Currently I am using a 64” x 48” piece of a semi-gloss tile board from the Depot (a staggering $9.99 investment that doubles as a maker board) as a screen. I haven’t decided yet if this will be the permanent choice, but I needed something quick and the selection of screens in Bangor, Maine is not impressive. This yields a projected image size of about 78” with the projector placed 10 feet from the screen. Keep in mind that limited zoom range of this model limits where you can place it with respect to the screen. The manual will give you all the numbers to figure out whether this projector will work for your room.
Pretty sweet eh?
I am going to try and break down the projector based on the three applications I can see (yes you could probably use it for non-destructive nighttime graffiti or producing live Apple style silhouette ads, these won’t be my focus). Instead I’ll take a look at its intended application, conference rooms and classrooms, its use as a massive computer display or as an inexpensive home theater projector.
As a presentation projector
This is the target application for the XR-10X and it makes a good showing. With a 2000 lumen output rating, it is bright enough to compete with room lighting and even a few stray rays of sunshine. Let’s not be confused though, while this is a luggable projector (8.6lbs and somewhat bulky) it is not travel projector. It certainly has all the inputs and features needed for this application. The automatic source selection is a nice feature (always painful to see people trying to setup projectors). The projector also offers easy to use digital keystone correction. While it is best avoided (you will lose resolution) it is often a necessary evil in temporary installations.
Definitely a go here, if you need a good projector without too many whiz-bang features (it doesn’t run Windows for instance) than this should be on your short list.
As a computer monitor
So is 80” good for a computer monitor? Not if you work at a desk, but it does wonders for couch computing (and I used to think a laptop was the solution). Couple the XR-10X with good wireless keyboard and mouse and life is pretty sweet.
Here is an application where the 1024 x 768 resolution of the projector is a problem though. A lot of people happily spend their computing hours down in this sub-million pixel regime, but I don’t. Switching from two 1280 x 1024 panels to a single 1024 x 768 display has cut down my working area but a huge amount.
Back to function. Plush chairs and couches are not good for my work ethic. While it is quite possible to compose word documents or fiddle with any number of real-work applications, I find myself using this system mostly for light-duty stuff. It’s great for showing off pictures, surfing the web, email, messaging, playing music, and gaming.
Did I mention gaming? Well yes, solitaire has never been quite so entertaining. As far as mores serious gaming goes it is a crap shoot. The display is big, bold, and bright but not every pc game is suitable to a wireless mouse on the arm of a chair. Slower paced games are a blast though, including good old Age of Empires. Bouts of UT2004 got a bit challenging though, so if you want to play twitchy games, you’ll probably want to setup some sort of command center with a desk or table. Unlike LCD projectors, DLP projectors dodge the dreaded ghosting problem with games or any other fast motion.
Does work as a nifty second monitor for my laptop (I’ve got a wall full of music jukebox at the moment).
So, is the XR-10X a good replacement display for your daily work horse? Probably not, it is rather fun to play with but hard to get much work down. The resolution isn’t quite high enough and I doubt very much the color accuracy would cut it for the artist types. You also have to compute in a somewhat dark room (room lights are ok but direct sunlight is going to kill the fun). Course, this might very well not be a problem for most of you.
Two of these and some sort of command bunker would be fun though …