The feeling of ire raised by the sight of just one HDMI softens slightly with an exploration of the H7530D’s onscreen menus. They’re unexpectedly good looking, for a start. But more importantly they also contain a surprisingly long roster of tweaks and features.
Among the more unusual (for the budget market) tweaks on offer is a selection of wall colour choices so that the image can be automatically adapted to suit your wall if you’re not using a screen. This is a clever touch for such a casual projector to offer, since it provides further support to the idea of the H7530D being usable anytime, anywhere. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the H7530D also ships with a handy shoulder carry bag.
Of course, the idea of catering for projecting onto coloured walls will again fill cinephiles with disdain. So thankfully there are a few other things on offer that will likely be more up the street of more ambitious users. Such as a five-step Degamma bar, a really healthy and varied set of presets (including a Presentation mode for people wanting a projector for business as well as pleasure), and Texas Instruments’ Brilliant Color mode for boosting the brightness of mid-tone images.
There’s even a colour management (sloppily spelt ‘magnagement’ in the onscreen menus) system of sorts, though this only allows you to tweak skin tones individually, or simply adjust the saturation level of each of the six primary colours. There aren’t separate options for adjusting the hue, gain and saturation levels for each colour. But this really isn’t a kicker at the H7530D’s price point.
Setting the H7530D up is as straightforward as you would expect with such a cheap and cheerful projector. There are simple zoom and focus rings accessible through a window on the projector’s top edge, and there’s an auto keystone adjustment to get the sides of the picture straight if – as is likely – you can’t position the H7530D directly opposite the centre of your screen.
The only tricky thing about the H7530D’s set up, in fact, is finding the right place to put it. For the amount of optical zoom on offer is predictably limited, and there’s neither vertical nor horizontal image shifting on hand.
I guess I should add for form’s sake that the projector does offer digital zoom, but this inevitably leads to degradation in the image quality. And, of course, having to use digital keystone correction to align the sides of your image because there’s no image shifting is far from ideal, since you are essentially distorting the source picture. But the H7530D is no different in this latter regard to its Vivitek H1085 and BenQ W1000 rivals.
The H7530D does offer a couple of interesting features that its rivals do not, however. It claims a contrast ratio of 40,000:1 for instance – way more than the Vivitek and BenQ models. Plus it has Acer’s own ColorBoost II+ technology which, as its name suggests, produces richer, brighter colours with smoother gradations. Acer also claims that its ColorSafe technology will halt or at least reduce the reduction in colour quality that all projectors suffer in the course of their life time, though clearly I couldn’t put this to the test in the time available to me for this review.