If you can't help but be swayed by style as well as substance, this projector will soon have your wallet twitching. Running even the delectable InFocus IN76 close in the looks department, the HD-ready Hitachi PJ-TX300 shows it's not just a pretty face, with some impressive specs to match.
It may have been knocking around a while, but this LCD projector still gets our juices flowing – not least because it's got convenience on its side, and we're a lazy bunch. The controls for zoom, vertical and horizontal lens-shift and focus all fall readily to hand and are nice and responsive, meaning we had the picture where we wanted in next to no time.
A strong CV
At this price you're justified in expecting some pretty heavyweight figures as far as specs go, and the Hitachi doesn't disappoint. It's HD-ready with a 1280x720 resolution, has a whopping claimed contrast ratio of 10000:1 (no we haven't added another nought by mistake), and a maximum brightness of 1200 lumens. Then there's the socketry - HDMI, component, S-Video, composite and mini-D-Sub inputs are all present and correct.
Using Hitachi's 3LCD technology alongside 10-bit video processing should improve brightness, so the projector can use a lower-powered lamp. In turn, Hitachi reckons this will make it more efficient, cutting back on annoying whirring and singed carpets, and improving the all-round image quality.
For once, the sums do seem to add up. The projector runs quietly and coolly, while that amazing claimed-contrast results in a presentation that impresses in the way it uncovers the subtlest of shades. Detail, even in low-lit scenes, is good, and colours are bold but realistic.
Better with Blu-ray
Things get even better when you call into action a Blu-ray disc. Resolution, detail and colours are all improved, as you might expect. But it’s not all sweetness and light. LCD's telltale lattice effect is apparent at times, while there's an overall softness to the edges of images - particularly when watching DVDs.
New rivals from Sanyo and Panasonic threatened to unsteady this Hitachi but thanks in no small part to its teaser of a price and sexy looks, the PJ-TX300 holds onto its four stars.