Posted on November 20, 2018 By Chris Kahl
ViewSonic LS620X Short Throw Laser Projector Review – Special Features: Laser Light Engine, Color Wheel, Blackboard Mode, Short Throw Projection, Crestron Support, Warranty
The ViewSonic LS620X business and education projector features a laser light engine as its light source. A laser light source offers a significant advantage over lamp based projectors, in that the lifespan is drastically increased – 20,000 hours in normal brightness, and up to 25,000 hours in Eco mode!
That of course means less maintenance and a far lower cost of ownership. Of course, for the business running only a few projectors, the cost savings may not be readily apparent – save for replacing lamps every year or two. But what about school districts running a fleet of hundreds, or even thousands of projectors? The labor savings alone is astronomical, not to mention the savings on the lamps themselves.
If a classroom utilizes their projector for 18 hours each week, 10 months out of the year, that’s life span right around 32 years. To put that another way – by the time the light source dies, we’ll have 3D holograms or something amazing and this technology will be long obsolete anyway.
The LS620X features ViewSonic’s proprietary “SuperColor” technology, which they bill as an “exclusive 6-segment color wheel and dynamic lamp control capabilities.” Most DLP business and education projectors offering a six-segment color wheel use, simply, RGBRGB. Sometimes we’ll get a white (actually clear) cell in there to improve brightness, but that’s typically it. This SuperColor color wheel is six-segment, but it’s RYGCBW. That is to say, Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue and White (clear.) The result is some pretty decent color as far as DLP business and education projectors go, and I was pleasantly surprised – more on that on the Picture and Audio Quality page!
When I was a kid growing up in the 90’s in Southern California, most classrooms were already equipped with whiteboards and, if they had a chalkboard, it was usually green – not black. Now, there are still plenty of classrooms, and even conference rooms, that in addition to their “modern” whiteboards, still have at least one chalkboard. Sometimes these chalkboards aren’t in the most conducive location for projector use – and in some cases, a projector screen might not be so practical.
This is where Blackboard modes comes into play. But wait, I just said that a lot of classrooms rock a Greenboard, doesn’t that make a difference? Of course it does! The color of the projection surface makes a big difference in the readability of text and the perception of color. While a number of business and education projectors offer a “Blackboard” mode, compensating for a surface, the ViewSonic LS620X also offers a “Greenboard” mode, to compensate for the green surface. While it isn’t a big deal for most, the Blackboard and Greenboard modes this projector offers will certainly help out teachers dealing with an older, uncooperative classroom design. What’s even better, is that these settings for Blackboard and Greenboard are available in every color mode, and are found under Wall Color.
The ViewSonic LS620X is first and foremost, a short throw projector. The lens offers a fixed focal length, which means there is no optical zoom at all. But with a throw ratio of only 0.61:1, we’re talking about throw distances between 2.42 ft and 6.07 ft. That’s pretty short! In that distance, we can achieve an image size of between 60 and 150 inches diagonally, in a 4:3 aspect ratio.
As far as keystone correction goes, we only find Vertical plus/minus 40 degrees, but we do have 4 Corner adjustment available, which helps with sizing the image for a perfect fit on your XGA screen. We really find these short throw projectors to be ideal for small, cramped conference rooms where a longer throw is simply not practical – or desirable, or in older classrooms.
In fact, I recently visited my son’s 1st grade classroom and was reminded of just how terrible these buildings, built in the 40’s – 60’s, were designed (when it comes to projector use and installation!) Those extremely high, slanted ceilings make ceiling mounted projectors an impractical choice – this is where wall mounts come in; ViewSonic offers a compatible wall mount for just In many cases, a school may opt for an expensive, ultra-short throw model.
To put pricing in perspective, this short throw 3,200 lumen XGA laser DLP projector has a list price of $1,216, while its closest ultra-short throw XGA competition from ViewSonic are the PJD8353S and the PS700X. The PJD8353S is a lamp based, 3,000 lumen DLP projector that relies on a large external mirror, with a list price of $1,399. So, while you get a shorter throw for $183 more, you also get to spend time and money cleaning a mirror, exposing the mirror to potential damage every time you clean, and replacing the traditional lamp every 3,500 hours.
The PS700X, on the other hand, is lamp based and offers 3,300 lumens, with a list price of $1,082 ($134 less than the LS620X), but with an even shorter lamp life than the PJD8353S of only 3,000 hours. Across a large fleet of projectors, the initial savings found in the purchase price disappear in the form of maintenance costs incurred.
If you’re looking for a ViewSonic ultra-short throw projector with a laser light engine, the cheapest option is the WXGA (1280×800) LS810, which has a list price of $2,980. If you’re looking at the LS620X, it’s likely because of the XGA resolution due to the previously installed screen size, which precludes the LS810 from any further consideration.
The ViewSonic LS620X supports Crestron and AMX, allowing your IT team to monitor, schedule and manage it remotely. Crestron’s e-Control system is integrated into the projector for use with RoomView software. Remote monitoring is becoming more vital as companies and school districts come to use projectors in nearly every classroom, conference room, boardroom, and in most common areas. As a fleet of projectors grows, it is imperative to know about errors that might otherwise go unreported.
The ViewSonic LS620X includes a decent limited warranty program, with 3 years on parts and labor. The laser light source has a 1 year warranty. Included is the first year of ViewSonic’s Express Exchange service, which allows for an exchange if your projector fails under-warranty. Additional years of warranty, including additional years of Express Exchange, are available for purchase directly through ViewSonic. Please note, Express Exchange Service requires that you register your product.
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