updated 02:40 pm EST, Tue November 11, 2008
Quickly following on the heels of an Epson launch the day before, ViewSonic today shipped the PJ359w as its own approach to relatively affordable 720p projectors. The 3LCD unit outputs at the same 2,000 lumens brightness of its recent competitor but has a shorter-throw lamp and lens combination that lets it output a 50-inch picture on a surface as close as 5.2 feet. It can also produce its smallest image at a distance of 2.9 feet and manages its extreme at 38 feet.
The PJ359w is equally balanced between accommodating computers and home theaters with a native 1280x800 resolution that supports many notebooks without scaling and with a minimum of black bars for HD; digital input is handled either by a HDMI 1.3 jack or VGA. It also has the performance to accept either a 1080p HD signal or 1600x1200 from computers.
As with the newest wave of projectors, ViewSonic's entry has no real warm-up or cool-down time and so doesn't need to be left running but unused, while an eco mode draws the lamp's lifetime out to 3,000 hours before it needs a replacement. Stores should be carrying the PJ359w today for $1,299.