The X10 also claims a very respectable 2,500:1 ‘native’ contrast ratio – as in, a contrast ratio which, unlike the figures quoted by most LCD projectors, does not depend on a brightness-reducing dynamic iris system to achieve its full extent.
Even better, though, the X10 does have OPTIONAL manual iris adjustment that you can select from its onscreen menus, complete with various settings. With this you can expand the projector’s claimed contrast ratio to 7,500:1 – a really outstanding figure for the sub-£1k market.
Also rather remarkable for the X10’s price is its claimed maximum brightness of 1,200 ANSI Lumens, making it bright enough to deliver the key ‘D65′ colour standard calculated to produce the most natural results when watching video footage.
There’s a much wider selection of video adjustments at your disposal with the X10 than you might expect too, including multiple gamma presets; optional overscan removal (an essential item on a Full HD projector); colour space, temperature, gamut and control tweaks; a flesh-tone adjustment; the software part of Texas Instruments’ BrilliantColor system; and even, incredibly, all the facilities you need to have the projector professionally calibrated to suit your particular living room conditions by a certified Imaging Science Foundation engineer. This latter feature was once deemed as a premium trick for only the most discerning of buyers. Not any more, it would seem.
So far the X10 has done nothing but massively surpass the expectations raised by its price point. And for the most part this continues into its ease of use, too.
To help you set it up, for instance, its unusually large, matt black body is positioned on a swivelling, tilting foot mount, making it a doddle to get the image in the right place on your screen. Further assistance comes from digital vertical image shifting and keystone correction, and there’s a passable amount of optical zoom, too. Though I do have a bit of a gripe here, for oddly the lens is a slightly long-throw affair, meaning it requires quite a large room to deliver a really big picture – not, perhaps, an ideal situation for a budget model.
Before we get into seeing how the X10 delivers on its seemingly remarkable specification level, it does have one potential Achilles’ Heel lurking among all the facts and figures: a DarkChip 1 (DC1) DLP chipset.
In case you’re not familiar with the DarkChip story, some of the very latest projectors, including InFocus’s own IN83, are starting to use DarkChip4 technology, and we’ve been through DarkChip2 and Darkchip 3 along the way. So you can get a sense of how relatively ‘over the hill’ the X10’s core DLP engine is, at least on paper.
Which just goes to show how pointless it is to judge something ‘on paper’. For in reality, the X10 doesn’t perform like a DC1 projector at all. In fact, remarkably, its pictures have more in common with a few DC3 models we’ve seen.