You won't find a projector capable of such excellent picture quality in 2D and 3D footage for less
1,920×1,080 resolution, 2,000 ANSI lumens, 104x213x244mm, 2.8kg
The W1070 is one of the latest additions to BenQ’s DLP home cinema projector line-up. It’s 3D ready and has a Full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution with a brightness of 2,000 ANSI lumens. Surprisingly, it’s also extremely good value.
Unusually for a projector of this price, it has a 5 per cent vertical lens shift. It rather unhelpfully requires a flathead screwdriver to use, but it makes aligning the projector that bit easier and should mean that you don’t need quality-reducing digital keystone correction. It also has a wide range of ports round that back which makes it very easy to set up. Along with two HDMI inputs, there are VGA, component, composite, and S-video inputs as well as a mini-USB service port.
There are also two 3.5mm audio jacks for audio input and output. We recommend you take advantage of this, as the internal 10W speakers are fairly tinny. They have plenty of volume and a very small amount of bass, but they hardly compare to a dedicated sound system.
Thankfully, the W1070’s image quality is excellent and more than makes up for any deficiency in the projector’s sound quality. It coped very well in our brightly lit test room as colours were crisp and vibrant, and only the darkest of night scenes were hard to make out when the lights were turned on. Images naturally come alive when the lights are switched off, but even the odd sliver of ambient light didn’t disturb the overall picture, so you shouldn’t have many problems using the W1070 during the day. Its deep black levels and contrast were good, too, and we were able to pick out a high level of detail in darker night scenes in our reference footage.
At 2,000 ANSI lumens, there’s enough brightness to use this projector without having to sit in completely dark room. With the lamp rated to last for 3,500 hours at full brightness and 5,000 hours in ECO mode, running costs aren’t too bad, either. We calculated costs of 3p and 2p per hour respectively.
It has a limited but sensible selection of preset picture modes. For 2D content, you have a choice of Standard, Dynamic, Cinema and two customisable User modes, while 3D content stretches to just two different modes: 3D and a third User mode. We preferred the Standard settings, as Dynamic plunged the screen into a nasty shade of turquoise while Cinema lost detail due to an increase in the gamma settings. Thankfully, all modes can be tweaked to your liking. As well as brightness, contrast, sharpness and colour temperature settings, there’s also noise reduction and comprehensive individual colour settings to help you fine tune the overall picture quality.
Watching films on the W1070 was very pleasant, but it wasn’t quite as smooth as we would have liked. With no options to help smooth out the image, some particularly intense action sequences appeared quite juddery. On the whole, it didn’t detract too much from our overall viewing experience, though. More frustrating was the occasional rainbow effect when we moved our eyes across the screen, both during films and static images. This is one of the downsides of DLP projectors, but overall it was relatively minimal and it certainly didn’t prevent us from watching our test footage.
The W1070’s 3D capabilities were also impressive. It doesn’t come with 3D glasses, so these will need to be bought separately (£94 from www.projectorshop24.co.uk), but its active shutter technology is right up there with the Optoma HD25. It’s a shame the glasses dim the brightness, but we didn’t see any crosstalk or ghosting at all with the pair that came with our review sample.
Unfortunately, its tiny remote is woefully inadequate. There’s a useful selection of options, but the navigation buttons feel spongy and unresponsive, which makes using its menu system a bit of a pain. Fortunately, once you’ve set the projector up the first time, you won’t have to use the remote much.
The BenQ W1070 is an excellent projector, but when you factor in the cost of 3D glasses, the Optoma HD25 does everything and more for the same price with its superior remote and bundled 3D glasses. Still, if you’re not fussed about either of these issues and aren’t interested in having 3D support, then the W1070 is great value.
|Lamp brightness||2,000 ANSI lumens|
|Lamp life in economy mode||5,000|
|Max compressed resolution||1,600×1,200|
|Other aspect ratios||4:3, letterbox, native, wide, anamorphic|
|Max diagonal at 7ft||87in|
|Throw ratio||1.15:1 to 1.5:1|
|Projection distance||1m to 7.7m|
|Lens shift horizontal||0%|
|Lens shift vertical||5%|
|Special view modes||standard, dynamic, cinema, 3D, user|
|Sound inputs||2x 3.5mm|
|Others inputs/outputs||USB service port, RS232, DC 12V trigger|
|Noise (in normal use)||33dB(A)|
|Internal speakers||yes (10W stereo)|
|Extras||remote, power cable, VGA cable|
|Remote special features||aspect ratio, 3D mode, input select, brightness, contrast, freeze, mute|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption on||353W|
|Lamp cost (inc VAT)||£115|
|Lamp cost per hour of use||£0.03|
|Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)||£0.02|