Casio XJ-A130 LED/Laser Hybrid Projector Review
Casio has been making slim-profile projectors for a few years now, and their previous examples have been great presentation machines. Now, Casio's new line of "Green Slim" projectors combines the dimensions of their earlier Super Slim line with a new light source. The XJ-A130 uses Casio's new proprietary Hybrid Light Engine, combining an LED and a laser to create a picture that is brighter than other purely LED-based projectors. The XJ-A130 is the entry-level product in this line, and is rated at 2,000 lumens with 1800:1 contrast. This XGA projector features a 2.0:1 powered zoom lens and instant-off technology, potentially making a presenter's life much easier - especially when they can pack it into their briefcase, rather than a separate bag.
As Casio's new light source is still young, the XJ-A130 is a first-generation product in many ways. Light output is not where it's supposed to be for some projectors early in the production run. There's a lot of fan noise, and the projector gets hot during operation. We also noticed quite a few rainbows during use, which bodes ill for those sensitive to the artifact. Despite all of this, it has a great picture for data display, and at $799 it is priced competitively.
Low maintenance. The big buzz around this projector is Casio's new hybrid light source, which uses a combination of a red LED and a blue laser to create an image. As a result, it is supposed to be much brighter than many other LED projectors but also much longer in life than traditional metal halide lamps. While the technology is far from perfect (see the section on light output under Limitations), it shows some promise. The XJ-A130 is indeed brighter than most LED-based projectors we have seen, and is certainly far smaller than the few brighter examples which exist. Since the projector uses Texas Instruments' DLP technology, there is no air filter to clean or replace. In theory, the XJ-A130 will run until the light source finally gives out, which is estimated to take 20,000 hours.
Highly portable. The XJ-A130 is one of Casio's Green Slim projectors, with external dimensions of 11.75" x 8.25" x 1.675". That last dimension, as you might imagine given the "Slim" moniker, is height. The XJ-A130 is small enough to slip into a laptop bag or briefcase, making it easier to travel with than a portable projector in a traditional form factor. For portable presenters who are always trying to reduce baggage, especially with current baggage fees for air travel, having one fewer case to carry is a welcome improvement.
Instant off. The XJ-A130 has an instant off function, so you can start packing up immediately rather than waiting for the projector to cool down. "Instant" in this case is about two seconds, after which the fan shuts off and it's safe to unplug the power. This does not mean, however, that the projector is cool; it will still be quite warm for a few minutes afterwards. This is not a problem for most people; just make sure you don't place it in the same case as your prized wax figure collection or a bunch of chocolate bars.
|Review Contents:||Advantages||Additional Advantages||Limitations||Limitations and Conclusion|