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Hitachi CP-A100 Projector - Review Summary

Posted on March 31, 2009 by Art Feierman

A summary of the Hitachi CP-A100 projector's pros, cons, and typical capabilities.

Hitachi CP-A100 Projector: Bottom Line

The CP-A100 is a great solution for classrooms and conference rooms where a large screen size is not needed, space is at a premium and keeping both the projector and wiring out of the way is desirable.

The CP-A100 fares well when compared with other short throw projectors, like the Sanyo PLC-XL50 and Panasonic Powerlite 400W. While the Powerlite 400W offers more portability and widescreen resolution, it does not approach the throw distance of the CP-A100 and puts out 25% less lumens. The PLC-XL50 offers a similar ultra short throw like the CP-A100, but at 20% fewer lumens and without the installation flexibility.

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While not recommended for movie viewing, the CP-A100’s deep, rich colors make photo and video viewing a pleasant experience. At street prices well below its $2500 list price and with its optional mounting package, it is an attractive choice for a school or company that is looking for a out-of-the-way installation. All considered, the Hitachi CP-A100 is a pretty unique projector, with, really, only one, maybe two other projectors on the market that can match its level of ultra-short-throw. Ultra-short throw projectors like this Hitachi are more expensive than the "normal" ultra-short throw projectors such as the Epson Powerlite 400W which we reviewed late last summer. In truth those others should simply be called "very short throw projectors", as they really can'b be placed close enough so that a presenter can stand by the screen and not be between the projector and screen. Hitachi is achieving the goal that those others just can't do, which is get the projector within a foot or so of the screen. All considered, we recognize the value delivered. The CP-A100 performed solidly in all areas, and as a result should prove popular with those needing a true ultra-short-throw solution. The CP-A100 projector therefore earns our Hot Product Award!

Hitachi CP-A100 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Hitachi CP-A100 Projector: Pros

  • Ultra short throw allows it to be wall mounted above the screen
  • Decent brightness at almost 2500 lumens
  • Good overall image at its native resolution
  • Very good warranty
  • Quick power up and fast cool down
  • Reasonably quiet even in Standard mode
  • Networking abilities including email notification for maintenance and mechanical problems, as well as linking multiple projectors with one computer on the network.

Hitachi CP-A100 Projector: Cons

  • No digital (HDMI or DVI) inputs
  • Difficult to set up as the smallest movement causes big changes on-screen
  • Remote has too many buttons the same size
  • Has dust filter that must be maintained
  • No video display ability over network connection.

Hitachi CP-A100 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Length of warranty
  • Documentation – actually pretty good, but lack of hard copy manual, can be a nuisance
  • Small 1 watt speaker provides adequate sound for presenting in smaller rooms (that’s also typical for this sized projector, and even some larger ones)

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