Projector Reviews

Casio XJ-S400UN Projector Review – Summary

Casio XJ-S400UN Projector Review – Summary: Summary, The Competition, Pros, Cons

Summary

The Casio XJ-S400UN is a WUXGA (1920×1200) DLP projector claiming 4,000 lumens, but it didn’t quite hit its claim. When measured at full wide angle, the projector came in at 3,525 lumens in its brightest mode, Standard. All other measurements were taken at mid-zoom, which is the typical installation for business and education projectors, and are discussed further down on this page.

This $1949.99 projector is primarily positioned as a classroom projector, though it is well suited for use in business environments such as conference rooms, meeting rooms, and boardrooms, in addition to K-12 classrooms, university classrooms, and even smaller lecture halls where there is some control over ambient light. It has a loud built-in 16-watt speaker that will be sufficient for all of the environments listed above, save for lecture halls, where you will want to use the hall’s external sound system.

Casio XJ-S400UN projecting a scene from Journey to Space.

The XJ-S400UN has a generous 1.70:1 zoom lens with manual lens controls. I found it to have good focus, though it does get slightly blurry at the edges. To overcome that, we recommend focusing on a point about 1/3 out from the center of the screen. This projector features Casio’s next-generation R-Laser & LED Light Source, which has a 20,000 light engine life claim – that claim translates to about 18 years of use when running the projector for six hours a day in a typical 180-day school year. And, it doesn’t have any filters! No lamps + no filters = virtually no maintenance!

Casio XJ-S400UN projecting a scene from the Netflix show Explained.
The Casio XJ-S400UN does well when reproducing skin tones. This photo was taken with the projector in Theater Mode.

Casio created the XJ-S400UN with educators and presenters in mind. Quick Projection and Auto Input search make starting class and beginning presentations an easy, fast experience. The projector features wireless capabilities such as PC Remote and Moderator Function, which allows teachers to project content from a PC, in addition to a free app for iOS/Android that allows smart phones and tablets to wirelessly connect to the projector.

With C-Assist, you can interact, display, and control the XJ-S400UN via your iOS or Android device. This wireless feature requires the optional YW-40 Wireless USB Dongle. The Casio XJ-S400UN also features one of the best warranties around: a three year parts and labor warranty, with three year or 6,000 hours on the light source – whichever comes first.

Casio-XJ-S400UN_Inputs-and-Connectors

The Casio XJ-S400UN has excellent connectivity – all of the inputs and connectors you’ll need for your business or education applications. There are two VGA connectors for Computer In, and one VGA port for Monitor Out. It has a pair of HDMIs, two Audio In jacks and one Audio Out, and a Mic input. The XJ-S400UN has some old-school inputs: composite video inputs and an RS232c port. There are also two USB Type-A ports, a Mini-USB jack, and a LAN connector.

The Casio XJ-S400UN has seven color modes: Standard, Graphics, Theater, Blackboard, Natural, Vivid, and DICOM SIM. There are three modes that I would consider to have good color, and those are Theater (1,691 lumens), Natural (2,033), and Graphics (1,812), in that order. Vivid is a mode that could be used for presentations and graphics, but I wouldn’t use it for video. Blackboard looks exactly as Blackboard modes should, and measured at 1,490 lumens.

I did not care for DICOM SIM. Mode (1,510 lumens), as it didn’t do what DICOM SIM. modes are meant to do – I could barely see the details of my cat’s X-Rays. I projected it in Natural Mode, and it performed well, so if you’re using this projector for medical classes, use Natural instead of DICOM SIM. Standard is the brightest mode, and measured at 2,637.

The Casio XJ-S400UN, though it didn’t reach its 4,000 lumen claim, measured bright enough in multiple modes to combat the kind of ambient light seen in a typical classroom or conference room. I shot the photos above in Natural Mode, which is the brightest best mode. I used an image with a black background to demonstrate its performance, as black is the first color to go when faced with ambient light. As you can see from the images in the slider above, you can still see all of the important information contained within the image.

The Bottom Line:  XJ-S400WN

This Casio is still a very bright projector.  It is overall well-endowed, and very suitable for classroom (built in powerful sound, advanced networking, and of course, a solid state light engine.  It has some minor issues, most notably not the very best color out there, but fine for the vast majority.  Note that I compare it to some top performing lamp based projectors.  There simply aren’t any laser projectors with WUXGA resolution anywhere near the price. Figure with the S400WN’s $1949 list price, it’s mostly $1000 to $1500 below other WUXGA projectors when comparing list prices to other solid state projectors.  Either you are paying far less for this Casio XJ-S400WN than other solid states, or are dealing with modest savings if you choose a lamp based projector, but then deal with support headache of replacing lamps every so often, a time consuming challenge if there are multiple projectors, as there might be in a school, or corporate facility.  Very bottom line, excellent value proposition.

The Competition

There are some projectors featured in our 2019-2020 Classroom Projectors Report that come to mind as competition, though the projectors I will be talking about share only one or two elements with this Casio. I will be discussing the Epson PowerLite 109W, which won our award for Best Performance in the K-12 Class, and the BenQ LU950, which did not win an award in the report, but did score a Hot Product Award during its review process.

Epson-PowerLite-109W_Right

The Epson PowerLite 109W is a WXGA (1280×800) resolution, 3LCD projector with a $749 list price. Epson’s education discount brings the projector down to $612 per unit. Though a bit more costly than the NEC NP-MC382W, it measured above its 4,000 lumen claim at 5,354 lumens (full wide angle), 3,913 at mid-zoom, and has more placement flexibility with a 1.60:1 zoom lens. It also has support for wireless, and can connect up to 50 iOS or Android devices simultaneously. And, it has support for Chromebooks, which are highly used in many of today’s classrooms.

I consider this to be competition to the XJ-S400UN because they have the same lumen claim, a similar zoom ratio, and wireless capabilities. Keep in mind that this is a lamp based projector, which is why the cost is so much lower than the XJ-S400UN, in addition to its lower resolution. This particular projector will be able to combat ambient light better than the Casio, as the PowerLite 109W has 3LCD technology – it has as many color lumens as it does white ones, and DLP projectors, though they may be getting more white lumens dollar for dollar, often will have a much lower lumen count for color lumens.

BenQ LU950 Projector

The BenQ LU950, like the Casio XJ-S400UN, has a laser based light engine and WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution. This BenQ has a brightness claim of 5,000 lumens, but measured 4,160 in its brightest mode, making it direct competition to the Casio. That’s at mid-zoom (our standard way of measuring lumens), however, so expect a couple hundred extra to spare. This particular projector comes with some extras that the Casio does not.

The LU950 has a 1.60:1 zoom lens (the Casio has a 1.70:1), as well as 60% vertical lens shift/23% horizontal, and HDBaseT for running A/V signals over long distances, giving the projector excellent placement flexibility. In addition to the standard two HDMIs, there is HDMI In and HDMI Out for multi-projector setups, where you can link up to four projectors at a time for image stacking or conference type setups where multiple projectors are positioned around a room at one time. Like the Casio, it also has wireless capabilities.

Pros

  • $1,949 List Price
  • 4,000 Lumens – Came in at 3,525 Lumens in Standard at Full Wide Angle
  • DLP Projection Technology
  • WUXGA Resolution (1920×1200)
  • 1.70:1 Zoom Ratio
  • 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • New R-Laser & LED Hybrid Light Source – Up to 20,000 Hours
  • No Lamps, No Filters – Minimal Maintenance
  • Wired and Wireless LAN (via YW-41 Dongle)
  • Auto Input Search
  • Auto Projector Off
  • Quick Projection
  • Moderator Function – Project Student Work via Wireless Connection
  • C-Assist App – Remote Control/Presentation via Smart Device
  • 16 Watt Mono Speaker – Loud Enough for K-12 and Most University Classrooms

Cons

  • Didn’t Meet 4,000 Lumen Claim
  • Could Have Better Color
  • No Lens Shift – Would Have Been Nice

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