The Twenty Smallest Portable XGA Projectors

Davis DP-X16

The Davis DP-X16 is a newly announced product that is currently shipping in Europe, and is scheduled for initial shipments in North America in February. It is a unique projector in this category. Essentially the designers gave up the zoom lens in exchange for better light output. This unit, along with the Compaq MP1600, are the only two projectors among the twenty that do not have a zoom lens. However, in opting for a brighter fixed focal length lens, Davis claims to get a bright 1000 ANSI lumens out of this small package. So for buyers who need high light output and are willing to forego the convenience of the zoom, the DLP-based DP-X16 is worth a look.

The projector is spec'd at 2.25 kg, which is 4.96 lbs. However, it comes standard in the North American market with an external "Davis Connectivity Unit," or "Hub," similar to the InFocus Cable Wizard. This adds almost a pound of extra weight and is required for video connectivity. When vendors achieve a "4.9 lb" package only by eliminating vital connectors that have to be carried externally, the weight statistic is in some respects a bit misleading. (InFocus did the same thing with the "7.4 lb." LP435z, so this marketing strategy is not unique to Davis.)

Advantages of the DP-X16 other than its light weight are its very small size of 254 cu. in., a 2000 hour lamp life which is unusual for a DLP in this category, and the ability to display both 4:3 and 16:9 video formats. Davis represents at this point that they anticipate no restrictions in product supply stemming from the DLP chip production problems.

The DP-X16's MSRP of $7,995 should translate to an Internet price in the range of $5,200. At this budget level, buyers will also want to look at the 1200 ANSI lumen, 7.0lb Mitsubishi X70 and the 1000 lumen, 5.8 lb. Epson Powerlite 710c, both of which should sell for the same street price as the DP-X16. The Epson is almost identical to the DP-X16 in size and weight since it requires no cable hub, and it offers a 1:1.2 zoom lens to boot. The Mitsubishi is a tad heavier and larger, but it sports a 1:1.3 zoom lens and pumps out 1200 ANSI lumens which will make the X70 an attractive option for many buyers.

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