Toshiba adds a document camera to an ultra-bright projector

The Toshiba TLP791's 145-megapixel camera gives more flexibility to presentations.

Anyone who gives presentations with the Toshiba TLP791 LCD projector will never again have to spend time at the copier making transparencies.

The TLP791 is the first LCD projector with an attached document camera, which displays whatever's in its focus area.

The GCN Lab found it bright enough for the darkest presentation environment. Although we noted a slight lag between placing an object under the camera and seeing its projection, the lag was hardly noticeable once the object was still.

Even more impressive than the 1.45-megapixel camera's 1,392-by-1,040-pixel resolution wasthe projector's brightness. It scored off the charts in every area of testing.

The lab's lumen measurements indicate brightness at the center of the screen as well as at the corners where light tends to fade.

We measured the lumens at both the maximum and the minimum sizes the device could project. We also tested at the TLP791's High-Brightest and High-Color settings.

After 10 hours of lamp life, LCD brightness tends to hold steady for about another 200 hours, so we began testing only after a 10-hour burn. Oddly, the most difficult part was finding the projector's lamp-life setting, which was hidden in a confusing series of navigation windows.

Lamp information is important because it tells the administrator when to order a new bulb. We finally found it in a separate window outside the main menu as well as indicated by a button marked Call on the remote control. Toshiba should fix that obscurity.

Very bright

At maximum size, the TLP791 could project an image 6.5 feet wide. It hit an average of 1,050 lumens in High-Brightest mode, well above most LCDs we've seen in the lab. And in High-Color mode, which dims the light a little, the lumen count was only 20 lumens lower.

Furthermore, at the corners where most projectors drop considerably in quality, the TLP791 registered an average of 980'only 70 lumens less than at the center of the screen. The difference wasn't noticeable to the eye.

At the smallest image setting, the LCD projected an image 5 feet wide. The smaller size raised the lumen count in High-Brighest mode to 1,450 at the center and 1,430 in the corners, less difference than we found at 6.5 feet.

In High-Color mode the lumens dropped by only five or 10, which barely changed anything. Color mode seemed to enrich darker images and shadows.

The $4,699 price tag was high despite the presence of a camera. But in the last round of tests, involving color image quality, the LCD proved its worth.

We tried to trick it by throwing up images with hard-to-see shadows and blemishes, followed by pictures with bright contrasting colors.

In the first set of images, the projector captured every blemish in impressive detail. An image of a red New England barn at dusk in autumn had a small ray of sunlight at the corner of a dense forest.

This image has bewildered other projectors we've tested, and even some monitors. They haven't been able to reproduce the image with enough detail at the right corner.

But because of the TLP791's uniform light dispersal, the projector could generate amazing detail.
In the second set of image tests, color reproduction was equally impressive, particularly with reds. A vivid image of roses under a deep-blue sky had no blurring at all.

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