Casio XJ-A135

  • Editors' rating
    7.8 Very good

Pros

  • Slimline dimensions
  • Attractive design
  • High-quality image
  • Mercury-free 2000-lumen lamp
  • Wi-Fi and USB support

Cons

  • Heavier than it looks
  • PowerPoint files must be converted for PC-free presentation

Casio's XJ-A135 is a DLP-based (Digital Light Processing) meeting-room projector from a range that the company claims is the first to deliver 2,000-lumen-plus brightness from a mercury-free bulb.

The XGA-resolution XJ-A135 costs £886 (ex. VAT) and sits towards the low end of Casio's XJ range, which also contains WXGA (1,280-by-800-pixel) models. As well as high brightness and low power consumption, the XJ-A135 delivers USB host functionality and Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) support.

Casio's Green Slim projectors deliver high brightness from a mercury-free laser/LED hybrid lamp

The projector comes in an attractive white plastic case with black accents, weighs a solid 2.3kg and measures a slimline 4.3cm high by 2.9cm wide by 2.1cm deep. It's a little heavy to carry for long periods, but the slender dimensions make it portable enough for general travel. A strapless carrying bag is provided, alongside VGA and RCA cables, an infrared remote control (with two AAA batteries) and a quick-start guide. The projector also supports HDMI input, but there's no cable included.

A slight disappointment with the otherwise solid construction is the flimsy lens cap, which is held in place by a magnet but comes loose very easily.

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The control panel, which is on top of the unit towards the back, includes digital focus and zoom.

According to the spec sheet, the XJ-A135 can deliver image sizes (measured across the diagonal) between 15in. and 300in. In our tests, a 60in. screen — which can be displayed from as little as 1.4m away from the source, depending on how much of the 2x optical zoom is applied — seemed optimal.

High-pressure lamps capable of 2,000 lumens or more normally contain mercury, which is decidedly un-green. Green is the key word here, because previous environmentally friendly laser and LED sources have not been able to deliver green light at high brightness. Casio's solution uses a phosphor to convert blue laser light to green efficiently, and a red LED. The lamp is rated for approximately 20,000 hours of usage. The XJ-A135 uses 270W with its power-saving 'eco' mode off, 190W or 130W on its two eco levels and less than 1W on standby.

It takes roughly eight seconds for the XJ-A135 to power on, and it turns off instantly. However, you'll need to let the projector cool down for a few minutes before packing it away as it gets quite hot after extended use.

The image is bright, sharp and easy to see in average lighting conditions, and the combination of the LED/ laser light source and DLP chip produces excellent colour reproduction with few visual imperfections.

Casio's Wireless Connection software allows up to four computers to broadcast information to the XJ-A135 simultaneously, with the projector splitting the screen in half or into quarters accordingly. The Wireless Connection software must be installed and running on each computer, but other than the initial setup time it's relatively easy to use. The software is included on a CD with the projector, although there's currently no Mac version.

PowerPoint presentations can be run from USB, but must first be converted into Casio's proprietary ECA format. The conversion process is a straightforward but lengthy process that ties up your computer for the duration.

The XJ-A135 can also display JPG and BMP image files, and video in Motion-JPEG format directly from USB — although the A135's 4:3 XGA resolution is not ideal for media files.

It also includes a pair of tiny 1W speakers, which deliver the sound quality you'd expect — that is, poor.

As an entry-level product in Casio's Green Slim series, the XJ-A135 is a capable unit. It delivers a high-quality image, has responsive controls and a generous set of features. The XGA resolution makes it a poor match for multimedia work, and native support for PowerPoint format when reading from USB would be nice, but otherwise it's an excellent projector for everyday business use.

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