You don’t have to look any further than the 4,000 lumen brightness rating for the Casio XJ-H1750 Pro Series ($2,200 street) to know that its natural home is in a mid-size to large conference room or classroom. What makes it interesting, however, and worth a close look, is that it coaxes that 4,000 lumens out of Casio’s hybrid light source, consisting of LEDs and a laser. It doesn’t hurt either that it offers excellent data image quality.
Casio was the first company to offer projectors with a hybrid light source, starting in 2010, and I’ve reviewed earlier models, including, for example, the Casio Green Slim XJ-A250 ($1399.99 direct, 4 stars). The XJ-H1750 has the distinction of being a third-generation model, with the implied improvements from lessons learned in earlier generations.
Basics, Setup, and Connections
Aside from the light source, the XJ-H1750 offers a fairly mundane set of specifications, built around a DLP chip with a native XGA (1,024 by 768) resolution. That puts it in the same class as the Editors’ Choice Epson PowerLite 1880 MultiMedia Projector ($1399 direct, 4 stars). At 15.7 pounds, however, it weighs more than twice as much. So although both projectors are most likely to wind up permanently installed or on a cart, the XJ-H1750 is far less appropriate to carry elsewhere, even occasionally.
Set up is standard fare, with a manual focus and manual 1.2x zoom, which is just enough to give you a little flexibility in how far you can put the projector from the screen. The back panel offers a reasonably full set of connectors, including an HDMI port for a computer or video source, two VGA ports for computers or component video, a pass-through VGA port, and both S-video and composite video inputs.
Three other connectors worth mention are for a LAN port and for both USB A and USB B ports. The LAN port lets you both send data images and control the projector over a network. The USB A port lets you plug in a USB memory key to read JPG files directly or plug in a supplied WiFi adaptor that can accept data images from a computer or from most Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones and tablets.
The USB B port lets you connect to a computer to use the projector’s interactive option ($250 street for the software and interactive pen). The interactive option is best ignored, however, given that with the projector’s standard throw, it would be hard to avoid shadows if you’re close enough to the screen to interact with it.
Brightness and Eco Modes
The XJ-H1750 scores well on both brightness and image quality. In its brightest mode it was easily bright enough for the 78-inch wide (98-inch diagonal) image I tested with to stand up to the typical level of ambient light in a mid- to large-size conference room or classroom. In fact, it was too bright for comfortable viewing with the lights off.
One of the more unusual, and more eco-friendly, touches for the projector is its wide range of brightness level adjustments. Most projectors offer a bright mode and one eco mode that lowers brightness and power consumption. In addition, they typically offer color mode presets that are primarily meant for adjusting color, but affect brightness as well.
The XJ-H1750 offers two non-eco modes plus five eco modes, with the least power-hungry mode using only about 35 percent as much electricity as the most power hungry according to my measurements, or 40 percent as much according to Casio’s ratings for peak power usage for each mode. More precisely, I measured the range at 122 to 340 watts, depending on the mode. You can, in short, choose the least bright mode that offers the brightness you need, and use the color presets as they were intended, to pick the best color setting, rather than using them to adjust brightness as well.
The XJ-H1750 offers excellent data image quality, sailing through our standard suite of DisplayMate tests. Colors were fully saturated, and color balance looked good, particularly in the eco modes, with suitably neutral grays across the entire range from black to white. Text was crisp and highly readable down to the smallest sizes we test with.
Video image quality was also good for a data projector. Although the quality is limited by the XGA (1,024 by 768) resolution, the projector did a good job maintaining shadow detail (details in dark areas based on shading) and it showed only a touch of posterization (shading changing suddenly where it should change gradually) on scenes where many data projectors do far worse.
Also very much worth mention is that the XJ-H1750 shows fewer rainbow artifacts (with light areas on screen breaking up into little red-green-blue rainbows) than most DLP projectors. These are caused by the way DLP chips create colors, and they are always a potential issue for single-chip DLP projectors.
With the XJ-H1750, the artifacts show up so infrequently with data images that few, if any, people should find them annoying. With video, I saw them a little more often, though not as often as with many other DLP models. Those who see the artifacts easily may find them bothersome for watching video, but most people shouldn’t have a problem with them.
The projector’s audio system counts as another small plus, with a 10-watt mono speaker that delivers reasonably high audio quality at reasonably high volume. Less convincingly in the plus column is the 3D support, which is even more limited than the 3D in most data projectors, because it works only with input over the VGA port. That means you can’t use it with a video converter to play 3D Blu-ray discs, and you can’t even use it with an HDMI-connected computer.
The XJ-H1750 doesn’t qualify for the PCMag Greentech Approved seal, but it offers enough eco-friendly features to make them worth highlighting, starting with the five levels of power-saving eco modes and the solid-state light source. Also, in addition to being mercury-free, the light source offers a 20,000-hour lifetime. That means it should last the life of the projector and lower its carbon footprint, since no additional shipping is needed for replacement lamps.
The long lamp life lowers running costs, so the total cost of ownership can easily wind up being less than for a projector with a lower initial cost but a 2,000 hour lamp life and replacements at $200 or more per lamp. Ultimately, the overall balance of brightness, high-quality data images, eco-friendly features, and low running cost make the Casio XJ-H1750 Pro Series both an impressive projector and a potentially attractive choice for a mid- to large-size setting.
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