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Hands-on Gear Review
ViewSonic PJD7720HD Review
Price: $600 List | $549.99 at Amazon
Pros: Bright lamp, very good image quality, full HD, inexpensive
Cons: Loud fan
Bottom line: Great for projecting HD images in a lit room, if you can get over the fan noise
The PJD7720HD was one of the brightest models in our tests and our favorite to use in a well lit room. It also has great image quality and full high definition resolution. This makes it the only model we've encountered that can handle the demands of both a home theater and presentations in a bright room. The one thing that really held it back was its fan, which was the loudest and most noticeable in our testing. Its the kind of noise some people would be able to get used to, but it is more likely to distract or annoy than the fans of any of the other models we tested.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The chart below compares how the ViewSonic PJD7720HD fared overall in our testing (in blue) to the other models we tested.
Below we discuss how the PJD7720HD performed in our individual testing metrics.
The PJD7720HD was neck and neck with the Editors' Choice Award winning BenQ HT2050 in our image quality testing. It scored a 7, just behind the top score of 8 and well ahead of the low score of 3. It was able to project bright whites right next to dark, rich blacks. It was also able to produce good color contrast and pop in the majority of movies we viewed. The only area where it fell behind the BenQ was in bright and dark scenes. In very dark scenes colors tended to look just a little washed out and muddled. In very bright scenes some contrast and definition was lost when compared to the BenQ. Despite these minor inferiorities we doubt anyone would be unhappy with image quality when using the PJD7720HD as a home theater projector. The 1080p resolution also made easy work of text and graphs, both looking like they were printed onto the screen. Also, the luminous PJD7720HD lost very little of its color quality or sharpness when projecting in a bright room, making it great choice for business presentations or photographers who want to present their photos in well lit venues.
Ease of Use
The PJD7720HD received the bottom score of 5 in our ease of use testing. While this still is not too far removed from the top score of 7, the PJD7720HD did have some noticeable ease of use drawbacks. The biggest of which was the lack of adjustable rear legs. This makes it much harder to compensate for uneven tables in conference rooms. Also, the PJD7720HD is purported to have a 1.1X zoom, but our testers felt it offered less adjustability than the other 1.1X zooms we tested. Also, it only has one HDMI input. This isn't a huge deal, as HDMI splitters are cheap, but it seems a high quality projector like this that may very well be mounted on a ceiling should have at least two HDMI inputs. This forces you to move the projector to get the right image size, which can be very inconvenient depending on the situation. Apart from these few annoyances the PJD7720HD was quite pleasant to use. The focus dial was easy to access and adjust. The front leg adjusts using a wide thread screw, so a little unscrewing goes a long way in adjusting the leg height. At 5.3 pounds and sporting a somewhat boxy shape the PJD7720HD isn't particularly portable, but can be toted along if you plan your packing around it. The remote control is well laid out and has dedicated buttons for correcting vertical keystoning.
The PJD7720HD was one of the brightest models we tested. We measured it at 2720 lumens, just 22 lumens dimmer than the king of brightness, the BenQ MS524A. This earned it a top score of 9 in our brightness testing, well ahead of the low score of 4. Despite not technically having the brightest lamp, functionally the PJD7720HD produced the brightest image. It was the only model we tested that was able to produce a true, unadulterated white when projecting text and graphs in a well lit room. It also maintained its color quality in movies and high definition photos, even when competing with ambient light. This makes it great for any presenting situation.
Fan noise is really the only downside of the PJD7720HD. It picked up the worst score in this metric, a 2. Its so far down the ladder it can't even see the **BenQ HT2050 on the top rung, which scored a 9. It produces a prominent whir almost constantly when it is in use, and particularly when projecting something bright. It is the kind of noise that you notice right away, but does seem to fade into the background after 5-10 minutes. It wouldn't derail your presentations, but it does present a possible distraction.
The PJD7720HD has a list price of $600, but at the time of this writing is available online for slightly less. This puts it into a near tie with the Optoma HD141X for cheapest 1080p model we tested. The PJD7720HD has significantly better image quality than the Optoma, and only a slightly louder fan. So if you're looking for a 1080p model at the lowest possible price the PJD7720HD is a great value.
The PJD7720HD delivers top notch image quality and brightness at a relatively low price. Apart from its fan noise, it performs at the front of the pack in every category. If you can get over the fan noise, the PJD7720HD will fit the bill no matter how you plan to use it. Even with the loud fan noise, the PJD7720HD's ability to cut through ambient light make it perfect for watching sports in a large group or playing video games with friends. You know, things where the yelling and screaming will drown out the fan noise anyway.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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