ViewSonic Pro8520HD review

Bright images, loud noises, good projector

TechRadar Verdict

Viewsonic's Pro8520HD will do a fine job in all kinds of light conditions in classrooms, lecture halls and conference rooms. Largely because of its high detail and brightness – but it can be quite noisy.


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    Very bright

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    Full HD

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    USB Display

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    Two HDMI slots

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    Peak whites


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    Very loud

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    Optional WiFi dongle

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    Single USB slot

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    Motion blur

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    Over-saturated colours

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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),