A solid all-round projector
- Bright, vivid picture
- Noisy, bulky for a portable model
There are smaller and lighter portable projectors available. If you want a model that's able to reproduce colours well and give great presentations, the PGF312X will fit the bill.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
Uncommonly for a portable projector, the Sharp PGF312X is capable of displaying rich colours. Its fan is louder than we would have liked in full brightness mode, but there are plenty of redeeming aspects to this product.
Measuring 27x8.9x2.7cm, the PG312X is slightly larger than other portable models that we've tested — our favourite being the miniscule Toshiba TDP-P9. At 2.9kg it's as heavy as the average laptop. It's small enough to be carried for short periods of time, although a carry bag isn't supplied with the unit.
The PGF312X has all the connections you'd expect from a high-end portable data projector, with DVI, VGA, S-Video and composite all offered. An additional VGA output port allows for video passthrough to additional projectors or monitors. Two 3.5mm headphone jack ports are included — again, one serving as an input while the other passes audio signals through to external speakers or headphones.
Pictures displayed through the PFG312X are of a high standard. The projector's default resolution is 1024x768 pixels, which is more than enough for standard PowerPoint presentations. The projector has the ability to scale-down images of up to 1600x1200 pixels, including a maximum widescreen resolution of 1400x1050 pixels.
The PGF312X pulls this off spectacularly, with only a miniscule amount of fuzziness visible, and no jaggedness or blurring like we've seen from other miniature projectors.
When running our test presentations we found that the PGF312X handled full-colour scenes quite well. Most current generation projectors, including this one, feature BrilliantColour technology, which gives colour mid-tones a boost without compromising on shadows and highlights.
The PGF312X is slightly biased towards greens, but this is only noticeable in colour-test scenes rather than during presentations or picture viewing. In any event it can be fixed using the projector's on-board setup menus, which are quite comprehensive and allow a wide range of adjustments for brightness, contrast, gamma and colour.
Noise is one flaw for the PGF312X. It's quite noisy in full-power mode at a quoted 37 decibels; this is definitely enough to drown out its 2-Watt speaker. Thankfully, the exhaust fan faces the front of the device, so the majority of this noise is deflected. Controls are simple and intuitive and are set out in the same way as every other Sharp model, with a central control panel and auxiliary buttons.
A contrast ratio of 2200:1 is more than acceptable; combined with a brightness level of 3000 ANSI lumens, this projector is adequate even in well-lit rooms. In a darkened room it excels. Lamp life is an exceptionally good 4000 hours.
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PCW Evaluation Team
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