The remote’s infrared signal output strength is definitely in the lightweight category, as pointing it at the screen (a round trip of only 9 feet from the remote to the screen to the projector, as tested here) proved futile in our test setting.
• Picture mode: Theater
• Color balance: Normal
• Light output: Eco
Blu-ray Evaluation: The Town
With a projector that’s targeted mainly for the business presentation crowd, the emphasis on brightness is paramount, and the Casio’s native 1200x800 resolution means that there’s going to be some inevitable softening with the down-conversion from 1080p sources such as Blu-ray. Surprisingly, the XJ-A250 doesn’t disappoint, and is able to put out a crisp picture that will likely satisfy all but the fussiest videophiles. The Eco (dimmed) mode is still sufficiently bright to allow a satisfying large-screen viewing experience in a darkened environment.
The Casio sports a Theater mode, but the color differences between it and the default Standard mode aren’t much. Both are within about ten or fifteen percent of the optimum 6500° neutral white color temperature, with the Standard mode producing more light output. Either looks fine. With HD sources such as Blu-ray or broadcast, the Casio’s secondary picture adjustment menu screen is grayed out, which means that there’s no color saturation adjustment ability. Still, the default settings deliver surprisingly realistic flesh tones with no evidence of over-emphasis.
Compared to a dedicated home theater projector, the Casio’s blacks are a little on the grayish side, but that again is due to the need for the higher brightness output that’s required for a viewable picture in a brightly lit conference room (a typical user scenario). Use the Eco (dimmed) brightness mode to get the best blacks that the Casio can deliver, which aren’t bad at all.
A scene with the bank robbers in a car dressed in nun’s habits looks just fine, with easily discernable details in the darker portions of the scene. The dimmed Eco light output mode works best here, and is still bright enough for even a large home theater screen. Note: the Casio also puts out a lot less noise in the Eco mode.
Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: United States Of Tara (Showtime via Dish Network)
Overall, the detail is a tad on the soft side, but that’s only when directly compared to a full 1080p home theater projector.
Flesh tones are realistically reproduced, without any visible over-emphasis. “Not bad for a presentation projector” is actually something of an accolade here.
While the Casio’s contrast ratio is spec’d at 6,000:1, the in-picture viewable contrast is much less. Still, the blacks look good, which is something one wouldn’t expect from a business-oriented projector.
Here again, the Casio surprises with a good rendition of shadow detail. A scene with Tara wearing a funereal outfit with black lace, a black wool sweater and a black satin gown shows clearly discernable differences between the various materials that she’s wearing.
The two main attractions here are the Casio’s very compact size and the long-life combo LED/laser light engine. While most HD projectors, even the smaller ones, can only qualify as “luggable”, the XJ-A250 clearly qualifies as portable, and can be counted on to provide a quite decent picture even with high resolution HD content. For business presentations and for casual HD viewing, the projector’s available range of picture modes can satisfy those who need a bright enough image in a well-lit room as well as delivering a fine and watchable picture in a darker home theater environment.
CASIO XJ-A250 Projector
Practical Screen Size Upper Limit (10 Foot-Lamberts, 1.0 gain screen): 182” diagonal 16:9
Pixel resolution: 1280 x 800
1:1 Mode: Yes
Has Mode 1 Scaling (vertical stretch for external anamorphic lens compatibility)? No
Video inputs: 1 HDMI, 1 RGB PC (which can double as a component video input with an optional adapter)
Other connections: 1 3.5mm audio input (it can accept composite video with along with audio, but that requires an optional adapter)
Dimensions (W x H x D): 11.7” x 1.7” x 8.3”
Weight: 5 lbs
Warranty: 3 years parts & labor, 3 years/6,000 hours on light source