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Yesterday I blogged on how FirstIn.co.nz had misleading ERPs (which I am still guess is Estimated Retail Price, since they don’t explain it), and had a comparison with a genuine product from the manufacturer that was better AND cheaper than even the discounted price.

Anyway, today they are advertising a mini data projector.  The price looks OK, but doing a wee bit of homework (as I suggest anyone does) it looks like the product description is misleading, in a very major way.

It claims: 1280 x 768 RESOLUTION. However all the searches on this product says it’s a standard VGA projector (so 640 x 480) a MAJOR difference.  The reason I did this check is that almost all mini projectors are VGA only, so was quite surprised by the claim at the top of the ad (and it’s a major part off the headline offer).  Comp USA which has the product listed as currently unavailable, but has the full specs. And pcmag.com has the same info confirmed (640×480) in their 2008 review (btw, ’2008′ confirms it for me – its 640 x 480 for sure, as this means it was one of the first model of mini-projectors, which were all 640×480 or less).

How could they get it so wrong?  It appears they are confusing Compatible resolutions with Resolution. Further down in the ad is says:

Compatible resolutions: VGA (640 x 480), SVGA (800 x 600), XGA (1024 x 768), WXGA (1280 x 768)

Most modern projectors are like this.  They will WORK with an image from a higher resolution, and just downscale it to the resolution it uses (in this case 640×480).  I also note the lamp is not replaceable (as per the manufacturer’s web site), as this is a returned unit – how many hours are left on the bulb?   This is not a minor difference. Normal size projections that have 1280 x 768 or similar resolution often sell for 2 or 3 times the price of a 640×480 projector.  Image quality is everything with a data projector, and people pay for it.

Unfortunately Firstin.co.nz do not allow comments on their web site on products (I guess they would have too many like mine!), so its not possible to warn anyone except via this blog.

As an aside I think their ERP is probably misleading too.  The FULL retail on this is only $US 359 (so $510 or so), and that was back in 2008 (the most recent price I could find).  So claiming $499 as an ERP is rather misleading – are they comparing it to a NEW product?  Why not say that!  The supposed discount they give is therefore because this is 2nd hand/re-manufactured, not because it’s a super deal.

Black and White Version: First in not only misleading pricing, but also misleading product info.


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Update: I just re-checked their web site and its VERY clear they claim great resolution display of 1260 by 768 for high quality, not just will play images that are a resolution of 1260 by 768 or similar.    Image on the right says it all.  Also their claim at any time or place is misleading.  These units are low power, and do not do well in well lit rooms (in fact hardly work at all!).  Not knocking the product, just the claims here – way over the top.


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