Viewsonic PA503X Review – Affordable Office-use Projector

Viewsonic is known to produce many cost-effective electronics products. The brand has a strong foothold in the computer market and excels in value-for-money display monitors.

The US-based company also excels in manufacturing bang-for-your-buck projectors, and the Viewsonic PA503X is one of them.

This projector is mainly targeted towards office and professional use. It has high lumen brightness that makes it an ideal pick for daytime usage.

In this Viewsonic PA503X review, we’ll take a closer look at this projector and let you know the things it excels at. Later, we’ll also highlight a few important features and functions and let you know if you should spend your money on this projector or not.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Viewsonic PA503X Review

  • VERSATILE PROJECTOR: Advanced visual features ideal for use in education and small business environments
  • BIG SCREEN PROJECTION: Projects 120 inches from 13-feet 2-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.Lamp Watt: 190W
  • FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: Supports most media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices with input options such as HDMI, VGA, and more
  • INCLUDED IN THE BOX: PA503X XGA Projector, Power Cable, VGA Cable, and Remote Control
  • Compatible devices: DVD players; Blu-ray players; Amazon FireTV; AppleTV; Google Chromecast; Mac Computers; Windows Computers

First Impression & Design

Out of the box, you’ll notice that the Viewsonic PA503X has a compact size. It measures 11.57 inches in width, 4.33 inches in height, and 8.58 inches in depth. This projector weighs just over 7 pounds. Thus, you can easily place this projector on a tabletop or effortlessly ceiling mount it.

Viewsonic PA503X is best for office and school usage

Design-wise, it looks very similar to its inexpensive counterparts like the Viewsonic PA503S and PA503W (Check Review). The front features the projection lens and IR sensor. The top features a zoom, focus ring, power button, indicator lights, and control buttons for easy access.

The sides feature ventilation ports for heat dissipation. It also includes a 2W mono speaker, which is average at best.

At the back, you get a good amount of connectivity options. It includes 1x HDMI 1.4 port (3D compatible), 2x VGA ports, 1x Monitor Out port, 1x RS-232 port, mini-USB port, component video port, and audio in and out port.

Viewsonic PA503X Top Controls

Compared to modern projectors, the connectivity options here seem outdated; however, it gets the job done for office or classroom use.

Inside the box, along with the projector, you also get a power cable, VGA cable, quick start guide, warranty card, and a compact remote control.


Built Quality & Performance

Although the Viewsonic PA503X comes in a compact casing, it doesn’t mean that it is fragile. While it can take a beating, the projector lens and metal halide lamp can get seriously damaged if it falls from a waist-length height. However, this projector is robust enough for daily use and can last longer, even in rough hands.

This projector has a native XGA resolution, which translates to 1024 x 768p. It has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and can support content in 16:9 aspect ratio as well.

Compared to projectors from brands like Vankyo, Yaber, Apeman, and tons of low-cost projectors from Chinese brands, the Viewsonic PA503X is an absolute winner. It costs less than $400 and blows off almost all Chinese projectors available on Amazon.

Viewsonic PA503X Front Panel

It sits in the entry-level category when it comes to lamp-based DLP projector. However, even at a low price, it offers a whopping 3600 lumens brightness that makes it an ideal pick for daytime viewing.

This projector can reproduce crisp letters in a moderately dim room that can be easily read from a far-off distance. Although it’s no match to the color quality from similarly priced 3LCD Epson projectors targeted towards home usage, the color production is good.

The high brightness means the colors seem to be washed out in a dark room. However, in a bright or moderately dim room, displaying presentation and infographics is not an issue.

While Viewsonic claims this projector has a brightness of 3600 lumens, the max brightness came out close to 2600 lumens in our test. 2600 lumens is still nothing to cough at and is exceptionally bright for work or educational usage during the daytime.

Talking about its picture quality, if you’ve never used a projector before, you’d be happy with the brightness and color output. If you’re upgrading from a cheaper $100 projector, you’ll notice a massive bump in brightness, image quality, and sharpness.

Hence, if you were satisfied with your cheaper projector for watching movies or TV shows, you’ll be blown away by the performance of the Viewsonic PA503X.

In terms of usability, you can control most settings via remote control. Due to its small size, it can be confusing to use this remote to its best potential. Plus, the keys aren’t backlit, which makes the remote harder to use in a dark room. The projector has an adjustable foot at the front to incline the projector.

Viewsonic PA503X Size and Weight

Viewsonic states that the PA503X’s 200W metal halide lamp can last up to 15,000 hours in Eco mode. In Eco mode, the lamp brightness reduces by a considerable margin, making it achieve a longer life span. In Normal mode, the lamp is rated to last up to 4500 hours.

Also Read: How Long Do Projector Bulbs Last?

It is a long throw projector and can provide a 100-inch screen from 11-feet away. This projector has 1.1x optical zoom, which helps in reducing the projection distance by a slight margin.


Important Features & Functions

  • 3600 Lumens Brightness – The high brightness value is a must for a work or educational-use projector. Since most of the usage is done during the daytime, the 3600 lumens brightness makes it ideal for better visibility and crisp display.
  • ±40% Vertical Keystone Adjustment – Vertical keystone adjustment is a boon for classroom usage. Not every time you’ll get a proper angle to place the projector. Without keystone adjustment, the projection can look crooked and not ideal for long time usage. On the other hand, vertical keystone adjustment helps to correctly line up the projection edges to get an even projection from an uneven placement.
  • Full HD 3D support – 3D support allows you to enjoy theater-like 3D projection right from the comfort of your home. With an HDMI 1.4a port, you can connect this projector to a 3D Blu-Ray player or other HDMI-supported devices like laptops, tablets, and media players. To get the full 3D experience, you’ll need DLP link 3D glasses that cost around $40 for a pair.
  • 15,000 hours Lamp Life – Projector lamp replacement is a costly affair. In some cases, the replacement lamp can cost up to 50% of the price of the projector. Hence, it is crucial to get a projector with longer lamp life. 15,000 hours is a very long time considering most projector lamps last between 2,000-6,000 hours. Although, you’ll need to use this projector in Eco mode to achieve longer life, which in turn reduces the lamp brightness to aid a longer lifespan.

Viewsonic PA503X Review: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 3600 lumens brightness
  • Compact size and lightweight
  • Full HD 3D support
  • 15,000 hours lamp life in Eco Mode
  • Fantastic picture quality compared to projectors from Chinese brands

Cons

  • The inbuilt speaker is average at best
  • Noticeable fan noise

Conclusion

With a 4:3 aspect ratio, high resolution, and 3600 lumens brightness, the Viewsonic PA503X is a perfect pick as a low-cost office or classroom projector.

It is compact in size and weighs just over 7 pounds. Thus it can be easily carried by your petite secretary or classroom students.

In terms of color output, it is a notch lower than the Epson projector in a similar price range. However, when compared to cheaper projectors, you’ll be blown away by the brightness and picture quality.

As an entry-level projector, Viewsonic has tucked in plenty of essential features that makes using this projector the right pick for work or educational usage.

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

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