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Casio XJ-A135 reviewed

Author : Martin Byford-Rew, IT manager at the Thomas Deacon Academy

01 June 2011

The XJ-A135 is part of Casio’s Green Slim projector series. Its LED and laser hybrid light source provides approximately 20,000 operating hours and offers 2,000 ANSI lumens. Power consumption is less than one watt in standby mode and it boasts a 2x optical zoom.

The Thomas Deacon Academy specialises in mathematics and science teaching and accepts students from 11 up to 18 of age. It is located in Peterborough, UK

What do you use it for?

We use the Casio projectors for classroom teaching and learning at the Thomas Deacon Academy. We have to have projectors in our classrooms, the curriculum that is taught here demands them. It is the only way to teach and we couldn’t do without them.

The academy has 98 classrooms and each room has a projector and a Smart Technologies Smart Board.

Why did you choose this particular model?
The academy opened in 2007 and we equipped all classrooms with projectors then. We would usually be looking a replacing equipment like this after about three years. In addition, we found we were always replacing bulbs. Teachers would tend to leave the projectors on and their lamp life was dramatically shortened. New bulbs are very expensive and furthermore we were finding replacements increasingly hard to locate.

The Casio models represented a new technology on the market and after we were recommended them we received an evaluation model to play with. We were very impressed with it and subsequently made an order. Not only do they not require replacement bulbs, they power up and down very quickly. They also have a very effective timer that shuts them down when not in use. All of this contributes to a longer projector life.

What do you like about it?
The most immediately apparent benefits are a brighter, crisper and more uniform image across the entire screen. They turn on and shut down very quickly. One function that has proved particularly useful is the “freeze screen” option. The teacher can continue to work on their laptop without what they’re doing being visible to the class. This is useful when going through registration, or marking pupils or preparing the next part of the lesson.

It is a lot quieter than the previous projectors we used and one environmental benefit is we do not have to change bulbs. They are entirely fit for purpose and perfect for the classroom.
In Use?
When the projectors were first installed the staff loved them. The teachers are now used to them and we have few comments on their operation. I think that’s a positive in itself and demonstrates that they are operating without hassles. Teachers here aren’t assigned particular classrooms and, so far, we’ve only rolled out the Casio projectors across one of the floors. Now, they much prefer teaching in the rooms that have the XJ-A135’s.

On the support side the remote controls are much cheaper. In a school environment teachers tend to loose these items and we’ve already had to replace a few. I think with their pricing of items like this Casio has really targeted education with the Green Slim range.

Will you be using this product in future?
We have to be careful with our budgets and act in a sustainable manner. Therefore, we don’t want to be in a situation where we change all our projectors at one time and are conducting a gradual role out. But, at the moment, we are planning to continue that roll-out with the Casio projectors.

We won’t install any this year but will replace projectors on the second floor classrooms next year and the third floor the year after that. With the UK Government cutting spending in education it will be difficult but these tools are essential to keep standards high. Therefore we will find the budget to complete the installation.


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