400. I measured near the identical on each, technically barely much less with the UHD35, however the distinction was nicely inside the vary of measurement error and unit-to-unit variation. The purpose is, they’re vivid.

There is not any lens shift, not a giant shock for a DLP-based projector on this worth vary. The zoom vary can also be quite meager, at 1.1x. So the vary of distance from the display screen is restricted, placement-wise.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

2×2.0 and extra

  • HDMI inputs: 2 (HDMI 2.0)
  • PC enter: Analog RGB
  • USB port: 1 (1.5A energy)
  • Audio enter and output: 1 in, 1 out (3.5mm)
  • Digital audio output: 1 (Optical)
  • Web: None
  • 12v set off: Sure
  • RS-232 distant port: Sure
  • Distant: Backlit

Whereas many different projectors have been dropping inputs, the UHD35 retains a number of that appear virtually anachronistic in a house theater projector in 2021. There’s nonetheless an analog RGB enter, for example.

For the house automation crowd, there are RS-232 and 12v triggers. For the exact opposite of that crowd, if you wish to plug in a speaker on to the UHD35, there are 3.5mm analog outputs and an optical digital output. There’s additionally a USB connection that may energy a streaming stick.

A noticeable change from UHD35’s predecessor is a second HDMI 2.0 enter.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Image high quality comparisons

The BenQ is our choose for greatest PJ for the cash general. It is solely 1080p, however its shade and distinction are so good — and I’ve seen how far above its weight it will possibly punch — it appeared like a logical comparability. The UHD30, one in all our favorites from 2020, is the direct predecessor to the UHD35. I related the 2 Optomas through a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier. The BenQ, being 1080p, obtained its personal supply. I seen all of them, side-by-side-by-side on a 12-foot-wide 1.0-gain display screen.

Among the finest issues about DLP projectors is, usually, how sharp and detailed they’re. They’re the one present show expertise with no semblance of movement blur, so even at 1080p the BenQ may be very sharp, even with movement. Nonetheless, the Optomas are a lot sharper. Projectors and the massive photographs they produce are one of the best ways to see 4K content material. The sharpness does draw the attention, with advantageous particulars like hair, wrinkles, material textures and so forth far more obvious and lifelike with the Optomas. Neither are fairly as sharp because the far more costly LG HU810P, however higher lens optics is likely one of the stuff you get whenever you spend more cash.

Shade-wise, the Optomas and the BenQ are fairly comparable, which is to say good. Not like many DLP projectors, these three have correct colours. So every little thing from background skies and sea, pores and skin tones and hair, all look lifelike. I would give a nod to the UHD35 with HDR content material, however we’ll get to that in a subsequent.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Typically, the UHD35 seems higher than the UHD30 with HDR. This is not as a result of it is brighter, or has a greater dynamic vary. In each instances they’re practically equivalent to the UHD30. It appears Optoma has improved its HDR remapping — the method of changing the HDR supply to greatest match the show’s capabilities. This course of is vital with nearly each show, however particularly with projectors since they’ve neither the sunshine output nor dynamic vary to do HDR nicely. So HDR content material must be remapped to be watchable.

The picture on the UHD35 is, on common, brighter (even with the identical settings). It additionally has far much less banding, an artifact that appears like abrupt bands the place there needs to be easy transitions from vivid to darkish or one shade to a different.

An excellent scene to point out this off is the opening flying struggle from Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The intense sky and clouds on the UHD30 present banding unhealthy sufficient that even informal viewers would surprise if there was one thing fallacious with the projector. The UHD35 would not have this subject, although on some content material I nonetheless noticed some banding. For those who discover it and are bothered by it, you do not lose a lot simply turning off HDR in your supply.

Distinction has by no means been a DLP sturdy go well with and the 4K chips appear worse than their 1080p predecessors. The 2 Optomas have principally the identical distinction ratio, within the mid 600s, which is way lower than the BenQ. It is nonetheless the crowning champ in that regard at over 2,000:1. Because of this the BenQ’s picture has extra depth and extra punch to it. That stated, the UHD35’s 649:1 is on par with just about each different 4K projector I’ve reviewed within the final yr and better than some far costlier projectors.

Which is to say, the BenQ holds its personal in opposition to projectors that price practically twice as a lot and with 4x the decision. That additional decision although — on a 100+ inch display screen and with a distinction ratio that is not unhealthy, plus nice shade — does make the UHD35 eminently watchable.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Extra of the identical generally is a good factor

Aspect by aspect, there is not a large distinction between the UHD30 and the UHD35. That is not a nasty factor. The UHD30 was one in all our favourite projectors final yr — and one I stored going again to once I was between projector evaluations. The brand new mannequin is a bit more colourful, which is definitely pleasing to the attention, and positively decodes HDR higher, even when there’s little actual efficiency profit to the HDR itself. If you have already got a UHD30, there isn’t any cause to improve.

Nonetheless, I feel it is protected to imagine the overwhelming majority of you studying this haven’t got a UHD30 and are coming into this simply in search of a cheap 4K projector. In that case, the UHD35 is nice. It’s vivid, has pretty correct colours and creates an general extremely watchable picture. It isn’t as vivid as some, nor does it have as excessive distinction ratio as others, nevertheless it does supply 4K decision for $1,300 which is a superb deal. If you would like the additional element of 4K, with out sacrificing shade, brightness, or your pockets, but can nonetheless afford spending greater than $1,000 on a projector, the UHD35 is a superb alternative.

Geek Field

Check Consequence Rating
Black luminance (0%) 0.246 Poor
Peak white luminance (100%) 174 Common
Derived lumens 1567 Good
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%) 6.005 Common
Darkish grey error (20%) 4.715 Common
Vivid grey error (70%) 5.681 Common
Avg. shade error 16.955 Poor
Purple error 9.736 Poor
Inexperienced error 21.186 Poor
Blue error 11.857 Poor
Cyan error 27.595 Poor
Magenta error 14.445 Poor
Yellow error 16.911 Poor
Avg. saturations error 8.90 Poor
Avg. shade checker error 8.4 Poor
Enter lag (Recreation mode) 33.6 Good

Measurement Notes

For essentially the most correct image I used the Cinema image mode and the D65 shade temperature mode. This resulted in a picture that was slightly too heat, as in barely missing blue, throughout the brightness vary.

Gentle output was strong in each mode. Within the Cinema mode I measured 174 nits on a 102-inch 1.0 achieve display screen, for a lumen equal of 1567, roughly the identical as different 4K DLP projectors in its class. If you wish to sacrifice shade and shade temperature accuracy, the Vivid image mode bumps that as much as a formidable 308.8 nits, although the general picture is far worse.

Shade is kind of correct, with crimson, inexperienced, blue, cyan and yellow all on or near their Rec 709 targets. Magenta is barely crimson.

Distinction ratio, as typical with 4K DLP projectors, wasn’t nice however roughly the identical as its rivals. On common, I measured a local distinction ratio of 649:1. For reference, that is lower than the 1080p Epson 2250 (1,026:1) and BenQ HT2050A (2,094:1, the very best in school), however greater than the $3,000 4K LG HU810P (490:1). The Dynamic lamp mode tracks the incoming video sign and varies the lamp output accordingly. On this mode, the UHD35 has a dynamic distinction ratio of two,034:1. The Eco+ mode does the identical, however limits the utmost gentle output for higher vitality effectivity. On this mode the dynamic distinction ratio is 1,173:1.

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