Plus U4-232h review
Weighing in at just 1.5kg, the Plus verges on the ultraportable category and is certainly easy to carry in its bundled case. It uses the latest DLP technology, so contrast is just about as good as you can get from a bright business projector.
It isn’t the brightest on test, though, being rated at 1,800 ANSI lumens. However, this is more than enough for presentations in a typical fluorescent-lit office, and we were pleased with the uniformity across the U4-232h’s image.
Photos didn’t display too well, with skin tones looking rather pale and green. Blacks, however, were very black and the Plus handled most presentation content with ease. Focus was excellent, and we saw no drop-off towards the corners.
In our resolution tests, we noted moire in both vertical and horizontal patterns, and the auto-sync function couldn’t correct this. We also noticed some ghosting on our checkerboard contrast pattern, but it wasn’t evident in general use.
In video clips, we saw stepping of colours in skies and other areas of solid colour, rather than smooth transitions. Fortunately, there wasn’t much detail lost in dark scenes – again showing the benefit of the Plus’ great contrast.
In standard mode, the Plus was reasonably noisy. Although it was unavailable for scientific testing, we estimated that it produced around 45dBA – comparable to the BenQ. Also like the BenQ, there wasn’t a noticeable drop in volume when in economy mode – hence the low Quietness score in our ratings.
If this doesn’t bother you too much, you’ll be pleased to note the DVI-I interface (rather than an M1-DA, which looks like DVI but isn’t) and the fact that Plus bundles a DVI-to-VGA cable to cater for those who don’t have a DVI output. There’s no DVI-to-DVI cable, though. S-Video and composite inputs are also present, with a mini Type B USB connector for mouse control. Audio is in the usual 3.5mm mini-jack format.
A card-type remote is included and offers a decent array of controls. However, we found it fairly unresponsive, and the projector’s menus were also some of the poorer designed we saw.
Although there’s a carry case and three-year exchange warranty included in the price, the lamp has the shortest claimed life on test of 1,500 hours in standard mode and just 2,500 hours in economy. As replacements cost £290, it makes the Plus by far the most expensive to run at 19p per hour. So, although it has a lot going for it, the U4-232h’s total cost of ownership makes it hard to recommend over the leaders this month.