Canon LV-X1

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  • Editors' rating
    7.0 Very good

Pros

  • Native XGA resolution
  • 1,110-lumen brightness
  • good set of picture adjustments available.

Cons

  • No digital video input
  • not the lightest or most compact 'ultraportable' projector we've seen.

Canon's LV-X1 is a stylish-looking 2.7kg LCD projector with a native resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels (XGA) and a brightness rating of 1,100 ANSI Lumens -- a pretty standard basic specification in today's market. It's described as a 'Multimedia Projector' because it will accept a good range of video inputs, allowing it to display signals from PCs, DVD players and VCRs, digital cameras and game consoles. At £2,299 (ex. VAT), it's not overly expensive as XGA projectors go.

The LX-V1 isn't the lightest or most compact LCD projector we've ever seen, but at 2.7kg, it still falls into the 'ultraportable' category. It also has a compact footprint of 26cm wide by 23cm deep, and is 7.9cm high, so it doesn't make too bulky a package when stowed along with its power and video cables in the supplied carry bag. It looks smart, too, with the internal electronics clad in silver and grey and a kidney-shaped control panel on the top.

The LV-X1's optics are based around a 150W UHP lamp and a 1.2x zoom lens. Both focus and zoom are manual, and unlike with some projectors the lens barrel does not protrude from the body of the projector, further emphasising the device's compactness. With a brightness rating of 1,100 lumens, this projector can handle a good range of lighting conditions -- such as are found in meeting rooms and other ad-hoc presentation venues. The LV-X1 can focus at distances of between 1.6m and 8.1m from the projection surface, resulting in screen sizes ranging from 34in. to 200in. across the diagonal. A pair of adjustable feet at the front provides some positional flexibility, and you can achieve a perfectly rectangular picture using the projector's digital keystone correction feature, which is accessed either via the control panel or the supplied infrared remote.

As indicated above, this 'Multimedia Projector' supports a good set of inputs and outputs. There's a 15-pin VGA port for analogue PC video, a trio of RCA jacks for composite/component video equipment and an 8-pin Mini DIN socket for S-Video devices. You also get a pair of audio input jacks an audio output jack, plus USB and PS/2 ports that allow the slimline infrared remote unit to control an attached PC. You'll need to supply your own cables for the latter function, however. The only feature noticeably missing from this line-up is a DVI port for digital PC input, but this is still something of a 'luxury' item.

The LV-X1 can handle computer resolutions from 640 by 480 pixels (VGA) to 1,280 by 1,024 (SXGA), automatically synchronising to most input signals. Manual adjustment is also available if necessary, and you can store and recall specific settings as required. We found the default picture rather washed-out-looking when we tested the LV-X1, but plenty of adjustments are available via the menu system, including a preset High Contrast configuration. Custom settings (which can be stored) allow you to specify particular levels of contrast, brightness, colour, tint, white balance (red, green and blue), sharpness and gamma.

Other adjustments available in the menu system, which is reasonably usable, include 11 on-screen menu languages plus support for ceiling-mounted and rear-projection operation.

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Once suitably adjusted, the LV-X1 delivered good image quality with a variety of input sources, including a PC, a VCR and a DVD player. Canon has paid attention to the problem of heat output by using special fluorite lenses that lower the thermal load on the polarising plates, keeping internal parts cooler. As a result, fan noise (often a problem with projectors, particularly with models designed for use in the home as well as the office) is not excessive.

Canon's LV-X1 packs a good set of projection features into a reasonably lightweight and portable format. It can't be described as affordable at £2,299 (ex. VAT), but it still represents decent value for money in its class.

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