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Samsung SP-A600B review

Barry de la Rosa
27 May 2010
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Samsung SP-A600B
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
894
inc VAT

The A600 needs a dark room and it doesn't have lens shift. However, it's quiet and image quality is excellent.

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 1,000 ANSI lumens, 163x343x348mm, 4.7kg

The Samsung A600 is a beautifully designed, Full HD home cinema projector. It uses DLP technology, giving it incredibly good colour reproduction and contrast, and it costs less than £1,000. Its lamp is rated at only 1,000 lumens, however, so it’s only really suitable for use in a darkened room, open the curtains in the day and you'll find the picture too dim to see clearly.

We were impressed by the A600's good looks. The glossy black finish will need constant polishing however, as it shows dust. There are plenty of inputs, including two HDMI sockets, and you can name each one to make selection simpler. It's good to see 24p support for viewing movies at their native frame rate.

The touch-sensitive controls are barely raised from the surface, and almost impossible to see without the lights on. Instead, you'll have to rely on the small remote control. This replicates the touch-sensitive controls, and has a few extra buttons that let you directly adjust the picture mode, keystone and input source. The buttons aren't backlit, but once you've set the picture to your desired settings, you shouldn't need to use it much.

When watching DLP projectors, some viewers see the rainbow effect, a subtle shimmering cascade caused by their spinning colour wheel. However, the A600's colour wheel spins faster than previous models to reduce this. We only noticed it on very stark black and white areas, such as in the introduction scene to Casino Royale. Unless you're very susceptible to it, you’ll have to go out of your way to look for it.

DLP's traditional advantage has been contrast, and the A600 didn't disappoint. As long as you're in a dark room, the picture quality is superb, with plenty of detail in dark areas. However, the 1,000 lumens lamp isn't quite bright enough for our liking; small amounts of ambient light, hugely reduce contrast, making this projector less flexible than many. Colours are impressive, once again with the proviso that the room is dark. By default, colours are very warm, but they can be easily tweaked if you prefer more natural colours.

One of the A600's biggest advantages is its quiet operation. Apart from an initial high-pitched spinning up sound, we didn't notice it at all in normal operation. It does however output a lot of heat from the right side, so be careful where you place it. Lamp costs are reasonable, at 9p per hour. Placement might be an issue, as there's no lens shift, but the 1.3x zoom allows a 56in image to be projected from 7ft away.

While the A600 is keenly priced and has great picture quality in a dark room, it's not bright enough for use with the curtains open, and you'll need to place it carefully as there's no lens shift. However it has minimal rainbow effect and great 1080p image quality out of the box – so at just £894 it wins our Budget Buy award.

Details

Price£894
Detailswww.samsung.com/uk
Rating****
AwardBudget Buy

Specifications

Projector technologyDLP
Lamp brightness1,000 ANSI lumens
Lamp life3,000
Lamp life in economy mode4,000
Contrast ratio3,000:1

Picture

Native resolution1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio16:9
Other aspect ratios4:3
Max diagonal at 7ft56in
Throw ratio1.53:1 to 1.99:1
Optical zoom1.3x
Projection distance1.76 to 10.16
Mirror imageyes
Invert imageyes
Lens shift horizontalN/A
Lens shift verticalN/A
HD Readyyes
Special view modesVivid, Dynamic, Standard, Movie 1, Movie 2, User 1, User 2, User 3

Inputs/Outputs

VGA inputyes
DVI inputYes
Sound inputsnone
Composite inputyes
S-video inputyes
HDMI inputyes
PAL supportyes
SECAM supportyes
NTSC supportyes
Audio outputnone
Video outputnone
Others inputs/outputsRS232

Other

Noise (in normal use)30dB(A)
Size163x343x348mm
Weight4.7kg
Internal speakersnone
Extrasremote, cables (power, VGA)
Remote special featureskeystone
Power consumption standby12W
Power consumption on254W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT)£265
Lamp supplier
Lamp cost per hour of use£0.09
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)£0.07

Buying Information

Price£894
Supplierhttp://www.ilgs.co.uk
Detailswww.samsung.com/uk

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