Projectors are not always the subject of huge excitement, but this is no ordinary projector. Sure, it can connect to any normal DVD player or PC for playback, but an integrated iPod dock is the PJ258D's true defining feature. We have to admit to being sceptical of the idea of a device that projects images and video from an iPod, but we needn't have worried.

In testing, the projected video image is exceptionally bright and sharp - largely thanks to the 2,000 Ansi lumens brightness rating - while the inclusion of DLP technology lends this additional clarity. With the iPod now delivering 640x480 video resolution, it easily matches the DVD quality of a TV.

Sound is more of an issue, and the crackly speakers aren't good enough; for anything other than a quick video, have some good external speakers available. The job of the speakers is made harder by the loud fan - 37dB in normal mode is quite an earful at a time when typical projectors rarely go above 32dB. Even in economy mode, a noisy 34dB is generated.

When connected to a PC, the ViewSonic's XGA (1,024x768) native resolution is competitive with other projectors. We like the remote control's built-in laser pointer and the device is suitably portable, weighing just 1.8kg and coming with a decent carry case. We're not convinced that the iPod itself is suitable for playing presentations, but it is good for photo playback and makes a nice portable photo projector for showing off your favourite snaps.

ViewSonic PJ258D: Specs

  • DDR DLP technology
  • 2,000 Ansi lumens
  • 1,024x768 (XGA) native resolution
  • 2,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 37db/34db
  • 3-year warranty
  • 288x190x83mm
  • 1.8kg
  • DDR DLP technology
  • 2,000 Ansi lumens
  • 1,024x768 (XGA) native resolution
  • 2,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 37db/34db
  • 3-year warranty
  • 288x190x83mm
  • 1.8kg

OUR VERDICT

Despite having our reservations about this device, it is a success. The PJ258D is a stylish projector that matches an iPod nicely and produces great video quality. It hooks up to a variety of other devices, fulfilling all the requirements of a regular projector. Our only reservation's are with regards to the poor sound quality and loud fan, which spoil an otherwise impressive portable product.

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