The headaches you might find with installing an A600B aren’t exactly helped, either, by the projector’s relatively impoverished optical zoom; all you get is 1.3:1. This found me having to move my projector stand some distance forward from the rear of my room.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the A600B might just so happen to fit within your particular room layout perfectly comfortably, without you having to struggle as much as I did. Though I suspect that precious few people will be able to get away without using at least a little keystone correction – the very feature that’s most likely to get AV purists’ backs up.
The A600’s remote control leaves much to be desired, too. On the upside, it’s nicely finished and sports impressively few buttons. But it’s also so small it’s easy to lose in a dark room, and it doesn’t feature any button backlighting.
Trawling through the A600B’s cute onscreen menus doesn’t find anything particularly mind-blowing on the feature front. The only things that stand out are: options to show the picture with just its red, green and blue constituents (to aid with calibration); the option to turn off overscanning; a few built-in test patterns; adjustable gain and offset values for the red, green and blue colours; the ability to choose from a selection of Kelvin-based colour temperature presets; and a trio of themed (Film, Gamma, Graphic) Gamma presets.
The A600B’s picture quality has a game stab at making me forget the multiple setup irritations I felt. Its greatest strength for its money is, unquestionably, its brightness. Bright scenes bounced back of my screen with startling intensity, delivering pristine peak whites, and outgunning the brightness efforts of the recent spate of budget DLP models we’ve seen from Optoma, BenQ, Acer and Vivitek.
This immediately makes the A600B’s pictures attention grabbing and punchy, as well as making images more watchable in ambient light than usual for the affordable end of the projector market. (Not that watching a projector in any sort of ambient light is ever something I’d recommend, of course!)
I was also very impressed by how sharp the A600B’s images look. It’s comfortably able, for instance, to reproduce the ‘HD grain filter’ effect that’s applied as standard to the Xbox 360’s ”Mass Effect 2” graphics, where many other budget projectors fail to catch a full sense of the deliberate noise the filter introduces. Similarly, the A600B can reproduce exceptional levels of detail and clarity from a good Blu-ray source.
Unlike many budget DLP models, moreover, the A600B doesn’t suffer badly at all with judder while watching 1080p/24 Blu-rays, allowing the crispness to remain more or less intact when things get moving.
Motion additionally reveals the projector to be apparently impervious to DLP’s once-common phenomenon of fizzing noise over skin tones as they pass across the screen.