Projector Reviews

Casio XJ-UT310WN Ultra Short Throw Projector Review – Special Features

CASIO XJ-UT310WN PROJECTOR – SPECIAL FEATURES:  LED / Laser light source, Interactive Apps, Audio and Mic, Eco friendly features (many)

Casio is definitely the leader in solid state light engines.  They’ve been offering an extensive line-up.  I believe we reviewed their first series almost five years ago.  Casio claims to have the largest marketshare in terms of serious solid state projectors.  (I’m excluding all those tiny pico and pocket projectors.)

The light engines Casio builds are “hybrids” that is, they both a laser and LED, and  phosphors to achieve Red, Green, and Blue!

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At the end of the day, though, it’s not the technical details that should be of concern, rather performance, reliability, and efficiency.

As already mentioned, their light engine comes with a five year warranty (excellent) and a 20,000 hour life expectancy.

For starters that means that if mounted in a classroom, conference room, etc., there’s no lamp to change, so no extra costs,  no extra AV/IT resources needed.  Also solid state light engines maintain brightness much better than lamps, and also are more stable in terms of colors remaining the same over time.

When you consider the price of this Casio XJ-UT310WN projector you are obviously paying a premium over lamp based projectors, which makes sense.  Remember most lamp based projectors charge $199 – $349 for replacement lamps.

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Typical lamp based projectors get 3000 or 4000 hours per lamp, running at full power, with 5000 hours pretty much the maximum one can find.  As a result, over several years, you might be spending $200 – $900 for lamps, and having someone spend the time to swap them out.  Casio’s LED / Laser light engine comes on virtually instantly unlike lamps.

In fact Casio’s light engines (like other solid state ones)  are at their brightest (not a dramatic difference) when first powered on, which is why we don’t measure until they’ve been running for 20 minutes, which produces somewhat lower lumen counts.

Bottom line:  When considering ultra short throw projectors remember that while you pay more up front, long term there can be significant savings in both cost, and support time.

Casio XJ-UT310WN Interactivity - App style

No Pens, no special whiteboards, you can be nicely interactive with this Casio projector by just picking up an iOS or Android device with the appropriate App installed, and annotate, flip pages in a presentation, and far more.  We’ve reviewed at least a few projectors in the past using apps for interactivity, and folks they work.

This Casio comes with a card to insert to add the wireless capability you’ll need to use the app.

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Because the interactivity comes from the tablet or phone, rather than a pen, the teacher or presenter isn’t required to stand in front of the audience, right by the screen.  This provides a lot of extra flexibility.  That’s especially beneficial in a classroom or training environment where the instructor can visit audience / students and observe them while still presenting interactively.

No solution is perfect though.  Pens are very suitable, in particular, for bringing a student up to the front to do an exercise “on the board.”   That can get a little dicey and it may not be desirable to be passing around the teacher’s iPad, or android to a 5th grader (especially if it is the property of the teacher).

I’ve only worked with the iOS app.  It installs easily (as you would expect).  It can let you do a number of things including:

 

Audio and Microphone capabilities

The 16 watt built in speaker has some real heft to it.  It may not be capable of handling a university classroom with 200+ students, but it’s more than adequate for your typical high school classroom.  If you do need more capability, the Casio does have an audio out to feed to an existing sound system, but in most cases, that just won’t be needed.

One feature I really like to find in business and education projectors (ones with a decent sound capability), is a microphone capability.

As any presenter or teacher knows, sometimes its a struggle for your voice to carry the room, and be heard.  That can be especially true in environments (classrooms) where the audience may not be kind enough to be quiet, while the person is speaking!

Casio does have a mic amplifier built in, and a jack on the input panel.  Plug in a mic with a mini-jack type projector, adjust the volume, and your voice will soon be easily heard!

Casio is Eco Friendly - In Many Ways

OK, every projector these days has an eco mode.  Some have two.  this Casio, though, really has six different modes, although by their count, there are only five.

And that’s just the beginning of the eco features.

First you have a choice of Eco mode off or on.  If you set it to on, yes, there are five modes to choose from, symbolized on the menus as 1 through 5 leaves (green of course), with 5 being the least bright.  But, if you set Eco to off, there are still two modes to choose from:  Bright, and Normal.  When measuring, Normal was brighter than any of the “eco” modes, so there’s one full power mode, and 6 using less!

XJ-UT310WN Power Consumption

Few business projectors with any serious brightness use less than 230 watt lamps, and many claiming 3000 lumens or so, are using 250 to 350 watt lamps.  Normal additional power needed for a projector (above what the light source needs) runs typically around 50 watts+.  So, few lamp based projectors would draw less than 280 watts at full power and most draw more than that at full power.  In general, also DLP projectors (including this Casio) are more power hungry than, say LCD projectors, to get the same number of lumens out.

This Casio UT310WN draws a maximum of 230 watts, that’s everything, including power up which on most projectors spikes a little extra wattage.

Perhaps more impressively, the projector can draw as little as 110 watts total, in it’s 5 leaf eco mode.

The Casio has timers to shut down the projector.

No lamps – no mercury!  Yes, projector lamps use mercury, so that makes this LED / Laser light source more eco friendly than lamp based projectors.  Now in fairness I wouldn’t worry too much about the extra mercury, considering these days people in the US are buying about 200 million CFLs a year (2012), so one extra for your next projector isn’t going to make a real difference.  But, if you are buying 500 projectors for your school district – maybe it will!  The other obvious advantage of no high pressure mercury lamps is that you don’t have to worry about a “hazmat” event if you break one.