Acer X1261P Projector - Image Quality
4-5-2011 - Art Feierman
Acer X1261P Color & Picture Quality
The Acer X1261P being a DLP projector has the typical issues.
The Acer has many built-in color modes. Bright, is the brightest, and as is typical of most projectors in their brightest mode, tends to be strong on yellow-green. All the other modes looked at least very good!
Many DLP projectors have great problems with bright (pure) red and bright (pure yellows). Those reds tend to come out dark merlot wine like, and the yellows, mustardy yellow-green.
With the Acer X1261P even in "brightest", the reds and yellows were better than with most DLP's in the same position. In the other modes, the red does vary (as does the yellow) but always should be acceptable unless you are trying to get perfect colors.
Moving down to Video, color starts looking excellent, although the least bright, it does a great job on movies considering it's not a home theater projector!
Over all, Standard mode provides the best balance of Color accuracy and brightness with Presentation a brighter alternative, still much better looking than Bright.
All of these images below were taken with the same exposure, so as to show you relative brightness. That does make the brighter ones a bit overexposed and the darker ones a bit under:
Picture Mode (I found other modes to be better than Picture, not a favorite mode, in terms of red handling. I favor Standard which is similarly bright).
For a very low cost DLP projector, the color was more than satisfactory. It was better, overall, than I expect from lower cost DLP's and I'm including DLP's costing hundreds more in that statement. In fairness, though, even in its Video mode, was not a match for the best color of the 3X as expensive - and also 3D capable - Sharp PG-D45X3D projector. The Sharp is one of the more expensive projectors considered in this year's Education projector report, along with this Acer, which represents the least expensive 3D projector in the report.
Another photo of the Acer projecting a website image from a computer's browser
Acer X1261P Projector: Readability
Really, really good, in native mode of XGA - 1024x768. The image is extremely crisp looking. If you focus the image at the dead center, you can detect a bit of softness to the sides and especially the corners, but it is slight, and only likely even noticeable, if you are looking at really small type.
Image below, cropped screen image, XGA resolution (click on image for larger version):
Here's a closer look (again you can click for larger):
Resolution 1280x800 (typical of most widescreen laptops):
The Acer still looked good (below) at 1440x900 (the highest resolution my MacBook would feed it). The laptop can feed higher, such as 1600x1200, but the Acer apparently wasn't interested in going that high with a Mac, since in communicating, apparently 1600x1200 UXGA didn't make the list of pull-down choices (resolutions).
The short answer is no issues of note in terms of readability. Even higher resolutions were more than clear enough, that any readability issue would be because the people viewing are too far back, to read type that small, not because of the projector.
Acer X1261P Projector: Video Performance
Color on video is very good. Feeding the highest resolution video - 1080p from a Blu-ray disc player, I tried the Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D disc (Blu-ray 3D). Since the Acer lacks a DVI or HDMI, and it's only true hi-res input is the VGA, we brought in the signal over component video, via the computer (HD15) connector. The projector automatically recognized a component video signal. and accepted it. I had just been feeding it a typical analog computer signal a minute before. Due to only one VGA/component video input, I had to switch cables (but low cost switchers are available), not being able to have the computer and the Blu-ray player hooked up at the same time.
The Acer X1261P had no problem handling the input. It put up a good looking image, (great scenes of Tahiti, beaches, mountains). The actual color was very good in video mode, but significantly oversaturated. I dialed down the Saturation from its default 54, down to 42 which was much better. Skin tones were very nice.
The issue I found with this Acer is the motion noise. The Acer projector is fine for lower def videos, typical education and business content. The motion noise is there, but not a deal breaker. This projector's video is not as clean as most others, in this regard, but should generally be considered acceptable. For those wanting to take this Acer home, and watch movies from Blu-ray, will no doubt enjoy them, but a number of other non-home theater projectors wil be a bit cleaner in terms of this noise.
By the way, no issues with HDCP, the copyright protection used on Blu-ray discs. In addition to the Tahiti video, I popped in Iron Man briefly, and no problems, works fine, looks fine but for the slight noise mentioned above. The lower resolution (1024x768) also means that fine lines will break up when there's panning, but that should be true of virtually any XGA projector tackling 1920x1080.
The other modes are brighter than Video, not quite as pretty, but Standard definitely offers more horsepower, and with minor adjusting, still looks really good.