The latest Optoma HZ40 laser projector has just hit the market. I had the opportunity to test it. How does it work in practice? Let’s find out.
The Optoma Hz40 is a laser projector. This means that it is very bright and much quieter than its tube counterparts. It is relatively compact and easy to configure. To connect it to a laptop or computer, I did not have to go through the manual. The whole thing is quite intuitive. At the top of the housing you will find a control panel and projector lens control. It enables the use of 1.3x magnification. In the menu, we can choose, among others the color of the wall on which we want to display the image and set various options for its correction, including curvature if the device is placed on an uneven surface.
The rear side of the device is a series of inputs and outputs. Here we will find: HDMI 2.0, HDMI 1.4a for 3D image, regular VGA, or 3.5mm audio. There is 3.5mm audio and USB in the output ports. If necessary, you can use the USB output to power eg Google Chromecast.
The manufacturer boasts that the device generates a maximum of 30 decibels during operation. In fact, I must admit that it is quite quiet. You can easily place them close to the viewer and it will not distract you while playing game or watching a movie. The projector can be controlled using the panel on the top of the upper part of the case or the attached remote control. The remote control also has additional functions useful in presentations, e.g. a laser pointer or a mouse.
The projection ratio of the picture is 1.21: 1 to 1.59: 1. This allows you to display the image from a distance of 1 meter from the projector up to nearly 8 meters. The Optoma HZ40 uses a special DLP chip developed by Texas Instruments. Here it is worth introducing you to the topic of DLP because of a rather interesting solution. This tiny chip consists of up to 2 million microscopic mirrors, each no larger than 1/5 the width of a human hair. This is equivalent to one pixel in the displayed image. When combined with a light source (laser in this case), the mirrors on the DLP chip can actively tilt or tilt. This makes it possible to obtain nearly 1024 different shades of gray, and this gives an incredible depth of the image.
And I must admit that the image quality of this projector made a very big impression on me. Optoma displays the image only in 1080p FullHD resolution, but we can connect them to a 4k source with HDR. However, in HDR mode, the image for me becomes too flat and colorless, but this is generally a problem of many modern screens that boast of using this technology.
And what is the situation with image display during the day? The projector has a brightness of 4000 so called ANSI lumens. How are they different from ordinary lumens? It can be said that this is a much more accurate measurement than the brightness itself expressed in lumens. According to this standard, brightness is measured at 9 points in the image. The average value of the measurements is just ANSI lumens.
As part of the tests, I hooked up the device in a large living room (40 sq m) and projected the painting straight onto the wall by the large window. Direct sunlight was filtered only by a bright curtain. The room was just bright and I could still play or watch a movie projected onto the wall without any problems. This device will boldly handle a business presentation in a bright conference room or university hall.
Speaking of business, the Optoma HZ40 projector has a built-in speaker of 10 watts. It sounds quite decent, without glitches or distortions. It is quite loud, so we will be able to play multimedia during the presentation without any problems. Of course, home theater or good-quality headphones will be much better for games and movies. We will connect these here only via the 3.5 mm audio input. The HZ40 has no built-in wi-fi or bt.