The Three PsPublish date: 23 September 2009 by Thomas Mckinnon
Finding a powerful data projector with the right mix of price, portability and performance is no easy task. It isn’t even an exciting task as projectors are generally viewed as rather dull bits of hardware – let’s face it you’re not exactly going to show off your data projector to your friends.
Sony’s latest data projector offering, the VPL-DX11 consequently surprised us a little when we received it for review.
Design and ease of use
The DX11 isn’t a particularly sexy bit of hardware with its plain white housing and black face. This no-fuss approach extends to its interface; with manual focus controls, a power button, menu button, directional controls and an input button positioned behind its lens, on top of the case. The supplied remote is just as basic. All this makes the device incredibly easy to use and set-up, and we quite literally had the unit projecting presentations within five minutes of opening its box.
The Sony, while not a portable projector per se, weighs just 2.1 kg and boasts dimensions of 295 x 74 x 204 mm, which makes it easy enough to cart about, especially in the provided carry case. There are smaller, more portable devices on the market but those that can match the features of the DX11 would cost a small fortune.
The DX11’s standout feature is undoubtedly its 3000 ANSI lumens of light output. This kind of brightness makes it possible to project in conference rooms that can accommodate between 100 and 200 people under normal light conditions and without much washout.
In terms of resolution the projector supports XGA (1024 x 768) which is pretty much standard and offers a contract ratio of 700:1. Presenting slides with graphic and numerical values is not a problem then, as there is more than enough detail. Video quality should be clear too, so long as the computer providing the input and the projector are operating at the same resolution.
Overall we were thoroughly impressed by its performance in a fully lit room. Text, video and graphics were all projected without any bother. We did find the fan noise to be a little loud though, but at 37 dB it is just a little louder than standard.
The other concern we have is in connection with its lack of connections. There is a single S-video, a single composite video phono input and a single audio stereo mini jack. A few more inputs would really have been appreciated from a versatility perspective, although what is on offer will get the job done.
The DX11 is a solid data projector with an acceptable compromise between performance and portability. The third P, or price, is a little steep on this model though as it costs a cool R16 000 incl. VAT. Considering its light-output, contrast ratio, specified lamp life of between 2000 and 3000 hours and a 3 year support pack it is, however, a quality product.