Ratings in depth

ViewSonic Pro8520HD

ViewSonic Pro8520HD

ViewSonic Pro8520HD

ViewSonic Pro8600

ViewSonic Pro8520HD

About 5,000 lumens is a lot for any projector, but on the Pro8520HD it's especially illuminating. Forget any attempt to watch in a blackout; switch-on this DLP beamer and the entire room lights-up, thankfully with Full HD images.

However, there's more to the Pro8520HD than mere brightness. Fully networkable and able to simultaneously attach at least four separate computers or laptops, this 3.86kg, 333x263x122mm projector for classrooms, lecture halls and boardrooms is data-focused for daylight. It costs around £1,600, and for that money the Pro8520HD adds some surprisingly powerful stereo speakers, too.

Specifications

Let's start with the accessories. Its pocket-sized remote is excellent, largely because it's backlit by blue LEDs. Handy in a blackout, though that's not something you're going to find yourself in the vicinity of the Pro8520HD. Despite that, the brightly-lit buttons are much easier to use, especially if you're operating the Pro8520HD from the back of a room.

remote control

We're a bit disappointed by the Pro8520HD's cheap fabric bag with unconvincing shoulder strap, which doesn't stay upright when the projector is wrapped-up inside, though we do like the front pocket for storing cables and accessories separately. One of those is a one metre-long HDMI cable included in the package.

Projector bag

The Pro8520HD has plentiful ins and outs. There's a brace of HDMI inputs accompanied by slots for USB (for JPEG playback from a thumb-drive as well as for USB Display mirroring from a laptop, or a WiFi dongle), D-sub 15-pin VGA (two), RS-232, Monitor Out, 12v, S-Video, composite video, component video.

Connectors

Audio is via phonos, audio 3.5mm mini-jack in (two) and out, and a 3.5mm mini-jack microphone input. The on-board speakers, unusually, are of stereo design, facing outwards from each side of the Pro8520HD, which together emit pretty powerful, loud 20W sonics. IT departments should know that the Pro8520HD is compatible with the Crestron RoomView network management system for controlling and managing system projectors from a central terminal.