BenQ's new CP220 data projector promises a number of attractive features for corporate presenters, but falls short of expectations. Designed for the mobile professional, this XGA (1024x768-pixel) unit weighs around 2kg with the supplied softcase and cables, and offers a claimed brightness of 2200 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio of 2000:1 - which are pretty impressive figures for a product this small.
- Sharp images, High brightness and contrast
- Requires long throw distance, Costly
Business users who are more concerned with portability than performance will probably like this projector, however this unit doesn't really stand out from the crowd.
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Priced from: $ 350.36Selling at 4 stores
The CP220 also claims "Off and Go" operation, which lets you switch it off without worrying about cool-down periods. A capacitor inside the projector keeps the fan running when the unit is unplugged, stopping the 200W lamp from overheating - the primary cause of lamp failure. We'd need 3000 hours of testing time to be sure, but the short fan running time and residual heat after our tests suggest that you'd be wise to let it cool conventionally to avoid premature lamp replacement. (The projector has a "Quick Cool" setting that reduces standing time to 30 seconds.)
Colour-conscious presenters may be interested in the sRGB mode, which promises colour matching with other sRGB-compliant devices. What's curious is that the projector is quite happy to let you play with colour temperature, contrast and brightness while in this mode, which rather defeats the object of having a fixed colour-space standard.
The projector is equipped with keystone adjustment (vertical only), which can be easily accessed via the minimalist cut-metal control pad. Alternatively, you can select automatic keystoning, which uses an internal sensor to correct the image based on the tilt of the projector. Both solutions are digital - so you'll lose image detail and may experience unwanted patterns on flat areas of colour - and the tilt sensor doesn't always work that well.
Because the CP220 uses a single Digital Light Processor (DLP) chip, colour convergence is close to perfect, but the five-segment colour wheel means that the rainbow effect will be particularly distracting to sensitive viewers - particularly during business presentations, which often involve high-contrast scenes. The Carl Zeiss optics may provide a sharper image, but the lens is narrow, so a long throw is needed to fill a big screen - for a 48in screen, you'll need a projection distance of around two metres.
The CP220 is fairly loud during operation, which is to be expected from such a small, bright unit. Even in Economy mode, which reduces brightness and extends lamp life, the fan noise was noticeable. Digital connections aren't supported, but composite, S-Video and component video inputs are (the last option requires a component to VGA adapter, which isn't supplied), and the screen can be set to a 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen presentations. Other features worth noting are the VGA pass-through - which allows a second display during presentations - plus the ability to downscale 1280x1024-pixel signals to the projector's native XGA. The sliding lens cover is another nice touch, as are the instant screen blank button and high-altitude mode. However, the single 1W speaker is nothing to shout about.
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