Casio Projectors at InfoComm 2014
This page runs through new products from Casio that Art saw at the annual InfoComm trade show.
Casio and Solid State Light Engine Projectors
At InfoComm, Casio was touting their leadership as the largest player in projectors with solid state light engines. Casio has rolled out its 5 generation Laser/LED hybrid projectors, and claim a whopping 78% market share, per our friend at the industry research firm Pacific Media Associates. I suspect that the 78% looks only at fairly bright projectors, perhaps over 1000 lumens, well below where the Casio lineup starts in terms of brightness.
So, let’s assume Casio has a 78% share of “serious” solid state based projector.
Casio at InfoComm
With a large number of new Casio projectors being shown at InfoComm, I’ll start with the latest in the Slim series. The Slim series was Casio’s first, and while they keep expanding and improving, the focus is on the Road Warrior. Prices are down, brightness way up. The least expensive of the SLIMs is $969 MSRP.
These low profile projectors measure only 1.7 inches high (not counting the drop down adjustable foot). That makes them especially portable. Weight on these new ones are all around 5 pounds. Not the very lightest projectors around, but perhaps the most compact and easiest to shove into a briefcase (if anyone still uses briefcases).
While I think of these slim projectors as true portables, they have become more sophisticated with the new models now sporting compatibility with Creston RoomView – making them at home on corporate networks. They can be hard wired in through the built-in LAN port.
Pictured on left is one of Casio’s Green Slim projectors.
About half of the new lineup supports Wireless networking to allow presentations (wirelessly) from smartphones, tablets, or computers, via the wireless LAN functionality. A full-featured media player is built in to each new SLIM projector, and that allows not only the basic presentations (with special effects) from images such as .jpg, but a player that also supports and shows PDFs, as well as Microsoft Office documents. There’s an impressive 2 gigabytes of memory on board for managing “PC-free presentations.”
This PDF chart shows the new models, and their basic features, such as resolution and brightness. All of the new SLIM series Casio projectors claim either 2500 or 3000 lumens!
The Casio XJ-UT310WN
Really new for InfoComm 2014 is Casio’s first true ultra short-throw projector, the Casio XJ-UT310WN with WXGA (1280×800) resolution. At $1999, this Casio projector claims an impressive 3100 lumens and typically mounts above the screen on a telescoping wall mount as shown here. This wall mount model is the YM-80 and has an MSRP of $249.99. Casio continues to expand its “lamp-free” projector lineup.
The XJ-UT310WN looked really good set up in Casio’s booth. Although perfectly suitable for the conference room, Casio positions this projector first as education-oriented, so no surprise that there’s a built-in 16-watt speaker system that can easily handle classrooms. Casio also offers an interactive whiteboard add-on kit, the YA-P10, which comes with an electronic pen. Typical pricing for that kit is $249.
Although the $1999 price is on the high side for ultra short-throw projectors without advanced interactive capabilities, the UT310WN is rated 20,000 hours on the light source, so no need for lamp replacements, in terms of cost, or labor to replace them.
Of significant note, Casio is putting some “money where there mouth is.” I’ve seen 3-year, and even 5-year warranties on light engines, but Casio will get you half way there, warranting the Casio XJ-UT310WN projector’s light engine for 10,000 hours – that’s 20 hours a week for a decade!
iOS and Android apps allow this Casio to work with your favorite phones and tablets.
Looks like the UT310WN is a serious player, so we discussed bringing in that one for review. The problem is always which projectors to bring in. Casio has a whole pile of new models, but Projector Reviews only reviews about 30 business/education projectors a year. So while I’m not certain yet, I figure we will review two Casio projectors between now and the end of 2014, and this is likely one of the two.
Casio's Signature Series
Before I move on to the next manufacturer, I wanted to also mention the new Casio projectors in their Signature series.
Casio considers the Signature series their primary class of projectors targeting schools (the interactive projector above also does target schools). These projectors are small fixed ins all projectors that are light enough at 8.6 lbs. to double as portable projectors. 3D capable, the Signature projectors from Casio also have built-in media players as previously mentioned, including the 2 gig of on-board memory. The same 10,000 hour warranty comes with their 20,000 LED/Laser light engine. Some of the Signature projectors, those with USB offer USB Display, the ability to interface with computers over USB instead of HDMI or “VGA.”
All considered, Casio’s lineup has gotten larger this year, with most of the older projectors being replaced with the “latest and greatest.” In some cases that means modest upgrades, in others, new higher resolution or additional features.
If solid state light engines make sense for your application, and you are looking for serious projectors, Casio is a great place to start your hunt.