LED/Laser Conference Room Projector
August 20, 2012
Near excellent data image quality. The XJ-H2650 earns a high score for data image quality despite some minor flaws. Colors were generally well saturated and vibrant in my tests, for example, despite red being a little dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness model in all modes. Yellow was shifted slightly towards green in more than half of the modes, but not enough in most cases to be an issue for data screens. The color shift is most noticeable in the brightest modes, but that's par for the course. Most projectors' bright modes have issues with color.
Various shades of gray were suitably neutral in most modes. The brightest shades in some of the brighter modes, showed a slight yellowish tinge, but, here again, not enough to be an issue in most cases.
Generally more important for data images is that the XJ-H2650 did an excellent job with text, maintaining crisp edges and highly readable text at sizes as small as 7 points. With an analog connection, I saw moderate pixel jitter, but only on screens designed to bring out the problem. If you find it bothersome, you can use an HDMI connection instead for rock solid images.
Better than par video quality. Although the XJ-H2650's video is far from home theater quality, it's above par for a data projector. Among other issues, I saw minor to moderate noise, the dulled down color that goes with a low contrast ratio, and skin tones in some scenes shifted towards green. However, the projector handled shadow detail well, and the overall quality was good enough to be watchable. For a data projector, that counts as a plus.
Good audio quality. The audio system on the XJ-H2650 also earns points, with the 10-watt mono speaker delivering reasonably high quality and enough volume for a mid-size conference room or classroom. If you need stereo, you can plug an external sound system into the stereo output.
Eco-friendly. The XJ-H2650's most obvious eco-friendly feature is its 20,000-hour light source, which is mercury-free and eliminates both the need for replacements and the carbon costs for shipping them.
Beyond that, the two non-Eco brightness modes and five Eco modes let you pick a setting that's just bright enough for the ambient light and screen size, which can make a significant difference in power use. I measured the two non-Eco modes at 292 and 340 watts, and the Eco modes at 115 to 257 watts. You can also save power by setting the projector to turn off after not receiving a signal for 5 to 30 minutes.
Also worth mention is the Auto Eco mode, although it's more limited than it could be. Turn it on, and it picks an Eco mode level based on ambient light, reliably switching levels in my tests when I turned the lights on and off. In theory, it should also consider image size, keeping track of the setting for the 1.2x zoom lens and measuring the distance to the screen much like an autofocus feature. Unfortunately, it doesn't. For any given level of ambient light, it chose the same setting whether it was a little over 10 feet from the screen with a 93" diagonal image, or a little over 3 feet with a 30" image. How useful the feature will be depends on whether the auto settings are appropriate for the screen size you're using.
Excellent warranty. Casio's Web site and the warranty card in the XJ-H2650's box both say that the warranty is three years for the projector and three years or 6000 hours for the light source. We must note that our Casio spokesperson states that the warranty is actually five years on both the projector and light engine, which is even better. However, that does not currently appear in Casio's published warranty info. Either way, the Casio warranty is better than that offered by most other projector vendors.
Interactive-ready. Barely counting as a plus is that the XJ-H2650 is interactive-ready. The standard throw limits the feature's usefulness by making it hard to avoid shadows, but if you want interactivity, you can add the needed software and interactive pen for $249.99.