More hot news about the C3X 1080 that further explains its price is its use of the very latest 0.95in 1080p DarkChip4 DLP chipsets from Texas Instruments – chipsets we’ve already seen deliver superb results on single-chip projectors.
One final key feature of the C3X 1080 is that it looks absolutely lovely. For starters, it’s comfortably the smallest 1080p three-chip DLP projector around. But it’s also beautifully sculpted, terrifically robust, and wrapped up by one of the glossiest finishes we’ve seen. What’s more, although the C3X 1080 is available in High-Gloss Gunmetal as standard, you can also order it in black, red and (bling!) gold.
Probably the least interesting thing about the C3X 1080’s specification is its connectivity. Not because it’s bad, or anything; in fact, with its two HDMIs, component video support, PC jack, RS-232 jack and USB 1.1 port (among others), it’s actually quite well connected. But it’s not as outrageously ahead of the pack in this area as it is in every other.
The only tiny twinge of disappointment I felt during my extensive exploration of the C3X 1080’s features was the fact that its scaling engine is a customised PixelWorks DNX affair. There’s nothing wrong with this to some extent; in fact we’ve been very impressed by this system’s work on far cheaper projectors such as the InFocus IN82. But I’d kind of expected something truly high-end from the C3X 1080’s processing, such as, say, an uncompromising Gennum system.
As I finally settled down to watch the C3X 1080, it was clear that I’d have to be absolutely blown away by its performance if the £20k price tag wasn’t going to become a real problem. Luckily, blown away is precisely what I was.
The best way to start describing my experience is to say that the C3X 1080’s pictures are quite simply the most superlatively natural images I have ever seen from a home video projector.
Not surprisingly, the single most important factor in achieving this are the C3X 1080’s amazingly consistent, well-balanced, authentic and expressive colours. In other words, the extraordinary colour management system works so well that I’m now probably going to be permanently disappointed by the colour of every other projector that comes my way.
The C3X 1080’s colour tones are actually outstanding right out of the box, even before you do the whole colour calibration thing. But even so, once they have been fully calibrated, the level of improvement is startling.
It’s not just the tone of the C3X 1080’s colours that impress, either. Also exemplary is the subtlety of the colour blends, especially when it comes to portraying notoriously tricky skin tones. This contributes massively to the overall sense of naturalism I mentioned previously, as well as giving pictures a strikingly three-dimensional feel compared with most rivals.