At a Glance
If excellent image quality is your top priority, the Mitsubishi XD460U ($2895 as of January 18, 2006) won't disappoint you. This 6.5-pound projector finished second overall among 16 contenders on our image-quality performance tests. It also has a high brightness rating of 2600 lumens, making it ideal for presentations in both small and larger rooms.
The XD460U earned ratings of Very Good for text display and for graphics display. Lettering in a CAD drawing looked crisp, and a color scale showed excellent tonal gradations with accurate yellows. In our motion playback tests at the projector's default settings, the XD460U scored near the average, earning a rating of Good. But often when we switched to an alternative picture mode (presentation, standard, theater, or sRGB), a more attractive image resulted.
The XD460 is an excellent choice for home use, as well. Its ample connections support multiple PCs and other video input sources, and its picture-in-picture feature enables you to view images from different sources at the same time. It is the only DLP model in our test group that uses a five-segment color wheel, with a yellow section in addition to the standard colors (red, green, blue, and white) found in four-segment wheels. This enhancement helps the XD460U deliver better color accuracy than most competing DLP business models.
Though the XD460U carries a higher price than most of the other projectors we looked at, it arguably would make the best choice as a crossover home-theater projector. Expect to supply your own sound system, however, since the XD460U's built-in (2-watt) speaker is sufficient only for business presentations.
This model's colorful on-screen menu was a snap to use, and we especially liked being able to shift the menu position off to the side so we could more easily view the effect of using various image adjustment tools. The XD460U's tools for color balance and color level (including separate contrast and brightness controls for each RGB color) are more advanced than those on many competing models.
Other operational conveniences: The large remote provides excellent mouse control, a laser pointer, dedicated buttons for picture mode and picture-in-picture control, and keystone correction that adjusts both horizontally and vertically. The bundled cables include USB and composite video and audio cables, as well as a computer (VGA) cable.
The top-flight Mitsubishi XD460U provides superior image quality and other great features, but it does so at a premium price.