Portable but high-quality projectors are now more accessible than ever, with models such as the InFocus IN3106 leading the way.
Only a few years ago a DLP projector offering a high-definition resolution would have set you back upwards of £3,000. Now we have the InFocus IN3106 at a three-figure price, and including useful features such as USB DisplayLink, unheard of until recently. So as well as the expected VGA D-Sub, DVI and S-video inputs, you can now project the screen of a laptop over just a USB connection.
The InFocus IN3106's DisplayLink technology requires you only to install a software driver on a Windows or Mac PC, after which the projector can take video output from your computer as if you'd used a traditional video cable. We found picture quality using this method was better than analogue VGA for still images, but the drawback is that framerates for moving video images are conspicuously slower. Instead of seeing 25 or 30fps from usual video samples, we estimated something closer to 10fps. So, best keep the USB cable handy only for more static presentations.
The InFocus IN3106 itself is a compact affair, sold with a sturdy nylon carry case into which you can also store all the necessary cables and accessories provided. At just over 3kg, this is a good travel solution for business, and system noise was low too, making for more presentable presentations.
Setup and control is easy, with the menus kept understandably simple and common adjustments such as keystone available from touch-sensitive backlit buttons on the projector's top. Focus and picture size are manually adjusted from rings accessible from behind the lens on the top panel. An infrared remote control is also included, with sensors on front and back panels of the InFocus IN3106.
In picture quality, the InFocus IN3106 easily met with InFocus' usual high standard. There was a smooth, grain-free rendering to projected images, and video flowed smoothly with no disturbing motion artefacts. Colours were rich and well-hued. Flesh tones apeared entirely natural, an area where our eyes are particularly sensitive to deviation from good colour fidelity. Even colour-wheel chromatic flickering, a problem with early DLP technology was, in essence, absent in this 5-segment design.
This latest-generation DLP projector may be addressed to professional business movers who need a portable and high-quality solution, but it’s image quality stands above expectation, making it suitable for home cinema use. Quieter than older projectors, and ith its versatile USB video input, the InFocus IN3106 comes highly recommended.