Optoma UHD300X 4K Projector Review
We've checked out a few 4K projectors over the last few weeks - the best we've seen so far is the Optoma UHD65 which offers gorgeous 4K big-screen imagery at for a shade under £3,000. We've been able to test out a much cheaper offering, also from Optoma, side-by-side with the same material in the same conditions and do you know what? The near £1,000 Optoma UHD300X may well be our favourite piece of hardware thanks to its gobsmacking value for money.
For the price it is an absolute bargain and well suited for most living rooms. It works better in ambient light than its big brother despite an identical ANSI lumens rating, but it also offers a picture quality that comes remarkably close to - and easily trounces - all of the other similarly priced 4K projectors we've tested. The contrast ratio isn't quite as impressive as its sibling - 250,000:1 - but it's pretty damn good and makes impressive use of HDR material.
The UHD300X also offers more flexibility for the average lounge through its support of digital keystone correction. This means the projector can be angled and the picture adjusted to remain square; therefore allowing more suitable placement without the need for a dedicated mount. While many will want their 4K unencumbered by digital trickery such as this, the added flexibility wins brownie points for those who are happy to take a tiny hit to the final picture in return for this added versatility.
Whereas the UHD65 needed a pretty dark room to look its best, we were able to watch the UHD300X in the early morning light with curtains open and the picture was actually still very watchable. It's not going to work with the brightest summer sun, but being able to watch big-screen 4K without needing to wait for the dark of night or without the need to invest in heavy duty blackout blinds is something worth noting.
In similar lighting the UHD300X is slightly more washed out than the UHD65. Not massively so, and really only noticeable in side-by-side testing, but it's still equally as detailed and using the same Star Trek Beyond 4K Blu-ray we used to give the UHD65 a workout, it still looked utterly beautiful. Sharp, popping with colour and nice dark blacks and warm lights.
The UHD300X features two HDMI sockets - one with 4K HDR support, and the usual powered USB and audio outputs making it a viable hub for dongles to output both cracking picture quality and audio to an external amp. The projector does include speakers but placement means that the audio comes out in a different place to the picture and the quality isn't really on par with even the most basic of TV speakers.
Another big tick comes through the amount of fan noise the UHD300X produces - it's so much quieter than any other projector we've tested under £4,000 - this alone is worthy of praise and makes quiet movie scenes far more effective than we're accustomed to with the whirring we'd usually get from fans trying to keep the bulb temperature to a minimum.
The UHD300X is larger than the average 1080p projector but not excessively so - it is also reasonably light and can be safely ceiling mounted without any concern. It throws a good sized picture from 12 feet - bigger than our HD50 by around 1ft/30cm - stretching to just over 100 inches/2.5m. Impressive.
It's impossible to fault the Optoma UHD300X - for the money you won't find something better. The picture quality, quietness and performance is unheard at the budget end of the market.