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ViewSonic PJ256D review


The pick of the three 1kg units, but still behind the Dell

Review Date: 20 Oct 2006

Reviewed By: Roger Kirkwood

Price when reviewed: (£874 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

While the casing may look different, the underlying chassis of the PJ256D - including the interface connections, the lens, and zoom and focus optical controls - are identical to the NEC and Toshiba. It's no bad thing, since all three are relatively quiet and highly portable at 1kg.

However, there are significant differences, including electronics. ViewSonic's menu system is more like the Optoma's, and the projector also comes with the best remote control of the trio. It has mouse controls and a built-in laser pointer, both of which are absent from the NEC's remote, and it's much easier to use than Toshiba's clunky and confusing design.

The PJ256D is the pick of the three, although the lead is slim. The Toshiba had slightly better image quality, but costs too much to justify it. The NEC is closer in price, although image quality wasn't as good as the ViewSonic's, and the PJ256D is cheaper to run at 7p per hour. Just note the lack of automatic keystone correction, which is included with the Toshiba.

Although the ViewSonic couldn't quite match the Toshiba in most quality tests, it locked onto the incoming VGA signal much better, which meant crisper text, especially with small font sizes. Video quality is average, but it's better than the NEC and photos have a bit more detail in dark areas. Dark, undersaturated colours cost the PJ256D points, but if your presentations mainly consist of text and charts it does a fine job.

With a travelling weight of 1.7kg (including the bag, remote control and necessary cables), it's the lightest here, but only has a 12-month warranty. Although the 0.1kg heavier Dell costs £55 more, the superior image quality and longer warranty make it worth the premium.

Author: Roger Kirkwood

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