Portable Projector Review
The Hitachi CPX8 provides over 2,600 lumens of real brightness and a razor sharp image at street prices under $600. The XGA resolution CPX8 is an ideal fit for the budget conscious user who needs a flexible projector that emphasizes image quality over advanced features. Hitachi has successfully prioritized image quality in this portable and affordable package.
An ideal use for the CPX8 would be as a semi-mobile projector that can be shared between different classrooms or conference rooms. At five pounds in weight, the projector is easily portable and can be quickly setup by using the combination of quick release front adjustment feet, a well performing auto-keystone feature and auto input source lock.
With a case size of 12x9x2.75 inches, the CPX8 could also be used as a traveling projector, but it is not quite as small and light as today's 'ultra portables'.
The high light output of the CPX8 allows it to maintain a quality image even in a well-lit room, letting the user focus on the presentation and not on ambient light control. The projector can produce peak brightness levels comparable to LCD flat panels for screen sizes in the 90-inch diagonal range.
The CPX8's brightness was a major asset when I tested it in a near-worst case conference room setting: an early afternoon presentation in a corner room about the size of a standard 30 student classroom. The room has windows on two walls and usually requires adjustment to the window blinds in order to create a suitable environment for a projector. On a screen of about 82" in diagonal, the CPX8 was able to produce a highly viewable, punchy image without any dimming of the room light.
The CPX8 will also work well in larger rooms with screen sizes up to 10 feet wide (150 inches in diagonal). However, at this screen size, users will want to dim or control room lighting to achieve peak image quality.
The CPX8 is a good fit for both the basic, non-technical user as well as the advanced user. It defaults to Hitachi's Easy menu that allows the user to change basic projector options but initially hides settings that are more advanced. Additionally, the CPX8 allows a custom name to be assigned to each input. For example, the S-video input and D-SUB PC inputs could be renamed to 'DVD' and 'laptop', helping to avoid any input source confusion by the end user.
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