The Sharp PGM-25X DLP projector is a sleek unit that is finished in silver and dark grey. On the top are a dozen navigation buttons, neatly recessed, but at first sight there are no ports to connect up your notebook or PC. These are hidden away under a rubber bung on the side, which pops off to reveal a DVI input, S-Video input, composite video input, a mini jack for audio input and a USB port for mouse control.
A cover is all well and good for protecting ports while they’re not in use, but in the case of this Sharp you don’t necessarily have to use any of the ports at all. On the front of the projector is a fourth input, which is a PC card slot. In the package you’ll find two Sharp AN-WC11B 802.11b PC cards as well as a UK power cord, a European power cord, a VGA-to-DVI cable, a USB cable, a carrying bag and a remote control. This goes some way to explaining the scary price tag, but you may wonder why you might want a wireless connection for your projector.
There are a couple of good reasons. First you may want to mount your projector to the ceiling of a meeting room. This makes it far more secure from theft and also ensures that everyone in the room gets a clear view with none of that humorous shadow puppet funny business.
Second, if your company is in the habit of holding meetings where first one presenter uses the projector, followed by another, the wireless connection allows you to take control of the projector seamlessly with no need to move notebooks and reconnect cables. To avoid unseemly squabbles there is a designated person in charge of the projector software who grants access as and when it is required.
The projector is a high specification DLP unit that is quite light at 2.6kg and relatively small at 223mm x 83mm x 318mm (W x H x D). The 210-watt lamp has a brightness rating of 1,900 Lumens with a contrast ratio of 1,000:1, so in every respect this projector tends towards the high end, while keeping its size and weight down.
Picture quality at the native 1,024 x 768 resolution is very good and, dare we say it, sharp… This is an inherent feature in any decent DLP projector, which can display far more accurate shades of dark grey and ‘black’ than the competing LCD technology. Unfortunately this, too adds to the cost.
Sharp has topped the PGM-25X off with an intriguing remote control that is called the GyroRemote. As the name suggests, it contains a gyroscope and the remote detects the motion of your hand so you can control the pointer by tilting the remote, rather than gesticulating like a deranged conductor. Incidentally, you may also come across this projector under a different name; the Notevision M25X.
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