Casio XJ-A250V Projector - Performance
5-5-2011 - Art Feierman
Casio XJ-A250V Projector - Brightness
The Casio XJ-A250V is rated at 3000 lumens. Unlike last year, when the older Casio we reviewed came up way short of Casio's claimed brightness, this time it was a much closer thing, The Casio XJ-A250V's brightness measured 2510 lumens in its brightnest mode, without any tweaking. With some adjustments (which aren't likely to be done by normal users, we were able to squeeze out, about an additional 10% more lumens.
Let's look at some lumen numbers (too many to do them all), starting with Eco mode. These measurements were taken with the projector's, 2:1 zoom at full wide angle (normally the brightest lens zoom setting). On the majority of projectors in this report, the limited zoom lenses, naturally have only minor brightness effect, as you go from wide angle to telephoto, but with the Casio projector's 2:1 zoom we measured at three different points: Full wide angle (largest image from any given distance, Telephoto - smallest image size from any given distance, and halfway in between.
Brightness drops 44% from full wide angle to telephoto. We also measured an 18.5% drop from wide angle to mid-point on the zoom.
These are the numbers with the lens at wide angle, the brightest measurements in Eco-mode:
OK, so, of note, the XJ-A250 projector offers up almost 1700 lumens, in Eco-mode, where it is relatively quiet, and uses less electricity.
Casio does not serve up the five Pre-set color modes listed above, when not in Eco-mode. It would have been great if Casio left in these modes for each of the other two brightness settings. But no, once you turn off Eco, gone are these presets. After that, it's Low Medium or High color temp as your choices, and for those so skilled, color calibration of R,G, and B, but no "just push for Graphics, or Presentation, or Dynamic, mode" simplicity. Medium Color Temp, it should be mentioned, is the brightest, and best looking of the three color temp choices. After that, you can customize with, the RGB controls.
For maximum brightness, we measured the projector set for the Warm Color Temp, at both the medium and highest brightness settings. Medium generally looked the best, and was also the brightest.
There are a lot more lumens available once Eco is off. Here's how it played out:
Medium Color Temp, Medium brightness: wide angle: 1979 lumens.
Medium Color Temp, High Brightness: wide angle: 2510 lumens
With some other tweaking (contrast, etc.) this Green-Slim Casio maxed out at almost 2800 lumens, but image quality was definitely suffering from my "tweaking" Let's say Casio got pretty close to their numbers (3000), but when they drop down a little more (to 2510), picture improvement is worth the roughly 10% difference in brightness.
All said, even 1500 real lumens is normally plenty in a classroom or conference room, so we suspect most users will stick to Eco-mode.
Here are images taken at the same exposure, of the different Pre-set modes when in Eco. In order: Standard, Graphics, Theater, Blackboard mode, and Game, showing relative brightness, and also some color shifts.
Casio XJ-A250V Projector - Audio
The Casio XJ-A250V has only a single one watt speaker. That's not likely to cut it in a classroom with the usual number of students. A 1 watt speaker is adequate for portable use, when you don't have any really significant sound to project.
When more/better audio is called for, should you choose the Casio XJ-A250 or any of its siblings, the trick to better sound might be a powered speaker (or speakers) driven directly from a computer, or DVD player, or other source you are using.
There are plenty of options for additional sound, whether portable or mounted.This varies from small powered, to hefty sound reinforcement solutions, designed to mount with the projector, such as Epson's AP60 (it comes with a serious pricetag - $899, but is more than just speakers, it's a full switching system, and mount (the projector mounts below). This Epson device, with 2 30 watt speakers easily out powers any of the projectors reviewed for this report.
Casio XJ-A250V Projector - Audible Noise
Audible noise on the Casio XJ-A250V is perhaps it's most obvious weakness. Mind you it doesn't scream or anything, and probably is about the same noise level of some much more powerful projectors, and it wouldn't be untypical if compared to projectors 5 years ago.
While relatively loud compared to many of the other projectors, for example, those that we included in the education report, it's hardly deafening (around 40 db, perhaps). That's my best estimate when the XJ-A250 is in its brightest and, (of course), loudest mode.