Many business people have access to a projector, but if you ever take it home for some after-hours movie thrills, you'll find most models aren't up to the challenge. They may be bright enough to show presentations in a well-lit room, but they fall to pieces when challenged with video playback. Enter the knight in shining armour: DLP technology is gradually killing LCD off with cheap prices and excellent video capabilities.
Toshiba's hybrid device is just one of these projectors -- something you can carry around for Powerpoint presentations during the day, and then whip out for a movie when you get home. If you approach the TDP-S25 with this attitude, you're going to love it -- around £750 gets you something that fits the bill perfectly. It may not blow the competition away in either category, but we can't think of a better opportunity to take advantage of that company expense account.
The TDP-S25 isn't small or particularly quiet, but it looks modern and up to the job of serious projection. It has been finished in silver, so it'll match most of your consumer electronics gear, and it has all the necessary buttons lined up across the top. The main problem is that it's bigger than most dedicated business projectors. If you're taking the TDP-S25 and an average laptop on a long trip, you're in for a backbreaking time.
The projector suffers from being a jack of all trades, though. Home cinema users are going to be the most disappointed, because the TDP-S25 doesn't have modern AV connectivity. If you view the TDP-S25 as a business projector that you might occasionally use in the home, you'll be onto a great purchase -- but don't expect the video performance or connectivity of a £1,000-plus DLP projector.
If you're a PC user, the connectivity is much better. Two VGA inputs is over the top, but if two people are making a simultaneous presentation, there's no need to swap VGA cables. However there's only one PC audio input, so you would have to share it, which doesn't make much sense. There's also a VGA output, so you can loopthrough to a monitor -- but we can't see why you'd want to.
Things take a turn for the worse when you take the projector home and try to connect the DVD player. With only composite and S-video on offer round the back, the best you can service the projector with is a seriously below-par picture quality. Composite is muddy and lacks colour depth and S-video only improves the detail level.
We hate to be AV purists, but Toshiba needs to offer component inputs on its projector, and unless you're prepared to buy a component-to-VGA adaptor from a specialist electronics dealer, there's no way you can provide an agreeable picture from anything other than a PC. The logical conclusion is that you should invest in a media PC, but neither this nor the VGA converter is a realistic solution for most users.