Casio XJ-UT351WN Projector Review – Hardware Tour

Casio XJ-UT351WN Projector Review – Hardware Tour: Hardware Overview, Connector Panel, Control Panel, Lens, Remote Control, Menus

XJ-UT351WN Hardware Overview

After removing it from the box, the first thing I noticed about the Casio XJ-UT351WN projector is that the design is not what I expected in the slightest. I read several pieces of literature about the Casio and they referred to the panel with the inputs and connects as the “rear panel.” Well, it’s not on the rear at all, but on the side. The projector is clearly meant to be ceiling mounted, as the “Casio” name is upside down on the XJ-UT351WN. All the “rear” panel’s inputs and connectors are upside down as well, so if you’re not ceiling mounting – have fun with that.

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The Casio XJ-UT351WN is roughly 13.3”x13.1” with the cable cover off – that adds about 3” to the width of the projector. It’s not giant by any means, but I did expect it to be a bit smaller. The hot air exhaust is located on the left side (if you are facing the lens) and the cool air intake vents are to the right of the control panel (on the top, behind the lens) next to the inputs and connectors and on the front of the projector. It has a 16-watt mono speaker, located on the back and behind the lens, which provides some pretty impressive volume. There is an RF receiver for the remote control just above the speakers on the back. The inputs and connectors are on the right-hand side, and next to that is your focus lever.

XJ-UT351WN Input and Connector Panel

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This photo has been flipped for easy reading of the XJ-UT351WN input and connector panel. This is how the panel will look when ceiling mounted, but will be upside down if positioned on a table.

The XJ-UT351WN is loaded with inputs and connectors. Starting at the top left-hand side, we have the LAN inputs – an RJ-45 and a USB port. With that USB port, you can connect a digital camera or graphic calculator to project those images on the screen. The port is also used for that wireless networking adapter mentioned on page 2 of this review. Next to that is the Micro-USB port, labeled “LOGO.” Directly to its right are two HDMI ports and a Monitor Out input.

Next to the monitor out are two Computer In connectors, and directly underneath those is the RS-232C input for old-school command and control. Looking at the center of the panel, under the HDMI and Monitor Out ports and starting from the left, are our Audio Out, Mic Out, and two Audio In inputs. Beneath those are two RCA Audio In ports, RCA Video input, and an S-Video port.

The Control Panel

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The Casio XJ-UT351WN has a pretty traditional control panel, the noteworthy extra item is the room brightness sensor.

 

The control panel is located on the top of the XJ-UT351WN and has a lot to look at. There are the Menu button and Esc button on the left side of the panel. To their right is the standard Arrow Keys in a cross pattern, with the Enter button in the center. Next to those is the Brightness Sensor, and above that are three indicator lights for Temp, Light, and Power/Standby. Above those are the Auto, Input, and Power/Standby buttons.

XJ-UT351WN Lens

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The recessed lens looks like a typical ultra short throw lens. The lens itself doesn’t have zoom or a focus ring. You adjust the focus by moving a lever next to the inputs and connectors panel. I mentioned before that the lens is fixed and has no zooming capabilities, but the Digital Zoom works well and I don’t miss a manual zoom ring on this projector. Also useful is the Digital Screen Shift, also discussed on page 2, which works as well as lens shift on higher priced projectors. If you read my review of the Acer H7550ST, you’ll know that I am a big fan of lens shift and that absence of it or an equivalent feature really bums me out. This projector did not disappoint me in that regard.

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The focus lever is located on the side of the projector, near the inputs and connectors, and provides for quick and easy focusing.

 

The Remote Control

The remote control is smaller than my iPhone. That’s convenient for me, as I now have an abundance of controllers on my table and this one is non-offensive. On the front of the remote is the RF emitter, which can transmit signal from over 25 feet away. The top section of the remote consists of four buttons: Input, Menu, Esc, and Power On/Off. Below that are keys used to set the Remote Control ID (numbered 1 through 4) – this is used to avoid remote control conflicts if there are multiple projectors (up to 4) in the same space. Most people will not need to use this function, but there are detailed instructions on how to configure them in the projector’s manual.

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The Casio’s remote – not backlit, but otherwise well thought out.

In the section below, there are the four Arrow Keys, used to navigate the menu and change setting values. The Enter button, as per usual, is located in the center of these buttons. Below buttons that control some of the special features. Keystone Correction, D-Zoom and Volume. This projector has both vertical and horizontal Keystone Correction. Though I had no use for horizontal Keystone Correction, I believe it adds value to the projector for those who are ceiling mounting this projector themselves. It relieves some of the pressure of getting the projector to mount straight. The D-Zoom button allows you to control the digital zoom function, and the Volume buttons simply control the volume.

Under those buttons are the Blank, Freeze, and Eco Mode buttons. Blank makes the source image disappear until it is pressed again, and the Freeze button allows you to freeze-frame on a particular image. Occasionally, I use this function instead of pausing when taking photos of projected images because depending on the player, this button can sometimes work better. Next to that is a button with a leaf on it, which is used to control the lamp’s brightness and power consumption. The keys below that are used for multimedia functions, such as viewing slide shows and presentations. The last buttons we have on the XJ-UT351WN remote are in a vertical column, and are as follows: Timer, Auto, Aspect, and Function. That Function button is going to bring up your Color Modes and Brightness, for quick and easy switching.

XJ-UT351WN Menus

This projector has a great menu system. There are a lot of areas that you can customize to make the XJ-UT351WN suit your needs. The above slider features images of each sub-menu option within the menu. The projector has Image Adjustment 1 and 2, Volume Adjustment, Screen Settings, Input Settings, Option Settings 1 and 2, Multimedia Settings, Network Settings, Operational Info and Restore All Defaults. Everything I needed to get this projector to look “right” exists within these menus. I was not able to access the “Image Adjustment 2” menu, as it was grayed out, which you can see in the photos.

When you pull the menu up by pressing the Menu button on either the control panel or the remote, you will see those sub-menus listed on the left and can navigate them by pressing the up and down arrow keys. The options for each menu are displayed on the right and you can access them by pressing the Enter button.

Menus

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