InFocus IN26 DLP Portable Projector Review
Portablility and Carry Case
The IN26 is a typical sized 6 pound projector. InFocus makes a number of sigificantly smaller projectors for those traveling frequently. I believe they see this projector as more of an “in-house” model, one being moved from room to room, rather than from city to city.
The IN26 does not come with a shoulder carrycase, unlike most of the other projectors that are part of our Six projector comparison. InFocus does, however, offer a variety of optiional soft and hard carry cases.
InFocus Work Big IN26: Additional Comments
The IN26, which is an entry level XGA projector, should be popular in schools and budget oriented businesses. InFocus, on this model seems to think users are going to rely more heavily on the projector’s control panel, than the remote. (That is definitely a reasonable assumption. As a result, there is very good “direct” control from the large control panel, whereas, as noted, the remote is limited to power, source selection, and then everything else through the menus. As one who has presented heavily over the years, I like having the extra controls on the projector itself. Those pesky remotes have a tendency to disappear for short times when you are looking for them.
The buit in one what speaker system performs fairly well. If sound is a big part of what you are presenting, there are phyically significantly larger projectors, out there for a little more, that were primarily designed for education, that have two, or even 4 larger speakers.
The sound of the IN26 is simply “typical” of the smaller, more mobile projectors.
The IN26 is HDTV resolution compatible handling signals up to 1080i (1920×1080).
InFocus also does a better job than most manufacturers, in terms of color coding the inputs and cables for fast, easy to understand installation. In addition, a minor, but nice touch, their cables have tie-backs, so you can quickly bundle them up neatly.
If you want to hook up a component video input (highest quality non-digital video), it can be input in the computer input. This will require an adapater cable, that is not included. The same, however is true of 5 of the six projectors in the comparison. Only the much more expensive, widescreen, Mitsubishi HD4000 has a separate component input, and these InFocus and Mitsubishi models are definitely not direct competitors.
Overall, the InFocus, ergonomically, is a really easy projector to set up and use. Despite that, it does provide access to advanced color control features (just in case you really need them), more than found on some of the other projectors in the comparison.
I would say overall ease of use, is one of the things the IN26 does best.
IN26 Projector Review - Warranty
InFocus provides a 1 year parts and labor warranty on their IN26 portable projector.
That’s pretty basic. Projectors in this price range average about 2 years warranty, however there are plenty of projectors with one year warranties, and a fair number with three year warranties.
InFocus offers three warranty options. You can extend the basic warranty to a 2nd, or for three years. The 1 year extension is $149, and the 2 year extension, is $249.
Heavy users, or those simply paranoid, can also buy one of the few extended lamp warranties on the market. Most manufacturers only cover lamps for 90 days (and often a max of 500 hours). For an additional $89, you can extend the lamp warranty to 1 full year, with no limit on the number of hours.
InFocus Work Big IN26 Projector: Summary, Pros, Cons
The IN26 makes for a very nice entry level XGA resolution projector, that performs very well for the price, and should be popular, particularly in K-12 schools and for businesses and government requiring XGA resolution on a tight budget.
This InFocus projector has three particular strengths: First, it is really well designed as a “plug and play” projector – easy to setup, and easy to use, with minimal need for adjustments, if any. The second area that impressed, is in image quality, with a very sharp image, and particularly good color accuracy for a low cost DLP projector. Lastly, with a Minimum advertised price of $999, and the expectation of further discounts from dealers, it is well priced, and very affordable.
There are a few downsides as well. It’s definitely not one of the brightest projectors in it’s price range. That said, it has plenty of brightness for the type of user it should attract. It should have no problem handling full florescent lights in classrooms or typical conference rooms. While it’s measured brightness in lumens was significantly below InFocus’es claim of 1700 lumens, that is pretty typical of most projectors reviewed. It’s remote is very basic, with the apparent design concept, that it’s typical user is more likely to use the control panel on the projector (which has far more buttons than the remote), than the remote, for adjusting the projector. This is very atypical, with most projectors having lots of buttons on the remote, and a very basic control panel on the projector itself.
The projector also does not come with a carry case, and it has a shorter than average warranty – one year parts and labor, although affordable extended warranties are available.
Size and weight are typical for this class of projector, the lens is recessed to protect it, and it has the usual basic security features, including a Kensington lock, and password protection (as a theft deterrent).
InFocus Work Big IN26 Projector Pros and Cons:
- Good color handling with very respectable bright reds and yellows
- Very sharp image
- Monitor output (computer out) for working with desktop computers
- Compression technology for handling higher resolution
- Excellent control of projector from it’s control panel
- Very easy to setup and use – a “plug and play” projector
- If needed; very advanced user controls of color handling
- Solid feel
- Audio output for use with external speakers
- Only a single computer input, no separate DVI (digital input) nor, separate component video input for highest quality video
- Short warranty
- Remote has limited functionality
- Audio – very basic – small, low power speaker (typical for this class of projector)
- No remote mousing/presentation control – found on some entry level projectors
- Does not come with a shoulder carry case – InFocus offers several optional cases (most projectors in this class come with a case)
- Very limited range on the zoom lens
- Physical size
- Video performance
Final word on the IN26
Although the IN26 isn’t quite as powerful as some of the comparably priced competition, it is a solid performer, one that occasional users, will really like because it is so easy to use. There’s no such thing as an idiot-proof projector, but this InFocus does come close. It’s not overly small, nor overly large, but big enough, in the classroom to be less likely to be stolen (a real issue for schools) than some smaller models such as the Optoma TX700 that is also part of our Six projector comparison.
Overall I enjoyed using the IN26, as I think most consumers will. It is highly functional, and straighforward to use, and I certainly can’t fault the image quality!
If you have the craving for more lumens, more zoom range, more inputs or a longer warranty, there are other projectors in the same general price range or a bit more that might work better for you.
When it comes to the “bottom line,” I seriously doubt that those that choose the “Work Big” IN26 will be anything less than pleased with their choice.
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