Classroom Projector Report: Casio Projectors Commentary
For Casio, we considered the XJ-M145 (click for full review) in this years Classroom Projector Report. We have also decided to look at the XJ-M145's siblings, the XJ-M140, XJ-M150, XJ-M155, XJ-M240, XJ-M245, XJ-M250, and XJ-M255 projectors to make sure that you choose the right projector for you.
6/16/2012 - Art Feierman
Casio Projectors - A Quick Look
The XJ-M145 we considered in this year's Classroom Projector Report belongs to a large series of similar Casio projectors. Because there are so many, we will not use a T-chart compare/contrast them, but instead outline the basics of the series below:
All of the projectors are DLP and have a 1.50:1 zoom ratio. They all weigh a fairly portable 8.6 lbs. and have a 1800:1 contrast ratio. They all offer an HDMI input that allows you to connect to your laptop, gaming console, cable box or Blu-Ray player during a presentation.
All of the Casio M projectors have a 5W speaker, which is enough to do decent sound for a small group in a smaller presentation space. However, if sound is important to you, you should probably seek a projector with 10 or 20W speakers.These projectors do not offer close captioning, remote mousing or network control capabilities.
However, the Casio XJ-M140, XJ-M150, XJ-M155, XJ-M240, XJ-M245, XJ-M250, and XJ-M255 projectors do have an impressive 20,000 hour lamp life. This will save you the effort and costs of lamp replacements that you'd have to deal with a projector with a standard 2500 hour lamp life. These projectors also don't have filters, so you don't have to worry about changing those when you would have to change a replacement lamp too. They also come with a 3 year parts and labor warranty that will cover any additional costs that arise along they way. Basically? These projectors are great if you don't want the hassle of repair costs.
The Casio M series is also 3D ready.
The projectors in the series that have a 1 in them (XJ-M140, XJ-M145, XJ-M150, XJ-M155) have a native XGA (1024x768) resolution.
Those with a 2 (the XJ-M240, XJ-M245, XJ-M250, XJ-M255) have a native WXGA (1280x800) resolution, which means that they are widescreen projectors.
The projectors that are in the forties (XJ-M140, XJ-M145, XJ-M240, XJ-M245) have 2500 lumens, while those in the fifties (XJ-M150, XJ-M155, XJ-M250, XJ-M255) have 3000 lumens.
The projectors in the series that end in 5 (XJ-M145, XJ-M155, XJ-M245, XJ-M255) have USB inputs for cable-free presenting. You can present straight from a USB flash drive without dealing with the hassle of wires, cables or your computer.
The XJ-M140 (click for specs) is the most entry-level projector in the series, costing $899 (MSRP). In addition to everything outlined above, the XJ-M140 has 2500 lumens and a native XGA (1024x768) resolution, which is the standard. So for the basic price you get the basic lumens and the basic resolution.
A great choice if you're looking for an inexpensive, no fuss projector that will get the job done.
The XJ-M150 (click for specs) is one step up from the XJ-M145 that we reviewed in depth and considered in our Report. The XJ-M150 costs $1199 (the same price as the XJ-M145), which gets you XGA resolution as well. But what makes it different is that it has 3000 lumens instead of 2500. It also lacks the USB input that the XJ-M145 and some of the other siblings have.
For a little more brightness, the XJ-M150 is a better choice if you're dealing with a brighter presentation environment (like an office or classroom with more ambient light).
The XJ-M155 (click for specs) is another step up in both price and performance. Costing $1399 (MSRP), the XJ-M155 has 3000 lumens like the XJ-M150 above (as do all of the projectors in this series with 50 or 55 in their name). It is XGA resolution like the rest of the projectors in the bottom half of the series. The XJ-M155 also has a USB input that will let you present straight from a USB flash drive. This way, you won't have to tote around your computer during presentations, and you won't have to struggle with cables and wires to connect to that computer.
If you want hassle-free presentations, a little more brightess and you don't need widescreen, the XJ-M155 is the projector for you from this bunch.
The Casio XJ-M240 (click for specs) is the first projector in the second half of the series. It costs $1099 (MSRP), which is less than some of the other siblings mentioned above. For the lower price tag, you get the lower brightness option - 2500 lumens. You also get a widescreen projector with native WXGA (1280x800) resolution, as opposed to a non-widescreen XGA projector. You lose the USB input that the odd numbered projectors in the series get (the M145, M155, M245, M255), but you still have HDMI to let you connect to virtually any source (cable/satellite box, gaming console, laptop, Blu-Ray player, etc.)
The XJ-M245 (MSRP $1299) also has the lower brightness (2500 lumens) and widescreen WXGA resolution. In addition, it has the convenient USB input for painless presentations. Otherwise, it is identical to the other projectors.
The XJ-M250 (click for specs) costs the same as the XJ-M245 ($1299 MSRP), but for that price you lose the USB and gain an extra 500 lumens, giving you 3000 lumens total. The smarter choice if you don't care about USB but want to get a little more brightness out of your projector.
This is where it finally gets a little interesting. The XJ-M255 (click for specs) is the most expensive in the series (MSRP $1499). For that price, you're buying the higher brightness option (3000 lumens), the widescreen resolution and the USB input... But what sets it apart from the others is that it has wireless networking capabilities! This feature that the others lack means you can really have hassle-free, cable-less presentations -- your XJ-M255 will just pick up your presentation wirelessly and show it on the screen. Talk about convenience.
If wireless networking is important to you, if you know you want widescreen, and if you desire the best picture possible, the XJ-M255 is at both the top of the series and the top of your wishlist.