Sim2's projectors have always had style that befits their premium price tag. While nobody is likely to spend anywhere near as long staring at the projector as they are its projected images, it's still nice to know that the tens of thousands of dollars you've spent on, say a or Sim2 HT3000E went on some spiffy design features.
So what then, of the D10, Sim2's entry into the budget space? Well, before we start, we should point out that Sim2's definition of "budget" might not match up exactly to yours; the D10 will still cost you one dollar shy of four grand. It is budget, however, compared to a top-of-the-range Sim2 projector such as the. To give it some perspective, for the price of one C3X 1080, you could buy no less than eleven D10 projectors.
The D10's casing is matte black and rounded at the corners, and there's no mistaking that this is a simpler, cheaper unit than the usual glossy Sim2 offerings. There is a plus side to this simplicity; it's all rather easy to set up. Within minutes of unpacking our review sample we were watching crystal clear images projecting before us. Like the projector that it controls, the remote control for the D10 is plain and functional.
The D10 is a DLP projector with a top resolution of 1024x768, or in layman's terms, 720p. It can handle 1080p content, but will scale it down. The projector uses the Texas Instruments Darkchip2 chipset; not quite as spiffy as the Darkchip3 you'd find in the D80.
Yet, the feature that places it above the competition is a full implementation of Texas Instrument's BrilliantColor technology. Whereas most DLP projectors will use a three-colour wheel (RGB) arrangement, BrilliantColor adds another three segments -- cyan, magenta and yellow. The effect of BrilliantColor should be to accentuate colour differences, leading to more realistic and richer colours.
We'd love to give you a brightness rating for the D10, but nowhere in the documentation -- or on Sim2's Web site -- is it stated. Perhaps they forgot. The contrast ratio is rated at 2000:1, however.
The D10 offers a full range of inputs, including S-Video, composite, component, D-Sub, DVI and HDMI. That makes it obviously suitable for high definition video -- not quite "full HD", but close -- as well as a myriad of other projection chores, from videogaming to hooking up a PC.
We've yet to be disappointed by a Sim2 projector, but then, given the average asking price for one of their little black boxes of wonder, we'd be very upset if the performance failed to live up to expectations. Things change once these products enter the semi-budget arena, though -- and we're somewhat tougher critics. So, first up are our criticisms of the D10. In full performance mode, the fan is noticeably noisy, even in a large display area. We were also somewhat surprised at how long the fan-assisted shutdown took.
Other than that, we were impressed at how good a 720p signal looked coming out of the D10 -- especially during the more rigorous Displaymate video tests, and through a variety of DVD, Blu-Ray and videogame material. From Casino Royale to , the D10 delivered excellent visuals with good and subtle contrast -- especially considering the relatively meagre contrast ratio it offers.
We were impressed with the D10's video performance -- arguably more than one could expect to be from what is only a 720p projector. Still, we can't overlook the asking price, and it leaves us wondering-- can Sim2 actually make a true "budget" projector, or is it beyond them?