LG brings something a little different to the home projector market: the AN110W is the world’s first flat projector.
It looks fantastic and is probably one of the most stylish we’ve seen, in fact it’s almost good looking enough to pass as a piece of art when you get around to hanging it on your wall.
Unfortunately this degree of style comes at a price. Aside from the fact that, quite literally, this degree of style comes at a price – £1800 for a unit with these specifications shows that you’re clearly paying for the looks – you’re left with very few options over placement.
Sure, it’s intended for wall mounting so you’d expect it to be oriented towards this, but if you do want to place the unit on a table or other surface as a temporary measure you’re out of luck.
Not only does it lack any kind of stand or support for temporary placement, you’ll find that the bottom of the projector is curved and elegant to fit the design so short of propping it amidst a pile of cushions it’s next to impossible to stand upright.
This makes it rather niche then, as you’ll not only need to permanently fit it to a wall, but a wall that’s the right distance away from the screen to give you the desired results. In our tests, for example, we mounted it approximately 3.5 meters away and the screen was about 2.5m diagonal, only about a third of its potential.
To get the maximum size you’d need to mount it around 10 meters from the screen, so bear these sorts of figures in mind when you consider how well it’ll fit into your living space. Of course in this environment you may also find yourself with issues of the unit being so far from the source equipment.
Once we were happy with the mounting we began testing, and the surprises didn’t end with the looks. Upon firing it up, a panel at the top of the device slides across to reveal an air vent, and then the lens guard automatically slides down with a reassuring whirring noise that Q himself would be proud of.
Unfortunately it stopped short of sprouting wings and hovering in an optimum position, but perhaps LG will rectify this with the AN110Y.
Thankfully style doesn’t come at the cost of functionality; you’ll find the now almost obligatory HDMI input along with composite, S-video and VGA. Zoom and focus is controlled via the supplied remote, and handily when you use these controls an LG test screen appears that helps you more accurately settle on a good focus level. There are also a range of aspect ratios and two picture zoom settings to help you adjust for different sources.
It’s capable of 720p and 1280 x 768 data resolutions with a 2500:1 contrast ratio but only 1000 lumens brightness. These sorts of specifications aren’t intended to blow your mind, and from this it looks like LG seems to have taken it for granted that their style projector will be mainly used for movies and games.
The relatively low lumens rating does act up in brighter conditions, you’ll need all the lights off at night or a properly conditioned dark room to get decent pictures from this unit. Under optimum conditions though we were impressed, movies and games were certainly very vibrant, in fact at times were perhaps a little too colourful, but we did have some minor problems trying to get a sharp enough picture.
The menu controls are rather limited in helping you out with these sorts of problems; you’ll find brightness and contrast and what seems like hundreds of ways to adjust the colour temperature and enhancement, perhaps to help correct this very issue.
The LG AN110W isn’t the best performing projector we’ve ever used, but by no means does it let itself down. In fact considering the design we were actually quite impressed, and if you have a setup that’ll lend itself to the nature of the LG we’re in no doubt that you will be to.