Casio XJ-H2650 LED/Laser XGA DLP Multimedia Projector Review
Casio XJ-H2650 Color & Picture Quality
As usual, I connected my laptop to the XJ-H2650 via HDMI and fed the projector its native resolution (1280 X 800). The XJ-H2650 synced quickly and displayed a bright, colorful image. As we found with the previously reviewed XJ-M145, colors are not particularly accurate when using the brightest color mode (Eco off – Bright mode). All colors were very dark, with yellow almost looking brown. Switching to the Normal mode offers some improvement and is equal to most DLP projectors brightest modes. If all you’re looking for is contrasting colors in a presentation (i.e.: pie chart), either Eco off mode will suffice. However, any presentation that requires for accurate color will require the Eco mode to be engaged.
Once Eco mode is engaged, colors are similar to most DLP projectors in similar modes. In Standard mode, reds are still quite dark while yellows were dull and mustardy. Dropping down in brightness to any of the other picture modes improved the color balance greatly. Theater mode is easily the best of the modes, with very good overall color depth and accurate skin tones. Photos viewed in Theater mode displayed well saturated primary colors, adding realism to nature photos. As a result, Theater mode should be used for photo and video presentations when high brightness is not necessary, as its lumen output is less than a third of the brightest mode. If greater brightness is required, Standard mode can still provide acceptable photo viewing.
Switching to the XJ-H2650’s VGA input, there was only a minor change in picture quality and depth of color. It’s only noticeable when you switch back and forth, so it’s really a non-issue.
Casio XJ-H2650 Projector: Readability
While the XJ-H2650 may fall a bit short in the color balance department, it excels in readability. Starting with the XJ-H2650 displaying its native resolution on a 55” diagonal image, we brought up our usual spreadsheet, which has a range of text sizes and colors. The text was sharp and easily readable for all color and size combinations (from 8 pt. to 36 pt. text and white text-on-black or yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds).
Moving to different resolutions and aspect ratios than its default 1280 x 800, the XJ-H2650 was more than up for the task. Whether it was 1024 x 768 (lower resolution and different aspect ratio), or even 1920 x 1080 (higher resolution and different aspect ratio), the XJ-H2650 easily displayed even the smallest text on the spreadsheet without a problem. Such text remained quite readable and there was no color separation or overlap as can be found on some LCD projectors (mainly due to slight convergence issues inherent in a three-chip projector vs. a single chip DLP). Excellent scaling is the norm these days, even in the lowest priced projectors, and the Casio XJ-H2650 is no exception.
As our smallest text size is much less than would usually be used with most presentations, it is unlikely that there would ever be an issue with readability with the XJ-H2650.
Casio XJ-H2650 Projector: Video Quality
While video presentations are likely to be limited to a small percentage of XJ-H2650 users, the projector acquitted itself quite well. Using the DVD playback from my laptop computer connected via HDMI, I checked the XJ-H2650’s ability to display video from a PC source. Using Theater mode, the XJ-H2650 displayed good color depth. As far as color rendition is concerned, the XJ-H2650 was the equal of any other DLP projector in its price range. As we mentioned in the Color and Picture Quality section, skin tones are quite natural and colors are generally well saturated. Blacks and shadow detail were nothing to write home about, but certainly typical for a multimedia projector and perfectly acceptable in most cases.
Viewing a Blu-ray movie with the XJ-H2650 resulted in increased color depth, as well as the expected increase in sharpness from the higher resolution source. Due to the fact that the LED/Laser light source removes the need for a color wheel, there is none of the typical DLP “rainbow effect” during viewing.
As the high brightness/long lamp life combination is what makes this projector attractive to buyers, it’s unlikely to be used extensively for video presentations, which are best in the lower brightness modes. Nonetheless, if you’re projecting a looped video continuously for many hours a day, that long lamp life may be just what you need. If that’s the case, the XJ-H2650’s video quality in Theater mode is more than acceptable for such presentations. It should be noted that if you have a video presentation that includes audio, you’ll the XJ-H2650’s built-in 10-watt speaker provides an acceptable volume level for small to mid-size rooms, reducing the need for external, powered speakers
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