Viewsonic PA503X Review: Cost-Effective 3600L Office Projector

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Viewsonic PA503X
  • Design
  • Build Quality
  • Performance
  • Brightness
  • Portability


The Viewsonic PA503X is a low-cost office projector with a whopping 3600 lumens brightness. Priced under $350 and with XGA resolution, the projector is lighter on your pocket and offers decent picture quality and higher brightness than most $300 projectors you can find in the market.

Viewsonic is known for cost-effective electronic 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.

The projector is primarily targeted towards the office and professional use. It has a high lumen brightness, making 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: High brighness 3800 Lumens XGA projector with advanced visual features
  • EASY SETUP: 1.1x optical zoom, 40 degree vertical keystone
  • REDUCED INPUT LATENCY: A low 16ms input latency provides faster frame-by-frame action for smooth images without delay
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: SuperEco Mode allows the lamp to shine bright for up to 15,000 hours
  • FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: Supports most media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices with inputs such as HDMI, VGA, mini USB

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, a mini-USB port, a component video port, and an 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, a VGA cable, a quick start guide, a 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 with 16:9 aspect ratio too.

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 as a 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 you can 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 overall color production is satisfactory.

The high brightness makes the color seem washed out in a darker room due to the low contrast ratio. However, in a bright or moderately dim room, displaying presentations and infographics is not an issue. Having said that, it is an excellent projector to projector on a black wall.

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

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 the provided remote control. Due to its small size, it can be confusing to use the remote control 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 70%, resulting in a longer life span. In Normal mode, the lamp is rated to last up to 4500 hours. Realistically, you can expect the projector lamp to last around 3000-4000 hours with mixed usage.

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. Every time you won’t get a proper angle to place the projector. Without keystone adjustment, the projection looks crooked and is 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 a 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 projector’s cost. Hence, it is crucial to get a projector with a 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


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


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


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

Thanks to its compact size and weighs (>7 pounds) you can carry it anywhere with you.

In terms of color output, it is a notch lower than the Epson projector in a similar price range. However, when compared to cheaper LCD 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 make 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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