It’s easy to get blasé about projectors, especially now that they are so commonplace in homes and offices. But we’ve reviewed many projectors over the years, and they are definitely not all created equal. Some are noisy, some suffer from ghosting, others have brightness inconsistencies, and so on and so forth.
Generally we find, as in so many areas of life, that you get what you pay for, which means that more expensive, business-oriented projectors tend to be better than the cheaper models aimed at the home movie market.
So it is with Toshiba’s latest, the TDP-T9. This projector arrived in a small, lightweight case that also held the manual, remote control – with integrated laser pointer – and mains cable. On setting it up and switching it on, our immediate impressions were of a compact (239 x 107 x 207mm, 2kg) and quiet machine. It’s not silent, but it’s sufficiently quiet to use for home movie viewing if you’re lucky enough to borrow it from work for the weekend.
Using a DLP chip – basically an array of microscopic, pivoting mirrors – the TDP-T9 has a native resolution of XGA, which is 1,024 x 768 pixels, with a brightness of 2,000 ANSI lumens and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio. It can reproduce 16.7 million colours and has a fairly good ‘throw distance’ (that’s the projection range); from just under a metre to 6.5 metres.
Those are just numbers until you see the projected display for yourself. It’s bright; very bright. Viewing sales presentations and product images was no problem, even in a fully lit room. There was no ghosting, even when playing back DVD videos, while the colours were clear and consistent and the light level remained constant across the image.
Focus and zoom are controlled manually, with a slider and a rotating ring, which, as many manufacturers have found, is much better and cheaper than trying to do it electronically. Connectors at the rear include a VGA RGB port (with a pass-though for a monitor), S-Video, composite RCA and audio socket for the built-in speaker. Password protection and a Kensington lock should help deter thieves.
We could find little to complain about with the Toshiba TDP-T9, but you do have to pay for this level of projection quality. In industries where sales deals are made and lost on the quality of presentations, however, the cost could be worthwhile.
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