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 newsletter!
Why virtualise your NAS environment?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS FX503 review: An ROG Notebook By Any Other Name
- 2 HP Envy x360 (Ryzen 5) review: Power over portability
- 3 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 4 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 5 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
Latest News Articles
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Sony's Android-powered Xperia projector turns any flat surface into a touch screen
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Picture Perfect: OPPO prepare their boldest smartphone yet
- Gigabyte AERO 15: Full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCSenior Tech BA (Banking) , 6 months contract, CBD Location,NSW
- TPFinance Integration LeadQLD
- CCPrincipal Project Manager - ieMR ImplementationNSW
- CCOffice Administrator - TelcoVIC
- FTFull Stack Developer - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCAgile Project ManagerNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Web & TelephonyQLD
- FTIncident ManagerOther
- FTSenior Network EngineerACT
- FTDigital DesignerOther
- FTService Now Alfabet integration specialistOther
- FTData AnalystOther
- FTSenior Desktop Support OfficerVIC
- CCData Engineer (Java / Scala / Agile) - Government - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTTechnical BA/Scrum MasterOther
- CCSQL Database AdministratorQLD
- FTSenior Android DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Technical Analyst - Oracle PeopleSoftQLD
- CCDigital Designer & DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager | Process & SystemsQLD
- FTFull Stack .Net DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior MS SQL DeveloperNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTSAP ABAP (CRM)/ UI5 DevelopersOther