The ViewSonic PLED-W200 requires very little in the way of setup. It took 9 seconds to start up and 28.5 seconds to display our computer desktop (connected via a VGA cable), and we found the timing to be the same with an SD card inserted. Using a USB connection requires the extra step of enabling the USB display, but otherwise the projector automatically located its given input sources quickly.
Before we evaluated anything, we let the PLED-W200 start up and idle for 30 minutes. Connected to a laptop running at the projector’s native resolution of 1280x800, we positioned the unit 5 feet from the wall, which gave us a diagonal measurement of 5’3” with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
Note that although ViewSonic rated the PLED-W200’s total throw distance at 2-6.5 feet, we found that to be an overly modest. We were able to get a clear, focused image at a throw distance of just 15 inches, and even projecting across a twenty-five foot room with the lights on, we could still clearly read text.
A DisplayMate screen, with lights on (L) and lights off (R)
Once the projector had ample time to warm up, we used DisplayMate’s suite of tests to calibrate brightness, contrast, and black and white levels. In order to most accurately simulate the real-world environments in which one would typically use the PLED-W200, we ran the setup and data tests in a room with most of the lights on and then switched the lights off when we ran video.
A noticeable greenish-to-reddish color inconsistency from L to R
The ViewSonic PLED-W200 delivers a relatively bright, crisp image that is particularly generous to text--which is ideal for the projector’s primary purpose of providing a solid option for business presentations. However, DisplayMate revealed that there was a noticeable color inconsistency across the displayed image; on the left side there’s a greenish tint compared to a more reddish tint on the right. Additionally, there was some blurring and distortion at the top edges of the image, and some pixelation was visible from under 5 feet away.
L: A photo with lights on vs. lights off; R: Movie color preset showing decent black levels
In a brightly lit room, the projector doesn’t put out quite enough brightness for video; if one were to show some short clips during a presentation, the PLED-W200 would offer acceptable performance, but you wouldn’t want to watch a movie on it. That said, in a dark room with the color option switched to the Movie preset, watching a film was mostly a pleasant experience. The color richness and balance were acceptable, and the black levels, while not superb, were deep enough that we weren’t distracted by them during very dark scenes. The image’s sharpness left something to be desired, though.
In terms of temperature, we used an infrared thermometer to check the top and bottom of the projector after it had been running for an hour. There were definitely hot and cold spots, but the average of multiple readings from different areas of the unit showed that the PLED-W200 was at 40.43 degrees C on top and a much cooler 34.13 degrees C on the bottom.
Silent this projector is not, but it’s only about as noisy as a typical desktop computer. Due to the relatively small fans used in the projector, the sound it emits is much higher-pitched than a big tower’s fans, so it is audible in most circumstances, but we would not consider loud my any means. (Incidentally, we found that if we muted the projector’s audio, that removed one of the higher-pitched whines.)