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The TLP X200 is an attractive and bright portable projector that suffers from poor contrast.
Various descriptions came to mind when we pulled Toshiba TLP X200 projector from its box, but the best one we could come up with is "stormtrooper-like". It features a white glossy finish around a black body. Straight out of the box, it's a fairly attractive machine.
For a mid-range projector, the X200 includes almost all the ports you will ever need; composite video, S-Video, VGA, HDMI, and USB for direct display of presentations. We were pleased to also see both Ethernet and 802.11b/g wireless. However, you might miss a DVI port.
The X200 is part of Toshiba's portable projector range. At 2.0kg packed away in its included carry bag, you won't have trouble hauling it around. This portability also means it's only designed to sit one way; on a desk.
The X200 is an LCD projector, which is supposed to mean better colours than rival DLP projectors, but worse contrast. However, there is much debate in this area. If you want to know more you can watch this exciting video, or a boring but more technical one.
We were pleased to see the X200 producing nice sharp images. However with a 1024x768 (XGA) resolution, it's best viewed in the middle or low end of its 0.76 to 7.6m recommended projection size.
We used DisplayMate Multimedia Edition to test projector performance — and from this we found colour reproduction to be good. The X200's only stumbling was greens coming out a little dull compared to red or blue.
As mentioned above, LCD projectors often have trouble displaying true black. Unfortunately, the combination of high brightness and low contrast really brings this out on the X200. Blacks were at best a dull grey, and when examining the spectrum from black to white, the X200's poor 600:1 contrast ratio leapt out. As you would predict for an LCD projector, the X200 displayed white much better than black.
At 3000 ANSI lumens, the X200 is nice and bright for its size. It also gets very hot. After an hour of use, it started to smell like burning dust. After running it for a few hours, we think you could pretty safely fry an egg on the lamp.
This high power lamp also means that once this machine gets going, you'll notice the fan noise, but this isn't unusual in a projector of this brightness.
The Toshiba TLP X200 is nice and bright, but at $2,100 you pay the price for the extra light.
With a lamp replacement cost of AU$575, this projector isn't cheap to run. A lamp life in eco mode of 3000 hours means it'll cost you 19 cents an hour to run at best. In standard mode, the 2000-hour lap life will cost you almost 30 cents an hour.
We'd consider a running cost of about 20 cents an hour to be average, while we have seen projectors as low as 8 cents an hour.
Another thing to consider is while colour reproduction on the X200 is good, contrast is lacklustre. Overall, this makes for average video quality. However, its portable design and an abundance of ports still make the X200 a solid business projector.