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Viewsonic PLED-W500 projector review

Portable projector let down by poor audio and lack of brightness
Fri Jan 06 2012, 17:08
Viewsonic PLED-W500 projector

Product Viewsonic PLED-W500 projector
Specifications LED projector, 1280x800 resolution, 500 lumens, 6000:1 contrast ratio, 16:10, 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios supported, RGB input, S-video, HDMI, VGA, USB, Mini-USB, SD card slot, 2 Watt speaker
Price £500

DISPLAY SPECIALIST Viewsonic has attempted to address the needs of gamers, movie lovers and even business users with a portable projector.

The PLED-W500 projector has a small frame that packs some impressive specifications including a 500 lumens LED lamp, 1280x800 native resolution and up to 100in picture size. However, the device is ultimately let down by poor performance.

Viewsonic has given the device a glossy finish and it does look swish. With a weight of 1.2kg, the projector is as heavy as most 13in laptops and can be carried around and placed on surfaces conveniently. As with most projectors, no setup is required, with users simply having to plug in a source of content.

Viewsonic PLED-W500 projector

There are an ample number of input ports available so you will pretty much be able to connect the W500 to most devices you might have scattered around the house or office. The device supports most major formats including PC applications output as well as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H264, MP3, VC1, WMA, WMV and RMVB.

Avid gamers will probably use the HDMI and VGA the most to connect their PS3, Xbox or PC. The W500 also comes with a USB port and SD card slot so you can plug in a memory stick and watch content without having to connect a device. This is a good way of showing family members those embarrassing holiday snaps or giving an impromptu presentation.

 Viewsonic PLED-W500 projector connectivity

Viewsonic claims that the device is capable of producing 33in images from a distance of one metre. We found the optimal image size to be around the 60in mark, as the edges start to fade away the larger the images get. The automatic keystone correction is a nice touch and something that is generally not found in portable projectors, but does make an appearance in the W500 and means the device can be placed at an angle.

However, despite the good picture quality we found that the picture cut out at regular intervals when the projector was connected to a PS3 via an HDMI cable. The projected image would abruptly cut to the Viewsonic logo as it began "searching" for the signal and the picture would reappear after about five seconds.

The Viewsonic logo would appear every 10 or so minutes either mid-game or during a movie. During a three hour stint on Fifa, this became very frustrating. We didn't notice the same problem when connecting a laptop to the projector via a VGA cable.



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