InFocus IN83 Darkchip4 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

InFocus IN83 Review: Highlights

  • Magnificent, bright, accurate natural looking picture (after calibration)
  • Brilliant: Measured 1100 lumens in its best mode (about twice as bright as average)
  • Very sharp, crisp image (yet still very film-like)
  • No adjustable lens shift, so projector cannot be shelf mounted (unless below the bottom of the screen – not likely)
  • Limited range zoom lens (usually not an issue when ceiling mounting)
  • Can produce up to 1900 lumens if/when you need it, and still have very good color – perfect for sports with some lights on
  • Support for optional anamorphic lens, for full screen Cinemascope viewing
  • Good warranty – 2 years
  • Very good menu system
  • Extremely good price performance (for a projector sold only thru local dealers)

The IN83 is almost identical to the IN82 we reviewed late last year. Both are DLP projectors using a seven segment wheel. The IN83 claims 100 more lumens – 1600 compared to 1500 – although the IN83 measured slightly less than we tracked when reviewing the IN82. Both share the same curved black casing, and are physically identical but for the different model numbers.

The biggest difference is that the IN83 sports the new Darkchip4 DLP processor (perhaps the first to ship under $10,000), while the IN82 has inside it the widely used Darkchip3. I don’t know the full technical differences, but apparently it’s enough for the IN83 to claim native contrast of 5000:1, while the IN82 has 4000:1. That implies better black levels, which was confirmed by viewing. InFocus also changed some of the inputs (for the better).

Overview

The InFocus IN83 is a fantastic home theater projector. I don’t get this excited too often. In recent memory – the JVC RS1 about two years ago, and the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB/Epson Pro Cinema 1080 UB, in late 2007. Add the IN83 to that list. Like other great projectors, it isn’t perfect, but its strengths easily outway the few minor flaws.

Perhaps it has something to do with the Darkchip4, the latest DLP processor, but I’ve never before had any projector here that produces such a natural looking and color accurate image, after calibration. I concede now that part of that (natural look) may be related to also being much brighter than almost all of the competition. In fact, only the Optoma HD81-LV, of all the 1080p projectors we’ve reviewed, is brighter.

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