At 7.9 lbs, the Hitachi CP-X2510 semi-portable XGA 3LCD projector is equally appropriate for conference rooms or the classroom. It offers a unique combination of features for both basic and advanced users. The CP-X2510 has an Active-Iris that allows it to produce bright and punchy images with excellent edge-to-edge sharpness. It has a street price around $700, sports a 6,000-hour eco-mode lamp, and a filter design that only requires maintenance every 5,000 hours. It is a snap to setup thanks to quick release adjustment feet, auto-input search and auto-keystone function. The CP-X2510 lacks a digital input and network capability, and has a relatively large case size. But it nicely balances performance and value and is well worth consideration for office, classroom, or any presentation use where light weight or extreme portability are not of greatest concern.
Active-Iris/Brightness Uniformity: The brightness of the CP-X2510 in its brightest precalibrated operating mode was measured at 1,789 ANSI lumens, lower than the specification of 2,600 ANSI lumens. By boosting brightness and contrast, it gets closer to the rated spec at the cost of picture quality. But at nearly 1800 lumens, the CP-X2510 can handle moderate sizes screens in environments with ambient light or larger screens in dim environments. Setting the CP-X2510 to low lamp mode reduces the maximum light output to 1130 lumens (a 37% reduction). Utilizing the low lamp setting doubles the rated lamp hours from 3,000 to 6,000 hours - a low lamp setting with 1130 ANSI lumens will produce 80 foot-lamberts of image brightness on a 65" diagonal 4x3 screen - a very useable level of projected image brightness even with moderate levels of ambient light.
Subjectively, the CP-X2510 outperforms the measured lumen value in terms of apparent screen brightness. The two main factors that contribute to this highly useable brightness level is the 'Active-Iris' feature and excellent brightness uniformity, which was measured at 87%. Across the screen, the CP-X2510 was only 13% dimmer at the lowest measured value compared to the highest measured value - significantly better performance than most projectors in this class. The consistent level of brightness across the entire display translates into a very solid image that pops off the screen.
The CP-X2510 includes an 'Active-Iris' that dynamically changes the amount of light the projector outputs depending on the image content - the iris will open for material that is predominately bright and close for material that is predominately dark. The end result is a projector that can produce bright images when needed and also has the capability to reproduce relatively dark blacks when the iris is activated - not washed out or 'grey' blacks usually seen when bright projectors display images of low average picture levels. To test the ability of the iris to adjust between bright and dark content, presentation slides were constructed that consisted of white background and black text along with slides with a black background and white text. The iris performed well, adjusting quickly; with no image pumping that occurs if an iris does not immediately lock-on to the ideal setting. The Active-Iris makes a significant improvement to black level, with the most noticeable change occurring on content with a very low average picture level. The Active-Iris takes approximately 3-4 seconds for a maximum change from white to black or from black to white. While this should not be distracting during normal presentation, the variance can be reduced by using the less aggressive Theater mode. The Theater mode nearly eliminates any visible transition of the iris, but does not provide as much of a benefit to the absolute black level as the more aggressive Presentation mode.
'Easy' Presentations Features: The CP-X2510 defaults to an 'easy' version of the menu that gives single level access to the most common menu functions - a nice feature if the non-technical are primary users of the projector. Additional presentation functions include the ability to use the remote as a presentation control device when the projector is connected to a computer with a USB cable. While not useable as true mouse replacement, the feature effectively allows for cursor control and will smartly speed up the rate of cursor movement across the screen if the button is held down. The remote includes dedicated keys for commonly used presentation functions, such as escape, page up and page down along with mouse left and right clicks keys. The plug and play function works well - after connecting the projector to a laptop, the laptop immediately recognized the CP-X2510 as a human input device and activated all control functions on the remote.
Audio Capability: With a 16-watt audio output, the audio capability of the CP-X2510 is well above average. The CP-X2510 includes both 3.5 mm headphone style input connectors and RCA style audio input and output connectors. While the audio reproduced by the projector lacks any appreciable bass, the CP-X2510 produces clear, distortion free sound at a decent volume level. While larger rooms will still require a dedicated sound system, the CP-X2510 is quite capable of supporting the audio duties for small environments.
Security Features: The CP-X2510 includes a Kensington lock, security bar and multiple soft security features. The projector can be configured to require a password for startup and contains the Hitachi 'Transition Detector' feature. If the Transition Detector function is activated the projector will display an alarm screen if the vertical angle of the projector changes. All inputs will be locked out - the projector will not display any input image - until the Transition Detector is deactivated using the projector's password.
Input Options: The CP-X2510 lacks a digital input and network capability. For the intended business or classroom environment, the lack of a digital input should not be a major issue as the CP-X2510 includes dual VGA inputs. Network capability provides advantages for integration into control systems or if the primary users of the projector have only a basic level of technical experience. While the CP-X2510 does not include any IP network capability, it does allow for serial control using the RS-232 protocol over the DB9 input connector.
Form Factor: Compared to projectors similar in class, the case size of the CP-X2510 is large - this projector would not be a great choice for a traveling presenter. At just under 8 pounds of weight, the CP-X2510 is definitely portable; however, it is more suited for moves from room to room rather than airplane travel. The good news is that you get solid performance for a low price. More compact projectors suitable for road warriors cost more for the extra convenience of extreme portability. The case size is a non-factor in fixed installs or a near non-factor in semi-fixed installs, such as the common classroom projector cart. An additional minor limitation to the case design is the location of the power cord on a face adjacent to the input panel - which can cause inconvenience in cable routing in some situations.
The Hitachi CP-X2510 produces a high quality image and includes advanced features that make it a great fit for fixed or semi-mobile installations. The combination of high brightness uniformity and the Active-Iris function give the CP-X2510 the flexibility to perform well even in settings that include ambient light. The CP-X2510 includes sophisticated features specific to the presentation market that include quick setup capability, advanced security options and the ability to use the remote control as a mouse for presentation control. While some installs maybe limited by the projector footprint and limited input capability, the Hitachi CP-X2510 is well-suited for use in many office or classroom settings.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Hitachi CP-X2510 projector page.