Right now is not a great time to be an LCD projector. Your arch-rival DLP technology has finally joined you in offering affordable full HD solutions, and you're suddenly also up against supremely talented competition from not one but two new projection formats: JVC's D-ILA, and Sony's SXRD.
But this isn't enough to deter Sanyo from sticking its LCD head above the parapet. And nor should it be. After all, Sanyo has been making LCD projectors for the home cinema market longer than most, so you'd like to think that if anyone can assert LCD's presence on the projection battlefield, it's Sanyo.
What's more, the Sanyo LCD projector we're looking at today is rather handsomely specified. For starters it's got that current flavour of the month, a full HD native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. Then there's the small matter of a 15,000:1 claimed contrast ratio - a large figure by any projector technology standards, and a simply huge one by LCD standards.
The press blurb on the Z2000 even boasts a couple of world firsts, for heaven's sake. The most interesting of this ‘world-leading' duo is the claim that the projector boasts ‘the industry's most silent fan system'. The whirr of the fans needed to keep projection lamps cool is a constant bone of contention with us when we're doing projector reviews, so if the Z2000 really can live up to its ‘silent' billing, we'll be happy as Larry.
The Z2000's other claim to fame is, apparently, its lens shifting function, which rather vaguely is reckoned to be the ‘industry's most advanced'. What this translates to in practice is the seemingly unique ability to shift the picture vertically up and down as much as three full screen sizes, or left to right by as much as two screen widths.
While the Z2000 has the on-paper spec to set your heart pounding, its aesthetics will leave you colder than a penguin's fridge. Essentially it's just a big, chunky cuboid clad in a slightly flimsy and entirely drab white finish. Yeuch. This is definitely a projector you'll want to put in a cupboard when you're not using it rather than leaving it out permanently on your coffee table.