- Good-quality imagery, build and operation
- A bit expensive for what it is
The Optoma offers all-round good performance for a mid-priced DLP projector, but even so, the biggest thing holding the H57 back will undoubtedly be the price, especially when you take into consideration the top-notch competition available for much less.
Price$ 6,999.00 (AUD)
Optoma may not be a brand that's overly familiar to home theatre enthusiasts but the company has garnered itself a decent reputation overseas. The recently released H57 projector is the latest addition to their projector range.
At its heart is a Texas Instruments Darkchip2 DLP, offering a native resolution of 1,024 x 576. This is the same resolution as the earlier Texas Instruments Matterhorn DLP chip used in many projectors we've reviewed in the past, but with the improved blacks, whites, contrast ratio and sharpness the Darkchip2 technology provides. This technology isn't new of course, and has been available since 2004, but it's a distinction worth noting when comparing the H57 to other DLP projectors sporting the same resolution.
In practice the image produced by this chip is rather nice. Colours were saturated to produce a rich image without going overboard for the sake of impact. Similarly the black level was more than acceptable and the 3,000:1 contrast ratio mentioned in the spec sheet didn't seem out of kilter with what I saw onscreen.
As with most DLP projectors, the rainbow effect is evident, but it's only a drawback if you can see the things to begin with and with 1,100 ANSI lumens of brightness a totally darkened room is not a requirement.
Build quality is good and the white plastic shell is reassuringly sturdy. While there's no lens shift functionality (a shame) there are at least a couple of threaded, adjustable feet to allow you to line the projector up with the screen without the aid of extraneous devices (like folded up cardboard or empty CD cases). Digital keystone correction on both horizontal and vertical axes offers enough flexibility to place the H57 a fair way off-centre too - another plus. The lens itself has a fairly long throw and an optical zoom making it suitable for placement at the back of the room, as opposed to sitting on a coffee table in front of the viewer.
Connection-wise, the Optoma is fully equipped sporting component, S-video, composite, VGA and DVI, and they even throw in an HDMI-to-DVI adapter to cover all bases. Actually operating the H57 was simple, thanks to a menu system that has clearly had a substantial amount of thought put into it. Finding and altering settings was a breeze and is a facet of operation that is easily overlooked during the whole buying process.
However, if there's one thing holding us back from an unqualified recommendation, it's the price - for the technology that's onboard, it's not cheap. You can pick up a high-definition-ready LCD projector such as the Panasonic PT-AE700E for around half the price. While the H57 will display an HD signal, it'll be scaled down to fit the 1,024 x 576 native pixel count.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s new liquid-cooled 4K home video projector delivers 5000 lumens of brightness, costs $60,000
- BenQ targets Epson with revamped home entertainment projectors
- LG's new Laser Display gives you 100in of full HD glory
- Win an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab in the 2012 PC World Media Usage survey
- Vivid Sydney 2012 gets some love from will.i.am
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBiomedical Project ManagerSA
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (J2EE/JAVA/Web) 161012/SSA/552Asia
- FTSOE ArchitectNSW
- FTSoftware Developers - .Net 4.6NSW
- CCAcquisition Marketing Executive - B2BNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (PC LAN Support) 161114/ITA/411Asia
- CCCloud Security Services SpecialistVIC
- CCResident Engineer - Nexus 2K, 5K, 7K & 9KNSW
- CCFront End Developer (UI) - 12 Month ContractNSW
- CCField EngineerVIC
- FTTechnical Support Engineer | Cloud | Automation techsNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (Office Automation) 161031/ITA/541Asia
- FTData AnalystNSW
- FTDelivery LeadNSW
- CCResident Operation Support Engineer (Renewable Contract)Asia
- PTService Management AnalystSA
- CCContract Management SpecialistNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- CCStrategy AnalystVIC
- CCEnterprise ArchitectNSW
- CCInfrastructure & Security Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCJava DeveloperNSW