Viewsonic has a wide range of data projectors and the PJ358 is fairly typical of the range. It uses LCD technology and is a boxy and rather plain looking projector.
It shares the same design as the Hitachi CPX4 and, while rather understated with an overall weight of 1.8kg, it's a portable device and easy to slip into the supplied carry case.
The focus and zoom rings are neatly tucked away in the main body of the device, but you won't find a protective lens cover, which may cause problems later on.
The menu buttons on the top of the unit consist of three options – On, Input and Menu – and they work well, making setting up the unit extremely easy. Three indicator lights give you the projector's status and are also very easy to decipher.
With its 2000 ANSI lumen brightness, you can use this projector in most rooms without having to exclude too much exterior light. We found image quality to be more than acceptable and, if you can exclude light, we'd suggest opting for the lower 1400 lumens Eco mode, which not only allows a longer life for the bulb, but also reduces the noise and heat produced.
The design has been in production for close to two years. It is starting to show its age, which is reflected in its entry-level price. The 4:3 aspect ratio is ideal for business presentations, but less impressive when trying to watch a movie, as you'll need to upscale the lens to make it fit.
When it comes to connections on the rear of the unit, they use the standard analogue connections of VGA and S-video. However, you will find two VGA-in ports, so you can switch between two presenters without having to change laptops. If you've no interest in adding a laptop, you can use the USB port for connecting a USB memory stick that will automatically read JPG images for basic slideshow presentations.
The Viewsonic PJ358 is a good all-round machine for the price and while there are signs that it's starting to show its age – its 4:3 aspect ratio for example – it proved a reliable and likeable machine.