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Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 1

BenQ CP270 XGA DLP Projector
$999 ESP
By: Ed Tittel

Those in need of a quick-and-easy way to move big-image video capability around could do worse than to glom onto the BenQ CP270. Originally designed as a compact, portable video projector for business presentations – it weighs only 3.3 pounds and its dimensions are 7.5" x 8" x 3" – this 1280 x 1024 SXGA device can deal with computer output or DVD playback with ease. It uses TI’s DLP technology to create clear, crisp images as small as 19.2" x 24" to as large as 240" x 300" (that’s 20 x 25 feet!). To accommodate a variety of video hook-ups, the CP270 includes a VGA port, DVI-D, component video, S-Video, and composite video. It even comes with VGA and power cables and a soft-sided fabric carrying case with carrying handle and shoulder strap.

The CP270’s output is rated at 2000 ANSI lumens to help ensure a clear bright image. The TI BrilliantColor technology built into its DLP chipset boosts mid-tone colors on output to increase overall brightness and to boost color vibrancy and appeal. The unit also includes 3D color management software to let presenters or users fine-tune hue, saturation, and gain for primary colors to tweak picture quality for maximum effect. Those who use the CP270 with a variety of signal sources will find its support for 11 preset modes helpful, including Dynamic, sRGB, Cinema, Presentation, Standard (default), multiple selections for dark or colorful movies, AutoCAD, PowerPoint, and other popular graphics programs.

What sets the CP270 apart from other compact projectors comes from its conveniences. You can activate an on-screen timer to count down visually, which helps presenters stay on track and to keep audiences informed about remaining presentation time. There’s a wall color correction feature that lets users adjust for different display surfaces, such as blackboard, walls, or projection screens to help deliver a positive viewing experience. The CP270 also automatically scans for attached video sources as inputs are connected, so that content may be accessed as soon as it’s recognized. There’s also a compact remote control that provides access to all device controls and settings, so that users need not access the front panel directly while the projector is working.

Anybody who travels a lot to give presentations or display video will find the BenQ CP270 a useful and usable device. Even those in search of a compact medium-resolution video projector will find it satisfactory. If somebody on your Christmas list fits the description, why not consider picking one up?