Casio Signature XJ-M255 review

Pros

  • Good connectivity options
  • Port for USB drive
  • Projects via WiFi with MobiShow
  • Loud audio

Cons

  • Significant rainbow effect in video
  • A bit on the pricey side

The Casio Signature XJ-M255 sports the company's unique hybrid LED/laser technology, plus a good range of connectivity choices including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and the ability to run presentations straight from USB sticks. It has solid data image quality, and a video quality suitable for basic business and classroom presentations.

The XJ-M255's light source is rated at 3,000 lumens, and the projector has a WXGA (1,280 x 800) native resolution. Instead of producing red, green, and blue using a standard lamp and a colour wheel, it produces red with LEDs, blue with lasers, and green by shining blue laser light on a phosphor. Its optical system directs the red, green, and blue light to the DLP chip, and out the front lens. We've seen a couple of generations of Casio projectors with this promising technology.

A big advantage of the hybrid light source is its whopping 20,000-hour expected lifetime – long enough to run the projector 8 hours a day every business day for 10 years. The lifetime of standard lamps typically ranges from 2,000 to 5,000 hours, and bulbs can cost several hundred pounds to replace.

The XJ-M255 measures 310 x 245 x 85mm (WxDxH), and weighs 3.9kg. It comes with a soft carrying case, complete with a pocket for cables, for storage or in case you need to take it with you, though it's heavy enough that you won't want to travel frequently with it.

This projector has a solid set of ports, including a VGA-in port to connect with a computer, HDMI, S-Video, and composite video. There’s also audio in, audio out, serial, Ethernet, and a USB type A port. The XJ-M255 can read JPG and AVI files from a USB memory stick to support computer-free presentations. Plug in a USB stick, and the projector will automatically switch to it as the current source, and then give you a menu of options to find the files on the drive and show them. (Casio includes a Casio-specific version of ArcSoft MediaConverter to move most common formats to JPG or AVI).

The projector includes a wireless LAN adapter. It can connect wirelessly with Wi-Fi-enabled Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile smartphones and computers running MobiShow software, so you can run a presentation from any of these devices.

The XJ-M255 includes auto-brightness adjustment which uses built-in light sensors to automatically adjust the brightness level of the projection to suit the lighting conditions in the surrounding environment. This can save energy and make for a more comfortable viewing experience as well.

Data image quality

I did our still and video image testing under cinema-dark conditions, projecting an approximately 60in diagonal image on our test screen with the projector placed about eight feet away. The projector is bright enough that adding a fair amount of ambient light didn't noticeably hurt image quality.

Data image quality, as tested using the DisplayMate suite of projector tests, was suitable for typical business and classroom presentations. In graphics colour mode, the colours were somewhat muted, with dull reds and somewhat mustardy yellows. I saw some mild green tinting on some grey areas, and mild yellow fringing around the edges of bright areas.

White-on-black type was blurred at the smallest size and fuzzy at the second smallest. Pixel jitter was visible in a few images when I tested over a VGA connection; when I switched to HDMI the jitter disappeared, though image quality was otherwise largely the same. Switching to standard colour mode made the colours brighter, though it also increased the tinting.

I noticed the rainbow effect in some data images. This is the tendency for little red-green-blue rainbow-like flashes to appear, particularly in brighter areas against dark backgrounds. Like most DLP projectors that have this issue, it's not likely to be too distracting in data presentations, even to people who are relatively sensitive to the effect.

Video quality

Video quality is suitable for shorter clips as part of a presentation. The XJ-M255's rainbow effect was more apparent in video than in data images, and people who are sensitive to it are likely to find it distracting. Unlike with a home projector, where it's easy enough to determine whether you are sensitive to the effect, in a school or business situation there's no way of knowing which students or clients will be sensitive to it.

I noted some other issues. In a few places I saw posterisation, the tendency for abrupt shifts in colour rather than a gentle gradient. There was green tinting in a couple of scenes. But the rainbow effect is the dominant issue here.

A bright spot is that audio from the XJ-M255's single 5 Watt speaker is loud and clear enough to be easily heard in a small to mid-sized classroom or conference room. Although the projector has an audio-out jack for connecting to powered, external speakers, you may not need to use it.

It comes with a generous three year warranty – not uncommon in the projector world but still a nice touch – plus 6,000 hours for the light source.

The XJ-M255 is a 3D-capable projector. It requires active shutter DLP-link compatible 3D glasses. Casio sells its own branded glasses, but active shutter DLP-link glasses are available from other manufacturers at much cheaper prices. Still, the price of glasses can quickly add up if you're trying to equip, say, a whole classroom with them.

Verdict

The XJ-M255 is very similar to the Casio Signature XJ-M245, though it’s brighter (3,000 lumens versus the M245's 2,500) and it has a higher price tag (it’s around £150 more). The XJ-M255's rainbow effect in video was milder than the XJ-M245's (where the effect was notably severe), though still apparent enough that I'd avoid using it in business video presentations when trying to impress a client.

Overall, this is solid enough data image projector, with some good connectivity options including a Wi-Fi adapter and a port for a USB drive, but the fact remains that it’s pretty pricey.

Specifications

Manufacturer and Model

Casio Signature XJ-M255

Video Inputs

Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video

Computer Interfaces

VGA

Wireless Connectivity

Yes

Weight

3.9kg

Rated Contrast Ratio

1800:1

Engine Type

DLP

Native Resolution

1280 x 800

Aspect Ratio

16:10

Rated Brightness

3000 ANSI lumens

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