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Infocus IN1126 Portable Projector Review

Highly Recommended Projector
Performance
4.5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Business
InFocus IN1126 Projector InFocus IN1126
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:2,500:1
Lumens:3000
Weight: 3.4 lbs
Resolution:1280x800
Aspect Ratio:16:10
Technology:DLP
Lens:1.2x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:2,500 Hrs
3,500 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, VGA In, HDMI, USB
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 1080p/60, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i
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InFocus IN1126 Portable Projector:
No Frills but Excellent Image

Allan Abbott, August 28, 2012
ProjectorCentral.com

The new InFocus IN1126 is a 3.4 lb. WXGA portable projector with a 3,000-lumen rating and a street price of just under $1,100. It has a 2,500:1 contrast ratio, and its lamp has a 2,500-hour life expectancy. The basic warranty is two years for the projector and six months for the lamp, but some parts are warranted for five years. It has computer and video inputs including HDMI, and its footprint is only 7" x 8.6". Plug those parameters into our database and the number of competitive projectors that meet or beat all of them is . . . zero.

It is worth emphasizing that the IN1126 weighs less than 3.5 pounds. That helps a lot if you have to haul it from distant parking lots and down endless hallways. InFocus has added a nice touch by including a carrying bag that fits the IN1126 snugly but has ample external pockets for cable storage. All in all, this is a nice step forward in reducing projector size and weight at the 3,000-lumen level.

The Viewing Experience

The IN1126 is a road warrior projector with the added bonus of some excellent video images. Powerpoint presentations and Word documents look crisp and clean, but photos and movies look good, too. Audio output could be a bit more robust, but its light weight and bright images will impress an on-the-go presenter. The IN1126 may be small in stature, but its size and weight belies its performance.

It is not surprising that portable 3,000-lumen projectors are noisy at their brightest settings because there is a lot of heat to evacuate from a small volume. The IN1126 is no exception, but it is quieter than any of its competitors, and heat is exhausted out the front to minimize audience fan noise distraction. This is a no frills projector with single computer and video inputs, but it puts up an excellent image, turns on and off quickly, and packs a very bright image for such a compact projector.

After a quick start, the IN1126 delivers a bright, stable 1280x800 image. It is a DLP-based light engine, so those who are sensitive to color wheel artifacts may notice them in certain video scenes, but the data images are artifact-free and well saturated. Small fonts were easy to read even at full keystone correction. Video images were color balanced although a few adjustments to contrast (up) and brightness (down) were needed to get the best rendering of shadows and highlights. Flesh tones in the Movie preset mode had a little red bias, but that was easily corrected by switching to User mode and using the Color Manager in the Advanced menu. In fact, the Color Manager lets you set levels for all seven color wheel segments if you have the patience to get the best image possible.

The one-watt speaker will not suffice for anything but a small conference room, but it was buzz- and rattle-free over its entire range. One thing to be aware of is that the top of the case gets pretty warm near the fan exhaust ports, so care is warranted if children are in the audience.

Key Features

Presets. The IN1126's six preset modes (Bright, Presentation, Game, Movie, TV, and sRGB) give you plenty of flexibility for choosing color, brightness, and contrast settings for different applications. There are five additional wall color settings available in the Advanced section of the Installation I menu. If none of the presets meet your needs, you can go to User mode where you can customize a variety of settings.

Picture Controls. In User mode, you have control over virtually every picture setting. In addition to the usual suspects, you can select the gamma setting, color temperature (Cold, Normal, and Warm), and the individual levels of the color wheel segments (RGBCYMW). Note that picture controls are unavailable in preset modes.

Connectivity. The inputs include one HDMI port, one VGA for computer or component video, one composite jack, one S-video jack, and an RCA audio input for those video sources. There is a USB Type B connector for maintenance purposes, but there is neither an audio out connector nor a USB Type A for memory sticks.

Warranty. The IN1126's warranty is split into three categories: the projector's power supply, fans, color wheel, and light tunnel which are covered for two years (parts and labor), the lamp which is covered for six months (parts and labor), and the rest of the projector which is covered for five. years (parts) and two years (labor). The five-year portion covers assemblies that rarely fail, but overall the IN1126 warranty is better than most in its class.

Maintenance. Like most DLP projectors, the IN1126 has no air filter to change, so maintenance consists of vacuuming the side grills every now and then to avoid any dust accumulation that might impede airflow. Replacing the lamp is still required, of course, but since it is removed through the top of the projector, it is relatively easy to do even if the projector is ceiling-mounted.

Performance

Brightness and Uniformity. Rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens, the IN1126 put up 2,865 lumens in Bright mode. Other presets delivered as follows: Presentation - 2,715, Movie - 2,380, Game - 2,265, TV - 1,950, and sRGB - 1,770. The four wall color presets came in between 1,265 and 2,310 lumens depending on wall color choice. The Eco lamp setting reduced brightness by 24% in all modes.

Image Size and Offset. The IN1126 is well suited for tabletop or cart mounting with the bottom of the image about 8.5" above the lens centerline for a 100" diagonal image. In the unlikely event that ceiling mounting was desired, a drop tube would probably be needed.

Menu Selection and Navigation The on-screen menus for the IN1126 are a bit layered in spots (e.g., the Advanced menus), but in general they are intuitive and easy to navigate. Menu position is movable and its transparency is adjustable. Common settings such as brightness and contrast are adjusted in the menu itself rather than as a single line at the bottom of the image, but it is easy to see what effect setting changes are having on the image. A Quick Menu for selecting Volume, Keystone, and Digital Zoom is available on the projector control pad but not on the remote control.

Lamp Life. The lamp in the IN1126 has a rated life of 2,500 hours in normal mode and 3,500 hours in Eco mode. A replacement lamp can be purchased from InFocus for $375.

Limitations

Placement Flexibility The IN1126's low zoom ratio of 1.15:1 leaves little room for adjusting projection distance for a particular image size. For example, a 100" diagonal is achieved with the IN1126 between 12.6' and 14.6' from the screen. If that 2-foot adjustment range is not convenient for the room you are in, you will have to choose another screen diagonal.

Remote Control .The remote control for the IN1126 is small and simple, but therein lie two of its limitations. Since it is the size of a credit card, it is easy to misplace and may accidentally wander away in someone's shirt pocket. Its simplicity dictates that many single function buttons found on larger remotes are not provided, and that means a visit to the on-screen menu for settings such as Eco mode or aspect ratio. It was also a surprise to find that no battery is included to power the remote, so a trip to the store to find a CR2025 battery is required to use the remote.

Fan Noise. There is not much that can be done to keep fan noise low in compact, high brightness projectors, but InFocus has done better than most. Fan noise frequencies are in the low- and mid-ranges and heat is exhausted from the front of the IN1126, but they may still be a distraction for those seated within five feet of the projector. The Eco lamp setting reduces noise substantially and only reduces brightness by a modest 25%, so it may be a good choice for all but the highest ambient light situations.

No Audio Output. If you are using an external speaker system, you will have to provide audio input to it from your computer or DVD player as the IN1126 has no audio output port.

Uniformity changes in brightness are not as evident when projecting video, but for certain data projections, the effect of IN1126's brightness uniformity of 66% was visible. For our test sample, the lower center of the screen was the bright spot with the upper right at the low end of the brightness measurements. Not too long ago, uniformity of this level was considered pretty good, but standards have risen and uniformity in the 80% range is not uncommon.

Conclusion

The InFocus IN1126 is a solid performer in the high-brightness portable projector category. Its data and video images are excellent, and it starts and stops in short order for those on the go. It is the lightest, smallest, and quietest projector in its class, and although its audio output is only one watt, it suffices for the small audiences a road warrior usually encounters. It is not the least expensive 3,000-lumen portable, but it is the lightest and smallest, and its overall value merits our 5-star rating.


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