Hitachi has a wide range of data projectors and splits its business between devices for home entertainment and machines like the Hitachi CPX4, which is very much aimed at the business user.

The design is a simple grey box with the lens neatly hidden away inside the main body, so preventing damage during transit. The manual zoom and focus rings can be tricky to access, as they are also buried inside the body to protect them.

The menu controls are easy to access, however, and we found this an incredibly easy projector to set up. The remote control is rather large, but proved far more comprehensive than the three buttons on the top of the projector itself.

You'll note the design is the same as the Viewsonic PJ358, but Hitachi has opted for a different array of connections on the rear of its unit. You'll find the standard VGA-out port for hooking up to your laptop, along with video and S-video ports.

Ethernet connection

However, where it shows its business credentials is in the inclusion of an Ethernet port, so it can be connected to your office network, either to manage the device centrally or for sharing amongst multiple users in a boardroom. This arrangement would also suit the classroom, reducing the need for a laptop, and allowing more students to share resources.

A bright image is cast, courtesy of the 2000 ANSI lumens lamp and we found images to be crisp and sharp. Whites are bright, while blacks proved dark enough when giving presentations. With a mere 500:1 contrast ratio, it's not intended for multimedia use, but our test DVD looked satisfactory at the highest settings.

You can drop the CPX4 down into Eco mode, which lowers the brightness to 1750 lumens, with an equally noticeable drop in the noise made by the projector's fan.

The Hitachi CPX4 is a real workhorse, ideal for the meeting room or classroom, and its networking options make it a highly versatile projector.