Despite costing just £500, Acer’s H6510BD is surprisingly pretty with its angular, minimalist lines and gloss-white finish. Its connections match those of many more expensive PJs too, with HDMI, D-Sub PC, VGA and USB offered.

Setup is a mixed bag. On the downside there’s no optical vertical image shift, meaning many people will need to use digital keystone correction to straighten the edges of their pictures, with all the picture issues that can entail. Optical zoom is limited, too. There’s an expansive bag of picture calibration tools, though, including gamma adjustment and fulsome colour management.

A spin through of the dull-but-pretty Oz The Great and Powerful uncovers some unexpected brightness and colour richness from the H6510BD. The moment where the film switches from black-and-white to intensely saturated colour looks genuinely spectacular. The colour dynamism doesn’t stop tones looking natural, either; the Acer has a neat sideline in subtlety.

The Acer H6510BD also surprises with the sharpness and detailing of its HD pictures, especially as shadow detailing remains high in dark scenes. In fact, it has the best black level response I can recall on a PJ for this money. I'm talking in relative terms, of course. The H6510BD outperforms its rivals, but if pitted against more expensive DLP projectors its black levels look pretty average, motion looks slightly blurry, and there’s some rainbow effect over bright image elements. Nothing here I’d consider a deal-breaker, though.

Acer H6510BD, £500, www.acer.co.uk
HCC verdict: 4/5