Pros Does not use bulbs. DLP based. 2000 lumens. 1280x800 - HD720P capable.
Cons Not 1080p HD. No Horizontal Keystone correction. Warranty 3000 hours/3 years. No Farjouda DcDi.
Summary The XJ-A230 does not have the USB and wireless features. If you are looking for those features then look at the XJ-A235U. These projectors are slim and intended for the office environment vice the home theater. However, I am using it for home theater. It throws a bright colorful sharp 100" horizontal image. This replaced a Optoma HD72 for which I also wrote a review here on. At this time (April 2011) Casio makes other models with higher lumens with and without USB and wireless and other models with lower resolution that are not even HD 720P capable. Be sure to visit their website and review the models to determine which one is best for you. Remember that 720 HD is 1280x720 so projectors that have native resolutions of 1280x800 are capable of 720 HD. A 1024x768 is not capable of 720 natively. This projector does accept a 1080 HD signal and throws a good picture, it's just that it's native resolution is not 1080 so you don't get true 1080 high def. Also not 3D 24 etc. Remember it was designed for office not home theater so those bells and whistles aren't there.Word copy/paste victims: 1/4" plastic tube and 3/4" PVC.
I chose this model mostly because of the cost of bulbs for bulb based projectors. I enjoy big screen and was willing to replace bulbs every 1300-2000 hours to get it. But when this new LED technology came out, the choice was simple. $200-400 bucks for a bulb that would last a year or so with a no to 30 day warranty versus $800 bucks for a new projector whose light source was also warranted to last for three years. That decision was pretty easy. As an added plus, the A230 throws more lumens than the HD72 it was replacing.
Picture looks great on 720P and acceptable on standard def. I have it connected to a computer via HDMI for 720P high definition and a Comcast DTA with regular old standard def NTSC video. The projector has one HDMI port, one DB15 analog VGA computer port and a 1/8" banana to three RCA males pigtail cable for analog NTSC composite video and left/right analog audio (Yellow/Red/White). I can't comment on the built in speaker as I run audio through a 5.1 surround system and have no intentions of using the projector speaker. It has no fancy standard def enhancement features and no home theater enhancement features. Only 1800 contrast ratio but it is acceptable. I calibrated it with THX glasses and a optimizer from a pirates DVD. The contrast and brightness were easily calibrated but the colors took quite some time but did calibrate. This is due to the menu interface which allows RGB correction only. I have this ceiling mounted about 17' from the screen (100" horizontal). Money saving tip for handymen on the screen; you can buy the screen material and hang it on the wall yourself if you don't need a motorized screen. You can find screen material in whatever gain you want if you google long enough. The edges of the screen material have a folded pocket along the length of the edges. Insert ¼" plastic tube in the length folds then use 10 or 12' sections of ¾" PVC cutting a slot down their length on a table saw. Insert the edge folds with ¼" tubing into the slotted pvc and screw the PVC to the wall stretching the screen tight left right and top bottom as you anchor. Then cover the PVC with stained or painted wood or plastic molding.
The projector must be mounted in the center of the screen as it has no horizontal keystone correction. Be sure to use the output lens as your center to the screen for mounting, not the center of the projector. This projector only has vertical keystone correction. But it can be mounted on the ceiling upside down or on a table right side up. Be sure to check out the specs for usable throw distance for your application.
It is DLP based so no LCD to wear out over time. I have not witnessed fringing/rainbow as yet but DLP can be susceptible to that.
Yes the technology is new which is part of the reason for my selection. I went with the model with the minimum acceptable lumen output and features to keep the cost down making it a benefit over lamp replacement. This actually throws a lot more light than the HD72. Still my comments on my other projector reviews about lighting apply. Lights in the room are not an issue but any light that falls on the screen is. That means the room must be fairly dark. But I have noticed that I can have about twice as much room light with this than the HD72.
The unit runs fairly quiet but does run quite warm. One other review I read talks of the lumen output degrading to 60% by running it 24/7 for a few days straight that supposedly Casio has corrected in their production line. As with all new technology there are often unwanted features that can arise. I have had mine for a month with no issues so I wanted to get this review out there as there were very few when I bought mine.
On the negative side, LED technology should offer more than 3000 hour warranty. 10,000 should be the minimum. Another reason to buy the lower lumen output and more cost effective entry model at this time. Albeit, this projector uses laser and LED, but I'd bet the laser is diode based. Suffice it to say I am disappointed with Casio only offering 3000 hour warranty. I don't know why that is but I can say the plastic case does get hot. Even though I am not at high altitude, I put the fan on high altitude and am using eco mode 2 which throws less light but generates less heat. If the longevity is based on heat, then these settings should help. Keep in mind this is a guess on my part as I don't know. For those times when I want full brightness I switch it to ECO mode 1 or off and turn off high altitude because the fan noise on eco off and high altitude is enormous. THX calibration was performed on ECO mode 2.
Bottom line is I am extremely satisfied with my decision and highly recommend it to those who are tired of bulbs. If you have a lamp based projector whose bulb has once again died, consider these LED models. If you can wait, all I can say is the future is bright for LED based projectors. People are tired of bulb costs. In a year or so I bet we'll see more capable LED based projectors specifically for home theater application.
I am rating this high because I did my research and had no surprises. I got exactly what I expected. Since it is new technology, only time will tell if it makes it the warranted 3000 hours/3 years. I waited a month to give my review but I wanted to get the word out before 3 years ;) Compared to overall projector performance across the board then I would rate this at 3 stars, features probably less than that. But it does the job we want well and we watch all material on 100" horizontal screen, standard or high def. Thanks to Casio for paving the way with an affordable bright lamp free projector technology. Now the rest need to catch the wave?GO LED!
Updated on Apr 14, 2011