Posted on February 28, 2020 By Nikki Zelinger
ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review – Special Features: Smart TV Capabilities, Amazon Alexa + Google Assistant, Auto Focus + Auto Keystone, Gaming for The Fam, Built-In Media Player, CFI
This is a smart projector that needs to go back to school. There are several reasons I say this, but we’ll start with the most egregious issue: when using the built-in Netflix app, it was most certainly not in 4K, and I pay for a 4K subscription. Thinking it was perhaps the Wi-Fi connection, I plugged an ethernet cable in to hardwire the internet. No change. Turns out this app can only stream in 480p – DVD quality. Gross.
When using the PlayStation 4 hooked up via HDMI, the resolution was noticeably improved. If this was my projector, I would opt to use an external streaming device, such as my PlayStation or smart 4K player. Kind of negates the purpose behind having the streaming service built-in, and complicated portability if you need to have an external device for viewing in 4K.
I can’t recommend using the built-in Netflix app. Aside from the horrendous resolution, the app itself is flawed. The interface SUCKS. It sucks. Real bad. My husband wanted me to watch this Black Mirror episode from Season 4. We couldn’t select it. All we could do was play the first episode for the current season, Season 5. We ended up having to watch Grace and Frankie because we were caught up to the current season, so it played the correct episode. The search function is clunky, too.
Overall, Netflix = A No Go.
The Aptoid Store is accessible via the Home Menu when you power on the projector.
It has plenty of apps to choose from - some I've never heard of.
It has YouTube, which is a huge plus, especially if you've got little ones that constantly need to be entertained.
There are news apps as well.
Though the store isn't as extensive as, say, LG's, it does have at least a handful of apps I would consider downloading.
The Aptoid Store has Twitch for watching gamer streams - a popular trend amongst the gamer community.
Like most things, I think you can expect more updates to this store in the future.
The projector comes with the Aptoid store for downloading apps directly to the projector, which I found to be lacking for this reason: Though it has Netflix (sub-par), it does not have Amazon Prime Video or Disney+. I watch both of those missing apps regularly, so I would again have to have an external streaming device to enjoy those apps. That’s a bummer! The App store does have several dozen other apps – about half of them I’ve never heard of – but it does have some good ones like Spotify and YouTube.
The YouTube App's search function is easy to use.
Content won't always be in HD, even if the video itself is HD.
I uploaded this video days ago in 1080p. On this app, I was only able to view it at 480p.
That's a huge bummer because this video looks amazing on the browser YouTube and my computer.
But, some content will be in 1080p, like this interview with Harrison Ford.
The YouTube app was great. I used it to watch some videos about The Hero’s Journey and myth, for a project I’m working on. The resolution looked great, nothing lagged, and I was overall quite satisfied with the performance. Perhaps with some later updates, the Netflix app will perform as well as YouTube’s.
The ViewSonic X10-4KE has Wi-Fi connectivity – as demonstrated by its ability to run apps on its own – as well as Bluetooth connectivity. You can hook up any Bluetooth audio device, like headphones or a soundbar, or a small Bluetooth speaker for outdoor viewing. Though, the Harman Kardon speakers the projector has built-in are plenty loud enough for outdoor movie nights – I would still prefer external speakers or a soundbar for indoor viewing.
The ViewSonic X10-4KE is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Setup is simple. You create an account with the ViewSonic Remote App, then link your Alexa or Google Assistant account to use voice control functions. Using Alexa or Google Assistant, you can power the projector on and off, auto-focus, choose your input, and control volume. It works great, with no issues to report.
I love this feature. When you power on the projector, it automatically focuses and adjusts keystone so that your projected image is perfectly rectangular. This is particularly useful when the projector is set on a low surface, projecting upward, such as what you see in the photo above. You can adjust these settings manually as well, from the menus.
This projector is a hard no on gaming for anyone but families with children playing games like Mario Party, Let’s Go Pikachu or Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch (Mario Kart might even be a stretch). It has an input lag of 67ms, which is far too high for any serious gamer, and even casual gamers will notice the lag.
I had my husband, who is a competitive online gamer, test out the projector for input lag – but I didn’t tell him what the input lag was. I wanted to see if he’d notice a difference.
He did. It was incredibly frustrating, especially since Call of Duty now allows cross-platform competition, so you can be in a lobby with computer gamers. Computer gamers have setups that have next to no lag. 67ms was simply too slow for my husband to compete.
Immediately after this session, we hooked him up to my HD computer monitor. His gameplay improved dramatically. To test it out for myself, I hopped into Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and engaged in a battle between the Athenians and Spartans. These battles have a lot going on – lots of high-speed graphics processing, and although I still annihilated those Athenians, I noticed the lag.
I also played Crash Bandicoot Warped, which is a game I have been playing since I was in elementary school. It’s one of those games you’ve played so many times you would KNOW if something was off. I played one of my favorite levels, and the lag was still awful. It’s not so bad that you can’t play, but I can’t recommend this as a gaming projector to anyone.
For reference, the highest input lag we recommend for casual gamers is 50ms. 33ms to 40ms is considered to be good, with 20ms and below being ideal for competitive gamers. The lowest input lag I’ve seen on a projector is 16ms. I published a report at the end of last year called Best Gaming Projectors of 2019 if you want to check those out. There are two 4K capable projectors included in that report.
The on-board media player allows you to playback movies, images, music, and podcasts via a Micro SD card. You can also store these files using the File Management System, accessible via the Home Menu that appears when you power on the projector. The X10-4KE has 16gb of internal storage, so there’s plenty of room for you to store your favorite movies.
This will come in really handy when using the projector outside for a movie night, since that Netflix app is a total bust. Most movies these days come with a digital download, so keep a lookout for those if you want to enjoy movies without using an external media source.
The ViewSonic X10-4KE has CFI – Creative Frame Interpolation – for Smooth Motion. This is popular for sports viewing, as it adds extra frames to make the image seem more lifelike. It’s not a feature you want for regular TV shows and movies, however, as CFI gives this kind of content a Soap Opera Effect.
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