Viewsonic PLED-W500 LED Pocket Projector Review

VIEWSONIC PLED-W500 – HARDWARE TOUR:  Appearance, Inputs, Setup

Viewsonic PLED-W500 Appearance

The Viewsonic PLED-W500 has a square, black plastic case.  The lens is located slightly right of center and protrudes from the front of the projector and has a cap to protect it when not in use.  The lens is surrounded by a focus ring.  Immediately to the right of the lens, is an IR receiving eye.  There is a single height adjustable screw foot in the center for adjusting the height.  On the left side of the front panel is an exhaust vent and fan.

On top, directly behind the lens toward the rear of the projector, is a control panel with basic control functions.  There are buttons for Power (with indicator light), Source selection, Menu and menu navigation (Up/Down/Left/Right buttons).  There are also trouble indicator lights for Lamp and Temperature.
On the right and left sides of the projector are intake and exhaust vents and fans.

Inputs

The rear panel features a number of connection options for such a small space.  Starting on the left side, there is a Kensington lock port, followed by an SD card reader, with the AC power cord connector below.  This is followed by a USB Type A jack for displaying from a USB thumb drive and an HDMI input.  Next up are a standard VGA input, an S-video input and a composite video input.  There is a 3.5 mm mini jack for audio input from an external source.  Finally, there is a mini-USB input from projecting via USB from a laptop or notebook computer.  Along the bottom of the rear panel is a small, built-in, two watt speaker.

Unfortunately, unlike the Acer K330 we recently reviewed, there is no audio output jack, so the user will need to connect their video source to an externally powered speaker system if the built-in two-watt speaker proves inadequate.

Viewsonic PLED-W500 Setup and Menus

As is typical for a mini projector, the PLED-W500 does not have any zoom capability (other than a digital zoom) and only minimal height adjustment, so the projector must to be positioned at both the correct height and distance from the screen.  This can make setup rather tedious and often requires the use of keystone adjustment.

Fortunately, the PLED-W500 has automatic keystone correction that uses a built-in level sensor to automatically correct and adjust the image.  This automatic keystone correction works fairly well and unless you’re displaying an image size close to the max (100” diagonal), does not cause noticeable distortion.

Once the PLED-W500’s in position, the user can bring up the menu and select the desired display mode.  As we noted with the Acer K330, there is a great deal of adjustability available for such a small projector.  There are four picture modes (plus a User mode) and five wall color settings to choose from.  In any mode, you can make adjustments to contrast, brightness, sharpness, saturation and hue.  There is also an Advanced menu available that gives you the ability to select one of three color temps, gamma and color space.  These modes and adjustments give the user great flexibility to match a presentation to the appropriate projection surface and color profile.

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Viewsonic PLED-W500 Setup and Menus Slideshow

Advanced Menu

Picture Menu

Viewsonic PLED-W500 Remote Control

The PLED-W500’s remote control is a small, black remote with a nicely separated black buttons.  Oft used buttons like Power and menu navigation are red and blue respectively.  There are buttons for all the usual functions, including buttons to freeze or blank the image, select the color mode or aspect ratio, operate the digital zoom and select individual inputs.  Another plus is the inclusion of transport buttons (play, rewind, fast forward etc.) for use with the projector’s built-in media player.

As is usually the case with most multimedia projectors, the buttons are not backlit or glow-in-the-dark.  One additional nice feature is the inclusion of a laser pointer.

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