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Mitsubishi XD211u DLP projector

Small footprint, ultraportable projector for less than $1000 By John Virata

One of the most dynamic markets for projectors has been that of the portable projector. During the last NAB and infoCOMM, projector manufacturers showed everything from the projector models designed to throw an image on huge 70ft screens, down to the tiny handheld portable units that are often used in viral advertising in big cities across America.

Mitsubishi has been shipping a model targeted at the mobile professional who present on the road, flying (or driving) from location to location with their notebook computer and portable projector. Called the XD211U, this projector is ideal for just those types of traveling presenters. It is small and fairly lightweight at 6lbs and ships with a remote control and a carry bag, to ease the traveling experience these road warriors endure on an everyday basis. While it doesn't offer up the best in high definition home based units, it outputs very respectable quality images, especially when projected on a screen such as Optoma's Panoview 9092 GrayWolf II projector screen.

The XD211u is powered by a 0.55" 1-chip DMD DLP chip with a five segment color wheel that features a maximum 1280 x 1024 (1024 x 768 native) resolution with 2200 lumens, 4:3 native aspect ratio, and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. It has a throw distance of 40" to 300" and a throw ratio of 1.8 to 2.1:1, and an optical zoom of 1.2:1. The lamp is rated at 3000 hours in low or economy mode and 2000 hours at standard mode. It can output a variety of video resolutions, including  480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, and 1080i.

The XD211u was set up in a large room with very little light and was used for screening various PowerPoint presentations from a notebook computer. Image edges were very good to near excellent and colors were crisp, as were blacks. When playing movies with lots of action, such as Riding Giants, the video held up fairly well. We hammered on the projector, throwing all kinds of DVDs at it for the better part of three months and it continued to perform well. The real nice aspect of it is the portability. The unit can be taken to virtually any environment with an electrical outlet, and thanks to its small footprint and light weight, there is no need to just present via a notebook screen or small display. As with virtually all the projectors tested out and reviewed at DMN, the fan noise can be a hindrance from any projector, and this one retained that slight hum, but what projector doesn't, especially given the tremendous heat output by such devices. A nice plus is the remote control, which features various controls such as keystone correction as well as source, power, menu control, auto position, aspect ratio, among others. The remote control also sits flush on top of the projector when not in use, which helps prevent loss.

First Impressions
The XD211U is an ideal solution for the corporate road warriors who need a light weight projector that outputs a respectable image, as well as those in the education markets who can benefit from an inexpensive DLP projector (It features an anti-theft security hook for the large, lecture hall type installations). It is under $1000 and ships with a three year warranty on the projector and one year (500 hours) on the lamp. It ships with a full complement of accessories, including owner's manual CD-ROM, Quick Guide Safety Manual, remote control, power cable, VGA cable, soft carry case, and lens cap. For more information, visit

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
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