With XGA (1024x768) resolution and 3,500 lumen rating, the ViewSonic LightStream PJD6352 is meant for education and business applications that need a 4:3 image appropriate for a small to mid-size room. Widely available for $599.99 or a little less, it offers a LAN port for controlling it over a network, which can be useful for permanent installation. However, it's also small and light enough for portable use.
Unlike many DLP data projectors, the PJD6352 delivers highly watchable video. In addition to more than acceptable color quality, it shows few rainbow artifacts. That makes it a good choice for presentations with extensive video or a classroom that needs to show occasional movies. And with full 3D and good sound quality, it's even good enough to bring home for a movie night or watching sports.
As expected for a data projector, the PJD6352 does better with data images than video. Most important for data applications, the PJD6352 holds detail well, although it's in the near-excellent, rather than excellent, range. White text on black was crisp and readable with the test unit at sizes as small as 9 points. Black text on white was highly readable at 6.8 points. Very much on the plus side, test images designed to bring out pixel jitter and moire patterns were rock solid even with a VGA connection on our tests.
Color Preset Modes. The menus offer five customizable preset modes: Brightest, Dynamic, Standard, ViewMatch, and Movie. There are no user modes. All five modes, including Brightest, offer vibrant, nicely saturated color overall, despite at least some colors in most modes looking a touch dark, a little pastel, or off-hue. Movie mode offers the best color and is the only mode that doesn't have any of these problems. However, even Brightest mode delivers good color. That's not true for many projectors, since the brightest mode is typically tuned for maximum brightness without consideration for color quality.
Color balance is excellent in Standard, ViewMatch, and Movie modes, with suitably neutral grays at all levels from white to black. The Brightest and Dynamic modes are biased in favor of light output and show some tints, as is typical.
For presentations and other data images, Standard mode serves as our Presentation Optimized setting, with the best balance of brightness and eye-catching color. For video, Movie is our Video Optimized setting, with the mode's defaults giving the closest match to our reference calibrated projector.
Rainbow artifacts aren't much of an issue for either presentations or video. With data images and color video you might see one occasionally but not often enough to find them annoying. With black and white subject matter they are more visible and obvious enough that some people will find them bothersome. As long as you don't plan to show much black and white video, they shouldn't be a problem.
2D video is necessarily low resolution, but it is highly watchable. I saw almost no judder and no posterization in our most demanding test clips. I saw a little noise in some scenes that tend to bring the problem out, but less than with most data projectors. Color is near-excellent, although it doesn't pop the way it would with a better contrast ratio.
3D video offers essentially the same quality as 2D for those aspects of image quality that both share. Beyond that, there was only a typical drop in image brightness, I didn't see any crosstalk, and there was only the barest hint of 3D-related motion artifacts in the most demanding scenes. The 3D mode supports DLP-Link glasses only, and it offers only one color preset, with no color settings you can change manually.
Long Lamp Life. Rated at 4000 hours in full power and 10,000 hours in eco mode. You won't be doing many lamp replacements.
Lightweight. At just 5.1 pounds, the PJD6352 is light enough to carry on a regular basis. You might want the optional carrying case for an additional $15.99.
Zoom. The 1.3x zoom provides some handy flexibility for how far you can put the projector from the screen for a given image size.
Capable audio. The audio system offers good sound quality and easily enough volume for a mid-size conference room. ViewSonic says that its SonicExpert Technology takes advantage of an enlarged speaker chamber and a more powerful amplifier than typical for this size projector to get improved performance from the 10-watt mono speaker.
Two HDMI ports. In addition to the HDMI 1.4a port on the back, there's a second HDMI port with MHL--meant primarily for a streaming media dongle--in a hidden compartment.
Security. The menu offers password protection. There's also a Kensington lock slot on the back and a security bar on the right side.
Full HD 3D. The full HD 3D compatibility works with DLP-Link glasses, with the PJD6352 automatically switching between 2D and 3D to match the input signal.
Warranty. The price includes a better-than-typical three-year warranty for parts and labor, with one year for the lamp, and one-year free Express Exchange.
Brightness. We measured the test sample's Brightest mode at 3,119 lumens, or 89% of the 3,500-lumen rating.
With the lamp set for full power and for Economic mode, and the lens at its widest angle setting, we measured the ANSI lumens at:
There are two other lamp modes: Dynamic and Sleep. According to ViewSonic, Dynamic works like an auto iris to make dark scenes darker, but changes brightness by lowering lamp power, which both conserves energy and lengthens lamp life. Sleep mode is better understood as an automated power-saving feature rather than an Eco mode in the usual sense.
Presentation optimized Lumens. Standard mode offers the best compromise between color quality and brightness for most purposes, making it our presentation-optimized setting. At nearly 2250 lumens, it's bright enough for a 130" inch image in moderate ambient light.
Video optimized lumens. Movie mode at more than 1100 lumens offers the best color quality of the presets, and we couldn't find any settings that improved the quality significantly.
Low lamp mode. The Economic lamp mode reduces lumen output by 28%.
Zoom Lens Effect. The 1.3x zoom lens has a maximum light loss at the full telephoto setting of only 8%. That's hardly enough to notice, much less affect projector placement for a given image size and ambient light level.
Brightness uniformity. We measured uniformity with the test unit at only 66%. However, the brightness changes gradually enough that it's hard to see the variation with any image that breaks up the field of view.
Color brightness. The PJD6352's measured color brightness ranged from 34% of the white brightness in Brightest mode to a solid 85% in Movie mode, which is a key reason why Movie mode offers the best color quality. Keep in mind that in Brightest mode, the difference between color and white brightness means that full color graphics and video won't be as bright as you would expect from the white brightness.
Rainbow artifacts show only infrequently in data images and color video, but more often in black-and-white video.
Fan noise. The fan noise, rated at 32 dB in Normal mode is easily audible from 10 feet away and hard to ignore if you're much closer than that. Eco mode is significantly quieter, at only 27 dB, but still audible from 10 feet away in a quiet room. That said, I didn't find the white noise annoying as long as I was at least a few feet away.
High Altitude mode is required for elevations higher than about 5000 feet. Even in Economic mode, the fan noise is high enough to be bothersome to almost anyone sitting within 15 feet or so, with a volume and sound quality much like having a vacuum cleaner running in the next room. Normal mode is louder. If you must use High Altitude mode, you'll almost certainly want to limit the projector to Economic lamp mode and position it as far from seating as possible.
Input lag. The lag meter measured the input lag at 49 ms in all preset modes with default settings and at 51 ms with Brilliant Color Off.
Lamp Life. ViewSonic rates the lamp life at 4,000 hours in normal mode and up to 10,000 hours in Sleep mode. The 10,000 hour rating is based on best case assumptions, however, which means you shouldn't expect that long a life in real-world use.
The PJD6352 can throw a 120" diagonal 4:3 image from a range of 10 to 13 feet depending on the zoom setting. The Projection Calculator will give you the available throw distance range for the screen size you want to use.
The vertical offset puts the bottom edge of the image about 11% of the image height above the centerline of the lens with the projector table mounted, or below if ceiling mounted. If you need to tilt it or aim it an angle, you can correct for keystone distortion with manual vertical and horizontal correction of up to plus or minus 30 degrees. There is no auto keystone.
As with any lamp-based model, the rule of thumb is that high-pressure lamps typically lose 25% of their brightness in the first 500 hours of use, and then degrade further more slowly. You'll want to plan for that.
For either portable use or permanent installation, you might want to make sure the PJD6352 is initially bright enough even when using Economic lamp mode, so you can switch to Normal mode to boost brightness as the lamp ages. Unless color quality is a critical consideration, you can also make sure one of the lower-brightness preset color modes is bright enough to start with, and switch to brighter modes as the lamp ages.
Replacement lamp price. Currently set at $319, a substantial incremental investment for a projector that costs under $600. The good news is that the lamp life is 4000 hours in full power mode and 10,000 hours in eco mode. So you won't be needing to replace the lamp very often, if at all.
High Altitude Mode. The high level of fan noise is typical for models that are both this light and this bright, but it's also loud enough that if you expect to need High Altitude mode you should consider whether you can tolerate the noise, even in Economic mode, or can place the projector behind a false wall or far enough from seating so it won't be a problem.
Fan noise otherwise. Even if you won't need High Altitude mode, if fan noise is one of your pet peeves, you may want to limit the PJD6352 to Economic mode, with its lower brightness.
Color Brightness. The color brightness measurements of 34% to 42% of white brightness for Brightest, Dynamic, and Standard modes, mean that you'll get the maximum lumen potential of the projector primarily with text documents, financial spreadsheets, and other images with a white background.
The ViewSonic PJD6352 is a light, bright XGA data projector that is also much better than average with video. For data presentations, it holds details well and delivers a rock-solid image, compelling color quality and very few rainbows. It offers its full brightness only with documents and other images with a white background, but it also delivers highly watchable video at lower brightness with solid color.
As with most projectors that combine easy portability with high brightness, the 5.1 pound PJD6352's fan noise will be an issue for some, particularly in High Altitude mode. If you're not overly bothered by fan noise, however, that's a price you may be happy to pay for a projector you can easily take with you on the road or bring home on weekends to watch sports or a movie.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our ViewSonic PJD6352 projector page.