Projector Reviews

ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review – Hardware 1

ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review – Hardware 1: Overview, Inputs and Connectors, The Lens

Overview

The ViewSonic X10-4KE is a 4K UHD (3840×2160) resolution home entertainment projector with an LED light engine. It measures 10.3” wide, 10.7” deep, 6.5” tall, and weighing 9lbs, and comes equipped with a sturdy handle that allows you to carry it easily from room to room, or out back for an outdoor movie night.

The X10-4KE features a short throw design, which means the projector can be placed just several feet back to project a large image. Short throw projectors tend to have fixed lenses – that is, no zoom, manual or otherwise. We’ll get into that further down this page when we discuss the lens itself.

This projectors lens is positioned on the front of the projector, in the center, behind a protective sheet of glass. To the left of the lens, when facing the front, are two sensors – one for IR, and one for Auto Focus. Also on the front, below the lens casing, is the Eye Protection Sensor, which senses when someone moves in front of the projector, and shuts off the light so as to protect their eyes. This is particularly useful if you have a curious toddler, dog, or cat roaming about the house.

ViewSonic-X10-4KE_Side

On the both sides of the projector, when facing the lens, is an attractive mesh – behind that mesh, you’ll find the Harman Kardon speakers, which have great sound quality for built-in speakers. Non-movie content sounds good, and they’re even good enough for watching movies, but I preferred my speaker system for watching films (as Art and I always do). The top of the projector, near the back, has a simple button to turn the projector on and off, as well as control volume. Behind that is the handle to easily transport the projector around. Below that, on the back of the X10-4KE, is the inputs and connectors panel.

Inputs and Connectors

ViewSonic-X10-4KE_Inputs

The Inputs and Connectors panel is hidden behind an attractive, brown leather door that flips down to reveal the projector’s ports. This door is magnetic – when you flip it down, the top half of the flap secures to the bottom half. You can also remove it completely if you’d like, but I think it looks great to leave it on, so I did.

As for the inputs and connectors themselves, the panel is super simple. It has everything one needs for home entertainment purposes. Starting from the left, we have the AC power cord inlet next to a small door that, when opened, reveals the input for the Wi-Fi Dongle ($129.99 Retail), which is included with your purchase of this ViewSonic.

To the right of the Wi-Fi Dongle input is an S/PDIF signal output socket, followed by an Audio Out and Audio In port. Next to those are two HDMI inputs – both do HDCP 2.2 for accepting 4K content. The projector comes with one HDCP 2.2 HDMI. If you need another, make sure it is HDCP 2.2 so you can enjoy 4K content from your external source.

Following the two HDMIs is a USB-C port for connecting external devices like phones, tablets and computers to stream content directly from those devices to the projector. The ViewSonic X10-4KE comes with a USB-C cable as well, so no need to purchase one if you don’t already have one. To its right, there is an input for a Micro SD card to use with the onboard media player. That card is not included.

There is a LAN connector to hardwire your internet into the projector, should your Wi-Fi be spotty. I used this when I was experimenting with the projector’s built in Netflix app, trying to get it to be higher resolution than 480p. Alas, this is not possible, as the app doesn’t do better than DVD quality.

Next to the LAN connector are two USB Type-A ports. Also, on the back of the projector are a reset button and an IR sensor for the remote control. As you can see, you have plenty to work with in terms of inputs and connectors when it comes to the ViewSonic X10-4KE. Now, onto the lens!

The Lens

ViewSonic-X10-4KE_Front

As mentioned, the ViewSonic X10-4KE has a fixed lens. This is due to the projector being a short throw. The size of the picture is dependent on where you place the projector in relation to the screen. With the X10-4KE, you can get an image as small as 30” diagonal, up to an impressive 200” diagonal.

My living room isn’t set up for a short throw projector (I have a normal throw Epson Home Cinema 5040UB on a high rear shelf), so I couldn’t get my couch back far enough to get the projector to fill my 92” screen. The projector probably would’ve had to be on the couch itself, which is no place for a projector. I was able to get the projected image to be about 72” diagonal, and found the optics to be on par with what I expected from a 4K UHD projector of this price range.

If you’re like me and you have an awkward shaped room that you’d like to make sure is conducive to having this projector in your home, I’ve provided a throw chart below. For a 100” inch screen, your ViewSonic X10-4K will need to be 5 feet, 9.7” back from your screen surface to fill it. If you already have a screen, check out the size on the left side of the chart to see how far back you need the projector to be.

If you don’t have a screen yet, measure from where you would like to have the projector placed, to where your screen surface will be. Compare that measurement to the chart and see what size screen you’ll need for your space!

Click Image to Enlarge
Click Image to Enlarge

One small performance item regarding the lens – the projector casts a large circular ring of light on the wall surrounding my screen. At the bottom left part of the ring is a small rainbow in the shape of a crescent moon. Some offshoot of light is found in many models of sub-$2,000 projectors, but I found this to be excessive. It doesn’t affect the picture any, but it is a noticeable thing that happens when viewing anything on the projector in a fully darkened room. This is probably not a deal-breaker for most, but it will deter the seasoned home theater enthusiast.