So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Portable, good VGA image quality
- 4:3 native aspect ratio, poor moving image quality
The Viewsonic PJ256D is a good projector for presentations, but the lacklustre quality of moving images rules it out for home theatre usage.
Price$ 2,869.00 (AUD)
When is comes to quality projection you need to consider cost, size and purpose before deciding what to buy. The Viewsonic PJ256D isn't the best projector on the market - in fact, when compared to other projectors it is downright mediocre. However, what it is lacking in image quality it makes up for in portability.
The PJ256D is the smallest projector we have seen weighing in at only one kilogram and comes with its own carry bag. It can be set up in a matter of seconds and automatically searches for the first compatible, connected AV source signal after being fired up.
This is an ideal projector for presentations as its best display mode is easily the via VGA PC connection which delivers reasonable images bright enough for any boardroom or classroom meeting. The downfalls of this projector are the RGB modes via either RCA or S-Video connections. There is a lack of definition in the images with a low contrast ratio forcing quite a bit of image tweaking to get a good image. The problem with this is that while the corrections can be made with the brightness controls, the results are ugly with blacks turning gray and whites appearing overexposed and painful to the eyes.
There is also a serious rainbow effect as a result of poorly implemented DLP technology which is rather headache inducing if viewed for long periods of time. Specifcally, you will see a burst of rainbow bands across the image on the corners of your vision, which isn't too annoying at first, but when watching a movie or playing a video game becomes downright painful. This stems from the fact that when viewing moving images, the eyes tend to dart around the image. We found viewing only still images much more bearable.
The projection size is reasonable with native XGA 1024x768 resolution which can be scaled up to 1280x1024. Since this is natively a 4:3 projector it is unsuitable for 16:9 signals without resorting to letterboxing. The Viewsonic PJ256D does come with a remote control which also has a laser pointer in it which is a very handy accessory for boardroom meetings and the remote has full functionality mirroring the buttons on the top of the unit.
The PJ356D is tiny, lightweight and very attractive while also containing far more power than appearances would have you believe but it sacrifices too much to achieve it. On top of its shortcomings, it is also a little overpriced when compared with other portable projectors on the market, but essentially you are paying for convenience factor.
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