We sat and compared the Sony VPL-VW350ES 4K Projector with some of the high end 1080p projectors for hours. What we saw was the incredible improvement in picture quality that we've heard for the better part of 5 years now. The VW350ES 4K projector blew us away. Granted, it's a $10,000 piece of high end equipment, this projector is worth every penny. And if you can fork up the money for it, wow.
Surprisingly though, the Sony VPL-VW350ES isn't at the lower end of the spectrum with regards to price. It's one of the few mainstream projectors that brings true 4K resolution to the market though. 4K is a newer technology that still demands a high price tag, but boy is it an improvement over 1080p.
The VPL-VW350ES has a pretty straight forward design. Its exterior is rectangular-ish with rounded edges along the top. It comes in a charcoal gray color with a matte finish to blend easily with your home theater ceiling. The lens is surrounded by a glossy black finished front.
The inputs are hidden on both the left and right side of the projector, as well as on the bottom of the body. The power chord is conveniently located at the lower back side. It's dimension are 18.25W x 7.7H x 19.5L inches and it weights 31 pounds. Not incredibly large, however it's a big projector.
The remote control for the VPL-VW350ES is a little bulky as well. But it's incredibly easy to use because of its size. It has shortcuts for the 9 picture modes, as well as all of the most important adjustments. You can also make adjustments to contrast, sharpness, brightness, aspect ratio and more.
The SXRD technology is Sony's name for liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS). It has a native pixel resolution of 4,096 x 2,160, which is a leap over the standard 3,840 x 2,160 4K TV. The major difference in the resolution can be seen in the projectors aspect ratio (17:9).
If you want to watch 3D, you'll have to spend a little more for Sony's 3rd party glasses. This is common for many projectors and isn't out of the norm. The VPL-VW350ES does have the RF emitter built-in though. And it complies with the full-HD 3D standard so pairing any pair of 3D glasses is easy.
Sony's picture settings are relatively straight forward when you compare them to other high-end 4K projectors. It has 9 picture modes for both of its inputs. It allows you to also choose to toggle the Contrast Enhancer on or off. And you can select either a high or a low lamp setting. This is great for rooms that may experience a little ambient light.
For connectivity, the Sony offers:
- 2 HDMI inputs with 4K resolution @ 60fps (frames per second). Only the HDMI 2 offers HDCP 2.2 compliance.
- RJ-45 (LAN) port supports network monitoring and control protocols
- RS-232C port for external control of the projector via compatible computer or third-party control device
- USB port for software updates
- Detachable power cord
- Two remote triggers
The picture quality for the VPL-VW350ES is beyond great. It's among the best we've reviewed. It has incredibly accurate color, shadow detail and balanced contrast. Its video processing and color accuracy were great. There really wasn't any faults that we could point out with it's picture quality. This 4K projector performed great for all types of media as well. From movies, to shows and even sports. It's a top-rated, top-knotch 4K projector and we highly recommend it.