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Highly Rated Projectors
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4.5
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Intended Use:
Education
Casio XJ-S32 Projector Casio XJ-S32
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:1,800:1
Lumens:2300
Weight: 4.0 lbs
Resolution:1024x768
Aspect Ratio:4:3
Technology:DLP
Lens:2x powered
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:2,000 Hrs
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 576i, 576p

Casio XJ-S32
Super Slim Classroom Projector

Bill Livolsi, June 12, 2009

While other manufacturers of portable projectors tend to focus on length and width, Casio focuses on depth. Their XJ-S32, a 2300-lumen XGA DLP projector, is only 1.7 inches tall and weighs four pounds. Its unique super thin design makes it easy to stuff in a briefcase or laptop bag. For an educator or administrator on the move, this portability is priceless. With a 2.0:1 zoom lens and three-year warranty, there is a lot to like about Casio's slim portable - not the least of which is its $799 price.

Advantages

Highly portable. The XJ-S32 is one of the slimmest projectors available, at 1.7" in height. Making the projector long and wide instead of deep means that it is much easier to fit the XJ-S32 inside a laptop bag, a briefcase, or any other small luggage. It even comes with a sturdy foam sleeve to protect it while in transit.

It's not just small, it is light also. The XJ-S32 weighs a hair under 4 pounds, which is less than many laptop computers. With this tiny form factor and a light laptop, you can carry a complete classroom presentation setup that weighs less than ten pounds. In fact, if you have a netbook with VGA output, you could end up with a complete set under five pounds.

Placement flexibility. The XJ-S32 has one very unique feature for a small classroom projector - a 2.0:1 powered zoom lens. This allows you to project a 100" diagonal image from 9' 3" to 18' 5", which is no small feat in a projector of this size. The long powered zoom lens makes the XJ-S32 truly ideal for multiple classroom use, especially for a guest lecturer or college professor - setting up and taking down the projector requires a minimum of hassle.

High lumen output. Despite its diminutive size, the XJ-S32 packs quite a punch. We measured 1705 ANSI lumens in Presentation mode on our test sample, out of a specification of 2300. In a small classroom with the lights dimmed, 1700 lumens is enough to put a brilliant, dynamic picture on the screen. If there is a significant amount of ambient light, or you need a very large screen size, you may wish to look at a brighter but less portable projector.

Presentation mode emphasizes white above color, and so the result is an image that looks great with black and white content and not so great with color photographs or web pages. For these types of content, one should consider using Standard mode at 1693 lumens or Theater mode at 576 lumens for better color balance and saturation.

One of the downsides of having such a versatile 2.0:1 zoom lens is that lumen output drops off significantly when using the telephoto end of the lens. In Presentation mode, we measured a drop from 1705 lumens to 958 lumens, or 44%. If using the projector in a room with ambient light, you may want to avoid the telephoto end of the zoom, and keep the projector as close to the screen as possible.

Three-year warranty. Casio includes a three-year warranty as standard on the XJ-S32, as well as 180 days on the lamp. This is about the best warranty you'll see on a projector in this class, and 180 days is twice as long as most manufacturers offer on their lamps. This protects the buyer against premature lamp failure, which can be intensely frustrating as well as costly.

Security. The XJ-S32 has a Kensington lock point, so you can chain your projector to something immobile if you are forced to leave it unattended for an extended period. It also has a password function on startup, which will shut the projector down if the incorrect password is input. This dual approach of physical security and deterrence works well to keep projectors safe.

Zoom Memory. While it sounds fancy, "zoom memory" simply means that the projector remembers its zoom and focus settings between the time you shut it down and the next time you start it up. In fact, every projector with a powered zoom lens has zoom memory. What makes the XJ-S32 special is not the presence of zoom memory, but the ability to turn it off.

Think about it. If you are traveling with your projector, even if only to different classrooms in the same building, you may find yourself changing zoom and focus settings several times a day. In these cases, the previous zoom and focus settings are a hindrance, not a help. You must take extra time to figure out where in the focal range you were, then adjust for your new environment. To this end, the XJ-S32 has an option to disable zoom memory, which brings the projector back to its default zoom and focus settings between operations. For the traveling presenter, this seemingly small feature is an excellent time saver.

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