Viewsonic PLED-W500 Projector: Bottom Line
The Viewsonic PLED-W500 hits a lot of high notes in the competitive mini projector field. It has very good color rendition in all but its brightest mode and provides a sharp image across the screen with all resolutions. Also, its built-in media player and memory, as well as its solid warranty, add value for traveling presentations. Lumen output is also very good for such a small projector and its 720p native resolution makes video watching quite enjoyable. If you need more lumens, you should probably look at one of the many notebook-sized projectors on the market. Some type of battery option might be nice, but it may be that such an option would require too large a battery to deliver the full lumen output. That would negate the W500’s small size and weight advantage.
At the same time we reviewed the PLED-W500, we had the Acer K330 mini projector in for review. The K330 delivers nearly identical brightness and picture quality (I wouldn’t be surprised if these projectors were made in the same factory), but at a lower price (about $100 less). It does not have the built-in media player and memory of the PLED-W500, but on the flip side, the K330 has a few more adjustments available and an audio output jack. Viewsonic’s better warranty and Express Exchange service may be a consideration for the frequent traveler.
Overall, the Viewsonic PLED-W500 provides good brightness and sharp image for its size, combined with a decent price and a 20,000 hour LED light source. Not so many years ago, its performance would have been good for a home theater projector that was four times as large and three times the price. While we feel that the Acer K330 is a better buy, the Viewsonic PLED-W500 still provides a solid combination of long lamp life, price and performance.