Optoma HD146X Review
Optoma is one of the most known projector brands in the world. They are very well known for their incredibly wide range of different models. That includes premium grade, home entertainment and gaming projectors! And every single of those categories has something for every budget. Such as the Optoma HD146X for example. Which is the most affordable projector for creating a fully cinematic experience. Plus, there are lot of other features that we will cover in this review as well!
- Dimensions: 315×241×109 mm / 12.4×9.5×4.3″
- Native Resolution: 1920×1080
- Screen Size: 28″ – 301″
- Projection Distance: 0.98 m – 10.78 m / 3.2 ft – 35.4 ft
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 3600 Lumens
- Ports: HDMI, USB-A, 3.5mm Audio Out
In The Box
- Optoma HD146X projector
- Power cable
- Remote control
The Optoma HD146X is in my opinion the best looking home projector in its price range. It’s made out of this glossy black plastic with plenty of curves and vent holes on the sides. Which actually gives it this really nice modern look. The design should do well in every type of home. In terms of the overall shape though it’s a pretty typical projector. The same can be said about the dimensions as well (315×241×109 mm / 12.4×9.5×4.3″).
The downside of cheaper end projectors is the lack of video connections. And this projector has only one HDMI port at the back. Which isn’t terrible as most people will never need more than one anyways. But it would always be nice to have two in case you have a permanent setup and just want to hook up a new device to it. That said, there is also a USB port next to it so you can also play videos by using a USB drive as well. And for audio there’s the standard 3.5mm analog out connector for hooking up the speakers.
Controlling of the projector is done from the top. There is the roller for adjusting the image size and an area of buttons for using the projector. In addition to that, Optoma has also included a very nice remote controller. It’s shared by most of their projectors which means that you’ll also find some video input buttons on there that aren’t present on the HD146X. On the plus side, the remote controller is backlit, which is a very nice touch in my opinion.
In terms of image quality, the HD146X is more than impressive. Especially when you take into consideration that it costs around $550. It’s pretty bright, it has accurate colors and a really good contrast ratio. Plus it even has a feature called Wall Color. This is useful for when you project the image onto a nonwhite surface. It adjusts the image colors accordingly to that.
As you can see from the technical specifications, this projector has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. So full HD. It does not support HDR. However, it is capable of showing 3D. For some reason the Optoma website doesn’t have any 3D glasses available. But it’s not hard to find some ordinary ones from other websites.
The lower price range also means that there is no lens shift. The zoom is done manually from the roller and the range is pretty narrow (1.1). Which does definitely set limitations to where you can actually place the projector and how big the image will be from there. Unfortunately, this is the case with all projectors around this price range.
According to Optoma, the HD146X has a maximum brightness of 3600 lumens. Which is true but that actually does change with modes. Which means that if you want to get extremely accurate colors then that brightness level drops significantly. Sure you can turn on the Vivid mode but it’s not worth it in my opinion. That said, the projector is more than capable of providing enough light for darker rooms even when the more accurate color modes are used.
The lamp lifetime also depends on the different modes. If you use the Bright mode then the lifespan should be around 4000 hours. Which is pretty standard. Now if you use the Eco mode however, then you can expect to get around 10000 hours. The Eco mode is around 35% dimmer than the Bright mode. And if you want to get the absolute max out of the lamp, around 15000 hours, then you can also enable the Dynamic Black feature.
The main downside of these cheaper projectors is that you can’t have it all. There are always tradeoffs. And noise is the most noticeable one. The fan on the HD146X does get pretty loud. And it’s pretty apparent when the Dynamic Black feature is enabled. It basically decreases the brightness during darker scenes which means that the fan slows down during darker scenes and then speeds up again the next scene. You can also use the Eco mode to get it quieter but that also means that it’s not as bright.
So is the Optoma HD146X worth it? Well it completely depends on your budget. If you definitely don’t want to spend more than $550 then this is a really good projector. It has a really nice design, really good colors and brightness. Sure the fan noise isn’t the best but you can solve that by not having the projector anywhere near your head and of course good external speakers.