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InFocus LP280 & LP290: Economy-class projectors

Evan Powell, October 16, 2001
Review Contents

With the release of the LP280, InFocus has introduced its first projector to sell at street prices below $2,000. InFocus had the education market in mind when designing this product. But mobile presenters on limited budgets will find that it covers all the basics as well. It is a no-frills, economy-class projector that gets the job done at a good price. The LP280's companion product, the LP290, is basically the same projector with native XGA-resolution LCD panels instead of SVGA. Both are portable 5.7 lb units with data, video, audio, monitor loop-through, and PS/2 (RS-232) and USB mouse support.

Overview

You notice a few things right off the bat when firing up the LP280 or LP290. First, you find that they are relatively quiet and the fan is low in pitch. No problem talking over fan noise here. Second, they throw a big picture from a short distance, so you have a lot of flexibility in setting the projector at the proper location to produce the desired image size. Third, they throw off no extraneous light from the casework. People in your audience who may be sitting behind the projector won't be distracted by the glare of its lamp beaming out of the air vents.

Light engines. The LP280 is rated at 1000 ANSI lumens and 400:1 contrast ratio. It delivers native 800x600 resolution from its three 0.7" LCD panels, and will compress up to SXGA (1280 x 1024). The LP290 is rated at 1100 ANSI lumens with 400:1 contrast. Its native 1024x768 XGA panels deliver higher resolution at a higher price. The LP290 will also compress an SXGA signal. Both projectors use a 132-watt UHP lamp rated at 2000 hours of useful life. Retail price on the replacement lamp is (at this writing) $349.

Zoom lens and throw distance. Both units have a 1.3x manual zoom lens that gives you extra fine-tuning ability to set the size of your projected image. A 60" diagonal image can be thrown from a distance of 5.9 to 7.7 feet, depending upon the zoom setting. If you need a larger image, you can back the unit up. Placing it about 11 feet from the screen gives you a 100" diagonal image.

Connector panels. Along the right side of the projector you will find an S-video port, and composite video jack, one 15-pin D-sub VGA input port, one 15-pin D-sub VGA monitor loop-through output port, one single pin audio jack, an RS-232 port and a USB port.

Video compatibility. The LP280/290 accepts NTSC, PAL, SECAM, PAL-M, and PAL-N. There is no HDTV, 480p, or component video capability on these units (no, there is no cheap home theater solution here-don't even think about it).

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Performance
Review Contents: Overview Performance

Buy the InFocus LP280 online here:

 

Buy the InFocus LP290 online here: