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InFocus Projector – Infocus IN81 Detailed Review

Awaiting the IN83 test, touted by the manufacturer as the LCD technology game-changer, here’s its predecessor, the InFocus IN81. This Full HD 1080p Home Cinema projector, while appearing similar, distinguishes itself with an older DarkChip2 DLP chip, two generations behind the IN83’s DarkChip4.

Technical Specifications of InFocus IN81

Definition 1920 x 1080 pixels
Brightness 1400 lumens
Contrast 10000
Lamp Life 0.69444444444444 hours
Lamp Price $3,199


InFocus IN81

Aesthetics and Functionality of the IN8X Series

The aesthetics of the IN8X series are highly successful. With its glossy black finish (mind the fingerprints), the rounded shell sets it apart from the usual off-white projectors. The product’s base, though not a full lens-shift system replacement, allows for forward, backwards, and slight sideways tilting.

At the back, it provides the essential video inputs for a projector of this calibre: two HDMIs (one through the included M1-DA adapter), one YUV, 1 S-Video, and one composite. However, some drawbacks include a limited zoom, a measured noise level of 35 dB, a backlit remote lacking some shortcuts, and notably high-power consumption. It consumes 11 Watts in standby (like having a low-energy lightbulb on all the time) and spikes to 325 W when in use!

A final note on the projector’s menu. While it encompasses all necessary image adjustment options, its interface feels outdated, and its high time for InFocus to give it a modern revamp.

Successful Aesthetics And Impressive Image Precision

Crucially, the projector’s factory calibration needs a complete overhaul, and I encourage you to consult the sidebar for optimization advice. Now, about the DarkChip2. While it’s two generations behind Texas’s latest DLP chips, it doesn’t render the projector obsolete. The chip may be older, but the images it produces remain impressive in many respects.

InFocus IN81

Interestingly, the DarkChip2 is also integrated into the Optoma HD800X, with which it shares similarities. The main differences lie in image sharpness, which is more pronounced on the Optoma side. As for upscaling from SD to HD sources, the progress is very close, with Full HD (1080p) sources reaching near perfection in terms of precision. The black depth is also worth noting at 0.13 cd/m² after calibration, which is excellent.

InFocus IN81

However, there are fewer positive points to note: there is noticeable pixelation on brown and green gradients, as well as on certain sky blues; stair-stepping effects are sometimes visible on diagonal lines, and the 24p mode for Blu-Ray playback from our PlayStation 3 is not supported. This mode introduces artefacts to the image, so it’s imperative to disable it.

Strengths and Weaknesses of InFocus IN81


Successful aesthetics

Image precision in 1080p

Genuine zoom

Multi-directional base

Minimal rainbow effects



Standby and operational power consumption

Video noise in green/brown tones

Smaller image diagonal compared to the average

Rainbow effects, though minimal, are still present

InFocus IN81 Review Conclusion

The InFocus IN81 is significantly hindered by its ergonomics: remote control, operational noise level, power consumption, and OS all need revisiting. However, in terms of image quality, barring some pixelation in specific colour tones, it delivers remarkable precision, and the spectacle is there.

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