CASIO XJ-UT310WN Short Throw
LED/Laser Hybrid Projector
June 16, 2014
Built around Casio's hybrid LED-laser light source, the XJ-UT310WN is the company's first model with an ultra short throw. The $1,799.99 price may seem high for a 1280x800 model rated at 3100 lumens, but don't let that stop you from considering it. The price is at least potentially justified by a low running cost.
The light source, with its 20,000-hour rated lifetime, is meant to last the life of the projector, so you don't have to buy replacements. In addition, five levels of Eco mode let you choose just the right brightness, so you'll use only as much electricity as you need. Casio says that the combination gives the projector a lower total cost of ownership than less expensive competition. At the very least, it will keep running costs down.
In most other ways, the XJ-UT310WN is absolutely typical. It's built around a DLP chip, it delivers near-excellent data image quality, and it can give you a big image with very little throw distance--delivering a 92" diagonal image in my tests from just 14". If you need an ultra short throw projector, it's certainly worth a look.
The Viewing Experience
The XJ-UT310WN does a much better job with data images like word processing and graphics than with video. The key problem is rainbow artifacts (red-green-blue flashes), which are always a potential problem for DLP projectors. With static images, I saw almost none. With video, I saw them often enough to make them potentially annoying.
Near-excellent data image quality. Colors in data images were eye catching and well saturated in all combinations of predefined modes and brightness levels in my tests. However, there was some color variance from one predefined mode to the next. Blue, for example, was dark in some modes and pastel blue in others.
Similarly, the projector did a good, but not great, job with color balance. I saw some minor tints in the brightest shades with the two brightest settings, but the same is true for most projectors. With all other settings, grays were suitably neutral across the board.
More important for data images is that the XJ-UT310WN did an excellent job maintaining crisp focus across the screen, which isn't always true for ultra short throw projectors. It also did a good job holding detail. Both white text on black and black text on white were crisp and readable at sizes as small as 7 points. I saw some moderate dynamic moire with an analog connection on images designed to bring out the problem. However, you'll probably never see this unless you use patterned fills in your graphics, and you can get rid of it by using an HDMI connection.
Video quality suitable for short sessions. Aside from issues with rainbow artifacts, video is watchable but not impressive. The projector handled shadow detail well, and it avoided posterization even with clips that tend to cause the problem, but colors were a little washed out in all predefined modes. I saw rainbow artifacts infrequently enough that I'd consider using the projector for a few minutes of video at a time. For long sessions, however, anyone who sees them easily is likely to find them annoying.
See the Casio XJ-UT310WN...