Viewsonic PA503W Review – The right choice?

Home theatre projectors present a great way of escaping the day-to-day reality. They allow us to enjoy mind-boggling images and videos without booking a ticket to the movie theatre. 

This is where Viewsonic PA503W comes in, which is a mid-range home theatre and office projector with superior specifications. Alongside, it can project bright images and videos, also making it ideal for office presentations and classroom use.

However, specifications and price don’t tell the entire story, do they?

Thus, let us go through this Viewsonic PA503W review and let see if it’s worth your investment.

Ready?

Viewsonic PA503W Review

  • VERSATILE PROJECTOR: Advanced visual features ideal for use in education and small business environments
  • BIG SCREEN PROJECTION: Projects 120 inches from 15-feet 8-inches in 3800 lumens
  • EASY SETUP: Simple setup and control; just plug & play your presentations, videos, and pictures
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: Super Eco Mode allows the lamp to shine bright for up to 15, 000 hours
  • INDUSTRY-LEADING : 3-year limited parts and labor coverage, 1-year of lamp coverage, and access to our US-based customer service team
  • FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: Supports most media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices with input options such as HDMI, VGA, and more. HDTV Compatibility- 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p. Video Compatibility-NTSC, PAL, SECAM
  • INCLUDED IN THE BOX: PA503W WXGA Projector, Power Cable, VGA Cable, and Remote Control
  • Resolution: XGA+ Wide

First Impression & Design

The packaging comes with the projector itself, one power cable, one VGA cable, and remote control. Initially, it may not get any brownie points for its design. However, the Viewsonic PA503W is fairly compact and lightweight as well. 

Viewsonic PA503W Review

For cost saving purpose, the projector is only made available in a single color combination i.e. white and grey. While the inbuilt 2W mono speaker does it best efforts to be heard.

The projector hosts multiple inlets and outlet channel openings towards the back. These include a mini USB Type B slot, a 3.5 mm Audio outlet, 1x HDMI 1.4 port, and 2x VGA outlet. You can use a HDMI Switch to connect multiple HDMI devices to a single HDMI outlet.

All of these connectivity options ensure better compatibility with most devices.

Viewsonic

Viewsonic promises a brightness level worth 3,600 Lumens, which can be felt well on the first go! High brightness makes it an ideal daytime projector. The projector comes integrated with reduced input latency, which makes projecting presentations even more useful.

To understand how bright is 3600 lumens, please check this comparison of Vankyo Performance V630 and Benq TH585 (3600 lumens) projectors. It will give you a good idea, why spending few extra bucks on a projector from branded company makes a world of a difference.

To make things interesting even further, it allows HDTV compatibility across 480i, 576i, 1080i, 480p, 576p, 720p, and, 1080p. It means that the projector can be customized for all NTSC, PAL, and SECAM view modes! 

That being said, we’d recommend using it with higher resolution settings. It is because of its incapability to project smaller objects smoothly in lower resolution!

It comes with a proactive fan that keeps it cool during projection. Nonetheless, this same fan can be annoyingly loud like we’ve seen in Optoma HD146X. Thus, make sure to keep appropriate volume to cancel out fan noise while watching movies.


Built Quality & Performance

The Viewsonic PA503W weighs 4.89 lbs, and its plastic casing is good enough to last several years if used in a civilized manner, and is not subjected to frequent rough use. It’s design is an exact match to Viewsonic PA503X projector from the same range.

It comes with a projection lens capable of achieving an optical zoom range of 1.1x. It means that you can use it to project up to a distance of 3.9 – 43 ft / 1.19 – 13.11m. For practical usage, you’ll need to keep the projector at 12-13 feet distance to get a proper 100-inch screen

The projector lens is capable for achieving ±40° vertical keystone. The keystone adjustment allows you to achieve an ideal rectangular projection. 

On the resolution front, Viewsonic PA503W offers native resolution of 1280 x 800p. It is an HD (1280 x 720p) resolution with slightly more vertical space, and has an aspect ratio of 16:9. Even though its an HD projector, you won’t have any issues using this projector for watching movies or in office presentation.

Viewsonic Performance

To produce the 3600 lumens, you get a fairly powerful lamp that can last up to 15,000 hours. It comes with different modes (Normal, Eco, Dynamic Eco and Super Eco) that increases or decreases brightness depending on the environment its used in. Due to its high brightness, the Viewsonic PA503W can work as a perfect sports bar projector too.

However, at full brightness, the colors might look washed out a bit. Thus, its better to not the Viewsonic PA503W in its full bright mode.

Keeping the projector in Eco mode will also ensure the fan noise is at its minimum.

Best 2.1 speaker setup for Viewsonic PA503W

On the audio front too, make sure to get a dedicated compact speaker like the Anker Soundcore 2 or a 2.1 speaker setup for immersive audio experience.


Important Features & Functions

We love features in any gadget, especially if they enhance the overall productivity. And, Viewsonic PA503W houses many impressive features! The extra features make the projector stand out from slew of other low-cost projectors.

As mentioned earlier, the projector has 4 viewing modes i.e. Normal, Eco, Dynamic Eco and Super Eco. Where, Super Eco is the most efficient and reduces brightness up to 70%, thereby lowering power output and improving lamp life too.

Even in normal mode, if the projector detects inactivity, it switches to Super Eco mode to reduce power usage and improve lamp life.

Viewsonic features

Plus, you can customize the projector to shut itself down after a certain period of inactivity. It elongates the life span of the light source even more. 

The projector even comes with an ‘Auto Power Off’ feature. It enables the device to shut itself down in case of not receiving a signal after 5 minutes.

The projector also comes with SuperColor feature, which is a trademark of the manufacturer. Once enable, this feature offers better color projection, and is ideal for watching movies and TV shows.

Last but not least, the projector has five integrated viewing modes to choose from. The Brightest Mode performs best in areas under the presence of bright light. Presentation Mode maximizes brightness and adjusts the contrast levels to substantially high standards. Standard Mode, however, balances the color compositions for a smoother viewing experience.

Viewsonic PA503W Review: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Projects bright images apt for educational or business presentations
  • Sturdy and long-lasting build quality
  • Offers up to 15,000 hours lamp life
  • Comes with HD resolution at a budget-friendly price
  • Functional design

Cons

  • 2W mono speaker offers poor sound quality
  • Needs 15-feet distance to projector 120-inch screen

Conclusion

Costing less than $400, the Viewsonic PA503W is a great option if you want to buy your first projector or want to upgrade from a low-cost projector.

Being a HD projector, it offers a great median between brightness, color accuracy and great viewing resolution

It can take care of the brightness levels and can come in handy in rooms with bright light settings.

Not only does it works great for home theater setup, but it also finds itself in the class of other projectors specifically meant for offices or classrooms. It’s because of better contrast ratio and higher lumens output.

Finding projector at such a low price is a boon and will serve most of your purpose.

If you have any questions regarding this projector, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

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