Hitachi CPX1 review
At £545, the CPX1 is the most expensive projector here, and it’s obvious why: it crams a competitive feature set into a case weighing just 1.7kg. Indeed, last December we included the CPX1 in our round-up of ultraportable projectors.
In that Labs, we were impressed by the range of image adjustments the Hitachi offered. That versatility still looks good in this month’s group, and is complemented by automatic digital keystone correction of up to 30 degrees and the ability to display JPEG files directly from USB-connected storage. Only the lack of a DVI input kept the CPX1 from scoring top points.
The Hitachi also stood out for its excellent throw ratio: with full zoom it produces an image 1.57m wide from just 2m away. Its 500:1 contrast ratio is high for an LCD projector, giving a pleasing solidity to photographs and video. Colours are bright and high-contrast text is a strength.
Yet, perhaps as a result of the compact design, the image seemed dimmer than the CPX1’s rating of 2,000 lumens would suggest: there was a dullness to the display, which, despite the range of settings available, we couldn’t tweak away. Our grid tests also revealed slight moiré interference, and video playback was juddery, with tearing at a couple of points. Keystone correction caused verticals to become jagged towards the sides of the screen. None of these faults was a showstopper, but the combination set the Hitachi behind the competition in the quality stakes.
Overall, the CPX1 has many appealing qualities, and if you’re prepared to pay for portability you may find its shortcomings easy to overlook. In this Labs, however, despite a strong feature set, the CPX1’s image quality is too average to justify the premium price.