Toshiba SP1

A high-quality business projector with great colour reproduction

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Toshiba SP1
  • Toshiba SP1
  • Toshiba SP1
  • Toshiba SP1

Pros

  • Good colour reproduction, bright

Cons

  • Low native resolution, slightly loud

Bottom Line

For a business projector the Toshiba SP1 fulfils its role admirably. However, if you need a silent model the SP1 isn’t for you.

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The SP1 is the latest business-focused projector from Toshiba. It has an 800x600 native resolution, which might be slightly low for power users, but it makes up for this with a good balance of brightness and colour reproduction.

This matte black unit weighs approximately 2.2 kilograms, which is about average for a mobile projector. Its dimensions are slightly larger than some other models we've seen, but not enough to be a hindrance.

Like most other business projectors from Toshiba, the SP1 comes packaged in a hardy satchel, complete with shoulder strap. It isn't big enough to hold any additional documents you might have, but it will accommodate power and video cables.

Setting up the SP1 is a relatively simple task. The projector is versatile in terms of its throw distance and it can be used from as little as one metre away from the projection surface. If you're in a large room, the SP1 will produce a bright, crisp image even at a distance of 12 metres.

All the usual business-grade inputs are included, with VGA, S-Video and composite video connectors residing on the back of the unit. A 3.5mm mini-jack is the input for any audio — a single two Watt speaker will reproduce simple sounds with ease up to decent volumes. If you're in a loud room, however, you'll definitely notice the speaker distorting and struggling with music or dialogue.

The high zoom lens on the SP1 means that it can be positioned one metre away from a screen and throw a 0.66 metre image. While this isn't spectacular, Toshiba claims the SP1 will happily create a 7.7 metre image when positioned 12 metres from the projection surface. For such a small projector, this is an impressive feat.

Brightness is a very respectable 2200 ANSI lumens in the projector's standard mode. Economy mode significantly cuts the brightness, but it also has the positive effect of drastically reducing noise.

In such a small chassis, the fans need to run at high speeds in order to expel hot air. Because of this, in standard mode the projector is noticeably loud in a small room — enough to overwhelm the in-built speaker at low volumes. Thankfully, the economy mode quietens the fans considerably to the point of being inaudible if there's any background noise.

Image quality from the SP1 is very good — possibly the best we've seen in an SVGA projector. Colour reproduction is exceptionally good for a business model, and contrast and brightness levels aren't compromised.

Although it would be nice for the SP1 to have a native resolution of 1024x768, the SVGA standard of 800x600 is more than capable of displaying enough information for a presentation. When running our image quality tests we found that images were extremely sharp and vibrant, with the default settings suitable for normal watching. Graphs and simple pictures were cleanly produced, with no resolution issues apparent.

When switching to show photographs and other complex images we were pleasantly surprised. Even in the brightest image mode, colours were vividly displayed and contrast was high enough that images looked as if they were coming from a home theatre projector.

A wide range of image tweaking is available, with sharpness, gamma, contrast and brightness settings able to be individually altered. If you need a mobile projector that is able to produce rich colours despite its small size and you don't mind the low native resolution, then the SP1 is a class-leading choice.

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