Hitachi CP-DW10N short-throw projector

This Hitachi short-throw business projector has a widescreen resolution and a good brightness rating, but a noisy fan

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Hitachi CP-DW10N

Pros

  • Short throw is convenient for small rooms, detailed and sharp image

Cons

  • Fan can be loud, low contrast ratio, internal speaker distorts at high volumes

Bottom Line

If you need a business projector that can display a large image in a small or cramped room, Hitachi's CP-DW10N makes a good case for itself. It has a bright and sharp image - albeit with low contrast - and some useful inclusions cut down on extra cables.

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The Hitachi CP-DW10N is a short-throw business projector that can display a 90in image from less than a metre of projection distance. Its specifications make it suitable for small meeting rooms, though it has a few quirks.

The Hitachi CP-DW10N projector has a 1280x800 resolution and a 16:10 widescreen format similar to that of most mid-range laptops. When we tested the projector at a distance of a metre from the projection surface we found the image to be crisp and detailed. A connected Windows PC outputting at a 1280x800 resolution displayed full-colour images with acceptable sharpness levels and presentation graphs and charts didn't display any visible distortion.

The contrast ratio of the Hitachi CP-DW10N is quite low at 400:1, so this is certainly not a projector you'll be using to watch movies on. It's acceptable for presentations and limited full-colour picture viewing, but colour accuracy isn't especially good. We found the projector to have a slight blue tinge in normal usage, although this can be adjusted in an image settings menu.

The Hitachi CP-DW10N projector has all the inputs we expected including HDMI for high-definition devices, two separate VGA inputs and a VGA output for daisy-chaining devices, and S-Video and composite for low-resolution signals. There are also three sets of audio inputs for the internal 10W speaker system. The speaker is impressive compared to others we've heard, although it distorts at high volume levels. Switching between inputs is simple using either the remote or the top-mounted control panel. Setting the projector up is easy and it can be mounted on a ceiling upside down if space is at a premium.

The Hitachi CP-DW10N projector is not particularly attractive, but it seems sturdy and well-constructed. We have concerns about the front element accumulating dust and scratches, as no lens cap is included with the package. The top-mounted buttons are easy to navigate and the four-way control pad makes browsing through menus and adjusting settings easy. The projector has a fan noise of 37dB when operating at normal brightness mode, which is higher than we would have liked. Because users will be sitting close to the projector, we recommend the use of Eco Mode which cuts fan noise output to 29dB by lowering brightness levels.

Hitachi's CP-DW10N is a convenient projector for smaller business meeting rooms thanks to its short-throw lens, crisp picture quality and reasonably high widescreen resolution. It may be a little loud at its default settings, but if you can bear to run it in low brightness mode it becomes quite an attractive package.

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