When you find a projector under £500, if you’re a home cinema enthusiast (but without a home cinema enthusiast budget), your first reaction will always be a sigh as you think of those £1500 models that your new purchase just won’t live up to. Well the InFocus X9 may just surprise you.
InFocus has cottoned onto the fact that there are plenty of people out there who are interested in buying a bright projector to use in their lounge but have been scared off by the widespread misnomer that these machines are super-expensive and therefore are only to be found in the homes of the rich and famous.
Thereby we have the X9, which is a penny under £500, but packs in DLP technology, and the brightness of much pricier machines.
OK so it’s 720p not 1080p, but the 1800 lumens brightness - which is one of the best levels out there – more than makes up for this. The 2500:1 contrast ratio is pretty average but again, the picture quality really stood out so we’re not complaining. The X9 supports WXGA in both 1280 x 720 and 1280 x 800 (16:10 aspect ratio).
Onto the image quality and Texas Instruments has included its BrilliantColour tech in this machine and this, coupled with the brightness levels (both in normal and eco mode) delivers colours that wowed. InFocus also claims that the colours will not degrade over time. I would add that we picked up on practically no noise in the images.
Set-up was beyond simple. There could be more image controls but the menu is designed for consumers who may not have had a projector before. For those who are seasoned pros, the projection quality delivered by the X9 may make it worth a peek but if you want more control over your output, you’ll probably have to look to pricier models.
Connection-wise, the X9 offers HDMI, Component, S-Video, Composite and VGA, plus RS232 and IR as control options, and there is a credit card sized remote included with which to navigate through the menu. A nice detail is the fact that the remote control fits into a specifically designed dock on the top of the projector so you’ve got less chance of losing it down the back of the sofa.
Images from the X9 can be as big as 9.13m wide but this can only be achieved if you have the projector a whopping 12m from the wall and let’s face it, not many of us have rooms that size.
The one gripe I had with this projector is with the zoom which didn’t seem to do much at all. I had to physically move the projector back and forth to make any significant changes to the image size on the wall, but this is a very compact model so wasn’t exactly taxing.
There is absolutely nothing not to like about the InFocus X9. The image quality was comparable to much pricier DLP models, the set-up was easier, the menu’s simple and the price is a bargain – even in this climate.