InFocus – IN42 review

high quality business projector
Photo of InFocus – IN42
£1,620 + VAT

Projectors have been dropping in price for some time now, making it far easier for the everyday consumer to go some way towards building a home cinema on the cheap. Many people may have forgotten that their original use was for business purposes, and you’ll find that dedicated business projectors tend to be ideally suited to presentations but fall way behind when it comes to moving pictures.

The InFocus IN42, although primarily aimed at business users, looks to breach a gap between the two by also offering impressive movie playback. At the top of the current InFocus business range, this ultra-bright high-end model boasts an ANSI lumens rating of 3,500; impressive by today’s standards and it means that even in direct sunlight it’ll do your images justice.

In practice we were impressed by how bright and clear pictures actually were, even though it was in the middle of the day in a well-lit room. Initially focusing on its use in the business market and testing a range of different applications and backdrops through a Windows environment, we found that if you are looking to display presentations with the IN42 you won’t be disappointed.

In terms of movie playback the results weren’t as impressive, but you’d be hard pushed to find any projector that can do justice to a dynamic moving image in bright lighting.

When the lights go down the quality certainly improves, but movie playback was still a little below par. Blacks seemed washed out and, while whites were bright enough, the overall image wasn’t consistent enough to impress. A relatively poor contrast ratio of 1,000:1 doesn’t help when combined with the brightness of the bulb, particularly with a composite signal.

Things improve when you introduce a higher quality signal, and the IN42 is well kitted out for today’s HD generation, sporting component, DVI and S-video connections to accompany the more standard inputs. It also supports HD resolutions of up to 720p/1080i (with data resolutions up to 1,600 x 1,200), and it has to be said that things do step up a gear at these higher levels.

An effective control set and some nice menu options make it easy to tweak the picture in that extra push for quality. Adjustments to the projected image, from colours to keystones, a range of aspect ratios and screen positions, make the IN42 an adaptable solution for those with limited space to manoeuvre. You’ll really want as much room as possible with this projector though, as thanks to the high lumens rating you’ll find that screen sizes up to 25 feet (7.6m), under optimum conditions, remain clear and bright.

The IN42 is more suited towards permanent placement; it weighs 6kg and is over 30cm wide and long. Accompanied by the throw distance you’ll need between the projector and screen if you want to take advantage of the screen sizes it can achieve, it really is a higher end solution.

With this in mind, if your primary purpose is to watch movies you’ll probably be better off going for a more dedicated movie projector with a higher contrast ratio. For the IN42′s primary purpose, though – dynamic presentations and business-oriented displays to a large audience – it certain ticks all the boxes.

Company: InFocus

Contact: 08000 286470


Verdict
The IN42 will have a crack at playing back your movies, but for the most part the picture is a little washed out. Where it really comes alive is in business presentations, where still images through a VGA or DVI port are exceptional even in bright ambient conditions.