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Italian projection guru SIM2 is known for many things. Great design, uncompromising picture quality, technical innovation, high-profile advocates like David Lynch… even fans among the notoriously hard-to-please AV post-production industry. But as you might guess from a roll call like that, one thing SIM2 is generally not renowned for is affordability.
Every now and then it dabbles with the mainstream, such as with the decent but unspectacular D10 we looked at in November last year. But we've always felt that SIM2's real life blood is at the mega-bucks, no-compromise end of the market - a feeling we'll be backing up in the next few weeks when we get round to an in-depth review of the brand's rather remarkable new three-chip DLP projector, the C3X 1080.
So it's actually with a touch of trepidation that we approach the new Domino D60. For at just £2,400 it represents the current bottom end of SIM2's UK proposition. And so although costing not far off a grand more than the somewhat ‘me too' D10, I still fear that it won't really be able to do the brand proud.
What's more, my worst fears seem likely to be realised if the D60's exterior is anything to go by. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's actually ugly, but… well actually, now I come to think of it, it really is quite ugly. Partly because of its truly enormous, hulking size - I'm not sure I can recall another projector in its price bracket that's so massive - and partly because of its really overtly plasticky, gloss-free finish.
Still, while the D60 might not exactly set your coffee table alight, I can at least hope from its bulk that it will contain some good quality, well separated electronic innards and run rather more quietly than most affordable DLP projectors.
There's reason for cheer with the D60's connections, too, as I spot two HDMI inputs, a 5-BNC RGB HD PC input, a three-RCA component video input, a mini-Din RS-232 input, and a 12v trigger output - all alongside the usual, eminently ignorable composite and S-Video options.
Also impressive is how easy the D60 is to set up. The zoom and focus rings around the lens feel sturdy and allow for pleasingly fine adjustments, there's keystone correction if you really need it, and a motorised vertical lens shift lets you move things up and down over a +60/-40 per cent range. This is really helpful in getting an undistorted image on your screen even if you've got the projector set quite a way above or below the screen's centre point.
A touch more optical zoom than the provided 1.84-2.2:1 would have really been the icing on the set-up cake, but you should still be able to get a good 100in or so image provided you've got 4m or so of throw distance to play with.