Review Contents
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
InFocus X2 Projector InFocus X2
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2000:1 Contrast Ratio
1700 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$549 MSRP

InFocus X2

Evan Powell, September 8, 2004

With respect to video performance, another key difference between the X2 and the 4805 is that the 4805 has much more comprehensive video processing electronics on board. InFocus has included a Faroudja DCDi chipset for video processing on the 4805 that substantially improves image stability and clarity from video sources that are fed to the projector via either S-video or component interlaced signals. Color accuracy is also better on the 4805 than on the X2.

(By the way, don't ever use composite video on a projector. Composite video bundles up all the luminance and color information into a single signal. Once this happens the luminance and color information cannot then be fully separated into component form for display without loss of information. So you typically end up with a lower quality picture than you would have with S-video or component video.)

Furthermore, InFocus has included the HDCP content protection chip in the 4805, but it is not on the X2. So if you want to guarantee future reception of HDTV signals via the digital interface, the 4805 is the safer way to go.

The bottom line is that home theater-oriented products like the Screenplay 4805 have substantially raised the image quality performance bar in economy class home theater projectors. It is true that commercial projectors often serve admirably as crossover products doing double duty as home theater machines. However the recent appearance of very low-cost, high-performance home theater projectors has changed the equation for many buyers. The X2 is an excellent projector if the objective is to put a bright, high contrast image on the screen for very little money. However a bright image and a high quality video image are two different things. Since much better video is available from alternative products costing not too much more than the X2, we would not recommend the X2 as a solution for dedicated home theater use.

The X2 needs to be interpreted for what it is--a bright, high contrast, low-cost data projector that is best suited to multimedia applications in the home, office, or classroom. Video as one application in the mix is fine if the user can settle for a little less than ideal performance, and is willing to cable up to feed the video signal through the M1-DA port. Video via the S-video and composite jacks is not the best solution on this unit.

One other factor you might consider is fan noise. The X2 has two lamp modes which generate different demands on the fan and cooling system. In low power mode the fan noise is low to moderate. In full power mode the fan noise is, shall we say, toward the loud-ish end of the spectrum. Furthermore, as with its predecessor, once you power off the projector the fan runs in standby mode (at a lower speed) to cool the power supply. So to achieve total peace and quiet in the room, the AC power needs to be cut off from the unit.

Conclusion

Two things are definitely true: First, the X2 produces a brilliant image for under $1,000. For the right application and environment it can be a superb value. Second, you get what you pay for. This product was never designed to be used as a dedicated home theater projector, and those who buy it exclusively for that purpose are settling for some unfortunate compromises. You will be better off to save up the extra few hundreds dollars needed to get into a Screenplay 4805.

Review Contents: Overview and Performance Performance and Conclusion