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Once in a while a product comes out of nowhere and blows out of the water any preconceptions we might have of the AV market. Cue the InFocus X10 projector...
This is a pretty bold start to a review, I guess. But I promise I'm not being sensationalist just to keep you reading. The X10 really does rewrite the rulebook, completely shifting our established frame of reference when it comes to evaluating other projectors in the future.
The key to our excitement about the X10 lies in the following, simple facts: it's a Full HD DLP projector selling for under £900.
This totally demolishes the previous lowest price point of any other Full HD DLP projector we've seen; even Optoma's ‘cheapo' HD80 still costs you around £1,750 new.
Our searches did uncover another Optoma DLP model, the 8000X, going for around £1,000 - but we've seen absolutely zero marketing for this product, and it also seems to be available through extremely limited distribution channels. So it hardly seems poised to make the same sort of waves we're predicting the X10 will. Having said that, rest assured we're already doing our best to get hold of an 8000X for review.
Anyway, getting back to the X10, its price also seriously upsets the Full HD LCD applecart. For instance, we struggled to find Panasonic's good Full HD PT-AE2000 or Epson's disappointing Full HD EMP-TW1000 going for less than £1900 as we put this article together.
In fact, from what I can gather from InFocus representatives, one of the reasons InFocus has been so aggressive with the X10's pricing is that it really wants the model to boot LCD out of the home cinema projector market altogether.
But you know, it's hard to resist the thought that its price is so low it might be in danger of making it tough for any projector maker - including InFocus itself! - to make any sort of margins going forward. Time will tell, I guess.
Still, in the short term at least these sorts of concerns aren't really our problem as punters at all. In fact, such price-slashing madness is amazingly good news for the reams of people out there who'd love to indulge in home cinema in its most large-scale form but never thought they'd be able to afford the necessary high-spec projector.
And believe us, the X10 really is high spec, despite its lowly price. For starters, as well as that key Full HD pixel count, it's got all the connections you'd expect of a projector costing many times more, including two Deep Color-compatible v1.3 digital inputs (one HDMI, and one all-purpose M1-DA input for which the necessary HDMI adaptor is provided).