Posted on April 26, 2017
The Casio XJ-UT351WN is a rare breed, as it is an ultra short throw projector (UST) that uses a solid state light engine – LED and laser combination instead of a lamp. This provides some competitive advantages over most other business and education projectors – lamp based ones. The Casio’s rated “lamp life” is up to 20,000 hours – that’s 3 to 6 times longer than your typical lamp will last. You will pay an extra few hundred dollars for the XJ-UT351WN up front, for that solid state light engine, but will not need multiple lamp replacements. This could save heaps of money over time, assuming this Casio projector is heavily used.
The XJ-UT351WN has a good feature set, reasonably loud built-in speakers, good networking support, low maintenance and great picture quality. Claiming 3,500 lumens, this is a business and education projector that is ideal for conference rooms and classrooms with quite a bit of ambient light, or moderate light and very large screens.
The Casio XJ-UT351WN weighs in at 13.23 pounds and is a mid-sized business/education projector that is still portable enough to be transferred between conference rooms or classrooms. No lamps to replace, combined with its low maintenance qualities (no filters that require cleaning), 3,500-lumen claim, high contrast ratio of 20,000:1 are all part of what makes this projector a good value proposition.
The XJ-UT351WN is priced at $3,199.99 MSRP, though I found it online for as low as $1,620. Pretty good deal, especially when you consider the perks of this lamp-free projector outlined in the previous paragraphs. This is a new projector that started shipping in February of 2017. Casio has an “Advanced” series of projectors, of which the XJ-F210WN is their top-of-the-line model, but that projector sells for $1049.99. Knowing this, I was eager to see what Casio provides for nearly $2,000 more. Be aware, in general, that Ultra Short Throw projectors do typically cost a good deal more than standard throw models.
There are two other models in this lineup, but both claim 400 lumens less than the XJ-UT351WN, at 3,100 lumens. Though this Casio didn’t meet its claim, it will still be brighter than either of its siblings and the better choice if you’re dealing with a lot of ambient light. Both of the other projectors in the line can be found at the same general price points and with similar features. Casio’s Ultra-Short Throw series have an added bonus for teachers in that they can be used with an interactive whiteboard, something that is becoming more commonplace in schools nationwide. That is about as far as this projector’s interactivity goes.
Casio claims the estimated life of the projector can be up to 18 years when operating the projector six hours a day in a typical 180-day school year. If that’s true, this projector has an excellent value proposition as compared to its lamp-based counterparts, which could not hope to last that long. Lamps tend to dim over time and need to be replaced, but the hybrid laser/light engine allows for longer use, again, without needing to change the light source. In their press release, Casio said, “with the Eco mode on Casio projectors, users can save up to 50 percent of energy costs compared to a conventional projector with mercury-vapour lamps.” That is a major perk if you will be using this projector heavily.
The projector features WXGA resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. It has plenty of inputs and connectors for video output, built-in wired-LAN networking support, and even an optional adaptor for wireless networking. Some installations expect to interface wirelessly to presenters (or students) laptops, or other devices, but not every setup needs wireless, so having it a simple plug-in option makes sense. It also has a dust-resistant design, which is a real benefit considering this projector will likely be wall-mounted above the screen – if it did have filters to clean, it would also be rather inconvenient to access without a ladder.
Time to turn to our Special Features page where we explore some of these capabilities.
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