Projectors are traditionally meant for homes and offices with really large rooms. However, over the past year or so this has been changing thanks to short throw projectors that can create large images from relatively small distances, often as short as a couple of feet. Now, there is a new segment evolving and it is called ultra short throw.
Ricoh PJWX4141Ni projector is unlike anything I have reviewed so far. To start with it takes you a double read of the manual to understand that this one does not want you to point the lens at the wall. This works differently thanks to being the first to user free form mirror projection. So, the lens is pointed up and the image ends up on the adjacent wall. The great thing here is that for a 60-inch image you won’t need the projector to be more than a foot away from the wall.
What is good?
The ultra short throw is really amazing. It is never imagined you could get such a large image from such a short distance. This in a way eliminated the need for ceiling mounted projectors and you can keep the projector on a chest of drawer or even near the television. Of course, you can plug in an HDMI cable, or a VGA cable to stream content into the projector. But there is also the splendid wireless streaming which is almost single-step once you have downloaded the software on the laptop or tablet from which you want to beam. Wireless projection is not new, but Ricoh has really made the process simple.
The overall image quality is good. I managed to rig up the projector and enjoy a couple of movies on a large screen. The projector has multiple modes so that you can fit on the wall facing up down or looking up as the space suits you.
What is not that good?
The projector is supposed to play stuff off a USB dongle, but I could not get it to recognise any video format. I can understand a projector not being able to understand all formats, but not understanding any is a problem, especially since the USB could be the most commonly used content source.
The projector is supposed to have automatic keystone correction, but it did not really work. I switched to manual but still could not get the adjustment perfect. If you don’t have a really dark room, the projection could end up being a bit pale.
Special mention: The projector comes with an easy to use interactive pen that lets you convert the projected image into a whiteboard. It will appeal only to an enterprise or education
Should you buy it?
Yes, if you are looking for a projector with short throw, wireless connectivity and portability. If you are someone looking for high-end projection this might not be ideal though. But the Ricoh PJWX4141Ni is one of the most convenient and versatile projectors in the market for sure.