The quality using the standard composite and S-Video inputs isn’t wonderful either – you’ll have to buy the component video to DVI cable to improve the experience. But then the X2 isn’t really targeted at the home video market and those after the very best in cinema performance probably won’t be putting a projector without a DCDi processor on their shortlist anyway.
A bigger problem for the X2 is that achieving a good level of focus across the whole screen at once proved tricky, even at relatively small screen sizes. Data presentations on the X2 appear both bright and crisp, but getting a pin sharp image in one portion of the screen invariably meant having to leave another region ever so slightly blurry. The best compromise we found was to leave the top left corner a bit fuzzy with around 90 per cent of the rest of the screen well focused.
On the positive side, there was very little evidence of the rainbow effect seen with many DLP projectors, (as your eyes move across a large screen area, it’s sometimes possible to see a momentary flash of red, green and/or blue) which can be awfully distracting when watching video footage. This is a major bonus. Lamp life is also impressively long at a massive 4000 hours, so it’ll be a fair old while before you have to dig into your wallet for a replacement (£257 inc VAT). And it’s a projector that’s extremely easy to set up and use, with a readable, simple menu system and all functions accessible from the array of buttons on top of the machine.
There’s no doubt that the X2 is a bargain buy at just less than £520, but with competition beginning to hot up at this sort of price point it’s not the only cheap projector around. It’s also a shame that InFocus hasn’t seen fit to supply a component video adapter with the X2 because at these prices, however hard InFocus attempts to market it at businesses, home users are always going to be interested.
And therein lies the rub. The X2’s big problem is that there are other projectors that offer the same or better specification for around the same price. Acer’s PD116 for instance is an 1800 ANSI lumens projector that is both quieter and comes supplied with the adapter cable for component video connection. Toshiba’s TDP-S25 is likewise better specified with an 1800 ANSI lumens brightness rating.
The X2 is certainly worth a look for businesses looking for a cheap alternative to a plasma screen for small to medium-sized meeting rooms, or home users after that home cinema experience on a budget, especially considering the lack of rainbow effect. Its focus niggles and lack of component video input as standard, however, means we’d have to recommend checking out a few more alternatives before make your decision.