Projector Reviews

Ricoh PJ WXL4540 Short Throw Projector Review – Summary

Ricoh PJ WXL4540 Projector – Summary:   Summary, Pros, Cons

The two main features of the Ricoh PJ WXL4540 that sets it apart from the typical business and classroom projector is the use of a short throw lens and its use of a laser light source.

The use of a non-zoom short throw lens combined with the lack of optical lens shift means placement flexibility if very constrained, but for those cases where the projector’s 0.521:1 throw ratio works, then this model becomes a choice worth your consideration.  This is a WXGA resolution (1280 x 800) DLP projector with an aspect ratio of 16 x 10 and a 42 inch projector-to-screen throw distance will produce an image that is 80 inches wide, which is about 95 inches diagonal.

The main selling point forne using a laser light engine is reduced maintenance costs and improved picture stability over time.  Ricoh rates the laser life as up to 20,000 and that makes this model well suited for cases where it will see a lot of use.  The use of lasers also means a quick startup time (about 3 seconds) as well as rapid shut downs.

While the out-of-the-box performance, in terms of picture quality, is equal or even better than average for a business/classroom class DLP projector, the lack of user adjustments to optimize the color accuracy of the image is a negative.  More specific, this model has noticeable white boost in all color modes and there is no user setting to either turn off or decrease this effect.  Also when using the HDMI signal input from a computer or HD video source the color saturation and hue, as well as sharpness adjustment, are not available.  Finally, there are no adjustments offered to fine tune the color balance, just a very course color temperature adjustment and that’s only available in PC Color Mode.

I did find the PJ WXL4540 to project a very sharp image with excellent readability for text and graphics, although I would like to have been able to turn down the factory sharpness setting a little, but it’s not available when using the HDMI signal input.

The other thing of note is what other features are missing on this model that are frequently found on competitor’s projectors.  One of those is network support, as there is no wired network (LAN) nor wireless network (WiFi) support offered.  Also there is no support for smart controllers from such companies as Crestron or AMX, as found on some competing projectors.  In this regard this a basic projector that cannot be managed and controlled from a remote location.  This could be a issue for where the projector is to permanently installed as part of multi-projector setup, such as in multiple classrooms within a school.  Another missing feature is the ability to make presentations without the use of a connected computer.  That is, this model has no provisions for displaying presentations directly from an attached USB drive or from a network server.  Again this may be an issue for some potential buyers.

The bottom line is the Ricoh PJ WXL4540 straight out-of-the-box displays a good to very good picture that is very competitive with other DLP business and classroom class projectors.  The long life laser light engine should keep maintenance costs low and the short throw lens should work for a specific, but limited, set of installation needs.  This model does have a number of limitations that may be important to some potential buyers, and such buyers need to be aware of these limitations when making their purchase decision.  I would consider this model to be a viable choice, but for a very specific set of applications.

 

Pros

  • Good out-of-the-box picture quality
  • Long life laser light engine
  • Short throw lens produces a sharp image
  • Quick startup and shut down times
  • Good 3-year warranty with a rapid replacement program

Cons

  • Lack of a zoom lens limits placement flexibility
  • Lack of user adjustments to optimize the picture/color performance when using the HDMI input
  • Lack of a setting/adjustment to eliminate or decrease the effect of the white boost to the image
  • Lack of network support
  • Lack of support for making presentations from a USB drive or from a network source (i.e., requires a connected computer)