Casio XJ-F210WN for conference and classroom
The Casio XJ-F210WN, a newly announced 3500-lumen WXGA (1280x800) projector for business and education, will begin shipping this quarter at a recommended dealer price of $999.99.
The "WN" in the model number is Casio's designation for wireless networking. The F210WN handles wired networks out of the box, but it can also accommodate Casio's optional YW-40 USB wireless adapter for an extra $99.99. That small investment pays big dividends by extending the F210WN's connectivity to include wireless LANs, laptops, tablets, and smart phones after installing a Casio app called C-Assist.
The XJ-F210WN uses Casio's laser/LED/phosphor light engine which boasts a 20,000-hour life. If you used it 40 hours per week in an office or classroom, this projector would last almost ten years. The big advantage is that, assuming you run it anywhere near that long, the total cost of ownership should be considerably lower than for projectors using high pressure lamps that need replacement every few thousand hours.
With two HDMI ports along with VGA and USB inputs, the F210WN shows considerable versatility that will be appreciated by educators, businessmen, and road warriors alike. Its 8 lb. weight may be an issue for traveling to multiple venues, but that limitation is partially overcome by the variety of devices that can be connected directly and wirelessly to the F210WN.
The XJ-F210WN does an excellent job with data images. Text, spreadsheets, and even architectural drawings are displayed with crisp, well-defined alphanumerics. Small typefaces are still readable even at maximum keystone correction (±30°). The image is sharply focused from corner-to-corner, and there are no visible noise artifacts. The picture shows more dynamic pop when contrast is increased and brightness is reduced. Fine lines are never blurred, and the focus and zoom controls are positive with no overshoot.
Video images are clear, sharp, and noise free. Color balance is excellent in the preset modes, but color saturation is a bit low and results in a somewhat flat look for most video images. This may not be a serious issue for classroom and boardroom settings, but the F210WN will probably not be your first choice for dedicated movie viewing.
In Theater mode, flesh tones are excellent with good shadow and highlight definition thanks to an improved contrast specification (20,000:1) over previous version of the laser/LED illumination combo. Photos looked especially good using the Natural color mode preset. The F210WN exhibits the DLP rainbow effects that some viewers are sensitive to, so if you are planning to do a lot of video viewing a demo is probably worth it to see if these artifacts are a problem for you.
The two brightest operating modes are Normal and Bright. When in either of those settings with an HDMI source, you only have controls for brightness, contrast, and color balance which is Casio's name for color temperature. There are three color balance options: warm, normal, and cold. Each does what you'd expect . . . warm emphasizes red and cold emphasizes blue. The Normal and Bright modes emphasize green to the point that it is clearly visible, so you might want to avoid them when a greenish bias is not desired.
In that case you can opt for one of the seven Light Control settings that can do a better job of color balancing. The F210WN offers four color mode choices: Standard, Graphics, Theater, and Natural, and while they each have their particular color and brightness biases, they offer a quick way to get a good image on the screen. Graphics mode is particularly effective for data presentations, and Natural mode brings out the best color accuracy for photo presentations, although, as with video images, color saturation could have been better.
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