We have a confession to make. When Panasonic released this low-cost PT-AX100E alongside the swankier PT-AE100E it was completely neglected in the rush to throw every HD source we could find at its 1080p-loving big brother.
No 1080p, no problem
But we’re not too proud to admit we were wrong and after finally getting round to liberating the PT-AX100E from its box we soon realised the error of our ways.
First of all, forget all that harrowing set-up nonsense associated with most projectors: the 2x optical zoom and lens shift fiunction makes setting up this Panasonic as simple as plugging a portable TV into the wall.
A colourful impression
Once up and running, the Panasonic’s LCD design and 2000-lumen brightness guarantees a vivid, colourful picture with strong reds, greens and blues without ever becoming overwhelming. It’ll smack you in the face but you won’t run screaming from the room with your eyes bleeding.
The deep blacks are just as impressive thanks to Panasonic’s Pure Colour Filter tech, which produces a claimed 4000:1 contrast ratio.
The 1280x720 resolution and HDMI and component inputs should see to most of your hi-def needs but although the PT-AX100E claims to handle 1080p it has to cheat a bit by downscaling to fit.
A natural hi-def performer
But feed it a Blu-ray disc and it’ll keep a tight rein on fast motion and please the eye with of plenty of detail when it comes to skin tones and landscapes – striking a good balance between natural and vivid shades.
Even the remote control made us happy, treating our digits to menu shortcuts and lit buttons in a compact yet eminently graspable package.