InFocus IN24 SVGA DLP Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Price
$699 MSRP Discontinued

There's no reason why educators and presenters on a tight budget cannot have a quality presentation projector. The InFocus Work Big IN24 is an SVGA projector that cranks out almost 1400 ANSI lumens, weighs seven pounds, and costs less than $600 at current street prices. With a solid feature set and great performance, it's a lot of projector for the price.

Specifications

ANSI lumens: 1700

Contrast (full on/off): 2000:1

Light Engine: 800x600 (SVGA), native 4:3 0.55" DLP chip with a 2x 4-segment color wheel, 200W SHP lamp.

Video Compatibility: HDTV 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p. NTSC/PAL/SECAM.

Data Compatibility: Computer resolutions up to XGA (1024x768).

Connection Panel: 15-pin VGA input, monitor pass-through, composite video, s-video, USB, L/R RCA audio-in, 1/8" audio out, Kensington lock point

Lens and Throw Distance: 1.10:1 manual zoom/focus lens. Throws a 100" diagonal 4:3 image from 12.9' to 14.2' or a 60" diagonal image from 7.8' to 8.5'

Lamp Life: 3000 hours.

Warranty: One year, 90 days for lamp.

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Overview

The InFocus IN24 has the same case size and weight as the InFocus IN26+, reviewed recently. Its simple design does not require a lens cap thanks to a recessed lens. It has dimensions of 12" by 9.5" by 4" and a weight of seven pounds--the stated specification is 5.95 lbs, but our test unit measured 7.0. So it might not be the best choice for a mobile presentation projector if it needs to be carried frequently, since there are lighter options available. However, it is still light enough to be portable.

The IN24 features InFocus's ProjectAbility control panel, which incorporates its most commonly-used features and makes them accessible from the panel on top of the projector. As such, there are buttons for source selection, source re-sync, image mode selection, and menu control.

The InFocus IN24

The connection panel is identical to that on the IN26+, and incorporates VGA input and VGA-out/monitor pass-through, s-video, composite video, audio input and output, USB for computer control, and a Kensington lock for securing the projector when not in use. The combination of monitor passthrough and a Kensington lock is ideal for classroom use.

The IN24's lamp is rated for 3000 hours of runtime, and replacement lamps cost only $250. Assuming that the lamp lasts for the full 3000 hours, this makes the cost of operating the IN24 a mere eight cents per hour. If the lamp were to blow out at only 2000 hours, cost would still be only twelve cents per hour. With lamps priced at $250, lamp replacement becomes less financially daunting.

The IN24 connection panel

The IN24 has a 14% upward throw offset, meaning that the bottom edge of the projected image will appear 14% of the image's height above the centerline of the lens. This allows the IN24 to be placed on a conference room table with ease, or ceiling mounted. For a 60" diagonal image, this puts the bottom of the projected image five inches above (or below, in a ceiling mount) the lens centerline. If you require a more aggressive upward angle, you can always tilt the projector and apply keystone correction.

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Keystone correction on the IN24 performs admirably. It can cause some legibility issues with small font sizes and compressed XGA signals, but this is more of a limitation with the technology than a problem with the IN24. Using a native SVGA signal or bringing font sizes up to 12pt will rectify any issues.

Performance

The IN24 is at its brightest in Presentation mode with the lamp on high. With these settings, our test unit produced 1360 ANSI lumens (80% of the advertised specification) with 80% brightness uniformity. So in addition to being bright, the IN24 gives the screen uniform illumination, with no obvious hotspots. This brightness is useful in medium to large conference rooms with ambient light, as well as classroom settings. If using a larger screen (80" diagonal or more) or projecting for an audience of 30 or more, it may be beneficial to dim the lights in the room.

The IN24 remote control

If you are presenting in a small conference room environment with just a few people in the audience, 1360 ANSI lumens can be too bright. An image that is too bright can cause eyestrain and headaches, and make watching the screen an unpleasant chore. To rectify this, you can use the IN24's low lamp setting, or an image mode other than Presentation. Eco-mode produced 1060 ANSI lumens, or a 22% drop. Film mode in high lamp produced 502 ANSI lumens, while film mode in low lamp netted 392 ANSI. This gives you an adjustable brightness range of about 1000 lumens, allowing you to adapt lumen output to most any environment.

Contrast is quite good. By lowering Brightness in the menu system and running the IN24 in Film mode, black level is improved to the point where it is excellent for photography or even video game use. The Nintendo Wii looked great on this projector using a component to VGA adapter. High-definition consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstaion 3 look their best on a 16:9 projector, but the IN24 will do in a pinch. While presentation mode produces a brighter picture than Film mode, shadow detail suffered.

Edge to edge sharpness is excellent. When displaying a screen full of small text, every area of the picture was razor sharp and perfectly clear at all times. Text documents are crisp, images are well-defined and sharp, and PowerPoint slideshows are easy to read.

Scaling is also superb. This is of the utmost importance on an SVGA projector, since most (if not all) computers are at least native XGA. When using an XGA source and 10pt font, the IN24 maintained the clarity and legibility of text very well. If using keystone correction, consider bumping font size to 12pt or larger. Scaled graphics lose some of their sharpness but are otherwise lovely. For the best possible performance, try adjusting brightness down a few notches and using "film" mode as a starting point.

InFocus IN26+ versus IN24:
Which Should You Buy?

The InFocus Work Big IN26+, another recent release from InFocus, uses the same casework, remote control, and connection panel as the IN24. It even has many of the same features. There are some key differences, however, that separate the two.

The IN26+ is an XGA projector, with a native resolution of 1024x768 compared to the IN24's 800x600. This allows for more information to be displayed on screen at one time with less visible pixel structure. Many computers are of XGA resolution, and pairing an XGA projector with an XGA computer will guarantee you the best possible image quality with no scaling or compression.

The IN26+ is also significantly brighter. While our IN24 sample measured 1360 ANSI lumens maximum, our IN26+ test sample produced 2152 ANSI lumens. This represents a 36% increase in total light output, and allows the IN26+ to be used on much larger screens than the IN24. If the projection environment has a lot of ambient light, the IN26+ can also better combat its effects without having to dim the lights.

While these features look nice on spec sheets, there are many reasons to buy the IN24 rather than its more powerful sibling. For one, material like PowerPoint presentations does not suffer much from being compressed to SVGA resolution. Simple graphics still look great on the IN24, as well. For many applications, the extra resolution of the IN26+ is simply not needed.

Furthermore, unless you need the extra lumen output of the IN26+, it can actually be detrimental. At small conference room screen sizes, even the IN24's 1360 ANSI lumens are more than enough. On a 60" screen, the IN26+'s extra lumens are wasted, and can cause of eye fatigue.

Finally, the IN26+ costs $200 more than the IN24 at current street prices. If you are not going to take advantage of the extra resolution and brightness of the IN26+, there is no sense in spending $200 extra for features that will go unused.

Conclusion

The InFocus Work Big IN24 represents a great value in today's market. With street prices just under $600, the IN24 brings together a solid feature set with a bright, sharp picture that can be used in conference rooms, classrooms, and even living rooms. While the IN26+ is a more powerful projector, those who do not need the extra lumens or resolution will find the IN24 to be right up their alley.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our InFocus IN24 projector page.