ViewSonic PLED-W800 Portable Projector – Movies Vs. Presentations

by Jane on September 3, 2015

I tend to write reviews over projectors I would buy myself, when the ViewSonic PLED-W800 first hit the market in early 2015, we didn’t like the price. This portable LED projector was initially priced at over $900. Too much!!!

Don’t get me wrong, this portable model provides some nice features and capabilities (outstanding brightness and contrast, built-in file reader) but at this price (over $900) we didn’t think it was worth the money.

Hell, for $900 this amount of money can buy you a very good 1080p home movie projector. However, now in August of 2015 we have seen the the ViewSonic PLED-W800 portable LED has dropped to a price ($698) that we are much more willing to accept.

We also want to point out, although many have bought it for viewing movies, this model was designed for business and classroom presentations.

ViewSonic PLED-W800 Portable LED Projector review

Truth on Picture Quality

After testing the image/picture quality ourselves, both with movies and PowerPoint, we then went online to compare how others rated the quality.

What we found is a wide range of differing opinions. Some describing the picture quality as excellent, others claiming it to be poor. After testing it ourselves (60 inch diagonal screen image from 8 feet away) we fall somewhere in between how others rate it. Not excellent, not poor but decent for a smaller portable projector.

What it provides

  • Resolution – WXGA 1280×800 / 720p 
  • Brightness – 800 ANSI Lumen rating (impressive)
  • Contrast – 120,000:1 (very impressive)
  • LED light source (30,000 hours) should last a lifetime. Low power consumption.

Connections are its strength 

  • MHL/HDMI.
  • SD card slot.
  • USB reader. Supports Media Player, photo, music, video, PDF, and MS Office documents
  • Upload PowerPoint presentation.
  • Provides a huge amount of memory; 2 GB.
  • WiFi capable. Requires the use of a dongle. Some might not like this.

Special Note: For wireless connection, to smart phones, tablets and other external devices, the product specs say you must use the PJ-WPD-200 dongle , this dongle costs $158 bucks.

Save yourself some money before buying the PJ-WPD-200 dongle. We tested few dongles we had laying around the house. Using these generic dongles, we were able to connected to Chomecast, Roku and our Samsung Android tablet.

You be the Judge

The speaker in the following review video my not speak your language but you should be able to follow along with your eyes. It shows how the model looks and also provides examples of image quality.

ViewSonic PLED-W800 LED review

 

If you watched the video above and saw the image quality (about a minute in) I believe the majority of people would agree it’s not poor (as described by pcmag.com) but it’s also far from excellent as we have read from others.

If you Googled for information on the ViewSonic PLED-W800 Portable projector there’s a good chance you came across the review written by Tony Hoffman at pcmag.com.

What it provides

Tony Hoffman at PCMAG Website

While we disagree with Tony rating the image quality poor, there are some truth in his evaluation. But he fails to give the consumer any insight or other recommendations.

The truth – If you’re planning to buy a smaller portable model, there’s advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage should be obvious, it’s smaller. It’s lightweight and compact, you can carry it in one hand. These qualities are attractive to certain buyers.

The main disadvantage may not be as obvious. These smaller portable units are not as powerful and also do not contain the same robust technology inside compared to larger, traditional table top models. Because of this, the image quality will not be as great.

Another thing Tony leaves out when judging the image quality is this model was designed for presentations. Why is this important to mention? Business and classroom presentation models are generally not designed to project the best image possible. There’s no need when showing PowerPoint slides.

To sum it up, the ViewSonic PLED-W800 for around $700, provides portability but the same $700 spent on a larger, heavier, table top model provides better image quality.

The best 1080p projectors for under $1000 in 2015

 Conclusion 

viewsonic portable presentation projector reviewMany people buy the ViewSonic PLED-W800 LED Portable Projector for viewing movies. While it can be used for this purpose, the model was designed to be used as a presentation projector.

The strengths of the model make it a very attractive choice for people with presentations in mind: Compact, lightweight, portable and connectivity ports. The brightness, high contrast and wide screen format (16:9 aspect ratio) also lend to it’s attractiveness for this intended use.

If you are currently looking for a portable projector to dedicate to presentations, and if it’s within your planned spending budget (around $700) you can definitely find a less expensive “portable presentation” model but the ViewSonic PLED-W800 LED does provide a number of features less expensive models do not include. This model is worth considering if it’s within your budget.

Should you buy it for home movies? Many people have bought it for this use. However, it’s hard for us to recommend it for this intended use when there are very good 1080p high definition home movie projectors available for around the same price.  Unless, the qualities of small and portable are the most important factors to you, we don’t recommend this model for home movies.

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