Davis – DP X16 review

ultra-portable, powerful projector
Photo of Davis – DP X16
£4,995

Davis was one of the first companies to grab a firm hold of Texas Instruments’ DLP (digital light processing) technology to use in its projectors. This means that, instead of using LCD panels, the DP X16 and others of its ilk use a cunning chip that contains around half a million individually-pivoted mirrors. Light is shone onto these chips, and the mirrors are electrically rotated to either reflect or absorb the light. As a feat of engineering it’s pretty impressive, and the mirror chips look good on key-rings too.

First impressions of this portable projector are that it’s small, cute and easy to lug around – although the bag supplied with it is pretty cheap and you’d probably want to invest in a proper one to keep the DP X16 in one piece while travelling around. Given the size of this projector, we didn’t expect a great deal in the image quality department, so we were quite surprised when we first powered on the machine in a partially darkened room. Brightness certainly doesn’t seem to be a problem, with 1,000 ANSI Lumens on offer. The image was very consistent too, with none of the corner shadows that sometimes afflict projectors.

Top resolution available is 1024 x 768 (XGA, although 1280 x 1024 is possible in ‘compressed’ mode), driven as standard by any PC’s D-Sub RGB video output. Our machine came with the optional multi-source module, allowing us to connect composite and S-video sources too, plus a serial, PS/2 or USB mouse connection for use with the remote control, an audio source and additional monitor. We had no problems setting the machine up – the remote control has enough buttons to take you through the setup without pain, so we set it to auto-sense the input. The picture quality was good with S-video, acceptable with composite and outstanding with a PC source.

Weighing less than 2.5kg, and with a footprint smaller than that of a notebook PC, this is a bright, light and easy to use projector, with just one design flaw: there’s a single leg at the front of the projector which is used to raise or lower the projected image. The leg on our review model was not too durable, and occasionally retracted without warning.

Company: Davis

Contact: 01344 893056


Verdict
Cute, very cute. This is one of the smallest projectors around, but it kicks out the photons like there's no tomorrow. It would make the ideal accompaniment to any travelling worker's presentation arsenal, were it not for the not-so small matter of the price. At a whisker under five grand, this is a serious investment for any company; for that money you could get a larger, presentation room projector. But the DP X16 is undoubtedly cuter.