Hitachi CPX1 review

£620
Price when reviewed

Hitachi’s CPX1 is one of three LCD projectors in this group test and offers an XGA (1,024 x 768) resolution. Uniquely, it has dual VGA inputs and also sports a USB Type A port, in addition to the Type B port for mouse control. This allows presentations to be shown direct from a USB flash drive, albeit a very thin one to squeeze past the surrounding plastic case.

Hitachi CPX1 review

It’s also worth noting that the CPX1 is stuffed with so many options it needs two menu modes: easy and advanced. Advanced mode’s scope and granularity of adjustment is mind-boggling and excessive. You could tweak colour-control sliders for hours, if you’re so inclined, but we found it odd that there’s no sRGB mode.

Thanks to LCD technology, colours are satisfyingly saturated. Photos looked realistic and there was great detail in shadows. The default normal picture mode worked best for presentations, and with a 2,000 ANSI lumens brightness rating you don’t need the Dynamic mode, which made colours look washed out. For use in education, there are blackboard, whiteboard and greenboard modes.

Videos benefit from good shadow detail and the dedicated cinema mode. Unlike DLP projectors, the Hitachi’s lower 500:1 contrast ratio leaves grey bars above and below a widescreen image, but it’s noticeably better than the 400:1 LCD systems here. Jerky movement while panning was the only distraction, but overall picture quality is pleasing.

Fan noise is average at 45dBA, but eco mode made a noticeable impact, making it third quietest on test at 38dBA. However, the CPX1 drops some points for the warranty (there’s no swap-out service) and because, at 1.7kg, it isn’t as portable as the lightest designs.

Nevertheless, if you need good colour reproduction but can’t justify the Epson’s price, the Hitachi is a good alternative.

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