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Hitachi CP-AW250N Projector - Review Summary

Posted on May 10, 2011 by Art Feierman

Hitachi CP-AW250N Projector: Bottom Line

The Hitachi CP-AW250N represents a positive progression from the previously reviewed CP-A100 ultra short throw projector.  The CP-AW250N adds a widescreen display, HDMI input and PC-free presentation capabilities at no increase in price.  In addition, it’s lighter, slightly brighter and has better contrast.
While the Hitachi CP-AW250N has an excellent rated lamp life (5000 hours) in Eco mode, it is unlikely to be used in that mode due to the large drop in lumens.  The rating for the Normal lamp mode is only 3000 hours, which is not bad, but some of the competition has better lamp life ratings.  On the plus side, lamp replacement should be easy with any mounting and the hybrid filter has a 5000-hour maintenance schedule.  The CP-AW250N’s scaling and resizing of higher resolutions is solid, but still gives away a bit of sharpness compared to the DLP competition.  Setup can be a nightmare, particularly on a movable cart, but it can also be wall mounted right above the screen, a big plus for many installations.  There are also more picture adjustments available to the user than are seen with many home theater projectors.

While not recommended for presentations with either text or fine detail that needs to be seen full screen, the CP-AW250N’s good colors make normal presentations, photo and video viewing a pleasant experience.  It may not perform as well as some of the short throw projectors we’ve recently reviewed (the BenQ MP772 ST and Optoma TW610ST come to mind), but then of them can project an 80” diagonal image from on 10” from the screen.  At a street price in the $1300 range, it is an attractive choice for a school or company that is looking for a projector that allows a presenter to be right in front of the screen without interfering with the projected image.  In addition, its ability to project from a variety of sources, from multiple computers on a network to a slideshow on a USB thumb drive, combined with its portability; make it a solid choice in the short throw projector category.

Hitachi CP-AW250N Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Hitachi CP-AW250N Projector: Pros

  • Very good color rendition and good readability with native resolution or higher
  • Ultra short throw allows it to be wall mounted above the screen
  • PerfectFit 2 keystone correction minimizes distortion as compared to traditional keystone correction
  • Good brightness at almost 2500 lumens
  • Networking abilities including email notification for maintenance and mechanical problems, as well as the ability to display from up to four networked computers at the same time
  • Full complement of inputs and outputs, including HDMI

Hitachi CP-AW250N Projector: Cons

  • Average lamp life in Normal mode
  • Difficult to set up as the smallest movement causes big changes on-screen
  • Remote has too many buttons the same size
  • Corners furthest from the projector suffer in sharpness

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