So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Infocus Work Big IN24
- Good price, Good range of connections, Good DVD playback performance.
- Poor throw ratio, few image quality problems, low native resolution.
This isn't a brilliant projector by any means, but with a little patience, it will perform well enough for most users at a competitive price.
Price$ 1,350.00 (AUD)
The IN24 is an 800x600 native resolution DLP projector designed for business use. The projector performs adequately although it doesn't excel in any particular area. Our testing found some image quality aberrations, some of which can be corrected through arduous trial and error calibration. Further, the projector's throw ratio limits its viability in meeting-room installations.
Not even an echo of the well-established InFocus style has been carried over from their home theatre range. The business range is simpler, with clean design choices resulting in a more compact and box-like aesthetic. All the inputs are housed on the rear panel and include 15 pin D-Sub, USB 2.0, S-Video, Composite Video, RCA audio and both monitor and audio out. Found on top of the unit are the function interface and on/off buttons. Above the lens is a focus ring and a zoom ring. In most projectors the zoom function tends to make the image substantially bigger. However, under our testing from 3m the IN24 zoom ring made very little difference offering only a couple of additional centimetres to the image size.
This type of projector is best used for displaying presentations and other data from a PC. As such, for our first series of tests we connected the IN24 to a PC via D-Sub. The most obvious problem is the native resolution. If your computer is running at a higher resolution than 800x600, the projector will crop the displayed image rather than scale it down. Consequently, presentations need to be delivered using a desktop resolution of 800x600 or large portions will not be displayed.
The throw ratio of between 0.57 (diagonal image size/distance) and 0.63 is far too small for a business projector and as such requires a long throw distance to achieve a large image. Throwing from a distance of three metres produced an image of approximately 1.8 metres diagonally, a size that seems inadequate for most business meetings. Naturally, the further you place the projector from the screen, the larger the image you will get but even at five metres the image size was only 3.2 metres at maximum zoom. For a typical boardroom situation, we feel our testing at three metres was more than generous. Other projectors such as the Sony VPL-ES2 and the Casio XJ-350 DLP created an image size of 2.54 metres at throw distances of 3.3 and 2.7 metres respectively. InFocus has provided an online tool for checking throw distances and image sizes at their website. We recommend using it to check if this projector will suit your needs.
An assessment of the image quality at default settings netted mixed results. The desktop appeared too bright with all white elements overpowering the rest of the image while colours were muddy and too dark. Even after extensive recalibration, the best result we could achieve was only just acceptable and on par with the default settings of similar projectors on the market. The best we could do was set the display mode to "movie" and then adjust the brightness and contrast. This does not bode well for those that expect plug and play usage, without having to spend time with calibration.
We ran tests on the IN24 using DisplayMate Video Edition and found that it had very few problems. There was a noticeable fly screen effect due to the low native resolution which also effects text with some unsightly pixilation. The greyscale tests also showed a green tint on mid- to low-level grey.
We also checked to see how the projector performed with DVD playback and found that for the most part, it was rather good. There was no motion blur, a little noise on darker areas, but the IN24 generally performed quite well. We were impressed by the lack of rainbow effect, usually a downfall of DLP systems and apart from the mediocre calibration options we found the system fairly easy to use.
Since this projector has no lens shift options, the only way to fix any keystone problems is to use the digital vertical correction function. We ran the DisplayMate Video Edition resolution tests to see how well the keystone correction worked and found that it caused a wide range of issues, the most noticeable of which was horizontal banding and pixel misalignments. However, this is a common problem with projectors that employ digital methods to repair keystone problems and on par with most DLP projectors we have reviewed. If you avoid keystone correction, these issues will not appear.
While the native resolution was below what many people will need, considering the price tag of this unit, it is fairly reasonable. This isn't a brilliant projector by any means, but with a little patience, it will perform well enough for most users at a competitive price.
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