This ViewSonic LS620X is a “niche” projector, designed to fill perhaps the biggest “niche” in the entire education/classroom market.
Millions of projectors have been placed in schools in the last twenty years. Many of those projectors that are 5, 10, even 15+ years, are still in use in classrooms. That makes for a huge replacement market (there’s that “millions” number again). For example, the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), looking at 8th grade, for example, 83% of all math classes had a projector in the room by 2015!
Many of those projectors still in use are ancient. Back when volume installations were first happening, the primary resolutions were VGA and SVGA. Later, we started getting XGA and also widescreen resolutions like WXGA or the older WVGA. The bulk of the old projectors are 4:3 aspect ratio, same as this Viewsonic, which is designed, among other abilities, as an affordable, brighter, higher resolution replacement, with a long life laser engine. I have only encountered solid state solutions at this price and below, from Casio (who’s offerings are hybrid laser/led), and worth also checking out, if solid state and affordability are both important.
It is time to get rid of the last of the older projectors. Their bulbs are hugely expensive, and last 1,000 hours, or maybe 2,000. Today’s bulbs are about 1/3 the price and last 4,000 – 8,000 hours. The real cost to replace a lamp in a really old projector may be $300-$500 between lamp cost and labor.
The LS620X’s 20,000 hour laser engine solves that problem. If this Viewsonic is used as a replacement projector, one thing is pretty certain – it will be more than bright enough, since laser projectors seem brighter than lamps – of the same lumens, and that the projector it replaces is probably half as bright (or less) to begin with!
The input panel includes two HDMI’s and just about everything else that might be needed to replace an older projector, except for an S-video connector (yhere are easy work arounds should one be needed).
The only downside to the LS620X as a replacement projector, is also a strength – the (almost very) short throw lens. Almost any projector this ViewSonic might replace, is likely to be standard throw. That would require moving the ceiling mount and wiring forward.
On the plus side, though, this projector could instead be setup with a telescoping wall mount over the existing screen. Most of the screen sizes found on older installations goo up to about 72” diagonal in size. That will allow for a wall mount placement, and the advantages they bring. I really did like the wide angle when working with this projector, although I might have wished for more than a 1.1:1 zoom range.
Overall, this projector performed! Color, good sharpness, and definitely bright. Although I speak of it primarily as a replacement projector, it is every bit as competent, if you simply have a requirement for an XGA projector. If those points weren’t enough to convince, it seems to be the least expensive XGA resolution true laser projector on the market. For all of these reasons, the ViewSonic LS620X earns this year’s Best Replacement (projector) award.