Posted on April 21, 2015 Art Feierman
The Casio XJ-V1 is a new model (release date May 2015) for which the manufacturer uses the name EcoLite(tm). The unit reviewed was a pre-production unit and it’s possible the production units will differ a little in features and/or performance.
This model uses a long life hybrid laser/LED light source, which is unusual to for a projector in this price range, and that combined with no air filter to clear or replace means this is a very low maintenance projector. Casio markets this model as a classroom projector that is also suitable for business applications. The XJ-V1 has 1024 x 768 (XGA) resolution and combined with its very low maintenance requirements make this a great choice for replacing an older, lamp-based, classroom projector, most of which will use the same 4 x 3 image format as the XJ-V1.
The EcoLite XJ-V1 receives our Special Interest award for being a great choice for a classroom projector, as long as network support and an internal speaker are not needed, and when very low maintenance is a top priority.
The EcoLite Casio XJ-V1 is a compact and moderately light weight, at 8.6 lbs., projector that is portable enough to be easily moved between classrooms or conference room. It incorporates a hybrid laser/LED light engine rated at 20,000 of life and is spec’ed to put out a bright 2700 lumens (in brightest mode). The long life hybrid light source and the lack of an air filter that requires cleaning makes this a very long maintenance model, and that should be a major selling point for the EcoLite XJV1.
However, it lacks a few features found in some other classroom and business projectors in this price range. Perhaps the most obvious is the lack of a built-in speaker, so if you need audio to accompany the video material then you will need to use an external powered speaker system. The XJ-V1 does have an audio output connector for connecting a external speaker. Also, this model has no networking support, neither wired or wireless. So it is not intended for a school (or business) environment where centralized network based management of multiple projectors is required nor where multimedia presentations are to be made from network connected devices. In fact, this model does not have built-in multimedia capabilities in general. So in some ways this a rather basic projector, but there is nothing wrong with that as this will be all that is needed in many applications, but potential buyers need to be aware of these limitation.
While many recent classroom and business projectors are now using a widescreen WXGA format with a 16 x 10 aspect ratio, the XJ-V1 offers a native XGA resolution of 1024 x 768 with a 4 x 3 aspect ratio. Since many classrooms and conference rooms are equipped with projection screens or whiteboards that are closer to a 4 x 3 format, I don’t find the “old fashion” native 4 X 3 format of this projector a significant limitation for most business or education applications. In fact, the EcoLite XJ-V1 could be a good choice when replacing an existing projector that has a native 4 x 3 image format. In some cases, avoiding the expense of replacing an existing 4 x 3 projection screen can be a good reason for staying with a 4 x 3 format projector.
However, when projecting widescreen video material, such a video in the 16 x 9 HD format, the image will be letterboxed with black bars across the top of bottom of the image and only 575 vertical pixels used for displaying the video (i.e., better than standard definition, but not HD).
We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.
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