Optoma TW610ST Projector

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At 6.9 pounds, the TW610ST is light enough to carry with you occasionally, but heavy enough so you probably won’t want to make a habit of it. It’s more likely to end up permanently in one room, or on a cart going from room to room.

Setup is standard for a short-throw projector with manual focus and no zoom. The back panel offers a full set of connectors, including an HDMI 1.3 port for a computer or video source, two VGA inputs for computers or component video, one pass-through monitor port, and both an S-Video and a composite video port, which are both paired with a single set of phono plugs for stereo audio. Also included are three miniplug connectors for a microphone and for stereo audio input and output.

Brightness and Image Quality
Optoma rates the TW610ST at 3,100 lumens, which is increasingly the norm for this class of projectors. The Casio Green Slim XJ-A250 ($1399.99, 4 stars) that I recently reviewed, for example, is rated at 3,000 lumens. What matters more is that in real world use, the projector can stand up to typical office lighting, with any reasonable size image. In my tests, it was easily bright enough to use at 68 inches wide even with daylight streaming through the windows.

The TW610ST did particularly well for data image quality on our suite of DisplayMate tests. Colors were bright and vibrant, and black on white text was crisp even at the smallest sizes we test with. The few flaws I saw were decidedly minor. White on black text, for example, was unreadable at the smallest sizes, but you’re much more likely to be using black on white, and the smallest sizes we test with are smaller than you’re likely to use in any case.

As with most data projectors, video images weren’t in the same league as data images. The TW610ST handled shadow details in dark scenes better than most data projectors, but I saw some minor posterization (color changing suddenly where it should change gradually) in scenes that tend to bring out the problem.

One issue for both data and video is that the projector includes an electronic equivalent of an auto-iris. The basic idea—for either a real auto iris or the electronic version—is that it lets the projector automatically adjust to make dark images darker and bright images brighter. As is common with auto iris features, however, the TW610ST shows a noticeable lag between the image showing on screen and the feature reacting. The faux auto iris is on by default, but if you find it annoying, it’s easy enough to turn off.

A still more important issue was the rainbow effect, with bright areas breaking up into little red-green-blue rainbows. This is always a potential problem for any DLP projector, with some more prone than others to showing it. With data screens, I saw very few rainbows, but they showed up often enough with video so that anyone who’s sensitive to the effect will likely find it annoying for extended viewing. This by itself is enough reason to limit the projector to short video clips.

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