Casio Pro XJ-H1650 review

The Casio Pro XJ-H1650 is a bright data projector that is up to the task of displaying presentations in larger conference rooms or classrooms.
Photo of Casio Pro XJ-H1650

The Casio Pro XJ-H1650 is a step down in brightness from the 4,000-lumen Casio XJ-H1750 Pro Series, but at 3,500 lumens it’s still bright enough to be suitable for use in larger classrooms or conference rooms, and in our testing it proved up to the job. This projector uses a hybrid LED/laser light source, which boasts an expected bulb life of 20,000 hours.

The XJ-H1650 has XGA (1,024 by 768) native resolution. Casio was the first company to introduce a laser/LED hybrid projector, though recently we’ve seen projectors with somewhat similar laser-based light sources from other manufacturers, such as the BenQ LX60ST and the Optoma ZX212ST.

Instead of producing red, green, and blue using a standard lamp and a color wheel, the XJ-H1650 produces red with LEDs, blue with lasers, and green by shining the blue laser light on a phosphor. Its optical system directs the red, green, and blue light to the DLP chip, and out the front lens. A big advantage of the hybrid light source is its 20,000-hour expected lifetime, which should last the life of the projector. The lifetime of standard lamps generally ranges from 2,000 to 5,000 hours, and bulbs can cost several hundred dollars to replace.

Size and Connectivity
The XJ-H1650 measures 3.8 by 13.7 by 12.7 inches (HWD), and it weighs 15.6 pounds, making it best for permanent installation (or at least, for use on a cart). It does come with a soft carrying case with a pocket for cables.

This projector has a generous assortment of connection choices; ports include 2 VGA-in (which double as component video); 2 audio-in; monitor-out; HDMI; S-Video, a set of 3 RCA jacks for composite audio/video; audio-out, an RS232 serial port; Ethernet; a USB type B port; and a USB type A port, through which the projector can read JPG and AVI files from a USB memory key, so you can run a presentation PC-free from the USB thumb drive.

Plug in a USB key, and the projector will automatically switch to it as the current source, and then give you a menu of options to find the files on the key and show them. (Casio includes a Casio-specific version of ArcSoft MediaConverter to move most common formats to JPG or AVI.).

The Casio Pro XJ-H1650 also includes a WiFi adapter that plugs into the USB type A port, so it can also connect wirelessly with WiFi-enabled Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile smartphones and computers running MobiShow software, so you can run a presentation from these devices.

Data Image Quality
True to its 3,500-lumen rating, the XJ-H1650 threw an image bright enough to stand up to considerable ambient light. I did most of the still and video image testing under theater-dark conditions, projecting an approximately 6 foot diagonal image on our test screen from about 7 feet away.

In data image testing using the DisplayMate suite, the XJ-H1650′s image quality proved suitable for typical classroom and business presentations. There was mild yellow tinting in some white areas. Some yellows looked dull and mustardy, and some grays had a modest green tint. On our text tests, type was blurry at the two smallest white-on-black sizes, with the smallest barely readable, making the text quality about average for an XGA projector.

The XJ-H1650, like all single-chip DLP projectors, has the potential for showing rainbow artifacts. In the rainbow effect, which we frequently see in single-chip DLP projectors, little red-green-blue flashes may briefly appear, usually in bright areas against dark backgrounds.. I’m of average sensitivity to the effect, and noticed it in several data images—it was relatively pronounced for a DLP projector but probably not an impediment in data presentations.

Continue Reading: Video and Audio

Video and Audio
The projector’s video quality is good enough for shorter clips as part of a presentation. I noticed rainbow artifacts significant enough that they’d likely be a distraction to people somewhat sensitive to them. In some scenes, colors seemed pale, but the rainbow effect was the most significant issue.

The XJ-H1650′s 10-watt mono speaker pumps out sound of decent quality, and loud enough to fill a larger classroom or conference room.

This projector has built-in interactive whiteboard technology, which in effect turns any screen or surface into an interactive workspace with the optional Casio YA-P10 interactive pen and software ($299.99 direct). As the XJ-H1650 is a standard-throw projector, though, it might be hard for a presenter to avoid casting shadows on the screen while using the whiteboard feature.

Another plus is the warranty, at three years for the projector itself plus 6,000 hours for the light source. That’s well short of the 20,000-hour rating for its lifetime, but it’s a lot longer than the usual 90 days for a lamp.

The XJ-H1650 is 3D capable; it requires active-shutter DLP-link compatible 3D glasses. Casio sells its own branded glasses (YA-G30) for $129.99 (direct) per pair; although active-shutter DLP-link glasses are available from other manufacturers for considerably less, it can still cost a lot of money to outfit a room with them, particularly the larger classrooms and conference rooms for which this projector is intended.

The Casio Pro XJ-H1650 provides high brightness and a wealth of connectivity choices as a data projector for conference room or classroom. Its size and weight relegate it to permanent installation or use on a cart.

The XJ-H1650 is a step down in brightness from the Casio Pro XJ-H1750, and couldn’t quite match the XJ-H1750′s image quality, though it should be fine for most business and classroom presentations.

The BenQ LX60 is a short-throw XGA projector that uses a light source similar to the XJ-H1750, except it uses lasers for all 3 primary colors instead of an LED/laser mixture. It offers excellent data image quality and so-so video. At 2,000 lumens, it has a much lower rated brightness than the XJ-H1650.

The Optoma ZX212ST is a short-throw WXGA projector with a hybrid laser-LED light engine, also with very good data image quality, middling video image quality, and lower brightness (2,300 lumens). One thing these projectors with hybrid light sources have in common with the XJ-H1650 is that they have very long-lasting light sources that could well last the lifetime of the projector.

The Editors’ Choice Epson PowerLite 1880 MultiMedia Projector ($1,499, 4 stars) is rated at 4,000 lumens. As an LCD projector, it essentially offers the same brightness in both white light and in color, while DLP-based projectors tend to have lower color brightness than their rated (white-light) brightness. The 1880 showed very good data image quality in our testing, and its video quality is suitable for movie viewing, which is unusual in a data projector.

The Casio Pro XJ-H1650 does offer some things the PowerLite 1880 lacks: 3D readiness, WiFi connectivity, and a bulb life that should keep it shining long after the bulbs in most other projectors have been replaced (sometimes several times over). Although the XJ-H1650 is relatively expensive, you may save money in the long run as you shouldn’t have to replace the bulb. And with it, you get a bright, capable projector up to the task of showing presentations in a large classroom or conference room.

Specifications
Native Resolution 1024 x 768
Video Inputs Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video
Computer Interfaces Analog VGA
Wireless Connectivity Yes
Weight 15.6 lb
Rated Contrast Ratio 1400
Engine Type DLP
Type Business
Aspect Ratio 4
Rated Brightness 3500 ANSI lumens

Verdict
The Casio Pro XJ-H1650 is a bright data projector that is up to the task of displaying presentations in larger conference rooms or classrooms.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
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