Posted on November 12, 2004 Art Feierman
All the buzz lately, has been around the Panasonic’s AE700 and Sanyo’s Z3, both selling for around $2000 or a bit higher. Just now (11/12/04), however, a new BenQ home theater projector has just appeared on the market, with no pre-release fanfare. No sample units of the BenQ 5120 were available to the press well in advance of shipments, (as is typical of most new projectors). Instead, we were able to obtain one of only 2 units available, just days prior to the first shipment, which I’m told should be in dealer inventory by the time I have posted this.
Let’s talk about the BenQ PE5120. It is a small, lightweight, compact home theater projector. It weighs in at six and a half pounds, is finished in white, allowing it to blend in with your ceiling if you mount the projector.
The PE5120 uses a single DLP chip (typical) with true 16:9 WVGA resolution of 854×480. Thanks to the DLP technology, pixels are far less likely to be noticed than with LCD projectors. A new 5 segment color filter wheel, helps the 5120 produce rather impressive, accurate, and dynamic colors.
The PE5120 home theater projector claims 1100 lumens, making it one of the brightest available (without spending 4x the price or more). Almost all home theater projectors are rated between 500 and 1200 lumens, and all primarily want pretty dark rooms to work in. This one, however, has a little extra umph, making it just a bit more able to handle low ambient light. That should be a real plus for regular TV and HDTV watchers and sports fans, where a near pitch black room is not their first choice. This projector will allow some controlled room lighting, even on a 100″ screen, while you watch your favorite football team, etc.
Performance, and simplicity, are the two most noticeable attributes of this DLP projector. Take the 5120 out of the box, plug it in to your source (DVD, HDTV, etc.,) turn it on, and enjoy. There are other good entry level projectors out there, including Epson’s Home 10, and InFocus’s Screenplay 4805, but none so immediately impressed me as this hot little BenQ model.
If you just want an excellent, affordable home theater projector, and if you don’t feel a burning need to tweak, adjust, toy with, and generally become obsessed with the projector itself, and instead, you just prefer to enjoy movies, sports and TV (and HDTV), this BenQ projector was designed for you.
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