Time to update that 'Our Picks On What To Buy' list.
It would be interesting to see how the Z4 compares in your opinion as Proj. Central thought the Z4 was a bit better.
I personally think the smooth screen technology has an overall softening effect on the final image not making it as crisp as I felt it should be. At least, with the AE700. Still a killer image.
Should also be noted that not one mention was made of vertical banding which was THE story of LCD last year. Seems that Epson took that seriously with their new chips and really has made it pretty much go bye-bye.
I've GOTTA say you are digging in the dirt when you write this as a 'CON' for the projector: "More optical zoom would be welcome"
Because, of couse, most $25,000 projectors don't have that much optical zoom built in. Most user about a 1.2:1 -> 1.5:1 zoom range vs. a full 1:1 -> 2:1 zoom range. I guess, more range is always welcome - but I would list the existing range, and placement versatility as a HUGE pro, not even mention it as a 'con'.
But - you definitely struggle to find issues with that projector.
How about: Lens shift function joystick can be a bit jerky which makes it tougher to use than 'wheel' based lens shift. That's one of my pet peeves with it. Also, I don't think there is a way to turn 'smooth screen' off, so if you actually want a sharp distinct pixel, you can't do it as far as I know.
Meh - I love the new LCD projectors and forget the shootout with the old AE700 - people really want to know how it stacks up to the Optoma H78, the BenQ 7700, the InFocus 7205 or 7210... Or, in simple terms, DLP 720P units.