Hitachi CP-AW250N Ultra Short Throw LCD Multimedia Projector Review

Appearance

Much like the previously reviewed CP-A100, the CP-AW250N provides no immediate clue as to how it is to be placed to project onto a screen.  The projection mirror is hidden under a door on the top of the projector, which opens up and rotates into position when the projector is turned on.  As a result, the following description will reference the end of the projector that’s closest to the screen as the front of the projector.  The top of the CP-AW250N slopes downward from front to back providing a sleek look from the rear.  The front face is comprised of two intake vents side-by-side, with the one on the left also containing the removable dust filter.  On the right side is a large hot air exhaust vent and the input/output panel is on the left side.

Moving to the top of the projector, in addition to the door for the projection mirror, there’s a control panel for the main functions.  These include a Power button, Input button and Menu access and navigation buttons, which also act as focusing controls.  Just to the right of these controls is a cover for accessing the lamp.  Also on top at the point where the top starts to slope down to the rear is an IR receiving window.  On the bottom of the projector are two height adjustable feet, one in front on the left side and another in the middle at the rear.  There is also a cover to access the clock battery and the built-in speaker is at the rear edge of the projector.

The CP-AW250N features a fairly complete a collection of inputs and outputs.  Starting on the top row, from left to right, there is a USB Type A jack for PC-free presentations, an RJ-45 jack for a network connection, a USB Type B jack for using the remote as a wireless mouse, an HDMI input and two VGA computer inputs.  Below that are an RS-232 serial control port, a computer monitor output, a microphone input, two audio inputs and a stereo audio input, stereo audio outputs, S-video and composite video input jacks.  Below all that is a Kensington key lick slot.  To the left of the input panel are an AC power connector and a security bar.  All of these connections can be covered up by an included cable cover that covers the entire right side of the projector for a clean appearance.

Hitachi CP-AW250N Remote Control

The CP-AW250N’s remote control is a small, black remote with gray buttons (except for the Power button which is red) and white lettering.  As most of the buttons are also the same size, this makes them difficult to find in a darkened room.  On the plus side, the buttons are appropriately grouped and cover the usual most-used functions.  In addition to menu access and navigation (which are grouped nicely at the bottom of the remote), there are buttons to select between video and computer sources, digital zoom, focus, magnify, image blanking and freezing, audio volume and mute, aspect ratio, page up and down (when using the remote as a PC mouse) and keystone correction.  Of particular note are two buttons labeled “My Button”, which can each be programmed with a custom function selected from a list in the menu.

As is usually the case with multimedia projectors, the buttons are not backlit or even glow-in-the-dark, as backlighting can often be distracting in a darkened room.

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