The side panel offers surprisingly few connectors.
2 HDMI, 1 with MHL
1 mini plug stereo OUT
1 3D Vesa Sync
1 12v trigger
1 Micro USB (for firmware updates and providing power)
Setting up. The GT1080 weighs 6.0 pounds and comes with a soft carrying case, making it easy to bring to a friend's house or store away when you're not using it if you need to. The short throw is a particularly welcome touch, giving you a big image even in a tight space. For my tests, I used a 90" diagonal image at the native 16:9 aspect ratio, with the projector just 38" from the screen.
As with most short throw models, there's no optical zoom. The digital zoom can shrink the image to 80% of the full size, but because it adds artifacts with some images, it's better avoided in favor of moving the projector to adjust image size. The manual focus ring offers a little too much resistance for fine control, but the focus changes little enough with a given amount of movement that it's hard to overshoot the best focus.
With the GT1080 sitting on a flat surface, the lens offset puts the bottom of the image at 16% of the screen height above the midline of the lens. If you need to, you can use the screw-on feet near the front and back of the projector to move the image up or down or adjust yaw. You can also adjust the image shape with a vertical keystone setting, although, as with digital zoom, this is better avoided since it can introduce artifacts.
Short throw lens. The short throw lens can give you a big image even in a small family room.
Long lamp life. The rated lamp life, at 5,000 hours in bright mode and 6,000 hours in Eco mode should help keep the total cost of ownership down, even with the $179 lamp replacement cost.
Excellent sound system. The 10-watt mono speaker delivers good sound quality along with volume suitable for a large family room or living room.
Quiet operation. Optoma doesn't publish a noise level for the GT1080's Bright lamp mode, but it's within an acceptable range: low enough to get drowned out by the sound system most of the time and ignore easily otherwise. Eco mode is rated at 27dB, and is almost impossible to hear from a few feet away.
Bright image. Optoma says that the GT1080 changes its color wheel algorithm to adjust brightness and color quality depending on whether the incoming signal is from a computer or video device. The measured brightness using the two types of sources is enough to notice in two images side by side, but only a minor difference in perceived brightness.
Using a PC, I measured the brightness at 2257 lumens in the Bright predefined mode, at 663 to 1151 lumens in other predefined modes, and at 1765 lumens using Bright mode and setting the lamp to Eco. With a video source, I measured it at 2563 lumens for Bright mode, 800 to 1321 lumens for the other modes, and 2022 lumens in Bright mode with Eco on.
As a practical matter, the 90" image I used for most of my testing was a little too bright for comfortable extended viewing with Bright mode in theater dark lighting but was a good choice for Game mode in moderate ambient light.
Acceptable brightness uniformity. With a 69% brightness uniformity measurement, the difference between the brightest and darkest areas on screen is visible even with the image broken up by text and graphics. However, you have to be looking for it to see it. Unless you're particularly sensitive to brightness variations, it shouldn't be a problem.