Mitsubishi XL1550U review

£1032
Price when reviewed

The prize for size this month goes to Mitsubishi for its monstrous 4.7kg XL1550U. With a near-£900 exc VAT price tag to match, this is a projector designed to be screwed in place permanently – but its size and cost mean you get plenty that nothing else here can offer.

For a start, there are the connections on the rear, with a pair of VGA inputs and an output joined by a DVI connector and the usual S-Video and composite. Both serial and USB control ports are present, and it’s one of only two projectors here with an Ethernet connection for remote management and easy diagnostics.

For audio there’s a choice of RCA stereo inputs or 3.5mm mini-jacks, and the booming volume of the integrated speaker belies its 3W power. Plus, despite the looming size of the device, it made barely a whisper during our tests.

From 2m it threw a reasonable 56in image, but it isn’t really one for close-up work; it’s intended instead for large boardrooms and lecture halls. The clarity and sharpness of the picture was flawless, and the 3,100-lumen brightness meant we had no visibility issues in any test conditions.

It isn’t perfect, though. Colours were washed out in our video tests – surprising, considering its triple-TFT internals – with rather weak contrast leaving dark scenes a little murky and lacking in detail. This won’t be an issue for presentations and short clips, but as a video projector the Mitsubishi will disappoint. It also takes a full two minutes to shut down after use, and the menu system is awkwardly designed.

But for its intended use – offices with large meeting rooms, classrooms or lecture theatres – it may well be worth the high purchase price, and the near-16m maximum throw distance backs that up. With the eco mode enabled, each lamp will last an impressive 5,000 hours, so the £258 exc VAT replacement cost may not come into play, but even in normal mode the 2,500-hour life is decent enough.

Either way, you’re getting a lot of projector for your money. It’s probably overkill for most meeting rooms, but if you’re buying a fleet to kit out a school or large office this projector fits the bill.

Details

Image quality 5

Basic specifications

Projector technology LCD
Resolution 1024 x 768
Lumens brightness 3,100 lumens
Contrast ratio 400:1
Keystone correction? yes
Speakers? yes
Speaker type Mono
Speaker power ouput 3W

Dimensions

Dimensions 333 x 272 x 113mm (WDH)
Weight 4.700kg

Optics

Max diagonal image size 7.6m
Measured image size at 2m 56.0m

Lamp & running costs

Lamp power 200W
Lamp life, standard mode 2,500hrs
Lamp life, eco mode 5,000hrs
Replacement lamp cost

Power & environment

Typical power consumption 290W
Peak noise level 29.0dB(A)
Idle/eco noise level 22.0dB(A)

Video inputs/outputs

VGA inputs 2
DVI inputs 1
S-Video inputs 1
Composite video inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1

Data ports and connectors

Front panel memory card reader no
Other memory media support None

Audio inputs/outputs

3.5mm audio input jacks 1
3.5mm audio jacks 1
RCA (phono) inputs 1

Miscellaneous

Carry case yes

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