Sharp Notevision XR-1S review

Price when reviewed

Like the Panasonic, Sharp’s XR-1S has a resolution of 800 x 600 but is DLP rather than LCD based. It also has a lower claimed contrast ratio than the other DLP projectors at 1,500:1.

Sharp Notevision XR-1S review

The unusual wide chassis format is one we’ve seen before with the XR-1X. It’s a good shape for tucking into a briefcase – clearly what Sharp intends, as the 1.5kg XR-1S comes with a basic slip case with no room for cables.

Oddly, the XR-1S isn’t as bright as the XR-1X, losing 100 lumens from the other version’s 1,300. And Sharp hasn’t solved the noise problem. In eco mode, the XR-1S was the noisiest here at 47dBA, and this increased to 49dBA in standard mode – the tinny speaker can barely be heard over this racket.

There also isn’t much difference in brightness between the two settings, although the XR-1S looks very bright despite the low rating. The Carl Zeiss name remains on the lens and focus is generally good. But you have to reach down in front of the projector to adjust the lens ring for focus and zoom – a fiddly operation that results in giant shadows on the screen and, if you’re not careful, finger smudges on the lens too.

Image quality is similar to the XR-1X. The Sharp handled our PowerPoint presentation fine and coped with video reasonably well – panning shots were smooth. The DLP rainbow effect is quite strong, but colours have good saturation. We also like the luminous buttons on the compact remote in a dark room.

A three-year collect-and-return warranty is better than the XR-1X’s, but there’s no loan service as with some here. Costing 9p per hour, running costs are average. At £595, the Sharp is affordable, but the noise means the Panasonic is a much better budget choice.

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