ViewSonic PJD6683ws review

Pros

  • Bright, with a 3000-lumen rating
  • High quality data image
  • Short-throw lens
  • Light enough for portable use

Cons

  • Relatively low quality video
  • Rainbow artifact issues

The ViewSonic PJD6683ws is a close cousin to the ViewSonic PJD6553w, and both projectors are built around a DLP chip with a WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution. Where the two differ, in part, is that the PJD6683ws offers a slightly lower brightness rating, at 3000 lumens, making it suitable for a small to mid-size conference room or classroom rather than a mid to large-size room. The other key difference, and the reason it costs more, is that it includes a short-throw lens, which lets it project a large image very close to the projector screen, when you’ve not got much space to work with.

The short-throw lens makes it easier to get a big image in a small room, and also makes it easier to avoid shadows from anything that might get between the projector and the screen with a standard throw lens. With the PJD6683ws, I measured a 92in diagonal (78in wide) image with the projector just 40in from the screen.

Setup

The PJD6683ws weighs just 3kg, making it light enough to bring with you on the road, at least occasionally, but heavy enough so it's more likely to wind up permanently in one room, or on a cart going from room to room. Note that ViewSonic doesn't supply a carrying case with the projector, so if you want to use it as a portable affair, you'll have to buy one separately.

Setup is typical for a short-throw projector, with manual focus and no zoom. Connectors on the back panel include the expected HDMI for a computer or video source, VGA for a computer or component video, and both S-Video and composite video ports.

Image quality

The 3000-lumen rating is in the typical range for the PJD6683ws's price and weight class. In real world use, the projector is easily bright enough to stand up to typical office lighting with a reasonably large image. In my tests, it was more than bright enough to use with a 130in diagonal image in moderate ambient light.

The projector also scored well on data image quality on our standard suite of DisplayMate tests. Yellow was a little dull, which is common with DLP projectors, but colours were suitably eye-catching otherwise. More important for data image quality, the image was well focused across the entire screen, maintaining crisp detail. Both black on white and white on black text were easily readable even at 6.8 point size in my tests. The image was also close to rock solid with an analog VGA connection, even with images that tend to cause pixel jitter.

As with most data projectors, the PJD6683ws didn't do as well with video as with data images. Overall, the video quality was a bit below par for a data projector, which makes it the wrong choice if you need to show anything more than short video clips, assuming you need video at all.

Adding to the problems on the video front is the issue of rainbow artifacts, with light areas breaking up into little red-green-blue rainbows. This is always a potential problem for DLP projectors, but with the PJD6683ws, I saw the artifacts more often than with most other recent models. The good news is that the rainbows show less often with data images than with video, which is typical, and few people, if any, should find them bothersome with data images. However, anyone who sees these artifacts easily will likely find them annoying for video.

Other issues

Very much on the plus side, the audio quality of the PJD6683ws is better than average for projectors in this weight class. The 10 Watt mono speaker offers enough volume for a small to mid-size conference room, and the quality is good enough so all the dialogue in our video clips was understandable.

Also worth a mention is the projector's 3D support with DLP-Link glasses. This could become a useful feature, particularly for educational use, as more 3D material becomes available. But as with all DLP-link 3D projectors, there's a serious question about how practical 3D can be for audiences of more than a handful of people, given the cost of pairs of glasses for all concerned.

Verdict

The ViewSonic PJD6683ws delivers a very impressive and bright, high quality data image, and backs that up with a good mono speaker. It’s also pretty light, and has a short-throw lens and 3D support, which at this price makes it easier to ignore the device’s shortcomings in terms of video quality and rainbow artifacts.

Specifications

Manufacturer and Product

ViewSonic PJD6683ws

Video Inputs

Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video, Analog VGA

Native Resolution

1280 x 800

Wireless Connectivity

No

Weight

3kg

Rated Contrast Ratio

15000:1

Engine Type

DLP

Type

Business

Aspect Ratio

16:10

Rated Brightness

3000 ANSI lumens