I have been using this digital projector for several programs lately and am very impressed. This exact model is no longer made, but I will probably be purchasing the currently comparable one in the spring. I think it has an excellent balance between features and price.
The projector belongs to the local public library, but can be checked out for use by groups. I’ve had the occasion to use it several times in the past month, and I like it a lot. I have previously used several other makes and models of digital projectors. I wish I had the tech info on those, because I could tell you not to buy them! Wow... really awful. I am in the market to buy one of my own, perhaps as soon as 4 months, and I liked this one so much that I looked it up. Of course, this particular model, the ViewSonic PJ562, is already discontinued, but there is a comparable one for under $1000.
The overall case on this is 11.7 x 9.2 x 2.6 inches high with a weight of about 5.5 pounds. This is very compact and easy to deal with.
This digital projector has 2000 lumens of power for bright and sharp pictures even when the room can not be darkened very well. Nothing ruins a presentation like having good pictures projected poorly. This is my number one requirement when I do choose a projector to buy, and this one delivers.
The focus is manual, and you can adjust for vertical keyholing. There is a leg in the front to raise the projector. It adjusts to screen resolutions from 800x640 to a maximum of 1600x1200 pixels. This is controlled from the computer. There are plugs for two separate computers, and audio input as well.
Another really fine feature of this projector is the short throw length. At a distance of just under 6 feet from the screen you can get a clear image that is 100" on the diagonal. There are projectors with shorter ranges, but the price climbs steeply. Maximum throw is about 30 feet. I sometimes have to give programs in very small rooms, and this short distance is also really important to me. If you can only get a picture that is 3 x 4 feet (60" diagonal) it is difficult for people to enjoy the pictures and sometimes even read words.
I have not used the audio input at all, so can’t say anything about that. It also comes with a remote control, but I did not use that either; I simply controlled the program from my computer.
It was easy to connect to my computer. Getting digital projectors set up properly can be a real headache. The first time I used this with my laptop it was quite a chore, but it turned out that the issue was my computer’s video card, not the projector. As soon as we found the correct tool panel, we got it to work fine.
One review I have read about this projector says that it is not good enough for displaying lots of fine figures or columns of numbers (if you need to show large spread sheets, for example), but unless you REALLY are filling the screen with numbers, this display looks quite crisp to me.
The carrying case is soft sided, with no pockets. Everything just rattles around loose inside and it’s not even padded. I would want to buy a different case!
This model is discontinued, but the ViewSonic PJD5351 is the currently comparable model, and it is on my list of serious contenders. The ViewSonic PJ562 retailed for $1300. The ViewSonic PJD5351 is down to $773. If you could pick up a lightly used one of this model, it would be well worth it.
Update On Jun 03, 2011: I was able to buy a used ViewSonic PJ562 for $140 this year and I am very happy with it for all the above reasons. (Not to mention the low price!) A replacement bulb is about $100, an average price for a digital projector. At 2000 hours of use a nag screen begins to appear when you first hook up the projector, to remind you to replace the bulb.