LCD XGA Classroom Projector Review
Hitachi's CP-X4020 is an LCD XGA projector that's perfect for fixed installation in medium-sized conference rooms and even large classrooms. Its 4,000 lumen output and loud 16W speaker ensure that your presentation material can be seen - and heard - by everyone in the room, regardless of seating. It has very good color reproduction for this class of projector, making it a good choice for the display of photography or other graphics material. With a low overall cost of operation and solid security features, the CP-X4020 is a good choice for educators and businesspeople alike.
Brightness. The Hitachi CP-X4020 is at the upper end of the brightness range for single-lamp portable projectors, and it achieves this while delivering a sharp, clear and uniform image. The menu offers seven picture modes with various combinations of gamma and color temperature presets. The brightest of these is Daytime mode, which uses the "Hi-Bright" color temperature setting. In this mode with the lamp set to Normal we found that the projector exceeds specs, with a 4,110 lumen screen average measured in our tests. Brightness uniformity was a respectable 75%. With the lamp mode set to "Eco", brightness still holds up nicely at a very useful 3,140 lumens. Back in Normal lamp mode, the reduction in brightness for other picture modes was not as dramatic as we have seen in other projectors we have tested. Normal picture mode (which calls up the "Mid" color temperature preset) yielded 4,060 lumens. Brightness was 3,790 lumens in Dynamic mode, and 2,890 lumens in Cinema mode.
Color. This projector does an excellent job of displaying photographic images. Looking at outdoor scenes and portraits, we found the colors to be very realistic and pleasing to the eye. LCD panels are often said to have pixel lines that are more visible than DLP projectors due to the wider mask between pixels, but we can't say that about this projector. Close up to the screen there was a slight softness to the pixel squares that in no way diminished resolution, but seemed to smooth out the image when seen from normal viewing distance. The color rendition of computer applications was also quite true to what would be expected on a monitor, although the gridlines of a spreadsheet did look a bit softer next to the same image seen on a comparable DLP projector.
Security. Hitachi has incorporated a number of features into the projector and its menus that corporate and educational users may find useful. For security, the built-in Transition Detector can be set to require a password if the projector is picked up and moved. There is also a slot which accepts a Kensington® lock, plus a hardened bar at the back of the case through which a security cable can be passed.
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