The Casio EcoLite XJ-V1 is the newest hybrid laser/LED projector from the company, which has a long history with hybrid technology. The first projector in their new Core series, the EcoLite XJ-V1 is a low-cost projector for business or classroom use, incorporating the main features of Casio’s full line of hybrid projectors in a more budget-friendly package. Producing up to 2,700 lumens at XGA resolution, the XJ-V1 is a sturdy, capable projector. The MSRP of $899 is already reasonable, but street prices around $699 make the XJ-V1 an excellent value.
Note: This review is based on a pre-production sample of the XJ-V1, which is due to be released in May of this year. As such, some details of the product may change between the time of this review and the full commercial release of the projector.
Whether installed in the boardroom or the classroom, a projector needs to be bright and easy to use. The XJ-V1 is both. The projector produces a bright, sparkling image that springs to life in seconds and comes to full brightness instantly thanks to the hybrid LED/laser light engine powering the image.
The picture itself is bright and sharp, with clean, crisply-defined edges and text that’s easy to read. The projector isn’t widescreen, and therefore isn’t the best choice for wide-aspect content, but it’s a great option for the venerable Powerpoint presentation, text document, or simple data graphics. The XJ-V1 has a number of image modes, each tailored to a different type of content, plus an “Eco Off” mode for maximum brightness. We found the image modes different enough to all be useful, and the Eco Off mode is good for those times when ambient light is unavoidable and image shadow detail and color fidelity are less important than sheer visibility.
In a fixed installation, you probably won’t have cause to use the projector’s keystone correction system, but it’s possible you’ll need it when the projector is on a rolling cart or other portable use cases. Though there is some small unavoidable level of image degradation, keystone correction is clean, and text remains easy to read even after scaling. We would try to avoid keystone correction with, for example, a complex spreadsheet, but it should be fine for Powerpoint or image-heavy content.
by Bill Livolsi
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