Projector Reviews

Ricoh PJ WXL4540 Short Throw Projector Review – Special Features

Ricoh PJ WXL4540 Projector –  Special Features:  Short Throw Lens, Laser Light Engine, 3D Support

Short Throw Lens

Ricoh WXL4540-Lens-1

The Ricoh PJ WXL4540 has a fixed focal length (i.e., no optical zoom) short throw lens, shown above.  This makes this model suitable for use in applications where an ultra short throw model nor a model with a more conventional medium throw can satisfy the mounting constraints.  The PJ WXL4540’s short throw may work well when the projector is being moved between conference rooms or classrooms and where it will be simply placed on a table a very few feet back from the screen/whiteboard/wall.  This projector only requires a 42 inch projector (lens) to screen throw distance to project an 80 inch wide image.

When being ceiling mounted for a more permanent installation, the lack of a zoom lens means there is only one correct mounting location for a given screen/image size.   As is typical of business/classroom projectors of this type, there is no optical lens shift offered, while a digital vertical keystone correction is offered.

The PJ WXL4540 produces a very sharp image with each of the projector’s 1280 x 800 pixels clearly visible when the projected image is viewed up close.

The lens is focused using a focus ring on the lens that is accessed from the top of the projector, just above the lens, as shown in the photo above as well as the photo below.

Ricoh WXL4540-Lens-2

Laser Light Source

We are now starting see business and education projectors using laser light engines in projectors with street prices in the $2000 and under price range.  These projectors use a combination of a laser light source plus one or two phosphor targets.  The PJ WXL4540 uses 19 laser diodes for the light source.  Ricoh rates the life of this laser light source at up to 20,000 hours and even for applications with 8 hours per day and 7 days per week operation, that would mean a the light engine is estimated to last almost 7 years.  Such laser light sources also will typically offer stable color performance over the life of the projector and will only very gradually dim to the 50% point at the end of the rated life.

While a projector using a laser light source will cost more up front than an otherwise similar lamp-based model, the benefit of reduced maintenance costs may make it worth the extra initial cost.

3D Support

The PJ WXL4540 offer support for the most common 3D signal formats including the “frame packing” format used by Blu-ray 3D discs.  3D glasses were not provided with the review unit and therefore the 3D performance/capabilities of this projector was not evaluated.

Low cost glasses (under $20/pair) are easily available online.  Of course for 3D viewing by a large group of people, that’s a lot of glasses, and there are related issues, such as keeping them clean, sterilized if, for example, being used in training or classroom environments, where different people use the same pair at different times.  Figure anything going on your face, needs to be properly cleaned to avoid spreading disease. This could well be a reason that 3D, which is considered to have advantages in the classroom, is not widely used.  In other words, a logistics issue, rather than a benefits issue when it comes to 3D.

Still, here’s a projector that at least gives you the option.