Projector Reviews

Casio XJ-UT310WN LED/Laser UST Projector Review – Performance

CASIO XJ-UT310WN LED / LASER ULTRA SHORT THROW PROJECTOR PERFORMANCE:  Brightness and Eco modes, Sharpness, Audible Noise

 

XJ-UT310WN Brightness by Mode

 

XJ-UT310WN Projector – Brightness by Modes
Mode Full Power, or
Brightest Eco (1 leaf)
Eco 5 (5 leaves)
Bright 3119
Normal 2736
Standard 2141 1158
Graphics 1507 815
Theater 1487 804
Blackboard 1223 661
Natural 1844 997

Sorting through all the power and preset modes on this Casio can definitely be described as confusing.

The story plays out like this.  There are two “non” Eco modes – Bright and Normal.  They are available when you turn Eco to Off.  In a sense, consider Normal to be the Eco of Bright mode.

If you have Eco turned on though, you get five “Preset” modes, each with names suggesting their best use:  Standard, Graphics, Theater, Blackboard and Natural.

And each of those has five different brightness levels, signified in the menus as 1 eco leaf, to 5 eco leaves.  Eco 1 leaf is the brightest and shown in the table in the 2nd column, the same one that shows the measurements for Bright and Normal, as those are the brightest measurements for those modes.  The right most column shows the brightness of those five presets, when 5 leaves are selected – the most eco friendly, and least bright of the Eco choices.  As you can see, even in the lowest of the eco modes, the range runs from 661 lumens to 1158 lumens.

That doesn’t sound like much, but if your setting has controlled lighting, so that these modes in Eco 5 are bright enough, then you have a  projector that’s drawing only 110 watts!  Most projectors in this class (around 3000 lumens max) draw 250 to 400 watts, so that’s a noteworthy savings.  Still, I doubt that most users will want to dim lights enough to get by with mostly under 1000 lumen brightness.

I did measurements of the differences between the 5 levels of eco.  They played out as follows.

Relative to Eco 1:

Eco 2 is down about 24% from Eco 1
Eco 3 is down about 30% from Eco 1
Eco 4 is down about 38% from Eco 1
Eco 5 is down about 46%  (as you can see in the table)

What’s that all mean?

The Casio measured at maximum almost exactly as claimed, 3119 vs the brochure says 3100 lumens.  That’s about dead on.

By switching to the Eco modes you get a variety of presets, with different color balances and color accuracy.  Definitely some look better than others, but that was discussed in the Picture Quality section.  Let’s just say again, that Bright mode is very strong on yellows, greens and reds are on the dark side.  Normal is a little better, but still emphasis is on brightness rather than color.  Not surprising, Theater, and Natural are the two best looking modes if you need fairly accurate color, with only Theater doing a very good skin tone, as even Natural is still a bit too yellow.

As a result, let’s say that when you want very good color the projector still serves up respectable brightness, with almost 1500 lumens in Theater, and almost 1850 in Natural.

Casio UT310WN Sharpness

Sharpness is often an issue with ultra short throw projectors.  Over the last three to four years we’ve brought in perhaps a dozen plus UST projectors for review.  Early on, a number of them had sharpness issues, including major brand names such as Hitachi.  Epson was probably the first company with ultra-short throw projectors (Brightlink) that were very good at sharpness, without any more sharpness issues than traditional longer throw ones.

In the last two years though, we’ve seen good sharpness from most brands’ entries.

This Casio is solid when it comes to sharpness.  Focus the projector in the center, and you’ll see just a slight drop in sharpness toward the bottom (when table top), and a touch more softness in the top – especially in by the corners.

But, it’s still very sharp overall, and any softness will not impact a presentation, not even if you are projecting web pages, spreadsheets, or Word documents, let alone large type such as found in Powerpoint presentations.

8 point type is easily readable if you are close enough to the screen to be able to read it because of its small size.  But then who even uses 8 point type.  10 point type is looks great, as you can see in our little test chart with text sizes.  Even 8 point type in reverse – white text on a black background, is readable.

Bottom line on sharpness:  The Casio isbout as sharp as one could hope for with an ultra short throw projector, and better sharpness than one might expect from most pocket projectors (which tend to be LED projectors).  If you are comparing to the typical $500 to $1000 standard throw projectors, with similar brightness, I’d say this Casio is comparable to all but the sharpest of those!  Well done!

Audible Noise Levels

The Casio is a relatively quiet business and education projector.  Since it will typically be wall mounted right above the screen, even at full power the fan noise would be barely noticeable in a classroom, by even the students closest to the screen.

Casio publishes no spec that I could find, and we don’t measure audible noise, but I’ll say that in full power, this projector is really not any noisier than some of the louder home theater projectors, which is a major complement.  If I had to put a number to the noise, I would estimate between 33 and 36 db at full power, and probably on the lower side of that range.  Only the person presenting is going to notice full power, and it won’t require them to speak louder, etc.

Don’t forget, the Casio XJ-UT310WN has a microphone amp built in, so as an added bonus, the Casio will actually help the presenter or teacher, carry the room easily.

Bottom line on audible noise:  Excellent for this class of projector!