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ViewSonic PJ502 review

Easy-to-use projector let down by washed-out dark colours

The only bad thing about the ViewSonic is a lack of contrast ratio

Our Verdict

A poor contrast ratio hinders the ViewSonic, although it's a reasonably good all-rounder


  • Excellent colour performance

    Good all-round features

    Reduced 'chicken-wire' effect


  • Washed-out dark colours

    Poor contrast ratio

    Only SVGA resolution

Usually, an 800x600 LCD projector will have a visible grid, but this one is different. By using a 0.7-inch LCD panel, ViewSonic has greatly reduced the chicken-wire effect to give a far more pleasing final image. This will help it with general computer work as well as when it comes to showing films - so long as the other areas offer equally good performance.

And generally, they do. With a peak brightness of 1,600 lumens this projector is certainly going to perfectly power any presentations you might have. Indeed, this light level is one of the best features of the PJ502. There's also a low-power mode that runs at around 1,100 lumens.

And, although this sounds low, it's actually perfectly good enough for movie viewing - it's easily bright enough to watch films in a darkened room, but significantly quieter than the full brightness mode. We were also impressed with the machine's comprehensive and easy-to-use menu system, manual zoom controls and the included remote control.

The only bad thing about the ViewSonic is a lack of contrast ratio, which results in washed-out dark colours - not too great if you want to watch Batman or Return of the King. Otherwise, colours are vibrant and it's easy to set good black and white levels.

The ViewSonic is just too expensive for what it is, especially considering that for virtually the same price you can have the InFocus X3, an XGA projector offering equal brightness levels and better overall performance.

Generally, we're pleased with the ViewSonic. It puts in a worthy film performance and the same goes for Mac action, with good scaling and excellent colour. It's a decent all-round LCD projector, although that colour ratio doesn't help it at all.