InFocus X9 - Performance
11/12/2008 - Art Feierman
The InFocus X9 is a very bright 720p projector. There can be, however, a huge difference between engaging Brilliant Color, and leaving it off. With Brilliant Color set to Off, the X9 is brighter than most home theater projectors, in "best mode," where it is very close to 1000 lumens (400 - 550 is considered average). By comparison, in brightest mode, most home theater projectors are in the 800 - 1500 lumen range, and the X9 still only produces about 1000 lumens.
Engaging Brilliant Color, while in Movie mode (best), only increases brightness by about six percent, but Brilliant Color roughly doubles the lumens for the bright modes.
With Brilliant Color turned off, all four modes measured within 10 lumens of each other.
Engage Brilliant Color, though, and things can really change.
Movie (and also sRGB), as noted, onlly increase slightly when you turn on Brilliant Color, but when you turn it on for PC or Game, it's a whole different world. Brilliant Color, in those two modes just over doubles the brightness compared to having Brilliant Color turned off.
The first set of numbers below are for each mode are the measured results with Brilliant Color turned off. In addition to the lumen measurement, you will find the measured color temperature for white (100 IRE).
Brilliant Color: Off
Movie = 949 lumens @ 6118K
sRGB = 947 lumens @ 6112K
PC = 952 lumens @ 6120K
Game = 945 lumens @ 6119K
Immediately below are the numbers for the same four presets, but this time with Brillaint Color on:
Brilliant Color: On
Movie = 1003 lumens @ 6574K
sRGB = 1007 lumens @ 6593K
PC = 2011 lumens @ 6543K
Game = 1969 lumens @ 6556K
All measurements above are with the lamp mode at full power (Eco-mode turned off). Switching to low lamp (eco) mode, we measured Movie mode at 752 lumens, a drop of roughly 20%. That roughly 20% decrease, when Eco-mode is engaged, should be consistant, regardless of what preset mode (Movie, Game...) you are in. Thus, for example, with Brilliant Color engaged, PC mode would be roughly 1600 lumens.
InFocus is very good at producing sharp images. We have enthusiastically praised InFocus in some of our 1080p projector reviews. I'm pleased to report that the X9 also happens to have a very sharp image, when compared to other 720p projector competition.
Our first image is a closely cropped image of the DTS test disc opening menu. What you see in the thumbnail is only about 20% of the area of the full image. The larger versions when you click on them are even further cropped. As you can see, the Panasonic is not exceptional in this area.
Left: InFocus X9, Center, Panasonic PT-AX200U, Right: Optoma HD71
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right X9, Epson Home Cinema 720, Sanyo PLV-Z60.
InFocus X9: Bottom Line Sharpness
It is possible that one of the other sharper 720p projectors can eek out a win over the X9 for sharpness, but, the sharpest of them, including the X9, are very close to each other. On the other hand, the X9 does provide a visibly sharper, crisper image than the most popular of the 720p projectors, the Panasonic PT-AX200U.
The real improvement in sharpness will come from choosing a 1080p projector, instead of 720p projector. Even the softest looking of the 1080p projectors should prove to have a visibly sharper and crisper appearing image than any of the 720p models.
The X9 is very clean in this regard. A very small amount of light leakage comes out of the lens, however, it certainly is not going to ruin anyone's viewing experience. There is one spot however (on the front of the left side - if you are looking at the front of the X9), where you can see light shining out. So, if you are sitting on that side, exactly even with the front of the projector it might annoy you. If you move your seat forward or back, just a few inches, the issue goes away.
For color accuracy reasons discussed elsewhere, we recommend running the X9 with Brilliant Color on. Doing so, however, as is typical, means you will have a bit more image noise, than found on other projectors, be they LCD projectors, or DLP projectors running with Brilliant Color off. Still, the image noise levels (mesquito noise) levels are not a big problem, especially when you consider our take, that the X9 is not an enthusiast's projector, but one for the masses, where subtle differences in image noise are not likely to be noticed.
Rarely are DLP home theater projectors overly quiet. For the most part, LCD projectors are significantly quieter. The X9 as a DLP projector, is fairly typical. InFocus actually claims 28 db in eco-mode, and 30 db at full power.
We are not set up to measure audible noise, but I have "listened" to the X9, in both my theater, and with other projectors in my testing room.
I'll buy into the 28db noise level in eco-mode, that sounds about right, just quiet enough, that it's a non-issue for all but the most noise intolerant owners. The 30 db, is probably a stretch. First of all, there is no question in my mind, that switching from eco-mode to full power, increases the projector noise by 4 or 5 db.
that would put full power noise around 32-33 db, which is typical of DLP home theater projectors, and 31-33 db is where most manufacturers claim their DLP projectors are, at full power.
Bottom line: Audible noise is average for a DLP, and there is significantly more noise than you will find with most LCD projectors. Is all this a problem? For most of us, not at all, but running at full power, may be a problem for those overly sensitive to fan noise.