Lightweight and compact. 1080p resolution. Projects sharp text. Good port selection. 4GB of internal memory.
Notably feeble audio. Rainbow effect in video.
- Bottom Line
The InFocus IN1118HD is a very portable, versatile 1080p data projector that delivers sharp text and can be used for short video clips.
By Tony Hoffman
An ultra-light data projector for business travelers, the InFocus IN1118HD ($1,149 direct) packs 1080p resolution and excels in showing fine detail and small text. It includes road-warrior-friendly features like 4GB of internal memory and two ports for USB thumb drives for running presentations without lugging a computer with you. There are better choices than the IN1118HD if your presentations include video and audio, but we've seen no others that combine 1080p resolution and sharp text in such a featherweight frame.
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The IN1118HD is rated at 2,400 lumens. It's a DLP-based data projector with a native WXGA (1,280 by 800) resolution, compatible with widescreen laptops with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Its zoom and focus wheels are easy to move; I was able to easily bring the projector to a reasonably sharp focus. This matte-black projector is compact at 3.1 by 8.8 by 7.3 inches and featherweight at 3.5 pounds, and includes a soft carrying case. It is lighter and more compact than the Editors' Choice Optoma EH341, a 1080p data projector that is considerably brighter at 3,500 lumens.
For an ultra-light projector, the IN1118HD packs a useful set of ports: an HDMI port; an RCA composite video jack as well as audio-in and audio-out; VGA; a USB mini-B port that you can plug into your computer for remote mouse support, allowing you to use the projector's remote control in lieu of the mouse to advance slides and the like; and two USB type A ports to run computer—free presentations from a USB thumb drive. (In addition, you can store presentations on the 1118HD's 4GB of internal memory.)
Data Image Testing
In testing, the IN1118HD threw an 80-inch diagonal image on our test screen with the projector about 6 feet away, and the image stood up reasonably well to a fair amount of ambient light. In testing with the DisplayMate suite, data image quality was good. It did extremely well in our text testing, with black text on white readable down to 5 points, and white text on black readable at 6 points. These are the same scores as the InFocus IN119HDx , a brighter (3,200-lumen) and less expensive but considerably heavier (5.5-pound) 1080p projector.
Color balance was reasonably good, although colors seemed a bit muted at times. As is often the case with DLP projectors, I did see rainbow artifacts—in which some white areas against dark backgrounds seem to break up into their component colors—in several images. This rainbow effect is seldom a significant issue in data presentations, however, and it shouldn't be with the IN1118HD.
Video and Audio
Video is of a suitable quality for showing short clips as part of a presentation. I did see some posterization—the tendency for sudden shifts in color where they should be gradual. Rainbow artifacts appeared frequently enough that people who are sensitive to them would likely be distracted by them. The IN1118HD can project 3D content, but rainbow artifacts show up in 3D as well as 2D.
Few portable projectors are capable of delivering good audio, and the sound from the IN1118HD's two-watt speaker is notably feeble. Even when I sat about a foot away from the projector with its volume turned all the way up, I could barely hear it. The projector does have an audio-out jack, so you could connect a powered external speaker. Audio from the budget-priced InFocus IN119HDx's two-watt speaker was slightly louder than the IN1118HD in our testing, but still soft enough that you would want to use an external speaker
The InFocus IN1118HD is a great choice if you need a highly portable 1080p projector with excellent business image quality, provided that you either stick to data images or have an external speaker with you (or you know that one is available where you plan to set up). The Optoma EH341, our Editors' Choice 1080p business projector, is a better choice for use in a fixed location, particularly if your presentations include video clips with sound. But although we have tested more well-rounded ultra-light data projectors, such as the Editors' Choice Epson PowerLite 1781W Wireless WXGA 3LCD Projector—which has great video quality for a data projector—none provide both the easy portability and sharp 1080p resolution of the IN1118HD.
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As Analyst for printers, scanners, and projectors, Tony Hoffman tests and reviews these products and provides news coverage for these categories. Tony has worked at PC Magazine since 2004, first as a Staff Editor, then as Reviews Editor, and more recently as Managing Editor for the printers, scanners, and projectors team. In addition to editing, Tony has written articles on digital photography and reviews of digital cameras, PCs, and iPhone apps Prior to joining the PCMag team, Tony worked for 17 years in magazine and journal… More »
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