Casio XJ-A135 review
The world of business projectors hasn’t been the fastest moving in recent times. Prices have been stable for years, resolutions have settled out in the mid-range at XGA, and the technologies available have remained static. But now there’s a new wave of data projectors about to sweep the land, and LED technology is providing the catalyst.
To be absolutely accurate, we’ve seen LED in projectors before, but only the low-powered pocket type. The Casio XJ-A135 is a different kind of device entirely, packing a maximum brightness level of 2,000 lumens into its sleek, slim chassis. Around the size of a 13in laptop, it boasts a light weight of 2.3kg and looks the perfect presentation companion. A host of useful extras cement its business credentials, including effective auto-keystone correction, extremely fast start-up (11 seconds) and shut-down times (four seconds), plus Wi-Fi projection. Physical connections run to HDMI and D-SUB.
Under the hood, the technology sounds impressive too. In order to achieve the brightness and colour accuracy of traditional projectors, the XJ-A135 uses a hotchpotch of methods. Although the label on the box says it’s an LED projector, the RGB light source in this Casio is actually produced by a high power red LED, a blue laser, and a blue laser filtered through phosphor (for the green element). This combines with a DLP chip to project a standard 1,024 x 768 image.
It sounds overly complicated, but it has one big advantage: the lamp has a much longer life than standard projector bulbs. Traditional projectors need theirs swapped out every 2,000 to 4,000 hours, with the cost of replacements costing as much as £239 exc VAT a time. The lamp in this Casio is rated at 20,000 hours – effectively the lifetime of the product – and will save heavy users a huge amount in running costs.
In return for the savings you’ll need to put up with iffy quality. Focus is excellent all across the screen, and our focus matrix patterns only revealed a slight softening in the top right corner, but colours were right off-kilter. Blues looked distinctly purple, greens a luminous lime, and reds muddier than the Thames estuary at low tide. Shadow detail, in the meantime, was almost completely absent. Photos and videos lacked punch as a result, but this isn’t a disaster for a business projector. Graphics did at least look bright and crisp.
More worrying is the amount of noise the Casio kicks out. The projector has three modes: Standard, Eco 1 and Eco 2, and in all but the latter it’s intrusively loud. In Standard mode it sounds like a high-powered hair dryer and you’ll have to raise your voice above its cacophonous whirring to make yourself heard in all but the largest of meeting rooms.
That’s a shame, as otherwise, the XJ-A135 is a good presentation tool. It’s light, compact, boasts a host of useful features and, aside from electricity, non-existent ongoing costs, which make up for the slightly high price. Having heard it in action, however, we can’t recommend it.
|Resolution||1024 x 768|
|Lumens brightness||2,000 lumens|
|Speaker power ouput||1W|
|Dimensions||297 x 210 x 43mm (WDH)|
|Max diagonal image size||7.6m|
Lamp & running costs
|Lamp life, standard mode||20,000hrs|
Power & environment
|Typical power consumption||270W|
|Peak noise level||35.0dB(A)|
|Idle/eco noise level||29.0dB(A)|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
Data ports and connectors
|Front panel memory card reader||no|
|Other memory media support||none|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||0|
|RCA (phono) inputs||0|
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