gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Samsung A600 1080p Projector Review

I never thought, when testing the excellent and pleasantly compact inFocus X9, that I would move so quickly onto trying out a 1080p projector. But the offer was on the table to try out a Samsung A600, their “entry-level” 1080p home cinema projector, which is quite the behemoth in comparison and a much less practical fit for the home.

I say less practical, but I still managed to awkwardly squeeze the A600 onto the now cluttered projector shelf I built when testing the inFocus X9/Samsung P400b. It hangs over the edge, and probably pushes its weight tolerance to the limit but it hasn’t fallen off yet

I haven’t got the patience, capacity or knowledge to really go into detail on every aspect of the Samsung A600s picture, so I wont even try. Suffice to say it’s positively stunning just projected on the living room wall. I shall, however, bestow upon you my general impressions.

The Samsung A600 is just as capable of filling my wall with a stunning picture at the painfully short throw that is the 4 meter width of my living room as the inFocus X9. The zoom adjustment will also quite comfortably half the picture size, which proved quite handy when I was using my PC, hooked up to the projector, to test websites in IE8 (shudder). The projected image was clean, sharp and crisp making for comfortable-enough close up use despite an unhealthy amount of neck craning.

The A600 is another projector which isn’t necessarily suitable for projecting from mid-level behind. It’s supposed to either sit on a low desk, or be mounted to the ceiling. Still, a lot of twiddling on the unscrew-able feet tilted it forward enough to get the picture at just the right height, even with the projector more or less in the middle of the screen. This is good news for anyone who would rather stick the projector on a high shelf than brave the logistics of ceiling mounting, which is basically anyone in the market for an “entry level” projector, I’m sure.

The words “entry level” perplex me slightly when talking about a 1080p projector, it’s a bit of an oxymoron in a sense as the entry level lies with cheap and cheerful 720p units at their quite affordable £500 price point. The A600 has both a price and a quality that I would consider suitably “enthusiast” though most real enthusiasts will be quick to point out units ranging from 2.5k upwards and sing their praises. Of course, there are better projectors out there but if the Samsung A600 were to be your first projector, and if you were just cheaply throwing up an image onto an off-white, unprepared living-room wall (like me) I’m confident you will be very, very impressed.

At a distance of 4 meters the what-must-be-80-100-inches of screen makes a 1080p resolution desktop from a PC quite surprisingly usable. In fact sitting back on the sofa and using this glorious high resolution was actually quite comfortable, something which is not so on a 1080p 32″ television, or even on a 40″ set when sitting around 4 meters away. This makes it a good display for a Blu-Ray endowed desktop PC as much as it’s a good display for a PS3, Xbox 360 or HD subscription television box.

It’s clear that the A600 is built for mounting. The touch-sensitive buttons that occupy the otherwise unblemished glossy black top surface are very small and very difficult to see. Operating the projector without a remote is quite the task, but you can hardly hold such things against it. The remote is, as far as I can tell, identical to that of the “portable” Samsung projector which I tried, compact yet not one of those annoying, mushy buttoned credit card affairs that tend to get passed off as a feature.

Overall, for an entry level projector I was suitably impressed. My other half would have loved to own one, however 1.2k is a little much to justify at the moment, even if it’s Christmas. If, however, you’ve got a big, empty wall begging to become an impromptu projection screen, and the money to throw down for one of these projectors I couldn’t recommend it more. Even if you only watch the odd movie now and then, gaming on the big screen is an experience that should not be missed and playing Wipeout HD on one of these things is, appropriately, nauseating.

Thursday, November 26th, 2009, Featured, Home Entertainment.