Gadget review: InFocus IN116X projector

The IN116X is a portable and compact projector. Picture: Contributed
The IN116X is a portable and compact projector. Picture: Contributed
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A 3D projector ideal for complementing a home cinema setup

Gadget review: InFocus IN116X projector

THE Oregon-based InFocus, which specialises in projectors and LCD flat panel touchscreens, is not widely known in the consumer market, with most of its customer base coming from the business and education sectors. But the performance and reasonable price of its latest range - available from eBuyer - means that warrants consideration for those looking to upgrade the visuals of a basic home cinema setup from a television display to something altogether more ambitious.

One of five new models from the company, the IN116X seems best suited to this task in particular, thanks to its widescreen WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution. It may not be full HD but tests using DVD and Blu-Ray inputs in a dim but not dark room revealed detailed pictures. A Blu-Ray disc of Avengers Assemble, was easy to set up via HDMI between the projector and the Sony Blu-Ray player, with a space of around six and a half feet between the IN116X and the screen.

The DLP technology brings out rich, detailed colours

The projector uses digital light processing (DLP) technology which, in layman’s terms, means that the pixels appear much closer together, resulting in smoother images when video is being played back. For anyone who has watched footage via a LCD projector, the upgrade is immediately obvious. Rich detailed colours came through during Avengers Assemble and the contrast was well pitched from the get go, requiring no adjustment to the default settings.

Playing the 3D version of the same film, the picture grade did not deteriorate and the 3D effect popped convincingly, with the characters and debris shifting perspective during the movie’s frenetic fight scenes, especially during the climactic battle. The overall impact is nowhere near as good as you would experience in an IMAX cinema, but that is to be expected - for a decent priced 3D projector, the InDesign does a good job.

The rainbow effect is evident but thankfully it is sporadic

The picture is not faultless, however. The so-called rainbow effect, which results in pixelated flashes of red and green appearing occasionally, especially against dark coloured backgrounds, could be seen. The effect can be a little annoying but it is so sporadic and unobtrusive that it does not really hamper the viewing experience, at least not with an action movie.

As with most projectors, the quality of the IN116X is at its best with static images. Tested with an HP laptop - again connected via HDMI - to run a photo slideshow, the images were much more intense and crisp with a broader colour palette,. For anyone giving a talk or a presentation, it makes for a great choice, and there is even a 2W speaker on board allowing you to play basic audio directly through the projector itself.

If you want the full 3D experience, you’ll need dedicated glasses

Weighing in at less than 2.5kg and measuring 22cm x 29cm x 12cm, the device is easy to transport around the home and indeed, between the home and office. But depending on how heavy your use of the projector will be, and what you plan to screen, it is worth noting that the retail price does not include a carry case for the device, nor the dedicated DLP glasses required to watch 3D content.