InFocus X9 Projector Review
11/12/2008 - Art Feierman
A detailed review of the InFocus X9 720p DLP home theater projector.
InFocus X9 Projector - Overview
The X9 is a very interesting projector. It seems to me that InFocus has realized that in the entry level 720p projector space, there is room for a very bright home theater projector that will work well in family rooms, bonus rooms, and other less than optimal locations. InFocus has definitely put the X9's emphasis on brightness, and ease of use. Rather than being a projector designed for the hard core enthusiast (not that it's image won't impress them as well), it looks to be a very good projector for those that just want to kick back, and enjoy a good image, an image that is brighter than most of the comparable competition can produce.
We are pleased to award the X9 with our Special Interest award. We would have liked to see more comprehensive image controls for the enthusiasts out there, and perhaps a touch better black levels, but it's brightness, out of the box color, ease of use, and sharpness, definitely earn this projector an award!
(The image below is from Men In Black. Let's face it, this screen shot just looks great!)
That's not to say that there aren't other bright projectors, notably the Panasonic PT-AX200U, which is fairly similarly priced. At this price point, for those that prefer DLP projectors over LCD projectors, this small black under six pound projector, is the about the brightest around, unless you are willing to spend a bit more, for the slightly more upscale Optoma HD71.
Thanks to the small size, and light weight of the InFocus X9, there is even a silver lining. The X9 makes a very nice entry level widescreen projector as well, supporting WXGA in both 1280x720, and the popular laptop screen format of 1280x800 (16:10 aspect ratio).
Using the X9 is a snap. The little "credit card" remote, stores right on the top of the projector in its little recessed area. Press power, select your favoite preset (Movie, Game, etc.), and source, and start watching.
Basically, we learned quickly that the X9 is limited in some color controls. More importantly it has really impressive color, right out of the box, with Brilliant Color engaged. Color is definitely a major strength of the X9, while on the other hand, the basic 2500:1 contrast ratio means only typical black level performance for an entry level 720p projector. Shadow detail is excellent!
InFocus X9 Projector Highlights
- Ease of use
- Really good color right out of the box in all modes (with Brilliant Color on)
- Very sharp image
- Can double as a viable, entry-level widescreen projector for business
- Limited zoom lens range, limits placement flexibility
- Two year warranty - better than most entry level home projectors
- Limited color controls - no grayscale calibration possible (lack of separate R, G, B colors) may turn off the "enthusiasts" and "tweakers"
- Nice projector for the family and bonus rooms with some ambient light
- Can be ceiling mounted, but is small enough to take it with you, or move from room to room
Specs for InFocus X9
MSRP: $1099 MAP: $1099
Native Resolution: 720p (1280x720)
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.1:1
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: 4000 hours low power (eco-mode), 3500 hours at full lamp power
Weight: 5.8 lbs. (2.6 Kg)
Warranty: 2 Years Parts and Labor
InFocus X9 Special Features
Projector Lamp Life
The InFocus X9 offers one of the longest lamp life ratings around. While a rare projector or two have claimed up to 5000 hours in low lamp (eco) mode, even most of those only claim 2000 hours with lamp at full brightness. The typical projector claims 2000 hours at full power, and 3000 in low lamp, compared to the X9 projector's 3500 hour claim at full power, and 4000 hours in low power.
This means that your long term cost of operation will be significantly lower for the X9, than most competing projectors.
Doubles as a Widescreen Business Projector
The combination of small size and light weight, plus support for 1280x800 resolution (the most popular for widescreen laptops), as well as a wide range of other resolutions, all the way up to UXGA (1600x1200). In addition, its brightness is similar to most entry level business projectors (typically 2000 - 2500 lumens). That does make the X9 bright enough to be a dual use projector.
Audio Built In
Finding a speaker on a home theater projector is truly a rarity. It occurs to me that BenQ has done so on a couple of models, but generally, home theater projectors (other than, of course, all-in-one projectors) come without audio.
Having the audio on the X9 can be handy, especially if you plan on moving the projector to different locations. True, it's only a small 2 watt speaker, but, in a pinch it can provide you with sound, while playing a game console, or even to watch some TV, in a room without an audio setup.