The Art of Gaming

Review – BenQ W7000 Projector

Hi all!

I was able to sit down last week and test BenQ’s flagship projector, the W7000.  At ~$2500, it is a direct competitor to the Epson 5010.  I’m glad I was able to look at these two projectors soon enough after one another to make a proper comparison.  The W7000 projector throws a super bright and extremely sharp image and also includes features like 3D and frame interpolation.  Input lag has been a topic of concern with many of the newer projector models, read on to find out how this projector measures up in the game room!

If you didn’t already know, I do have a dedicated room for my setup.  This room also happens to be fairly small ~(11′x12′).   My couch is flat against the opposite wall of my 100″ screen and if you are facing the couch, my projector is rack mounted directly to the left, ~6ft off the ground.   The Epson 5010 was able to match my 6500UB’s placement flexibility and did a top notch job filling my offset screen.  Many other projectors have a tougher time with this and require a bit more tweaking to accomplish this goal, if they are able to manage it at all.

If the Epson 5010 has “great” placement flexibility, I would rate the BenQ W7000 at “very good”.  It does include both vertical and horizontal lens shift, but both the range and the zoom are not quite as expansive as the Epson 5010′s.   From the same position that the Epson sat, the BenQ W7000 was a few inches short of reaching the far left side of my screen, and I was unable to make the image large enough to fill it completely.  I think another foot back would have done the trick.

I was really impressed by image quality of the Epson 5010, and I can say with confidence that I consider the W7000 to be a strong competitor.   They are both great projectors, but there are some major differences between the two.

The BenQ W7000 is noticeably sharper than the Epson 5010.   It is the sharpest projector I have reviewed so far and one of the sharpest projectors I have ever seen.  It made digital images really pop, which is great for games.   The extra sharpness, however, can add a grainy look to movies.   This is not something I necessarily consider to be bad, but it is definitely a matter of preference.  The graininess can be tamed a bit by adjusting sharpness settings.

The W7000 is impressively bright in it’s “best” mode.  Fully calibrated, the W7000 was easily twice as bright as the Epson 5010.   There is a tradeoff here though,  the Epson 5010 makes up for its dimmer image with deeper, darker blacks.  I’m a sucker for inky blacks, so my general image quality preference goes to the Epson.  However, the  W7000 had plenty of shadow detail and a super bright image that boosted it’s ‘wow’ factor.

For some reason, I enjoyed 3D gaming more on the W7000 than I did on the Epson 5010.  I would need them side by side to tell which was brighter in 3D mode, but I can tell you I thought the W7000 seemed to have a more accurate, cleaner 3D picture.  The Epson did well, but for 3D gaming I give the edge to the W7000.

The W7000′s CFI system also seemed to do a good job.  There were very minimal artifacts and I see it as something usable for slower paced games where input lag is not an issue.

The BenQ is a single-chip DLP projector, and in the past I have noticed rainbows in other single-chip DLP projectors like the GT750. I was not able to see them at all with the W7000.  I believe this to be a result of its faster color wheel.

Lastly, input lag!   This time, I’m happy to report that the BenQ W7000 measures a respectable ~35ms.   For video games at 60Hz refresh rate, this means you are about 2 frames behind.    I personally experienced no problems playing on this projector.   I feel the W7000 throws an image that is fast enough to enjoy gaming, but I could see how it may not be fast enough for those folks who drink, eat and breathe first person shooters.   Ideally, I’d like to see these numbers more in the < 20ms range, but given the measurements we’ve seen in the past couple reviews, I will gladly accept 35ms and do so with a smile!  :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was unable to test how input lag changed with CFI enabled or in 3D mode because the projector would not let me enable these features while connected to my laptop for some reason.   As you can imagine, the numbers should only increase when you enable image processing features.   35ms is the best it gets.

 

All in all, I am quite impressed with the W7000.   It’s not perfect, but it’s damn good.   Of all the projectors I have reviewed so far, I’d say this has the best overall image quality of the ones that I can recommend for a gaming.  I kinda see the W7000 as a heavily tweaked GT750.  It doesn’t boast zero input lag, but for folks looking for a higher end projector that also works for gaming, I highly recommend the W7000.  Way to go BenQ!

News And Comments

  • Marco

    Hello,
    Thanks for your very unteresting blog!
    Have you a all your lag time in à unique article ?

    Sorry for my poor english !

    Marco

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Hi Marco,

      All of the input lag numbers can be found in the projector articles. If you click on the “reviews” tab, they should all be listed there. I haven’t tested enough projectors to put all of the numbers in one place. Maybe after a few more I will make a post to compare all of the results so far. Thanks for the suggestion!

      -Pete

  • Danny

    Thank you so much Pete! This review just made me really happy, I wonder what others are saying about the input lag being 50 ms but both art and you got around 35. I hope you are completely right, this was the last little push I needed, I’m getting this as soon as the new firmware come out! Thanks again!

    Danny

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Hey Danny,

      When I run the test, it is rare that I see exactly the same input delay in every frame I capture. With the W7000 I saw everything from 20ms to 50 ms, where most of the frames captured fell in the 30-40ms area. I thought ~35ms was a fair estimate of the average input lag. Maybe the others report numbers based on the projector’s worst captured frame? I’ve been reporting “average” input lag numbers from the start and I feel it’s the most accurate way to represent a projector’s performance.

      The W7000 is a pretty awesome projector. I’m sure you’ll love it!

      -Pete

      • tehehe

        If you have the data anyway then why not report min/avg/max and let readers be the judge which is more important to them? To me max is more important than avg.

        • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

          Noted,

          I can easily start doing that.

      • http://allenwp.com Allen Pestaluky

        Quote: “When I run the test, it is rare that I see exactly the same input delay in every frame I capture.”

        This is a sure sign that there is something wrong with your testing methodology. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: simple timers like the one that you use when compared against an LCD monitor (even if on a laptop) are not an accurate or precise way of measuring input lag of a display. Again, here is an article that outlines the proper software (ie. something like SMTT) and hardware (comparing native projector resolution against any cheap old CRT) that should be used for display lag testing: http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/specials/inputlag/inputlag.html

        Sadly, Thomas has stopped sales of SMTT… Probably because review sites have failed pick it up as a standard for input lag testing. Thomas seems to be an understanding guy, so if you give him an email it might prompt him to help work with you guys on getting accurate and precise measurements on your reviews. http://smtt.thomasthiemann.com/index_en.html

        Thanks for your hard work — I very much appreciate your passion for gaming on projectors!

        Best,
        Allen

        • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

          Allen,

          This has been discussed a number of times and you bring up a good point. There are no doubt more accurate methods to characterize input lag and I am not claiming this test is 100% accurate (or precise). As many have pointed out, connecting a CRT monitor and using that as the reference to an LCD display or projector provides a more accurate “zero reference”. After all, all we are really measuring is the input lag difference between the laptop display and the projector, and a CRT is a much better zero reference.

          I work for an engineering company in high speed/high precision data acquisition and am aware of many of the considerations needed for a “perfect test” and could probably build one at home…unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to expand upon the test at the moment and I personally think the current test accomplishes its goal. Though our scale may be offset slightly (my guess would be a few milliseconds), the important part to me is that it is consistent. My test setup is the same every time and I can properly compare the “devices under test” to each other in a fair manner which helps me to make judgements on their performance.

          Also, my qualitative test analysis is scaled based on the data I have gathered. In a previous article, I kinda outline the my “scale” and explain my personal opinions on how they translate to real world performance. This is, after all, what we are after in the end. A better test or zero reference wouldn’t change my perceptions on what the end results are, it would just change the scale…

          http://www.projectorreviews.com/game-projector-blog/input-lag-a-second-look.html

          Maybe I’ll post another article or edit/expand on that one to include the details/differences between this test and a perfect test setup. Again, I don’t think the test method is “wrong”, I just think the data isn’t…perfect… :)

          Glad you enjoy the blog!

          -Pete

  • http://www.justprojectorlamps.co.uk/ Marie Bocly

    Hello,
    Thank you for this very enlightening comparison between the two videos projectors. What do you think the samsung offering a built-in projector?

  • Nate Hetrick

    Pete, I have been reading through your reviews and many other websites the past few days trying to find as much information on projectors and I can use for just about anything (tv, movies, and gaming). First I thought the Epson 3010 was the winner and then realized the lag issues would make games (mostly BF3) very difficult. I was hoping to get your advice as I like your reviews a lot with an emphasis on gaming but also looking at other uses. As for price I would like to keep it as low as possible but want good quality, I don’t feel that I really need 3D unless you have good reasons to think otherwise, I would like it to be 1080p, and it will be in a main floor room so there will probably be a good amount of light in the room but I plan to do my best to get good blinds. I realize this may not have been the best place to post this but I couldn’t find a direct email address or other way to contact you so please let me know if there is a better way.

    Thanks for your time,
    Nate

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Hey Nate,

      Thanks for the comments! The 3010 does indeed suffer from some input lag. A number of people have asked similar questions and I recommended the Epson 8350. It is one year older, but gives (in my opinion) very acceptable input lag results (33ms ~1 frame). Good news is, because it is older you can pick it up a bit cheaper. If you are feeling rich, the flagship model at that time (8700UB) will give you much deeper blacks and a nicer picture overall.

      There are really two things in my opinion to keep in mind:

      1) cost
      2) ambient light

      If you are dealing with ambient light, the 8350 may actually be the better for you because I believe it is an overall brighter projector even though the 8700UB can throw a better image. If you think you will be playing primarily at night and using the projector to watch movies on a regular basis, the 8700UB may be worth the extra cash.

      Hope that helps!

      Pete

      • Nate Hetrick

        Thanks for your help and quick response!