The Boxlight ProjectoWrite6 X32N is an XGA (1,024 by 768) interactive projector with a difference. Or lots of differences. Unlike most, it’s built around an LCD, rather than DLP, engine; it uses a wireless connection rather than a USB cable to control interactivity; and it offers a standard throw, rather than a short or ultra-short throw. The combination makes it stand out from the crowd, mostly in a good way.
As with the Editors’ Choice Epson BrightLink 436Wi Interactive WXGA 3LCD Projector, the LCD engine in the X32N gives it two advantages over DLP-based competition and one disadvantage.
The first advantage is that it’s guaranteed not to show rainbow artifacts—in the form of red, green, and blue flashes—that DLP-based projectors can show. The second is that it has the same color brightness as white brightness, which is often not true for DLP projectors. A difference between the two can affect both the brightness and color quality of color images. (For more on color brightness, see Color Brightness: What It Is, and Why You Should Care.) The disadvantage is that it doesn’t offer 3D support, which you’ll find in most DLP projectors. Unless you need 3D, however, that’s a non-issue.
Interactive Advantages and Disadvantages
The wireless connection for interactivity comes in the form of a dongle you plug into your PC’s USB port. This isn’t much of an advantage for a permanent installation using a single computer. If different people use different computers, however, it’s a little more convenient than connecting a cable every time you switch computers. And if you plan to use the projector as a portable, the wireless connection means one less wire to worry about every time you set it up.
The standard throw, unfortunately, is far more of a minus than a plus. A standard throw lens helps keep the initial price down compared with a short throw or ultra-short throw lensing system. However, the closer a projector is to the screen, the easier it is to avoid shadows, which is why most interactive projectors offer either a short throw or ultra-short throw.
Using a 78-inch wide (roughly 98-inch diagonal) XGA image, for example, I measured the short throw Acer S5201M at only 49 inches from the screen. The X32N needed 107 inches for the same size image.
As you would expect from the X32N’s throw distance, when you’re standing next to the screen to interact with the image, it’s easy to wind up with a shadow covering the part of the image you want to interact with. That also means you’re blocking the projector from seeing what you’re doing with the interactive pen.
The good news is that this isn’t as much of a problem as you might expect it to be. After a little trial and error, I was able to adjust my position to reliably avoid shadows over the part of the screen I wanted to interact with. If you’re in front of an audience, however, you may have to step out of the way when you’re done to let everyone see the full image.
Setup and Basics
The X32N is small and light enough to carry with you. However, at 3.8 by 12.8 by 10.2 inches and 7 pounds 8 ounces, it is in a size and weight class that usually winds up permanently installed or on a cart for room-to-room portability. The 3,200-lumen rating puts it in the usual range for a projector aimed at a small- to mid-size conference room or classroom.
Aside from using a USB dongle instead of a USB cable for interactive control, setup is mostly standard fare for an interactive projector, with manual focus and manual zoom.
Choices for image input include the usual VGA, HDMI, and composite video ports, an S-Video port and a USB A port for reading files directly from a USB memory key, and a mini-USB B port for direct USB display. In addition, the projector offers a 1.5GB internal memory to let you show images without an external device and a LAN port to let you send images and audio, as well as control the projector, over a network. You can also get an optional Wi-Fi dongle ($99 list) that will let you send images from PCs, Macs, and both iOS and Android phones and tablets. Apps are available for recent OSs in each case.
As is common for interactive LCD projectors, the X32N uses infrared technology, which allows thinner pens than the ones that most DLP interactive projectors come with. This will be particularly welcome in a classroom with younger students with small hands.
One disadvantage of infrared technology is that the pens have to touch the screen, which means you need a screen with a hard backing. You also have to calibrate the pens to the projector. With only four points to touch on screen, however, the calibration step is quick and easy. Note too that the interactive feature lets you use two pens at once.
Image Quality and Other Issues
Data image quality for the ProjectoWrite6 X32N is solidly in the good to excellent range. The projector sailed through our standard suite of DisplayMate tests, with fully saturated vibrant color in all modes and good color balance. Grays were suitably neutral at all levels from black to white in all but the brightest mode, and showed just a hint of yellow tint in the brightest shades of the brightest mode.
More important for most data screens is that the projector held detail well, with both black on white and white on black text crisp and highly readable at sizes as small as 6.8 points. I saw some exceedingly minor dynamic moire with an analog (VGA) connection, but only on screens that are designed to bring out that problem. Unless you use patterned fills instead of solid blocks of colors in your images, you’ll probably never see this issue.
Video is watchable, but not high quality. The projector did a good job with shadow detail (details based on shading in dark areas), and I didn’t see any motion artifacts or posterization. However, the low contrast ratio showed as washed out color in every scene. The quality is good enough to let you watch a full-length movie comfortably, but don’t expect colors to pop off the screen.
One last issue that demands mention is that, as with most projectors in this weight class, the built-in audio for the ProjectoWrite6 X32N is hardly worth having. The sound quality is acceptable, but the 10-watt mono speaker puts out barely enough volume for a small conference room. If you need higher volume or stereo, plan on plugging an external sound system into the projector’s stereo audio output.
The standard throw on the ProjectoWrite6 X32N makes it a less than ideal choice if you need a projector for extensive interactive use. If you need only occasional interactive capability in an XGA projector, however, the combination of good to excellent data image quality, watchable video, and interactive extras like dual pen support can easily make the Boxlight ProjectoWrite6 X32N a good fit.
|Native Resolution||1024 x 768|
|Video Inputs||Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video|
|Computer Interfaces||Analog VGA, HDMI, USB|
|Rated Contrast Ratio||3000|
|Rated Brightness||3200 ANSI lumens|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc