Optoma TX700 Digital Projector Review
Optoma TX700 Projector Brightness
Optoma pubishes 2200 lumens for the TX700 in full power. Experience, however has shown that most manufacturers projectors – in our reviews and others, tend to perform at only about 70% to 90% of claims. That’s not to say that an occasional projector actually measures up and beats the factory number.
In the case of Optoma’s new TX-700, one of the very least expensive XGA projectors out there, brightness measured about how we would expect it to. We measured the TX700 in three different modes – the brightest called PC, Movie, and Game. We found that PC and Game were similar in brightness, and that Movie, as expected was significantly less bright, although it was even lower than anticipated:
PC: 1883 lumens
Game: 1845 lumens
Movie: 383 lumens
In addition we tested the PC preset in low power mode and found it to produce 1445 lumens, roughly 23% less bright than full power. That’s a reasonable drop for a claimed 50% increase in lamp life.
DLP projectors have long trailed LCD projectors in terms of color accuracy – at least at “full power”. In the last year or so, however, I’ve seen a few DLP projectors that are coming close to LCD models, in this regard. Among those our concurrent reviews of the Dell 2400MP, and the InFocus IN26.
Not so, the Optoma TX700. I found it’s colors to suffer from the classic DLP problems, bright reds that come out dark (wine colored) reds, and in attempting bright yellow, you get yellows with a significant amount of green in them – a deli mustard kind of yellow. If you do need color accuracy, this is the TX700’s weakness. Consider though, it’s reds are not as dark as many, so I would say the TX700 is still a significant improvement over previous generations, just not up to the best of the new DLP projectors.
To put it in perspective, DLP projectors and LCD projectors have pretty much evenly shared the business projector market. In some classes of product (especially the smallest and lightest), DLP projectors have the larger share. In other segments – LCD projectors dominate. My point, though, is that many hundreds of thousands of DLP projectors with color handling of red and yellow, that isn’t even as good as the TX700 are in use today. When I owned an online projector dealership, we would occasionally get a return of a DLP projector for that reason, but I doubt if the percentage was more than 1% or 2%.
All considered, a s I previously pointed out, there are other DLP projectors, as well as probably every LCD projector, that can do better bright red and yellow.
There are no problems at all with the TX700’s sharpness. It is excellent in the center and there is virtually no change looking at the edges and corners, or at least nothing you would notice, at anything resembling normal seating distance, such as the closest person to the screen in a conference room, or the first row of viewers at a presentation.
The TX700 performs well handling white text on black, as well as the traditonal black text on white.
No issues here, either. The TX700 handles SXGA+ without any problems, just the small amount of degradation on small and medium sized text, that you would expect. Technically, the TX700 claims only to go to 1400×1050 (SXGA+) however it was able to lock onto a UXGA signal from my computer. The quality of the text was definitely not as good as with SXGA+, as expected, and in general we don’t recommend feeding a UXGA resolution signal to any XGA projector, unless, possibly if what is being shown is all large presentation size type as is typical for Powerpoint: 24 to 48 point text.
Basic video performance
Although the video mode of the TX700 is not very bright, the image it produces is excellent. If anything, it not only does well on typical education and business type videos, but also for home theater viewing. This is not surprising, considering Optoma is definitely one of the very best home theater manufacturers at any price point, so incorporating first class video into the TX700 could almost be expected. If maximum brightness is needed, the TX700 still produces respectable color and contrast at full power in PC mode.
I should note, though, that you probably wouldn’t buy the TX700 as a bright projector for home theater, because, to get it’s best video picture, it ends up not much brighter than a typical dedicated home theater projector, despite the 2200 hundred lumen claim in brightest mode. On the other hand, if your room conditions require a bright (non-home theater) projector, the results are very respectable in brightest mode, however I would probably have to recommend spending a bit more for an even brighter projector with a much brighter video mode, such as the Dell 2400MP. Remember, though, any XGA 4:3 projector is lower resolution than a home theater projector with typical widescreen 720p resolution (1280×720).
The TX700 is built to be an extremely lightweight, and bright, very portable business projector. In overall image quality it performs well, the limitation being reds and yellows that can’t measure up to the best DLP projectors or the price competitive but larger and heavier LCD projectors.
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