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BenQ W1070 review

Katharine Byrne
17 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
698
inc VAT

You won't find a projector capable of such excellent picture quality in 2D and 3D footage for less

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 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 (1,920x1,080) resolution with a brightness of 2,000 ANSI lumens. Surprisingly, it's also extremely good value.

BenQ W1070

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.

BenQ W1070

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.

BenQ W1070

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.

BenQ W1070

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.

Details

Price£698
Detailswww.benq.co.uk
Rating*****

Specifications

Projector technologyDLP
Lamp brightness2,000 ANSI lumens
Lamp life3,500
Lamp life in economy mode5,000
Contrast ratio10,000:1

Picture

Native resolution1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution1,600x1,200
Aspect ratio16:9
Other aspect ratios4:3, letterbox, native, wide, anamorphic
Max diagonal at 7ft87in
Throw ratio1.15:1 to 1.5:1
Optical zoom1.3x
Projection distance1m to 7.7m
Mirror imageyes
Invert imageyes
Lens shift horizontal0%
Lens shift vertical5%
HD Readyyes
Special view modesstandard, dynamic, cinema, 3D, user

Inputs/Outputs

VGA inputyes
DVI inputNo
Sound inputs2x 3.5mm
Composite inputyes
S-video inputyes
HDMI inputyes
PAL supportyes
SECAM supportyes
NTSC supportyes
Audio output3.5mm
Video outputnone
Others inputs/outputsUSB service port, RS232, DC 12V trigger

Other

Noise (in normal use)33dB(A)
Size104x213x244mm
Weight2.8kg
Internal speakersyes (10W stereo)
Extrasremote, power cable, VGA cable
Remote special featuresaspect ratio, 3D mode, input select, brightness, contrast, freeze, mute
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on353W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT)£115
Lamp supplierwww.projectors.co.uk
Lamp cost per hour of use£0.03
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)£0.02

Buying Information

Price£698
Supplierhttp://www.projectorpoint.co.uk
Detailswww.benq.co.uk

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