Budget portable projector
- High native resolution, quiet
- Low brightness for a new release model
The Viewsonic PJ551 is a model that targets the budget-conscious consumer, and it performs solidly. It may not have class-leading specifications, but for the price it's definitely a good choice.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
Viewsonic's mid-level PJ551D is a portable projector that punches above its price point. It's not lightweight, but it performs capably for both office presentations and displaying HD content. Travelling users may get put off by the weight though, and the comparatively low brightness may cause problems in some conditions.
The projector's design isn't particularly innovative — a matte black finish and silver-accented buttons. It's roughly the size of a sheet of A4 paper, so its small stature and colour won't draw attention in a darkened room. At 2.7kg kilograms it's quite heavy, especially when compared to the diminutive Toshiba TDP-P9.
Connectivity isn't the best we've seen. The PJ551D offers users an option of three inputs: VGA D-Sub, S-Video and Composite. While its competitors offer a wider range of choice, these three will suffice given the projector's resolution. We would have liked a DVI input, allowing connections from high-definition players and a wider range of computers.
Setting up the projector is simple. It can be attached to a ceiling and function from the front or rear of a projector screen, which helps if you're in a difficult or cramped location. An adjustable front leg allows for height adjustment and the horizontal angle can be altered by unscrewing one or both of the rear feet to counteract uneven surfaces.
The controls for the PJ551D are well thought out and easy to use. The buttons are easy to press and can be distinguished from each other in a dark room. A slimline remote is also bundled and allows all the projector's functions to be controlled from across the room.
The user interface is well designed; a series of sub-menus hide advanced information and settings. Adjustment options are plentiful, with brightness and contrast settings easily accessible. For users desiring a versatile projector for a wide range of locations and uses, this is a definite advantage.
Native resolution is 1024x768; 800x600 pixel presentations are displayed accurately, with only a small amount of fuzziness visible from the projector's internal up-scaling.
Equally impressive is the projector's ability to scale high-definition content. Played through a BenQ Joybook R45 (PV-04) laptop connected via D-Sub VGA, 720p video files were displayed with only a small amount of fuzziness. The projector isn't a widescreen one by default, so any 16:9 videos must be displayed within the standard 4:3 window — resulting in a comparatively small projection size. 1080i content delivered through the same laptop didn't fare as well. Down-scaling to the Viewsonic projector's native resolution resulted in noticeable jaggedness.
A decent contrast ratio of 2000:1 means that the PJ551D is able to display pictures and videos with a respectable degree of depth. Like most portable projectors, it's not fantastic for viewing photographs and video which have a lot of detail in dark areas, but in most situations it performs well. Quoted brightness is 2200 ANSI lumens in full brightness mode, on par with older models but significantly less than current leaders like LG's DX130, which sports an impressive 3000 lumens. Colour reproduction is quite good for a portable model, with all colours evenly displayed.
We found noise levels very good, especially considering the combination of small size and heavy weight. When changing to the projector's economy mode, the fan was almost inaudible, even when running for long periods.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s new liquid-cooled 4K home video projector delivers 5000 lumens of brightness, costs $60,000
- BenQ targets Epson with revamped home entertainment projectors
- LG's new Laser Display gives you 100in of full HD glory
- Win an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab in the 2012 PC World Media Usage survey
- Vivid Sydney 2012 gets some love from will.i.am
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTCustomer Support ManagerSA
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- TPICT Contracts Compliance ManagerWA
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- FTHRIS ConsultantQLD
- TPProject Technical LeadQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2QLD
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- CCIntegration DeveloperNSW
- FTLife/400 Resource - PermanentNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCBusiness/Process AnalystQLD
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- CCData ArchitectNSW
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- TPMaster SchedulerNSW