IN26 Projector Review - General Performance
InFocus IN26 Projector Menus
Many years ago, InFocus was one of the first projector manufacturers to popularize menus that heavily relied on graphical icons. Over the last year or two, they seem to have moved back toward basic menus, with an emphasis on smaller, less obtrusive menus that are text oriented. That works fine by me. I can think of a few projector brands that use graphics in their menus, that I can't figure out what they represent, and if I can't, how about a novice projector user.
InFocus starts with a very small main menu, shown above, with 3 primary menus. The Picture menu shown to the right, handles the usual brightness, contrast, and color settings (advanced).
In addition, this menu also houses keystone correction controls, selection of Aspect ratio, and the selection of the multiple Presets.
The Presets menu offers users a choice of three main presets - one for Presentations, and one each for Film and Video.
In addition, the InFocus IN26 offers three savable User presets, found on this menu.
That brings us to the third sub-menu; Advanced.
The first grouping of options deals mostly with technical control of the image, things that are normally taken care of automatically, but this menu provides manual control.
Of more interest to users, are the color related controls: Color Space, Color Temperature and the individual Color Controls. The color control menu is shown below.
Shown to the right, is the Color Control menu, offering the usual Gain and Offset controls.
Moving right along, the IN26's 2nd primary menu, is the settings menu, immediately below.
The IN26's settings menu includes control of source selection, audio, setting up a Startup Logo screen, a custom key, and access to the projector's service menu (not for end users please.)
Lastly, the third primary menu is the Info menu, which provides various information about the projector's status - current source, etc.
InFocus IN26 Remote Control
The InFocus remote is very basic. Unlike most other projectors, whos remote's have plenty of buttons to allow quick access to the more widely used controls, InFocus relys almost completely on the menu system.
In fact, the only conrtrol you have besides power and access to the menu system, is the source select button.
In addition, as I noted on the first page, while discussing the InFocus IN26's control panel, InFocus uses a different method of navigating menus, than most other projectors. Whereas most projectors use a four arrow system, and enter key (select), InFocus uses only up and down arrows.
As a result, when you are in a lower level menu, to move back up a level, instead of simply hitting the left arrow which is customary, you need to scroll to the top item on the menu, and then press the Select button.
This definitely adds a few keystrokes. It's not a bad system, and you get used to it quickly, but, ultimately, the traditional four arrow system does save "keystrokes."
The IN26 projector has a 1.1:1 zoom, basically a minimal zoom. You set the projector up about where it needs to be to just fill your screen perfectly, and use the zoom to fine tune the image size, since you only have a total range of 10% which on typical conference room screens means less than a foot of placement adjustment. For a 100" diagonal screen, the front of the projector can be as close as 13.2 feet to 14.5 feet.
The InFocus is essentially free of any significant light leakage, definitely among the best of the recent projectors reviewed.
The IN26 is fairly typical, it claims 35 db in eco-mode. We found the noise levels to be about the same as the Dell 2400MP, Optoma TX700 and the Mitsubishi HD4000 that were all part of this six projector review. Definitely its noisy enough to be easily noticed in a small conference room, but not so noisy that you feel you have to "talk over it". No issue here.
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InFocus publishes a single lamp life spec, regardless of what mode the projector is in. There is no formal "low power" or "eco-mode". They rate the lamp life as 3000 hours. Most competing projectors tend to claim 2000 hours at full power, and 2500-3000 hours in "eco-mode". As a result, the lamp life of the IN26 should be better than the average projector's, yielding a lower cost of operation.
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 (1920x1080).
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.