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Optoma HD141X Review

Price:   $1,200 List | $745.29 at Amazon
Pros:  Reasonable image quality, full HD
Cons:  Weak zoom, noticeable fan noise, can be expensive if not on sale
Bottom line:  Lacks image quality of other models in its class
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Optoma

Our Verdict

The HD141X is a middle of the road projector, scoring around average in all of our tests. It does offer full high definition resolution, but there are other HD models available that provide better image quality. Its fan isn't terribly loud, but creeps into that territory where it might annoy some people. Like most other HD models, the lamp is not optimized for projecting in well lit rooms. The Optoma HD141X has a very steep list price, but is often available on sale. If you find a good sale it can be a fairly cheap high definition home theater option, but there are other models that offer better performance.

New Version Update - December 2016
The Optoma HD141X has been updated, keep reading to find out more.


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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Max Mutter


Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 25, 2016

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The Optoma HD141 vs. The New Optoma HD142X


In an effort to update their home theater projectors, Optoma has replaced the HD141X with the new HD142X. The spec sheets are nearly identical for these models with two minor exceptions. 1) The new HD142X extend the maximum projected image size from 300" to 305.3". 2) The new model includes an eco mode that is advertised to extend the lamp life from 5000 to 8000 hours (though we found that eco modes significantly diminished image quality). The major difference between these two models is the form factor with the new HD142X's design (pictured below, right) being a bit more simple and compact than its predecessor (pictured below, left). With the major change being purely aesthetic, we believe the HD142X will perform very similarly to the HD141X.

 

Performance Comparison


This chart displays the Optoma HD141X's overall performance throughout our tests to that of the other models we tested.


Below we dive into the details of how the HD141X fared in each of our individual tests.


Image Quality


The HD141X Scored a 5 in our image quality testing putting it right in the middle of a metric that had scores ranging from 3 to 8. It produced images that were fairly good, but left significant room for improvement when compared to other models. Colors looked true and accurate in landscape scenes, but a suboptimal black level made these images lack a certain depth. Skin tones tended to have a noticeable rosey quality that could be somewhat distracting. The HD141X did do a good job of maintaining definition and clarity in bright areas of images. The 1080p resolution made everything from text to photos look clear and sharp. The HD141X was able to handle ambient light fairly well, with colors becoming just a bit faded.

Optoma models tended to render reddish skin tones in our testing.
Optoma models tended to render reddish skin tones in our testing.

Ease of Use


The HD141X has the exact same body, controls, and remote as the Optoma HD26, the only difference being that the HD141X is black and the HD26 is white. So, in terms of ease of use, the two models are essentially identical. Accordingly both models scored a 6 in our ease of use testing, putting them right in the middle of a metric that had scores from 5 to 7.The HD141X weighs in at 5.4 pounds and has a relatively compact shape. We wouldn't say that it is a great choice if you're looking for something portable, but it can definitely be toted around if need be. Vertical keystone adjustment is easily accessed from a dedicated button on the remote control. The focus and zoom dials feel somewhat flimsier than those on other models, but they slide smoothly and easily. Both dials are accessed through a recess channel, which may be annoying for those amongst us with big sausage fingers. The HD141X has a fairly weak 1.1X zoom. This gives you less adjustability of image size and places more impetus on placing the projector the ideal distance from the screen. All three legs are adjustable via screws. The screws have small threads, which means a lot of screwing to move the legs a small way. This can be annoying, especially if you need to tilt the projector and extend the front leg all the way.

The HD141X's front leg adjust with a small threaded screw. This gives you almost endless adjustability  but also seemingly endless unscrewing to get to your desired height.
The HD141X's front leg adjust with a small threaded screw. This gives you almost endless adjustability, but also seemingly endless unscrewing to get to your desired height.

The HD141X's remote is fairly ergonomic and fits well in your hand. The button layout is intuitive and the dedicated buttons for keystone correction and each individual input are a nice touch. The buttons are all backlit, which is nice, but the backlight is a harsh blue color. This color was harsh on our eyes after hours in the dark projector testing room, and our eyes had to readjust once we put the remote down and looked back at the screen.

Our testers like the dedicated buttons for switching between inputs on the HD141X's remote. This is particularly useful if you're constantly switching between your cable box and Xbox.
Our testers like the dedicated buttons for switching between inputs on the HD141X's remote. This is particularly useful if you're constantly switching between your cable box and Xbox.

Brightness


We measured the HD141X's brightness at 2008 lumens. This was well below the manufacturer's claim of 3000 lumens. This brightness earned the HD141X a 5 in our brightness test. This put it just ahead of the bottom score of 4, and well behind the top scorers that all received 8's and 9's. This brightness level allowed the HD141X to project decently bright graphs and text, even in rooms with a lot of ambient light. White areas in these sorts of images did look a bit blue, and the colors in graphs were a bit faded, but the quality is reasonable for most presenting situations.

The HD141X produced brighter whites when in a well lit room than some of the other home theater oriented models that we tested.
The HD141X produced brighter whites when in a well lit room than some of the other home theater oriented models that we tested.

Fan Noise


The HD141X scored a 4 in our fan noise test, making it one of the noisier models. It is a bit better than the low scorer, which received a 2, but far from the high scorer, which earned a 9. The fan ramped up to higher speeds fairly often, and the noise was noticeable, borderline annoying. Those sensitive to noise would want to steer clear of this model, but most people would probably be able to tune it out.

Value


The HD141X lists for a whopping $1200. At this price it is not a good value and we would not recommend purchasing it. However, at the time of this writing the HD141X is available online for less than half the list price. At this price the HD141X is a reasonable value for those looking for a high definition model at a lower price. However, the ViewSonic PJD 7720 offers better image quality and full HD at the same price, the only drawback being a slightly louder fan.

Conclusion


The HD141X performs adequately all around, but doesn't particularly impress in any category. It has a place on the shelf as a cheap HD option, but there are other models that offer better image quality at the same price.
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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Unbiased.