Art shipped me the ViewSonic Pro 9000 projector along side the BenQ w1070 so I was able to have both in house at the same time, which is always nice. 🙂 The ViewSonic Pro9000 is a "Laser Hybrid LED" projector that seemed to peak the interest of some of you folks so I'm glad I was able to take a look. I was going to do a "shootout" between the BenQ W1070 and this projector but the Pro9000 retails for ~$2899, putting it in the mid level price range, so I decided to do separate reviews. Read on to find out how the ViewSonic Pro9000 holds up in the game room!
First things first: Placement flexibility...and ViewSonic Pro9000 doesn't have much of it. It doesn't any physical lens shift and it also doesn't have independently controlled zoom/focus. This means you need to have this projector pretty much centered on your screen. Not only that, but you need to calculate how far back to mount it because you can't independently control the zoom/focus. Something to keep in mind...
The remote is great! It's a nice size and the buttons glow "laser" blue. Something I was happy about after trying to mess around with BenQ's remote.
The ViewSonic Pro9000 also has built in speakers and audio in/out connections. It is a similar size to the BenQ1070 and comes with a carrying case. Again, like the W1070, I would say it's borderline portable. The speakers are a bit quieter than some of the speakers in other projectors, but they don't distort and stay relatively clean at max volume.
The ViewSonic Pro9000 is bright enough for a light controlled room, but I wouldn't categorize it as a "light cannon". The BenQ W1070 was noticeably brighter. However, there are a couple things to keep in mind. The light engine on this projector is supposed last ~20,000 hours. This means you will probably never need to change the bulb...even if you use the projector as a night light. Not only that, but the light engine is also only supposed to dim a fraction of what a typical projector bulb does. I guess what I'm getting at is the ViewSonic Pro9000 could be just as bright as many of its competitors in best mode at ~300 hours of use. Also, though it is based of DLP, there is no color wheel, which means no rainbows. This is all good stuff here.
I'm not sure if this was calibrated before being sent to me, but Pro9000 had pretty impressive colors. I felt the colors were natural, but I want to point out that the Pro9000 throws a very sharp, digital looking image. It has a "wow" factor to it and even though the colors are natural, I wouldn't describe it a cinematic or film-like image. It's more digital and crisp.
My biggest disappointment with the ViewSonic Pro9000 was its black level performance. It claims a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, but it has poor black level performance for its price range. The BenQ W1070 may even have it beat here, and it was no where close to the Epson 5020e which is around the same price as the Pro9000. The shadow detail was not bad...but nothing to write home about...
The ViewSonic Pro9000 did putup some impressive lag numbers. (0-30ms) 15ms on average.
Again, not zero, but right in the range that I still consider great.
Overall, I think this projector throws a decent image, but if you are looking at projectors in this price range, I think you can get a lot more for you money. The technology shows some promise, so I hope ViewSonic and some others continue to try to develop it. I could live with limit placement flexibility, but the black levels are poor for price range. If they can improve the blacks and include some extra features like 3D I think it could be very competitive. Pretty nice first look at "Laser LED". I might feel a bit different if this projector if it were priced ~$1499, but at $2899, I just don't think its there yet...
That's all for now!