3.5 star rating

Sanyo PDG-DSU20N Review

Pros: Very affordable; Three-year warranty;
Cons: Low resolution SVGA; No HDTV support; Some compatibility problems;
The Verdict: A budget projector that isn’t cheap.



The $499 Sanyo PDG-DSU20N isn’t some barebones, flimsy device. It’s a slick, well-designed projector that can belt out more than 2000 ANSI lumens. That’s an astonishing 4 lumens per dollar. And Sanyo has even included a small user manual—printed on paper (gasp!).

Article Continued Below

Spartan, But Functional Design

Of course, this is a budget model, so it has some trade-offs. The connector panel is remarkably sparse, offering just the bare minimum: VGA, composite, S-Video and audio. Also, it’s not exactly an ultraportable model; Sanyo lists its weight as 5.5 pounds, but it tipped our scales at 6.1 pounds. In its full travel configuration with cables and remote, the weight rounds off to 7 pounds—still portable, but your shoulder will notice.

When we first saw the tiny, credit-card–size remote, we sighed; such tiny devices usually get that way by shedding features. But this little remote actually has some useful buttons. First there is an Eco button that lets you quickly switch to low-power mode,  quieting down the fan noise and prolonging lamp life. Then there is a pair of Page Up/Down buttons to navigate through PowerPoint presentations. Note that, to get those buttons to work, you’ll have to supply your own USB cable to connect your laptop to the projector. However, the PDG-DSU20N comes with VGA cables.

Sanyo PDG-DSU20N Performance

At 2172 lumens, this budget model was almost 10 percent better on our tests than the advertised 2000 lumens and surprisingly close to the 2500-lumen InFocus IN15, which sells for three times as much. The contrast ratio was also good, at 505:1.

Of course, you can’t expect everything for $500. For example, the SVGA resolution may be too low for some presenters who use high-res graphics. Color accuracy was not noticeably good or bad. And we disliked the design of the control buttons atop the device, where the all-important power button is poorly marked and easy to miss. The same button on the remote control is not well marked, either.

We grew impatient with the leisurely cooldown time: 1 minute 33 seconds for the cooling fan—which was not noticeably noisy—to shut off. And finally, we experienced a strange compatibility problem. For some reason, the Sanyo did not recognize the SVGA signal coming from one of our standard test systems, a Dell Latitude laptop. When we switched to XGA resolution or used a Gateway notebook at SVGA, there was no problem.


Can a $500 projector get the job done? Yes, especially when bundled with an amazing three-year warranty. For buyers on a tight budget, the Sanyo PDG-DSU20N is hard to pass up. Just be wary of the compatibility issue we discovered.

Tags: Sanyo PDG-DSU20N, Projectors, business, reviews

Technical Specifications
Sanyo PDG-DSU20N

Projector Resolution800 x 600
Contrast Ratio500:1 to 1000:1
Brightness2000 to 2999 Lumens
Video InputsComposite
Supported FormatsM-PAL; N-PAL; NTSC; NTSC 4.43; PAL; SECAM
Image Engine0.55-inch DLP DMD
Remote Control FeaturesCredit-card size; Page Up/Down buttons; Eco button for low-power mode
Cool Down Time1:33
SpeakersOne 2-watt
Zoom FocusManual optical zoom and focus, 1:1.1 zoom ratio
Input TerminalsAudio-In; Composite Video; S-Video; VGA-In
Other TerminalsUSB
Projector TechnologyDLP
Size10.7 x 8.8 x 3.7 inches
Weight6.1 pounds
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options