A projector is incredible fun to have at home. There is just something about the massive screen sizes that they can project, simply elevate the experience of watching movies and sports, quite rapidly. If you have experienced it, you would know how delightful the experience is. Yet they tend to be high maintenance. You need to keep them away from dust, and you need to ensure they remain cool when in use—an air-conditioner is a must, because projectors tend to get quite warm quite quickly. Then there is the small matter of not being fully capable with audio—you always needed a home theater system or external speakers with projectors because the built-in speakers are always tinny. A lot of those issues have been ironed out by the ViewSonic X10-4K UHD projector. Yes, it still costs a lot of money with the Rs 3,50,000 price tag though online deals may make it a tad more affordable. But that is the price you pay for ultimate luxury.
Let us look at the headline specs first. This is a 4K projector, which means a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. It supports HDR10 and also has the Cinema SuperColor+ technology that will make a difference with the finer details when you enjoy a movie. This is a portable projector for most intents and purposes. You can also hook this up with Amazon Alexa or Google Home voice assistants for voice control. The audio has been tuned by Harman Kardon, which immediately gives this an advantage over pretty much every other projector in terms of the audio experience. It also connects with 5GHz Wi-Fi networks which should theoretically offer better speeds for connectivity and streaming, and this supports mirroring from Android phones and the Apple iPhone.
Design: No wonder it has won awards
The very stylish ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector is an IF Design Award 2019 winner. If you have any arguments about that, you’re probably not looking at this projector properly. The sleek metal surface, the elegant leather cover and a beautifully integrated handle all come together to give it a retro look with a generous dash of the modern design lines. It weighs 4.1kg, and with the handle to help you, it is easy to move this around. Your home can be the venue for a movie night and the next weekend, you can pick this up and take it to a friend’s place—that is, when you are allowed to go outside.
This is one projector that wants to be seen and isn’t an uninspiring slab of white. You wouldn’t need to hide it away. As you look at the projector, you’ll see a grille on the left and the right sides of the ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector—that is where the integrated Harman Kardon audio system sits. The black-ed out front panel hides away the IR sensor as well as the auto-focus system for the projector. At the back, where the connections and the ports are, is a nice leather cover that is supported by magnets. You can leave this down when not in use or folded up halfway too.
Connectivity: It is all modern
You have a detailed set of connectivity options, including 2 HDMI ports (HDCP 2.2) for media streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Xiaomi Mi Box 4K, Nvidia Shield or the Apple TV. The USB-C port here is very relevant in these times. If you have a USB-C to USB-C cable and your smartphone allows it, you can push content from your phone directly to this projector. This also has the optical audio out option in case you still want to connect larger and better speakers—this connectivity option is missing in a lot of projectors.
The remote is chunky and not the smallest but is a very pleasant change from the remotes that most other projectors tend to have. It is minimal with the number of keys on this restricted to the absolute essential. You get Power, autofocus, input, home, zoom and settings. Volume controls are a welcome add-in too.
Performance: Bringing the cinema to your home
Yes, the ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector is 4K, but that isn’t just it. This uses a Texas Instruments DLP 4K Ultra HD chip with XPR, and the advantage of a single chip instead of three that some other projectors have is there are lesser image alignment issues to worry about. This also uses red, green and blue LED sources instead of a regular bulb, which not only bumps up the brightness to 2400 lumens but also means more accurate colours without any visible banding. ViewSonic says the ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector can reproduce as much as 125% of Rec.709 standard, and that helps with HDR10 content in 4K.
All this is powered by a quad core processor paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage to keep things moving along smoothly. There is a reason why a projector is packing in such powerful innards. This runs a customized Android operating system, which gives you direct access to a lot of video streaming apps—the Aptoide app store is your friend here.
The promise of a large image is very much true. From a distance of just 2.2 meters from the wall, you can get up to a 120-inch image size. You can adjust this and set it up quite easily, not just for distance from the wall but also the angle at which you want this to project. The integrated stand allows you to go up to 130% offset, depending on where you have placed this.
The ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector is bright enough even if there is some light in your room, but the best results are to be seen when you envelop the room in darkness. Set the colour and brightness as you want it (I prefer it to be comfortable and not too bright) and then you can sit back and enjoy crisp, well detailed and vivid visuals. This is meant for HD and 4K content, which is perhaps to be expected. But what surprises me the most is that regular TV broadcasts which are in lower SD resolutions, are scaled up well to retain some amount of detailing and sharpness even at 120-inch display sizes.
Any content, resolution or source, the noise reduction is top-notch and there is no visible artifacts or distortions on the HD and 4K content, and things are nicely in control with SD content too, albeit at some sacrifice of sharpness.
Movie buffs and sports fans would equally appreciate the handling of the fast visuals. There is no judder, there are no visible stutters and there doesn’t seem to be any ghosting as well. A cricket ball skating across the green grass is crisp and retains its shape and texture all the way through to the boundary.
One area where the ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector could have done better is the black levels. But then again, that is also a limitation of the DLP technology, which means black levels are not fully dark.
Amidst all this, in a nicely cooled air-conditioned room, the ViewSonic X10-4K UHD Projector works silently. It isn’t noisy, and even though it heats up, the fans have been designed to remain as silent as possible.
The Last Word: What matters more to you – the price or the value?
The thing is, Rs 3,50,000 or whereabouts is a lot of money for a 4K projector for home. But in most ways possible, this also justifies the price tag better than a lot of its rivals would be able to. Performance is top notch, it is beautiful to look at and well, the technology that has been used comes together well enough in most respects. It is a projector that can very well be an alternate to that large screen TV you have been eyeing, and works well for movies and sports, two of the toughest genres of content to test the performance of any TV or projector.