Posted on March 14, 2010 Art Feierman
This projector review of the BenQ W1000 projector has been completed. You will find nine pages of information on the W1000 projector, organized in the Table of Contents below. Enjoy!
Well, after months of waiting for the W1000 to arrive, I got caught completely by surprise. Yes, I’ve received tons of requests to review the W1000, but it’s been hard to obtain from BenQ. Since I avoid reading any other projector reviewers reviews, prior to writing my own reviews, I guess I blindsided myself.
You see, turns out the BenQ W1000 projector, and the Vivitek H1080FD projector that I reviewed in November, are, essentially, the same projector. Why, I’m still sorting out the more subtle differences as I’m writing this. And, I’m waiting on some answers from BenQ as well.
What is surprising, though, is that there do seem to be some real differences. But the similarities come first:
The W1000 projector looks almost exactly like the Vivitek, The projectors themselves are almost identical in dimensions, and what fractional differences there are, seem to be the result of the slightly different styling/sculpting of the projector case. Both weigh the same. Both have the same lens, in the same position. Both have the front drop down foot and control in the same place, and both have the same input panel, with all the same jacks in exactly the same places.
But, there are, as noted, differences. The lamps have different wattage ratings (180 watts vs. 230 watts, per the data sheets). The W1000 projector has a 6 segment 2x color wheel, the Vivitek a 5 segment 3x wheel. (Lamp and color wheel differences should explain almost all the measured performance differences btween these projectors). Just a few of the menu items are in different locations, and, well, the remote control is identical except the Vivitek’s is white compared to the BenQ W1000’s black remote control with red backlighting!
Forgetting the Vivitek for a moment, the BenQ W1000, for an entry priced 1080p projector, it’s exceptionally bright. The W1000 also has pretty good color, and it has an internal speaker, which could come in handy on occasion, for those not permanently mounting the W1000 projector.
I know I’m going to sound like “a broken record” thoughout this review, but, this BenQ projector is a good match for family rooms, bonus rooms, or even out in the back yard, or cul-de-sac for a movie party (not to mention the conference room). In fact, some might say it’s almost too bright for a dedicated theater with dark walls/ceilings. (I don’t think so.)
Ultimately, what we have here, is one of your few choices to own a 1080p resolution projector for under $1000. So far, while similar to the Vivitek in most things, the BenQ review unit I have here (still sealed as new when arrived), does outperform the Vivitek in terms of brightness. The BenQ projector’s other direct competition is the Optoma HD20.
For those with a bit more in their budget, the most likely competitors for the BenQ W1000 home entertainment projector, are the Mitsubishi HC3800, the Epson Home Cinema 8100, and probably the Sanyo PLV-700 and the Viewsonic Pro8100, at least based on current selling prices. The BenQ, it seems, is very typical of low cost DLP projectors – limited placement flexibility (discussed in the Tour section), filter-free design for less maintenance, compact, and typically a bit noisier than competing projectors that use LCD design. So far, the only chance of a comparably priced LCD home projector, would be a possible closeout. Figure $300+ more for an LCD projector with more placement flexibility.
The BenQ W1000 is a cross-over projector. It was originally designed for both home and business applications. That explains several things, including, the internal speaker, the skid-free surface of the case, the slow (2x) color wheel – which would make rainbows more of an issue for those of us rainbow sensitive. The W1000 does produce as many lumens as most of the entry level business/education projectors, so it definitely can “play” on the business side, as well as playing movies or sports, in your house.
Let’s get rolling by first summarizing some of the most notable aspects, and then we can dig into more detail.
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