Casio XJ-V2 Projector Review
March 17, 2016,
The Casio XJ-V2 appears to be designed for a specific purpose -- to give low total cost of ownership for those who need to project 4:3 data images for 10,000 hours or more. This 3000-lumen XGA resolution projector is priced at $699, quite a bit more than the average cost of today's 3000-lumen XGA projectors. But the big difference is its 20,000 hour LED/Laser light source which eliminates the need to buy replacement lamps over time.
The XJ-V2 also offers Casio's usual constellation of features for keeping running costs down. Five Eco levels plus two non-Eco modes let you minimize electric bills by picking the lowest brightness you need. The bottom line -- you pay more up front to get lower power bills and no replacement lamp costs in the long run. For those who anticipate putting 10,000 hours or more on their projector, this can add up to a significant savings over the years.
The Casio XJ-V2 is also designed with an emphasis on looking good. The rounded corners; the compact, squarish shape; the two-tone white and gray color; and the lens position--set back from the front in a scooped out area on the left top corner--suggest a serious investment in an industrial designer. If the goal was to make the XJ-V2 attractive enough to leave sitting on a conference room table in an office where decor matters, it succeeds nicely.
Data Projection. Data presentation is the XJ-V2's forte, as you'd expect from any 4:3 aspect ratio projector. When projecting an XGA resolution data source the XJ-V2 holds detail well. With black text on a white background, 8 point text is highly readable while 6 point text breaks up slightly. On the other hand, if you project white text on black it doesn't do quite as well; 11 point text is crisp and readable with characters beginning to break up at 9 points.
Test images designed to reveal pixel jitter and moire patterns didn't show any jitter at all with an analog VGA connection, but there was some obvious moire. However, unless you use patterned fills in your graphics instead of solid blocks of color, you'll probably never see moire. If you do, you can eliminate it by switching to an HDMI connection.
With Eco off, there's no choice of color presets. You can only choose between Bright and Normal lamp modes. With Eco on, you can choose any of five Eco levels with five Color presets for each: Standard, Graphics, Theater, Blackboard, and Natural.
Color in general is suitably eye-catching and nicely saturated in all modes, although color quality varies from good to near-excellent, depending on the mode. In particular, the non-Eco modes and most of the color presets have enough of a difference between white brightness and color brightness to give at least some colors a dull, dark look, while some modes deliver some colors that lean towards pastel. However every mode includes colors that look vibrant, and all brightness modes as well as all presets work well for business graphics and similar images.
Video Presentation. Since this is a 4:3 format projector, few would buy it for extensive video use. However it is capable of displaying reasonably good video, especially in Blackboard mode which is low in total lumen output but better in color saturation than the brighter operating modes. Blackboard mode loses shadow detail in darkly lit scenes, but you can switch to Theater mode for a substantial improvement in shadow detail at the cost of a slight shift in color balance toward green.
Rainbow artifacts are typical in this class of DLP projector, though they are not a problem in data presentation. However with video, I saw them often enough in dark scenes and in a black and white clip that anyone who sees them easily may find them annoying. Rainbow artifacts appear less often in well-lit scenes. In short, the video picture is by no means home theater quality, but quite serviceable for occasional classroom and conference room video display.
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