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BenQ LX60ST: BenQ's Laser Projector

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BenQ LX60ST Projector BenQ LX60ST
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Street Price: n/a
3D: PC 3D Ready
Weight: 11.2 lbs
Aspect Ratio:4:3
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:10,000 Hrs
20,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, VGA In (x2), HDMI 1.3, Network, USB (x3), RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

Built around a laser light source and a 1024x768 DLP chip, the BenQ LX60ST offers a number of noteworthy features, including a short throw lens. But its laser-based, BlueCore light engine is unquestionably the most interesting and most unusual. As one of just two BlueCore models, the LX60ST has something to prove, namely that the light engine can match a standard lamp for brightness and image quality while scoring better on environmental issues. The good news is that it does.

The BlueCore design works much like a standard DLP engine. However, instead of sending white light through a color wheel, it shines a blue laser on a phosphor wheel to create the primary colors that bounce off the DLP chip. This avoids the speckle effect you would expect from direct laser light.

Among the advantages of the BlueCore engine compared to traditional lamps are that it's mercury-free and that you should never have to replace it, thanks to a claimed lifetime of 10,000 hours in Normal mode or 20,000 hours in Economic mode. Even with the LX60ST's $1,849 street price, this may give you a lower total cost of ownership than for a less expensive projector with a $200 or $300 lamp replacement every 2000, or even 5000, hours.

The chief disadvantage is that the 2000 lumen rating and 1700 lumen measured brightness for the LX60ST are both low by today's standards. Most of the competition offers ratings of 3000 lumens or a little higher, and few recent models offer anything lower than 2500 lumens. On the other hand, portable business projectors in the 2000 lumen range were common just a few years ago, and the same level of brightness is just as usable now as it was then.

The LX60ST can also go toe to toe with conventional projectors on most other basics, including its high quality data image in particular. With the solid basics plus eco-friendly features, it's a more than attractive pick for a small to medium size conference room or classroom.

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