ViewSonic PJ255D review

Price when reviewed

It’s hard to believe that a projector can fit into the tiny carry case that greets you when you open the PJ255D’s box. Measuring just 198 x 148 x 57mm (WDH), only the Sharp and Dell rival the ViewSonic for ultraportability.

ViewSonic PJ255D review

As you’d expect given the size, the PJ255D uses DLP technology. It offers only 1,100 ANSI lumens at full brightness (and a mere 940 lumens in economy mode), making it the dimmest unit here. In a darkened room, this is no problem at all, but colours will be noticeably washed out in a sunny room.

Connections are basic – you get VGA, S-Video and composite inputs, but no audio and no USB port for control. However, the PJ255D is primarily aimed at those wanting the lightest possible presentation device, and at a shade under 1kg it succeeds admirably.

Image quality is reasonable for presentations, but if you’re planning on using lots of photos and images be aware that they’ll lack contrast in PC mode. Also, regardless of the mode, skin tones simply weren’t realistic and detail turned black in shadow areas.

Charts and text were bold and sharp, and our main gripe was that – like most projectors here – the colours we chose turned much darker than they appeared on our laptop’s screen.

In our technical tests, we found horizontal and vertical resolution was fine – no moire was evident and we could discern the single-pixel lines in both tests. Focus wasn’t too impressive – the entire top half of the image was blurred when the bottom half was sharp. The last problem that showed up on most screens was that the top-left corner lacked purity. Thankfully, little light was leaked on a black screen, so when watching widescreen movies you shouldn’t see grey bars.

Movie quality wasn’t great, though, which is a shame, since there’s a handy VGA-to-component adaptor in the box. In our video-montage test, we saw stepping between shades in the blue skies and judder and tearing on panning shots. Tweaking the settings helped, but highlights were still bleached out – if you want decent movie quality, look at the Panasonic.

ViewSonic backs the PJ255D with a three-year exchange warranty, and the lamp is covered for three months. You’ll find VGA, S-Video and composite cables included as well, but none of this is special, since most manufacturers include the same warranty and accessories. Running costs are average too at 12.4p per hour, as are noise levels at 45.2dBA.

If you’re after an ultra-light projector, the Dell should certainly top your shortlist. However, if every gram counts, and you need a basic projector for presentations alone, the PJ255D’s tiny dimensions make it worth considering.

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