The InFocus IN3108 is primarily a projector for the office but it has a few tricks up its sleeve that makes it suitable to home use as well. It is a short throw projector meaning that it is designed to be used in confined spaces like board rooms but it also means that people living in tiny bachelor flats or those with minute living rooms can also take advantage of it too.
Office projectors are a dime a dozen and can range from incredibly awesome image quality to painfully horrible. The IN3108 delivers great image quality with very little rainbow effect – the bane of DLP projectors. Its strengths lie in its design and connectivity options. From a design standpoint, office projectors are rarely inspiring and are usually basic black boxes. This unit is essentially a black box too, but it is a little more sophisticated thanks to the touch panel on the top.
When switched off, it looks like your basic gloss black unit but when turned on, the back lit controls appear. The touch controls are very responsive and intuitive to use. It comes with a remote control, but if you were to lose it, all the same options are available on the touch panel, which is nice.
When it comes to connection options, the IN3108 has you covered for almost anything. It has two DSub connectors for PC but also a DisplayLink PC port as well. It has composite and S-video video too, and even HDMI for connecting video sources. It also has its own internal speakers so you can include sound in your presentations by connecting to its 3.5mm jack. You can connect component video sources to the unit as well but it requires a converter plug which isn’t included in the sales package.
We tested the image quality while connected to numerous sources. The most obvious was a notebook connected via one of its D-Sub ports. It uses a 0.65inch WXGTA DLP chip making the native resolution 1280×800 which translates to a native 16:10 aspect ratio. However, it is compatible with any resolution up to 1080p. We tested the PC connection using the native resolution and found the image quality to be quite impressive. The colour reproduction was excellent and desktop icons and text was easy to read. At the native resolution, spreadsheets, PDFs and powerpoint presentations were all reproduced well without any visual blemishes to speak of.
In default mode, images are extremely bright, rated at 3500 lumens however, there is an eco mode which drops that to 2000lumens which is still more than enough. The advantage of using the eco mode is that the bulb life increases dramatically from the default 2000 hours to 3000 hours. White levels were also quite overt and there was a great deal of oversharpening but a quick visit to the calibration menu fixed the issue.
We tested video performance using both standard and high definition video. When connected to the composite port, video looks good but is obviously limited by the information you can shove into a composite cable. We have seen composite connections look better than they do on the IN3108 but it was still usable nonetheless. Connecting via HDMI, the projector is much better – surprisingly so. 720p and 1080p video looked excellent, with very little motion issues. Obviously, it doesn’t look nearly as good as a home cinema projector but considering it’s not meant to be a video projector, it did a commendable job. The downscaling of HD content to the native resolution produced very few artefacts. We were also impressed with how little rainbow effect we saw – a common problem for DLP projectors.
The only problem we found with the unit was noise. While it has great image quality, the fan noise is quite distracting and loud for an office projector. Since you will be making a presentation while using it, having to compete with the fan noise will get annoying. Despite having a fan working overtime, it still produces quite a bit of heat as well so it’s not suitable for extended periods of use.
The InFocus IN3108 delivers on performance and connectivity options and sits at a fairly reasonable price point for what you get. It isn’t a perfect projector by any means but if you can overlook the heat and noise issues, it’s worth taking a look at.