One of the biggest issues plaguing gamers is finding a projector for big screen gaming that not only performs as well as a TV, but also aesthetically matches their living room setup. It’s a struggle Xbox fans no longer have to contend with, though, as Viewsonic has introduced two new 4K projectors that include the “Designed for Xbox” stamp of approval from Microsoft.
The Viewsonic X1-4K is the more traditional of the two new projectors in that it needs to be positioned farther away from the screen or wall it’s being used with; anywhere from five feet to over 16 feet, which will create a projected image between 60 and 150-inches in size. In addition, it includes a 1.3x optical zoom lens, which will help further maximize the projection size depending on where you end up mounting or placing it.
The X1-4K offers a true 4K, 3,840 x 2,160 resolution with a passable 2,900 LED lumens of brightness, or around 1,208 ANSI lumens (a more standardized measurement) from its LED light source, but not all of its features are available at 4K. As part of the “Designed for Xbox” certification, the projector will automatically turn on and switch to its gaming mode whenever an Xbox console connected over HDMI 2.1 is powered up. That also activates the projector’s 4.2-ms input latency and boosts its refresh rate from 60Hz to 240Hz, however, the resolution will max out at 1080P. There’s also no indication the projector can do 120Hz at 4K, which is what the Xbox Series X supports.
Although it’s lacking an OS that natively supports streaming services like Netflix or Disney+, the Viewsonic X1-4K does include wifi connectivity, so you can access all of the projector’s settings through an accompanying mobile app. It can play content from devices like the Nintendo Switch, smartphones, and tablets with a USB-C cable connection—no dock required. It also includes a pair of 6W Harmon Kardon speakers, so when paired with a streaming dongle like a Chromecast, it can potentially serve as an all-in-one home theater solution, too.
Alternately, if you don’t feel like ducking when walking across the room while the projector is on (and don’t want to be blinded by the light) the Viewsonic X2-4K is a short-throw alternative that can be placed on a table as close as three feet away from the wall or screen you’re using for your content, although you’d need to position it about five feet away for a projection measuring 100-inches in size. So it’s more of a semi-short-throw solution, but as long as you can get it between the sofa and screen, you shouldn’t have to worry about people casting shadows when they move around.
The performance and specs of the X2-4K are nearly identical to the X1-4K, however it does offer more brightness at 2,150 ANSI lumens, partially because it simply sits closer to a screen or a wall. Both are available in the UK now for about $1,478 for the X1-4K, and ~$2,152 for the short-throw X2-4K, with Viewsonic indicating more widespread availability sometime in the second quarter of 2023.