Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector Review

Time for a relatively quick summary of the Viewsonic Pro8200 projector’s pros and cons and capabilities.

Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector - The Bottom Line

What I like about the Pro8200 is that it manages to be a good cross-over projector, yet still measures up well as a real home projector for it’s price. If you’ve got less than a grand to spend, but need a good business projector that is also reasonably competent for watching movies and sports, this Viewsonic projector could be your ticket.

The Pro8200 certainly makes a first class family room projector. It’s bright, color is good (though not great), and it’s got a really low cost of ownership, considering the exceptional 3 year warranty, and the great, 4000 hour lamp life at full power.

OK, true, blacks could be better, but they are fairly typical for the under $1000 set, and better than a couple of others. Skin tones were certainly more than acceptable, but not quite as good as many enthusiasts would demand.

This folks, is a family projector, it’s for having fun. Sure, you can be a hobbyist and love your little Pro8200 too, just keep in mind it is an under $1000 projector, there’s more to be had, out there, if you have the inclination. If you just want a projector that makes sense, the Pro8200 is a great all purpose projector.

Don’t forget, it has some nice gizmos too, such as picture in picture and POP (side by side), plus it’s got a built in speaker system that actually isn’t pathetic. The projector can put out a fair amount of volume, enough for a nice family room, but it won’t rattle the walls with bass. It will do in a pinch.

And that same speaker setup can come in handy for projector based business presentations or in the classroom, not just for playing audio, but also because it has a built in microphone input. That way your projector can help your voice when presenting.

And that same speaker setup can come in handy for projector based business presentations or in the classroom, not just for playing audio, but also because it has a built in microphone input. That way your projector can help your voice when presenting.

I can find a few things to complain about too. The remote’s a bit dark – you can’t read the buttons, though the deep blue led lighting is pretty. You will learn the buttons by heart quickly enough. It would be nice, if it were a touch quieter. This projector’s bright, so you can utilize eco-mode to keep the audible noise down. If you’re watching sports you won’t care either way, but on a quiet movie, you may appreciate the quieter mode.

Back on the plus side, the Pro8200 projector is loaded with inputs. Dual HDMI and dual analog computer inputs, plus a separate component video. Once again, the Viewsonic boasts its audio abilities with three sets of stereio audio inputs, and an audio output too.

That audio makes this a projector you can take with you on vacation if you want. I should note, that though it claims only a 2x color wheel I really have rarely noticed the rainbow effect. Perhaps it ties to their seven segment color wheel, but I couldn’t tell much difference when I watched the Pro8200 side by side with the Mitsubishi HC4000, which claims a 4x wheel. Good for Viewsonic, or rather good, for those of us who are rainbow sensitive.

The Very Bottom Line on the Pro8200 projector:

I find the Viewsonic Pro8200 to be as good as any of the sub-$1000 1080p projectors for home use. The Pro8200 is a very competent cross-over projector, that while not quite as bright as the average entry level business projector, is more than bright enough for those business or classroom applications.

At the same time, it is solid home theater – or home entertainment projector. As long as your expectations are reasonable for today’s entry level projectors, you should find this one to be a good value, even if you don’t also have a business use for it. (Too bad, that sounds like a nice tax write-off?)

The picture, overall, is sharp, colors are rich, with the usual DLP feel, although the lack of better than entry level blacks, leaves dark scenes somewhat lacking in pop.

That folks, is what has to be considered a good value for the Viewsonic’s $949 street price. Viewsonic is running a free 80″ screen and mount promotion at this time, good through at least 3/31/11.

There was no one thing that truly impressed me enough to want to give the Pro8200 a Hot Product Award, but, there were also no major flaws (at least with the 2nd, updated projector), and a great warranty and lamp life.

Combine that with the rich feature set – yes, even picture in picture, and the Viewsonic stands out among the sub $1000 home projectors, and it has to be the most versatile of the cross-over projectors I’ve seen so far for the price. It’s when I added all that up, that I realized, that the Viewsonic Pro8200 is better in general, than the other sub $1000 projectors overall. That doesn’t mean it’s the best one of them for you, but it probably means it’s a contender. It certainly earns our award.

Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector: Pros

  • Bright entry level home projector with sufficient lumens for most portable business use as well
  • Very versatile projector, overall
  • Loaded with inputs, including 2 hdmi, 2 computer, 1 component, 1 USB…
  • Big audio – a pair of 10 watt speakers, three audio inputs (five including HDMI), even audio out
  • Color, and overall picture are good, though not exceptional in its price range
  • Piece of Mind: Great warranty – 3 years, 1 year on the lamp
  • Low operational cost thanks to excellent lamp life4000 hours at full, 6000 in eco
  • A good value proposition as a nice family room or theater projector, yet it can double for business
  • 1.5:1 zoom lens more range than most competitors

Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector: Cons

  • A bit noisy in full power mode, with a claimed, and unimpressive 31 db.
  • HDMI seems not quite as built-proof as other projectors
  • Small remote’s buttons cannot be read in dark despite blue led backlight
  • Lack of lens shift (although typical of lower cost DLP projectors)
  • Black level performance is very “entry level”

Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector: Typical Capabilities

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