ViewSonic Pro8600 review

The Pro8600 will definitely make you see the light, but is it worth the price tag?

TODO alt text

We liked

Brightness abounds on the Pro8600, which is more than fit for using in daylight. USB Laptop hook-up is handy as is the plethora of other source connections.

We love the red laser pointer built-in to the remote control while both the colour and built-in speakers impress. Relatively smooth-looking video is here, too, while the ECO mode proves crucial for quietening down the Pro8600 without sacrificing much in the way of brightness.

We disliked

The Pro8600 is noisy. Not as noisy as some, but it's still an issue. So too is rainbow effect and a distinctly average black level, though the main problem is a lack of detail; XGA resolution just isn't enough.

Built-in WiFi would be nice, too – the age of optional dongles has surely long since passed – while just a single HDMI input and a lack of anything but JPEG support via a USB thumb-drive are our other minor grumbles.

Final verdict

Bright and breezy, the searing pictures from the Pro8600 are accompanied by considerable fan noise that reaches 65 decibels, though a useful ECO mode quietens things down nicely.

The lack of built-in WiFi will annoy some, as will the presence of a soft-looking XGA resolution; both are evidence that the world of data projectors is still lagging far behind other display sectors.

As such the Pro8600 seems a tad over-priced, though there are huge plusses other than its daylight-friendly brightness; colours are well saturated, the built-in stereo speakers impress and we love the inclusion of a red laser pointer in the remote control.

As a catch-all projector for any environment and scenario, the Pro8600 isn't the final solution, but for many users its high brightness will trump its low resolution.