* Prices may differ from that shown
Although compared to most other budget projectors the Acer X110 is not as robustly made, it is smaller, lighter and more portable. So, good news for mobile presenters, notwithstanding the lack of a carry case. Boo!
Sockets on the back comprise: VGA, composite video, S-Video and a USB-B management port, plus the usual Kensington lock recess for security. But no audio ports. On top there's a neat slot for the tiny remote which takes a button battery that must be inserted positive side up. I mention this because the correct polarity isn't shown in the manual or the quick start guide.
Once out of the box it was simply a matter of siting the projector, plugging in the video and mains cable, and switching everything on. Hey presto! A lovely bright picture that can be adjusted slightly by means of the narrow zoom lens, and loads by way of the numerous tweaks in the software. These should allow all but the fussiest viewer to see exactly the image he wants within the confines of the technology - SVGA at 800x600 res. A video cable for connecting to a computer or laptop is included in the package.
The first thing most people will probably want to do in the settings section is select Economode. This allegedly extends the lamp life from 3000 to 4000 hours. It also attenuates the noise level which, to be honest, is pretty low even at full whack. So Acer X110 can justifiably be described as a whispering projector, regardless of the brighteness level you prefer. The contrast ratio is equally impressive at 4000:1.
The only real nag I have, cited by another reviewer, is the lens cap. This fits over the lens focus ring, meaning that every time you place and remove it you're bound to knock out any previous focus setting. No big deal per se. But a nuisance that could have been avoided by recessing the lens so that the cap pushes into the recess, as on many other projectors, the Optoma ES522 being one of them.
Another thing that might faze a few users is the amount of time Acer X110 takes to shut down - around 90 seconds. However, perhaps this is why Acer can comfortably offer a one-year warranty on the lamp. Those with experience of things that run burny hot will know how important it is for them to cool down as gradually as possible in the interest of longevity, and thus economy. Right now a replacement lamp for the X110 will rush you around £134 inc VAT. But, since Acer products are extremely popular, it's likely that, by the time you need a replacement, this price will have fallen a fair bit.
Otherwise, as far as I can tell, the images produced by the X110 are comparable to those of all the other SVGA projectors I have seen. What might swing it for this Acer is its low online price, its zoom lens, its compact size, and its weight - a good deal smaller and lighter than much of the competition. When you also consider the unit's wide availability and year-long lamp warranty I reckon that the Acer X110 should come pretty near the top of your budget projector shopping list.
It certainly did on mine.