Interactive Short Throw Projector
Interactivity with almost everything you need. As is typical for the breed, the TW610STi comes with one pen, which will work with virtually any interactive software and also let you control your computer's mouse. If you don't already have an interactive program, you can get WizTeach from Optoma, for $199 street, which Optoma says will let you use two pens at once. The second pen costs $99 street price.
No calibration. TI's approach to interactivity overlays a grid on the image. Although it's invisible to the human eye, the pen uses it to tell the TW610STi where you're pointing. This eliminates the need for calibration -- an obvious advantage if you move the projector, but also an advantage in a permanent installation, since you won't have to calibrate when you change resolution.
Can use any surface. Since the TW610STi's pen doesn't need to touch the screen, you can use literally any surface, from rough cinderblock that could harm a stylus to a screen suspended from the top without a solid backing.
Excellent mouse control from a distance. In my tests, the TW610STi's pen worked from as far as 30 feet from the screen. Despite being a good pointer at 30 feet, however, it's hard to give mouse clicks even at 10 feet, since clicking tends move the pointer off the target. This is normal when using interactive pens from a distance. What's not normal is that the TW610STi also lets you use its remote for mouse control, making it easy to double click even from 30 feet away.
Short throw. All short throw projectors can project big images in small spaces. The added advantage for interactive projectors like the TW610STi is that you can get close to the screen without standing in front of the projector and casting a shadow. For my tests at the native 1280x800 resolution, I measured a 93" diagonal image from 3.3 feet and a 31" image from just over 13". This is a little closer than Optoma's claimed range of 44.6" at 1.6 feet to 223" at 8.2 feet.
Excellent data image quality. Despite some minor flaws, the TW610STi's data image quality is excellent. Colors in my tests were well saturated and suitably vibrant in all preset modes, although just a touch dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness color model. Yellow approached a mustard color with most of the presets, for example, but it stayed a more convincing yellow than with many DLP projectors.
The TW610STi also scored well on most other measures. There was no hint of color in any shade of gray with most presets, and barely a hint in the midtones in Bright mode; text was crisp and readable at sizes as small as 7 points; and I saw only a hint of pixel jitter with an analog connection on screens that bring out jitter.
Usable video quality. The TW610STi's video quality is good enough to be usable, which is more than many data projectors can manage. I saw some posterization (shading changing suddenly where it should change gradually) and moderate problems with shadow detail, but both were obvious only with scenes that many data projectors do even worse with. Most scenes on both DVDs and Blu-ray discs offered good enough quality to make them watchable, though not impressive, for a movie-length session, unless you're sensitive to rainbow artifacts.
Potentially portable. At just 6.9 pounds, the TW610STi is light enough to bring with you on the road at least occasionally. However, you'll have to buy a carrying case separately, since Optoma doesn't supply one.
Surprisingly good quality audio. Unlike most projectors in its weight class, the TW610STi's offers both good quality sound and enough volume, with two 5-watt stereo speakers, to easily fill a small conference room. For larger rooms, the audio output lets you connect to an external sound system.
|Review Contents:||Introduction||Strengths||Test Results||Limitations and Conclusion|