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Casio's New LED/Laser Hybrids

The new Casio hybrids are the most popular portables on the site, but many units appear to fall far short of the lumen spec.

We've always been genuinely enthused by Casio's Super Slim portables. Our most recent review of a product in this line was last June, when we gave the XJ-S32 a very high rating (see review).

However, we have encountered some puzzling results in testing several of the Casio Green Slim models that feature the new hybrid LED/Laser light engine. The problem, in a nutshell, is that the samples are falling far short of their lumen specifications. Our first three samples of the XJ-A130, which is rated at 2000 ANSI lumens, measured a maximum of 1228, 1134, and 1098 lumens respectively. Our sample of the XJ-A145, rated at 2500 lumens, measured only 1220, not even 50% of the official rating.

Not all samples are falling this far short of the official specifcation. Casio just delivered another XJ-A130 to us on Monday. This one measures 1630 lumens, which is quite noticeably brighter than the
others we have in house. While this sample does not meet the 2000
lumen spec, it only falls short by 19%. In this industry, such a
variance is not uncommon.

In addition, we have also been informed by two trusted outside sources that they have tested A130s, and in both cases they report lumen output being at or very close to the 2000 lumen spec. At the
same time, three other sources are reporting low brightness results in the 1100 to 1200 lumen range, which is consistent with what we have seen on our first four test units.

Why is there such a wide variance in lumen performance from one unit to another? We don't know. We have asked Casio for help in understanding what the issue might be, and they are looking into it. Until we get a response, we will delay reviews of Green Slim hybrid light engine models until we know how a buyer can be certain he/she will get one of the bright units when placing an order.

In the meantime, we are continuing to do testing on the samples that we have in house, so we can learn more about what you should expect from this unique light engine design.

Evan Powell

Comments (3) Post a Comment
PatB Posted May 27, 2010 10:23 AM PST
I don't really know but it doesn't surprise me. The Casio produces RBG in a unique way. Th Red is from an LED, the Blue is from a laser, and the Green is from a flourescent. It shouldn't be unexpected that the process of getting all three methods coordinated enough to produce white might be little trickey.

I can imagine that different test equipment might be more sensitive to one color or another. This might result in different readings on the Casio but not on more conventional amchines.
Ryan Posted May 27, 2010 12:11 PM PST

PatB may have a point. I've read elsewhere about equipment being inaccurate measuring laser light. What about placing two of those projectors side by side and just eyeballing differences in lumen output between them? If they seem close enough, then maybe it is the light meter.
Evan Powell Posted May 27, 2010 2:02 PM PST
We get substantially different readings from one Casio sample to the next using the same meter. When two units that measure 1630 and 1100 respectively are set side by side, the one measuring 1630 is obviously brighter to the naked eye, just as the meter would indicate. And a projector with a UHP lamp that measures 2000 lumens is visibly brighter than the Casio samples we are testing. Thus, we have enough data to discount meter sensitivity to different light source types as a factor of significance in the results. EP

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