Toshiba TDP-PX10 Review

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$1019
Editors' rating:
The Pros

Small and easy to carry; Very sharp images; USB connector enables slideshow from USB drive

The Cons

Low contrast ratio; Relatively small images; Loud cooling fan

Verdict

This tiny projector produces beautiful images and lets you leave your notebook at home.

While the Toshiba TDP-PX10U is not the smallest portable business projector we've tested recently, it's close. Yet despite this compact size, the PX10U beams out a beautiful, sharp image that is adequately bright, and its USB port means that you don't even need to tote a laptop with you on business trips.

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Design

The PX10U's small size and weight of just 2.9 pounds gives you a highly portable projector. Even when fitted out with its remote control and a complement of cables, the travel weight is still only 4.2 pounds. Measuring 8.3 x 6.5 x 2.6 inches, this projector should fit easily into most laptop carrying cases. If not, Toshiba includes a handy padded carrying case that is large enough for the projector, remote, and cables. Want to travel even lighter? The PX10U's USB port lets users display a JPEG slideshow from a USB flash memory drive--without the need of a laptop at all.

The remote control has a good set of buttons arranged in a logical format. These buttons include those for a laser pointer and navigating through a PowerPoint slideshow. To enable these latter buttons--that emulate left and right mouse buttons and Page Up/Down--you will have to attach the included USB IR receiver module to your laptop.

Image Quality

While its portability is an asset, the real value of the PX10U is revealed when you turn it on. The images were exceptionally sharp: Individual pixels showed no trace of halos or comet tails. Likewise, we saw rock-steady images with no flicker or image noise. Colors were good, although yellows seemed a bit dull--a frequent complaint for DLP projectors. When equipped with an optional component video cable, the projector did particularly well in our 1080i HDTV tests. Action sequences were crisp and mid-tone colors were smooth.

Lab Results

On our quantitative lab tests, the numbers were not impressive. We measured the brightness at 1402 lumens--still good for most conference rooms, but way below the advertised value of 2000 ANSI lumens. Our contrast ratio was only 163:1--far lower than ratios for similar DLP projectors such as the Dell M209X, which has a contrast ratio of 640:1, let alone the traditionally inflated advertised claims.

The image size was the smallest we have seen in recent projectors: just 35 inches in diagonal at a distance of 5 feet. It also took more than a minute and a half for this projector to cool down.

Fan Noise

Our biggest complaint about the PX10U is its fairly loud cooling fan. The fan emits a noise that is higher pitched and more noticeable than that of most projectors. Worse, in warm conditions it can throttle louder. Even in the Low power mode, where brightness drops by a slight 15 percent, the cooling fan noise is still noticeable because of its high pitch.

Verdict

With a two-year warranty, the PX10U is attractively priced at $1,019. If you don't need a USB port, the $999Dell M209Xis lighter, brighter, and cheaper. But if you want a small, easily portable projector capable of excellent images and laptop-free operation, the Toshiba TDP-PX10U is a good choice.

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Projector Resolution 1024 x 768
Contrast Ratio Less than 500:1
Brightness Less than 2000 Lumens
Supported Formats DVD
Supported Formats 720p
Supported Formats 576p
Supported Formats 576i
Supported Formats SECAM
Supported Formats 480p
Supported Formats PAL
Supported Formats 480i
Supported Formats NTSC
Supported Formats 1080i
Image Engine 0.55-inch DMD DLP chip
Remote Control Features N/A
Cool Down Time 1:34 (m:ss)
Speakers One, 2-watts
Color System XGA
Zoom Focus 1.17X (Manual)/Automatic
Input Terminals S-Video
Input Terminals RGB-In
Input Terminals Composite Video
Input Terminals Audio-In
Other Terminals USB
Projector Technology DLP
Size 8.3 x 6.5 x 2.6 inches
Weight (projector/travel): 2.9/4.2 pounds
Company Website http://www.toshibadirect.com