As an aficionado of technology and especially video technology, I was thrilled when I obtained the HP vp6320 XGA Projector to review for 60 days. This unit came to me more as a fluke than anything else, so I was very excited when I was able to take the time to review this incredible projector. The vp6320 projector offers a very friendly user interface and a great picture quality for quite an economical price.
- Vivid 2,000 ANSI Lumens (Max)
- Dandy 2500:1 contrast ratio
- DLP by Texas Instruments
- Native XGA (1024 x 768) , with SXGA+ up to 1400 x 1050 @ 60Hz
- Compatible with most television and video standards including NTSC (3.58 and 4.43MHz), PAL (B/D/G/H/I/M/N), SECAM (B/D/G/K/K1/L) and HDTV (480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, 1080i)
- Build-in stereo speakers (FIXME Need more info here)
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
To start off, we will discuss the inputs on the projector as that is where the video gets to the big-screen. The vp6320 provides 4 easy ways to receive video. You can choose the DVI-D input, which has one of the better digital signals and can be combined with an HDMI out from a more recent DVD player or Media Center PC. In addition, you can provide Composite video via RCA coaxial cabling, another great choice if you are considering digital input. S-Video and VGA are two analog options and both are very crisp and clear but obviously do not compare with a digital signal. The vp6320 provides excellent video output from all of these inputs.
In addition to the video capabilities there are a few other very useful features that do not meet the eye immediately. These features are quite impressive once you play with them a bit and get to understanding why they are helpful.
- Functional handle—The vp6320 comes with a very functional handle to carry the projector. This unit becomes very portable because of this handle, so if you are looking for portability, the vp6320 has what you need.
- Audio —The audio on most projectors leaves quite a bit to be desired. I was actually surprised at the sound quality provided by the speakers provided in this unit. If you are looking for simple stereo sound, this is the way to go. Even though the speakers sound quite nice, I would still recommend using an external stereo system to get the full “movie theatre” effect.
The vp6320 also has two manual focus components to help sharpen the picture. One provides a zoom of 1.17:1 while the other creates that sharp image. The projector can be placed anywhere from 3 to 33 feet away providing up to a 110″” picture. The keystone feature can offset (±20%) the trapezoiding caused by the tilt (0-9°) feature.
Interestingly enough, the vp6320 is a rather well designed projector to say the least. Weighing in at a hefty 7.7 pounds it is quite portable despite its weight. The portability is graciously complemented by the built-in handle and a thoughtful lens cover. Because this projector does not come with a case, the handle saves the day. So go ahead, take it over to your friends and play Halo 2, not only will they be impressed with the projector, but they will also envy your muscle-bound carrying techniques.
Being a heavier projector, it should be said that this projector can be mounted from the ceiling with an additional mounting kit. The vp6320 provides the ability to change the picture upside-down, backwards or both to accommodate rear-projection if desired. Mounting in tight spaces should be no problem with dimensions of (11″ W x 4″ H x 10.1″ D) the vp6320 should fit just about anywhere.
A couple of design flaws I found were with the rear adjustable foot and the sliding lens protector. These are actually the biggest flaws on the system and would not prevent me from spending my hard-earned cash on this beauty.
The rear adjustable foot when supposedly flush to the projector bottom protrudes a bit and makes it tilt a bit from side to side. Fortunately, putting a book or other flat object can offset this because the foot is off to one side, this is another reason to mount the unit.
The sliding lens protector is a nice thought. However because it takes 2 or 3 tries to get the slider to slide to protect the lens, it is flawed. When opening the protector, no problems occur, only when I want to protect the lens when it’s transported, it will jam and force me to tinker with it a bit. I am not sure if this is a design flaw or my protector is just a bit stuck, but it is rather annoying.
Having said my peace about the two design flaws, I would like to point out some design ingenuity: The front adjustable foot and the remote control. These two items really sell the projector, though minor, they really make the difference.
The front adjustable leg has a black button on the top of the unit front and center. Just lift up the unit, tap this button, and down comes the leg right where you wanted it, no hassles. This is where HP did a great job! Simple, yet very effective.
The remote control is another win for the vp6320. The remote is a very functional, and very thin component to this system. Without the remote control and the two infrared (one front, one rear) receivers, I would look elsewhere. But this unit shines when it comes to the remote control and its features. This little unit provides a very friendly button layout (and the ability to control the mouse on Windows if the USB cable is connected); including quick buttons for graphics modes and adjusting the entire picture up or down, the power button is clearly marked.
Another great design is in the menus. This is where the usability meter rises to the top and stays there. Just about every function you could ever think of is available and can usually be accessed within a couple of button pushes on the remote. There are universal graphics (plus text) to provide even the most inept user quick access to picture, audio, configurations settings and more.
The lamp can be considered a plus or a minus, but I am definitely putting this one in the plus column. The lamp provided in the vp6320 is not one of those wimpy 2000 hour lamps, oh no, this lamp provides the full 4000 hours right out of the box! At 4 hours of use (without econo mode turned on), this lamp would last an amazing 2-½ years. This is quite a long time considering using econo mode on the lamp could dramatically increase its life. At a retail of $300, that’s only 7.5 cents per hour, pretty cost effective. Now of course that is a bit of money to have to spend, but it only happens once every 2 to 2-½ years you can definitely justify the cost.
As usual, we do have to qualify what we state about lumens and contrast ratio as these are all biased from manufacturer to manufacturer. The point I am making here is that you should definitely research this fact yourself and only after you have done so, consider these abilities on this projector.
The vp6320 is an excellent performer in the realm of display and can stand up to the big boys (upwards of $3500) and do resoundingly well. With a contrast ratio of 2500:1 and a resounding 2000 lumens this projector performs like a high-end model.
Being a DLP projector, I would have to agree with most of the reviews I have read and say that it outperforms any LCD I have seen to date. I could not see any of the rainbow effect some DLP projectors cause. Even with ambient daylight streaming through my windows, I could see the projection quite well, though darker parts were difficult to see. My recommendation would be to run this projector (and any projector) in as much dark as possible.
If you read the review on this site for the Dell 5100MP, you will notice that it was compared to this projector and the Panasonic AE700U LCD projector. For the money, it is the opinion of all reviewers on this site that this projector is the best (so far) for the price.
As stated at the beginning of this review, this projector is worth its price tag. The vp6320 gets the job done with its many inputs, capable remote control, usable handle, and great contrast ratio and visibility. The drawbacks are minimal and can be overcome with ease. This projector rates among the highest of any product on this site and can definitely be a good addition to your home or office. At $1499 MSRP, it’s quite a value.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|