Sony VPL-HW10 review

Sony has entered the big picture, small-price market in style Tested at £2100.00

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Our Verdict

It was impressive six months ago and it has stood the test of time well – capable of brilliantly believable video images

For

  • Pleasant exterior design
  • Full HD spec
  • natural colour balance, good detail and sharp edge defnition
  • insightful black levels

Against

  • Some issues with trickiest motion

The price of this Sony has been up and down like a portable projector screen in the past six months or so.

We tested it at a far cheaper £1750 in our December 2008 issue, at which point it threatened to be available for even less if you looked hard enough.

Yet, here we are now with a retail price of around £2100. Having said that, once again, at the time of writing we've spotted it a little cheaper in places.

We were big fans of Sony's VPL-HW10 when we saw it first, but with three new challengers – from Epson, Panasonic and Sanyo – and a slight tickle on the price tag, we're interested to see whether it still holds off the competition.

Tip-top specification
Certainly we've no qualms with the specification. This is an SXRD (Sony's version of LCD) design, with a wide throw ratio that gives you plenty of flexibility in terms of picture size and distance from screen.

It has a Full HD resolution with support for 1080/24p, two HDMI inputs and a claimed contrast ratio of 30,000:1. So far, so thorough.

Setting up the projector isn't quite as ingeniously simple as with other rivals, but it's still reasonably foolproof thanks to easily accessible zoom and focus controls on the lens and machine itself.

Fiddly remote, but a fine picture
The menus are predictably clear and intuitive, though the long, chunky remote control is a little cluttered and we're not sure about some of the button placements – it certainly can be fiddly in low-level lighting.

Still, we're happy to report that the picture is every bit as good as we remembered. Fast, tricky-to-track motion can be a little unsure, but otherwise we're smitten with the Sony's natural, insightful delivery.

Gomorrah reveals skin tones that are given colour and warmth yet remain realistic, while the 'HW10 delivers solid black levels alongside punchy brighter hues – and all with crisp edges.

There's no denying this is a projector that still warrants serious attention. While there are small areas where the 'HW10 might be pipped for pole, as an all-rounder it remains a must-audition at the £2000 price mark.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Brand NameSony
Product TypeSXRD Projector
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberVPLHW10
Product NameSony VPL-HW10
Product ModelVPL-HW10

Projection Lens

Optical Zoom1.6x
Maximum Diagonal Image Size7.62 m (300")

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes

Image

Native Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Mode Brightness1000 lm
Contrast Ratio30,000:1

Lamp

Lamp Power200 W
Lamp TypeUHP

Physical Characteristics

Width407.4 mm
Depth463.9 mm
Weight Approximate10 kg
Height179.2 mm
Dimensions179.2 mm (H): 407.4 mm (W): 463.9 mm (D)

Technical Information

Projection MethodFront

Video

Output Scan Format1080p

Warranty

Limited Warranty3 Year