BenQ W100 Entry Level Home Theater Digital Projector Review

Definitely a Hot Product Award Winner, the BenQ W100 DLP powered digital projector performed extremely well , even for a pre-production unit. Designed for home theater (as an entry level model) it will work in your theater or family room as long as you have reasonably good lighting control.

The projector itself is extremely easy to setup and use, with the only real weakness in terms of setup, being the normal limitations of low cost DLP projectors, which is zoom lenses without a lot of placement range, and the lack of lens shift.

Best about the BenQ W100 is that it performs beautifully out of the box.

I usually rant, in almost every review, that you want to buy yourself a calibration disk to really maximize the performance of almost all home theater projectors. Colors are usually off enough, to really merit spending some effort to get the colors right. (Not that projectors are bad in terms of color, but there’s nothing like having a projector produce flesh tones, and other colors, that look really right, without your having to fiddle around with them.) In the case of the BenQ W100, if the production models are consistant in performance to this W100, you can really skip the calibration disk, just plug in, and enjoy.

There are great many strengths to this projector and only a few complaints (which is impressive for what may be the lowest cost DLP home theater projector on the market, so lets take a look at the Pros and Cons:

Projector Pros

  • Excellent color out of the box
  • Very quiet operation
  • Extremely long life lamp for low cost of ownership
  • Low power mode
  • Very functional remote, with plenty of range and bright backlight
  • Good selection of inputs (one digital – DVI, plus two component video, and the usual lower resolution inputs)
  • Extra presets optomized for use as a business projector
  • Small and light – in case you want to take it with you, and it even comes with a soft shoulder case
  • Brighter than average
  • Shadow detail (within the limits of its black levels)
  • 4X seven segment color wheel, for rich colors and limiting the number of people seeing the rainbow effect to a tiny percentage
  • It has settings and a speaker for use as a business projector
  • Ease of use
  • Price Performance

Projector Cons

  • Limited color controls (which fortunately aren’t needed)
  • Very limited range on zoom lens – although few entry level projectors are much better, the W100 is at the low end with only 1.15:1
  • Black levels (for a low cost DLP projector – still much better than entry level LCD models)
  • A little bit of loss of detail in near whites in the Movie, and Home Theater modes (minor)
  • As a business projector it definitely comes up short, due to its low resolution, and lack of brightness compared to less expensive entry level biz projectors. Still, tax write-off anyone?
  • Light leakage out the bottom

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