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Review: Optoma HD131Xe Projector

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Art Feierman
OPTOMA HD131xe HOME THEATER PROJECTOR:  OVERVIEW The HD131Xe is a cross-over projector marketed for home entertainment, home theater, and gaming. It's suitable for doing business presentations, too.  Very bright, built-in 10W audio. More information, including calibration info, projection screen recommendations, and more about how this Optoma projector stacks up to the competition, will be added over the first week following this publication.

Specs Preview

Optoma Optoma HD131Xe Specs
Price 799
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2500
Contrast 18,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.2:1 Manual zoom and focus
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 3500 hours Full Power, 6000 in Eco Mode
Weight 6.4 lbs.
Warranty 1 Year Parts and Labor

Optoma HD131xe Projector - Introduction

The Optoma HD131Xe projector looks to me like a lot of bang for the bucks.   First, let's define the projector.  This is what I would call a nicely affordable home entertainment projector.  It is a reasonably bright, and very affordable DLP projector.   Optoma, for those of you not familiar, is likely the largest seller of DLP based home projectors.  I should note that they have an extensive line-up including some projectors specifically targeting gamers, and some lower resolution projectors. This one though looks to be the all around home entertainment projector, with full 1080p resolution, for the price.

The Optoma HD131Xe is typically found online, and is considered a $799 "street price" projector, although prices do vary a bit online.

We also reviewed (not long ago) Optoma's HD25-LV, a slightly brighter projector with what should be slightly better black level performance as well, that sells more in the neighborhood of $1300.

In this review we'll take a close look at the features, and the picture quality.  Our performance pages will discuss brightness, noise, and more.

The price point makes this Optoma projector one of the least expensive 1080p projectors out there.  Even better news, it's light enough, has respectable sound, so ultimately it's a perfectly good business projector as well!  I guess there's still time for that year end tax write-off for you business folks out there, who have need of a projector for work.


Is the Optoma HD131Xe Home Projector For You?

That of course is the big question!

This projector is is for all of those folks who can really appreciate having a large image, but aren't fanatical about some of the finer points of image quality.  One could almost say "the typical consumer" except that the typical consumer tends to stick with under 70" LCDTVs.

The cost, of course, of the Optoma HD131XE, paired with a decent screen, is well below any really large LCDTV.   Why spend $2500 (or even more) for 70" TV, when you can do 90" or 120" for a projector and screen, and spend half that amount?

On the other hand, I don't consider this a great choice as a first projector, for someone who knows they are going to be a real hard core enthusiast.  That is, if you are the kind that demands great color, and other high performance aspects, this one's probably not for you.   Typically this projector is for the people who have owned several LCDTVs and really never adjust or mess with the controls.  They have a reasonably good looking picture and are satisfied! Well, the HD131Xe does put up a respectable picture, although color accuracy leaves a good bit to be desired, as will be discussed in the Image Quality pages.  Think of it this way, the HD131Xe projector his is probably a good starting projector for most people, in this price range, just not all.

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Optoma HD131Xe Highlights

  • 2500 Lumens for handling a fair amount of ambient light
  • Dynamic Black iris functionality provides high, 18,000:1 contrast, - for very respectable black level performance
  • Multiple color/picture modes
  • 3D capable, requires glasses, emitter
  • 2 HDMI inputs
  • Built in 10 watt speaker - great for taking it with you
  • 10 step Brilliant Color for image enhancement
  • Security features - control panel lock
  • 3500 hours lamp life at full power, 6000 in Eco-mode for low operational costs
  • 1 year parts and labor warranty

The Optoma HD131Xe, being an entry level 1080p projector for the home (that can easily double as a business projector with a very good value proposition), as you would expect, is not exactly loaded with lots advanced image features, but we'll explore some of these highlights  on the Special Features page which is next.

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