We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Projectors Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Hitachi CP-A100 review

£1,099 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Hitachi

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

We were interested in Hitachi's CP-A100 projector because it's an attempt to do something a bit different.

We were interested in Hitachi's CP-A100 projector because it's an attempt to do something a bit different.

Instead of the usual forward-throw system, the Hitachi CP-A100 projects the image backwards and bounces it off a hefty mirror. When the projector powers up the mirror whirrs open, and it whirrs down again when the power is turned off, keeping it out of harm's way.

The advantage of this system is ultrashort-throw. The ratio is around 2.25:1, which means you can park the Hitachi CP-A100 on a desk and it will project an image that's a few metres across from just 1m or so from the wall. The disadvantage is that the mirror collects dust very quickly, and while it's easy to clean we can't help feeling that there is a slightly fragile aspect about this arrangement.

It also means the Hitachi CP-A100 is huge – much wider than the base of an optical overhead projector. You could use it as a portable if you work out regularly, but more realistically it's designed for permanent installation.

The vertical projection angle from the centreline is around 40º, so the Hitachi CP-A100 works best when it can project upwards or downwards rather than forwards. This will be very convenient in some applications, and not so convenient in others.

Connections are on the side of the Hitachi CP-A100 rather than the rear, and a plastic side panel can be fitted to keep them away from poking fingers. There's the usual pair of VGA inputs with pass-through, as well as S-video, composite video and component video.

There's a USB connector but no remote LAN control, which is a limitation given the price. The Hitachi CP-A100's remote is small but functional, and the menu system is very similar to that on the Viewsonic – it's possible the two models use the same chipset. Although there's just a single multi-way menu button we didn't find it too hard to find our way around. Visual quality is good for both video and presentations.

More video contrast to create deeper blacks would always be welcome, and the 2,500 lumen output is mid-range and not quite bright enough for sunlight. But text is very legible and colours punchy and saturated.

Visit Business Advisor for the latest business IT news, reviews, tips and tricks - plus sign up for our unique and FREE business IT newsletter

Hitachi CP-A100 Expert Verdict »

Ultra Short Throw - 42cm for 60in
Full Connectivity – RGB 2in/1out, Video, S-Video, Component, 3 x Audio in, 1 x out
Brightness: Normal Mode - 2500 Lumens, Whisper Mode - 2000 Lumens
Network capability – LAN through RJ-45
Security bar, PIN lock, MyScreen PIN Lock, Keypad lock, email alert when connected to a LAN
  • Build Quality: We give this item 6 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

With impressive wide-throw optics, a cable tidy panel and good video quality, the Hitachi CP-A100 also enjoys good brightness, an accessible menu system and a nice. remote. Down sides? Well, the Hitachi CP-A100 is pretty big and quite bulky, and the angle of projection won't suit every application. We're also concerned that the mirror-optics may be fragile, and this is not a cheap projector.

  • 3M Shoot 'n Share CP40 Review

    3M Shoot 'n Share CP40 Review

    The 3M Shoot 'n Share has one unique feature: a built-in projector. But whether evaluated as a camcorder or as a projector, the Shoot 'n Share has lots of room for improvement.

  • Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD review

    Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD

    The Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD is a portable projector with two speakers, bright output and comes with a built-in dock for connecting and playing movies and music from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

  • Philips Screeneo HDP 1590TV review: this Ultra Short Throw projector is a lot of fun

    Philips Screeneo HDP 1590TV: this Ultra Short Throw projector is a lot of fun

    The £1500 Philips Screeneo HDP 1590TV lets you create a large image in a compact area with minimal effort. Here's our Philips Screeneo HDP 1590TV review.

  • Acer K330 projector review

    Acer K330 projector

    The Acer K330 projector is a slim and light LED projector, but it has a brighter lamp than most. It's bright enough for presentations or videos in most settings - only bright rooms are a problem.

  • BenQ Joybee GP1 review

    BenQ Joybee GP1

    The cute BenQ Joybee Q1 looks like a shrunken version of a traditional projector. Updated 11 Apr 2011

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model