PJD5112 is a DLP-based, 3D-ready, SVGA (800x600) projector rated at 2600 lumens. Because it's 3D-ready, it might seem more appropriate as a home entertainment projector for 3D games or video, but teachers and business presenters know that anything that can grab a viewer's attention is worth using. More important, it doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that if 3D succeeds at all it will quickly work its way into business and education software. That's enough to make the PJD5112 worth considering for business or classroom use.
While you're waiting for 3D software to materialize, you can use the PJD5112 as the reasonably portable (5.7 pound) projector that it is while paying no premium for it being 3D-ready. Though it is $679 direct from ViewSonic, it can be found for as little as $449 on the street. ViewSonic says it works with its distributors to arrange education discounts, which vary from one distributor to the next.
Brighter than advertised. The PJD5112 is one of the few projectors that's actually brighter than its rating. We measured it in its brightest mode at 2747 lumens, 106% of the 2600 lumen rating. It's easily bright enough to stand up to the typical level of ambient light in a classroom or office.
Wide range of brightness. The projector's seven preset modes also deliver a wide range of brightness levels suitable for different lighting conditions. We measured the least bright mode at just 435 lumens. In addition, with any given mode, you can drop the brightness -- plus extend the lamp life and lower the projector's power draw -- by setting the lamp to Eco mode.
We measured the brightest preset mode at 2392 lumens in Eco mode -- only a 13% drop. However, the relatively low drop in brightness offers a big return in lamp life, boosting the rating from 3,000 hours in normal mode to 5,000 hours in Eco-mode. The difference makes Eco-mode well worth using, especially considering the cost of the lamp -- $279 direct from ViewSonic or $199 street. (Here again, education discounts vary from one distributor to the next.)
Good basic connectivity. The back panel of the PJD5112 offers more connectors than many portable projectors. There are two VGA ports that can both connect to either a computer or component video source, a third VGA port for monitor pass-through, S-Video and composite video ports, and stereo miniplugs for audio input and output.
A USB port will let you connect to your computer for controlling the mouse from the remote, and also update the projector's firmware. There's also an RS-232 port to let you control the projector from a computer and a 12 volt DC connector that you can use, for example, to control a retractable screen automatically when you turn the projector on and off.