Casio XJ-UT351WN Projector Review – Special Features

Casio XJ-UT351WN Projector Review – Special Features: Hybrid Light Engine, Low Maintenance, Networking, Quick Power On/Off, Digital Screen Shift

XJ-UT351WN Hybrid Light Engine

Casio is a leader in solid-state light engines with the largest market share in terms of serious solid-state projectors. That is, of course, excluding the smaller and less expensive pico and pocket projectors. Using both a blue laser and a red LED light, Casio’s hybrid light engines produce the blue and green primary colors with phosphors (substances that emit light without using heat) that are excited, or stimulated, into faster vibration by the blue laser. That, combined with the red LED, gives the projector its RGB color output.

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The above figure shows how the technology of a hybrid laser/light engine works.

The big differences between a solid-state hybrid laser/LED light engine and a lamp-based light source lie in the hybrid’s long-term light and color stability, and that it doesn’t need to be replaced – a major plus. Lamp-based projectors lose their brightness over time and generally have a lower lamp life rating than the solid-states. With a hybrid laser/LED engine, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the same light output and color appearance that you saw when the projector was brand new and can count on that for quite a long time.

Low Maintenance of the XJ-UT351WN

That hybrid laser/LED solid-state light engine significantly reduces maintenance cost. Not only does the XJ-UT351WN have an expected life of up to 20,000 hours – 3 to 6 times longer than a typical projector lamp – but you will not have to pay for a replacement lamp after x amount of hours, which saves you both on the cost of the lamp itself and the labor costs of installation. Like many DLP projectors, the  Casio XJ-UT351WN does not have any filters to replace or clean as most DLP projectors inherently have a dust-resistant design.

Wired and Wireless Networking

The Casio XJ-UT351WN has two options for local area networking: wired and wireless. The back panel comes equipped with a RJ-45 connector for a wired Ethernet cable. Above that port lives the USB connector used for enabling wireless networking via the YW-40 Wi-Fi adapter offered by Casio. These two options allow content from PCs to be displayed by the projector – the one you will be using will depend on your needs.

If you need to hook up an Apple computer such as an iMac or one of the MacBooks, you’ll want to get a lightning to HDMI adapter and use an HDMI cable connected to one of the ports to project the content. With Casio’s wireless adapter installed, you can display content from a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone. Casio offers an Android and iOS version of their “C-Assist” app to allow smart devices to project images and presentations via the XJ-UT351WN.

Using the same USB port mentioned above, you can insert a USB flash drive for PC-free presenting. If using PowerPoint, note that Casio requires these files be converted into a compatible file format using their software called “EX-Converter FA.” Some business and education projectors offer players that read Microsoft Office format files with no problem, others like this Casio, provide a more basic player, that plays jpg and other formats.  Powerpoint presentations, for example, can easily be converted to a series of JPG images to create a presentation on this Casio projector.  Of course instead of PC-free, by using the optional wireless module, users can present right from their laptops, phones, etc.

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The USB-A and wired LAN connectors allow for a variety of Local Area Networking options. This allows for the XJ-UT351WN to be connected to a PC via a wired LAN cable and wirelessly using the optional adapter. The USB port can be used for PC-free presenting from a USB flash drive, and can connect to a smartphone or graphing calculator to project those images.

Quick On, Instant Off

The XJ-UT351WN features Quick On and Instant Off functions. The hybrid light engine allows the projector to achieve full brightness in five seconds, give or take a second. Comparatively, lamp-based projectors can take up to 30 seconds or more. The Quick On quality shortens the amount of time between power-on to screen display, and the result is a fast startup that feels almost instantaneous. That’s great for those who want instant gratification from their electronics. The Instant Off feature allows for a one-touch power-down of the projector, with no cooldown time between when the XJ-UT351WN is turned off to when it is powered on again.

Digital Screen Shift

There’s a cool feature in the main menu that allows you to not only zoom but to shift the position of the screen vertically and horizontally. It is used to reduce the size of the projected image and shift it without physically moving the projector itself, while keeping the aspect ratio. This can be useful if your projection is a bit off, as you will be able to digitally shift the image where you want it. The lens itself is fixed and has no zooming capabilities, so being able to zoom in or out slightly was useful to me, even though it was digital. The amount of digital zoom dictates how much you can raise or lower the image, as well as how far left or right you can adjust the projection. This could be likened to lens shift in that it generally accomplishes the same thing, but the projected image is what is shifting rather than the lens, giving the function its “Digital Screen Shift” name. This was a life-saver for me.

The amount of digital zoom dictates how much you can raise or lower the image, as well as how far left or right you can adjust the projection. This could be likened to lens shift in that it generally accomplishes the same thing, but the projected image is what is shifting rather than the lens, giving the function its “Digital Screen Shift” name. This was a life-saver for me.

I have a high, vaulted ceiling and no ceiling mount for this projector, so I have it sitting on a table, not far from the screen – the lens is 26” back. I have an abundance of small tables in my house, but none that allowed the XJ-UT351WN to project properly onto my screen, which is roughly 32.5” above the ground. I determined that the projector could sit on a table that was between 16” and 18” in height, and having none that fit that description in my house, I went out to buy a coffee table. There was some minor adjusting after that point with the focus, Keystone Correction and Digital Screen Shift – all of which, when combined, gave me the placement flexibility I needed for this projector. Digital Screen Shift in itself isn’t used for placement flexibility, but hey – I had to improvise.

Now, I was essentially “jerryrigging” the projector in my house, as I do not install these projectors that are meant to be ceiling or wall mounted, so I had to work a little harder to get the placement just right. In a business or educational environment, the projector and screen would be placed correctly in relation to one another. You will not likely need very much placement flexibility, nor will you need to work as hard at it as I did. Either way, that trifecta of Keystone Correction, Digital Screen Shift and Digital Zoom will get the image where it needs to be.

Something to note about the Digital Zoom – if using the buttons on the remote, it will digitally zoom into a part of the image, like you’re zooming into a photo while online shopping. If you want to make the whole image larger without zooming into only part of the image, that feature can be accessed from the menu, which will be discussed later in this review.

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