Highly Recommended Award
Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.
In the not too distant past, $699 wouldn't buy much in the projector world. These days, that's enough for the Toshiba TLP-XD2000U. This six-pound XGA multimedia projector has the features and functionality needed to make it a strong competitor in the highly competitive marketplace for high performance XGA projectors, and is an excellent choice as a low-cost portable projector. With 2000 lumens, a razor sharp picture, and features to spare, the XD2000U is a great value at $699 and a valuable tool for mobile presentation or fixed installation.
ANSI lumens: 2000
Contrast (full on/off): 600:1
Light Engine: 1024x768, native 4:3, 0.6" 3LCD with a 180W lamp.
Video Compatibility: 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i. NTSC/PAL/SECAM.
Data Compatibility: Computer resolutions up to UXGA (1600x1200).
Connection Panel: One VGA port, one secondary VGA-in/monitor out (controlled by switch), composite, S-Video, RCA audio input, 1/8" audio input, 1/8" audio output, 9-pin serial control port, locking hardpoint.
Lens and Throw Distance: 1.20:1 manual zoom/focus lens. Throws a 100" diagonal 4:3 image from 10' to 12'.
Lamp Life: Unknown.
Warranty: Two years.
The Toshiba TLP-XD2000U is clad in an attractive case, with a subdued black and silver finish and chrome highlights. The case measures 3.6" by 11.3" by 9.7" and the projector weighs in at a scant 6.2 pounds. The bottom of the case has three adjustable feet (two in the rear and one in the front) for precise leveling and height adjustment of the projector. A dust filter features a snap-off cover for easy cleaning, and the lens housing is accessed by removing two phillips screws.
The top of the projector features a hardwired control panel, for menu access. Aside from menu controls, the input can be switched, keystone can be adjusted, and volume raised or lowered without delving into the menu system.
The connection panel features four video/data inputs - two VGA, composite, and s-video. The secondary VGA port can be converted to a monitor passthrough with the simple flip of a switch. DVI and HDMI are absent, which is standard on such a low-cost projector.
The XD2000U has no lens shift, so the projector itself must be moved to adjust the image's placement on your screen. When the projector is perfectly leveled, the image is displayed such that 86% of the image is above the centerline of the lens, while 14% is below. This can make the use of keystone correction a necessity. To avoid the use of keystone correction, the projector must either be raised from the table or lowered from the ceiling by use of a drop tube assembly.
The XD2000U's 1.20:1 zoom lens allows for the display of a 100" 4:3 image from 12 to 14 feet. For smaller rooms, a 60" diagonal image can be displayed from 5'11" to 7'2". While this limits placement flexibility, it is commonplace for this class of projector.
Keystone correction on the XD2000U is clean. The projector has an auto-keystone option for quick and easy setup, and vertical keystone has a range of plus or minus 30 degrees. Applying keystone correction gives text a slightly bolded appearance, but bolding is consistent and rarely impacts legibility. When using an entire screen of small font or complex spreadsheets, keystone correction is best avoided for maximum legibility.
The menu system on the XD2000U is divided into tabbed sections according to function. When a menu is brought up, the first screen shown is a translucent overview screen, showing the current settings for that tab. However, when digging down into the menus themselves, this attractive interface changes, which can be disorienting the first few times.
The XD2000U has three Picture Modes. Numbered from one to three, Picture Mode 1 emphasizes brightness while Picture Mode 3 is focused on color, and Picture Mode 2 is logically a compromise between them. For photographic content, Mode 3 is ideal, while Mode 1 is great for textual presentations to large audiences.
The remote control fits the hand well, It is small and somewhat cluttered, though the projector's major functions are easy to find. The digital zoom feature is particularly easy to use, with zoom and pan controls available from the remote.
The XD2000U's exhaust fan is not exceptionally loud; nor is it exceptionally quiet. In normal lamp mode, the fan is noticeable, though not obnoxious. Low power mode drops audible noise to a pleasant, unobtrusive hum. If at all possible, do not engage high fan mode, which is meant for high altitude environments. With this setting turned on, the XD2000U bears an uncanny resemblance to a jet engine. Most users will never need to use this setting, however.
Using the lamp's low power mode drops lumen output to 1475 ANSI, which is a perfect 20% drop in output. For smaller screen sizes or rooms with less ambient light, this can reduce eyestrain caused by using the projector's full power setting.
Finally, when Picture Mode 3 is used, which provides the best color, the projector measures 1314 ANSI in high lamp mode and 1051 ANSI in low lamp mode. For the display of photography or any other high-contrast material including video, this setting is an excellent choice.
Brightness uniformity on our test sample measured an impressive 89%. There was no visible hotspotting, and screen illumination was pleasant and even.
In Picture Mode 3, the XD2000U is capable of excellent color performance. Given a suitably darkened room, the display of photography should pose no problem at all.
The XD2000U is a sharp projector. When using native XGA signals, the projector displayed every detail accurately, in pixel-perfect form. There were no issues with edge-to-edge sharpness or scaling, either.
The downside to this incredible sharpness is a visible pixel structure. While the inter-pixel gap is quite small, it is easy to make out pixels in the projected image out to roughly 1.8x the screen width. While some, like myself, do not find this to be a disadvantage, others should be aware of the issue.
But what if the source material isn't in the projector's native 1024x768? The XD-2000U does a fine job of converting SVGA and SXGA+ resolutions (800x600 and 1400x1050, respectively) into its native XGA. Avoid using text sizes below 10pt at SXGA+ resolution or above, as conpression artifacts can make it hard to read.
The Toshiba TLP-XD2000U earns high marks for its superb ease of use and great picture quality. It loses points for awkward lensing, causing setup to be difficult in some situations. Overall, the XD2000U offers a fantastic option for mobile presentation or fixed conference room use, especially to those who are willing to carry a few extra pounds in order to save several hundred dollars. With a street price of only $699, it is an excellent value.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Toshiba TLP-XD2000U projector page.