InFocus IN15 Review

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Pros: Very thin; Motorized focus and optical zoom; Huge optical zoom range; Big and bright images

Cons: Relatively expensive; Picture a bit fuzzy; Few connections; Slow cooldown time

Verdict: A remarkably thin and bright projector that sports a motorized focus and optical zoom.

The IN15 is remarkably thin at just 1.7 inches. You've probably read hardcover books that were thicker. And while this model is pricier than other XGA ultraportable projectors that offer similar brightness, InFocus sweetens the deal with convenient features.

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In the case of the IN15, thin doesn't mean light; while it fits into our ultraportable category, its weight of 3.9 pounds is heavier than the 2.7-pound Dell M209X and the 3.2-pound Optoma TX7155. With all its accoutrements (such as the included AC, VGA, and composite video cables), the weight is closer to 5 pounds.

We can deal with the extra weight given this projector's surprising number of special features. First there's the motor-driven optical zoom: Just press a button on the remote and the image zooms to double its size--much larger than the 10 percent increase on almost all other projectors. The IN15 also produced one of the largest images we have seen: 52 inches diagonal at a distance of only 60 inches. Like the optical zoom, focusing is also motor-driven at the touch of a button.

For those who like an absolutely rectangular image, the projector will automatically correct for any keystone or trapezoidal shape problems. We also like the flip-down lens cap that is not only handy but also impossible to lose.

Like most credit-card-size remote controls, the IN15 remote lacks both a laser pointer and any buttons for navigating a PowerPoint slide show. It does, however, have buttons for controlling this model's motorized focus and optical zoom features. There is also a handy button for switching to low-power Eco mode that drops the noisy cooling fan down to a more tolerable volume while lowering the brightness by only 20 percent.

With such a small size, a few features had to be omitted. These include an S-Video connector, USB port, and an audio speaker. However, speakers on portable projectors are usually so mediocre that it's a minor loss.

On our lab tests, the IN15 did fairly well. It scored a brightness level of 2271 lumens--below the advertised value but within the traditional industry margin of overstatement. The contrast ratio was good, measuring 488:1. As is typical for DLP-based projectors, the yellow colors had a dull mustard-like look. In general, images seemed a bit fuzzy, caused by significant "comet tails" on individual pixels.

We knocked the older Casio version of this projector for its expensive $499 replacement lamp. The InFocus replacement lamp is a much more reasonable $365 (at www.superwarehouse.com). Too bad the IN15 requires a rather slow 61 seconds to cool down.

The IN15 is an attractively slim and full-featured projector. However, the nearly identical Casio XJ-S46, which costs $100 more, includes a speaker and a USB connector that lets you attach a wireless LAN adapter or run slideshows from a thumb drive without a PC. If you can live without those features, the IN15 is a solid choice for presenters on the go.

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Projector Resolution 1024 x 768
Contrast Ratio More than 1000:1
Brightness 2000 to 2999 Lumens
Supported Formats M-PAL
Supported Formats I-PAL
Supported Formats SECAM
Supported Formats H-PAL
Supported Formats PAL60
Supported Formats G-PAL
Supported Formats NTSC-M
Supported Formats D-PAL
Supported Formats NTSC 4.43
Supported Formats B-PAL
Supported Formats N-PAL
Image Engine 0.55-inch DLP XGA DMD
Remote Control Features Eco button for low-power mode
Remote Control Features Credit card-size
Cool Down Time 1:01
Speakers N/A
Zoom Focus Motorized optical zoom/focus, 2.0:1 zoom ratio
Input Terminals Composite Video
Input Terminals VGA-In
Size 10.6 x 7.8 x 1.7 inches
Weight 4.9 pounds while traveling
Weight 3.9 projector alone
Company Website www.infocus.com