BenQ W1070 Home Theater Projector Review
A Hot Product Award for the BenQ W1070. One of my easiest decisons of the year. Read on.
BenQ W1070 Projector - The Bottom Line
If you can purchase this W1070 projector for under $1000, then I can’t think of a better value at the moment in a low cost 3D capable projector.
Oh, this is certainly a projector with minimal frills. But, if you can live without fancy features like CFI for smooth motion (nice but hardly a deal breaker for most) and very clever image processing for “detail enhancement”, and a host of other goodies, and if , instead, you just want a very bright projector with excellent color, 3D, and a low price point, then the W1070 is probably for you.
There’s serious performance here. Start with brightness, with over 1700 lumens calibrated – about 3 times the average home projector.
Add to that excellent color if you calibrate the W1070. Or just use our published settings, and save a few hundred. Ours is just a calibration of the projector, not everything a calibrator can do, but, it should make a noticeable improvement, even if the BenQ W1070 looks very good right out of the box.
This is first and foremost, a family room projector – a home entertainment projector rather than a home theater projector. That is, it’s intended for less than opitimized rooms. But the BenQ W1070 is also a 3D capable projector with very good 3D. 3D demands “horsepower”. With active glasses the theoretical minimum brightness loss relative to 2D, is 50%. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. Consider that the W1070 is a very bright projector.
That means the BenQ W1070 has plenty of lumens for large screens, or, it can handle medium sized screens (I’m talking 100 – 120 inch diagonal) in rooms with enough ambient light to render some far more expensive projectors rather ineffective. And it also can give you a reasonably bright 3D image.
Can you drop the W1070 in a dedicated home theater? Absolutely. Its color accuracy will rival any “home theater projector” anywhere near its price. Family room projectors tend to be a little noisy, in terms of fan noise. The W1070 is hardly a quiet projector, but rated 33db, puts it in the same range, and I’d say it’s at least as quiet at full power, as Epson’s Home Cinema 5020UB one of the best under $3000 home theater projectors around.
While the W1070′s brightness is wonderful, and its color accuracy excellent post calibration, this projector isn’t great at everything. That would be asking too much.
Black level performance (while very good for the price), is certainly no mach for that aforementioned Epson HC5020UB, or most of the over $2000 projectors for that matter. It would seem a good thing, therefore, that this is only a one thousand dollar projector.
As long as I’m now pointing out some of the weaknesses, consider: There’s the remote control. It’s small, it”s white (easy to find in a partially darkened room), but it lacks a backlight. Oh, you’ll eventually learn which buttons are which, but BenQ makes some great remotes for other projectors, that I’m disappointed. No backlight is always a pain when the lights are out. I already pointed out that there are a lot of advanced features – and frills, that the projector lacks. Another thing is the 3D glasses. I won’t complain that none are included, as I think the W1070 is a great value even without. But I will mention that they could be a good bit lighter. Comfort isn’t bad, but try those lightweight Epson and Panasonic glasses, and you’ll know what I mean. And I’d prefer to see RF, not IR on the glasses, and have them rechargeable. But with luck, as you decide you need more glasses next year, perhaps there will be lighter ones.
But, other than black level performance, most areas of performance aren’t weak at all. Dark shadow detail handling is also extremely good – for any price point. And then there’s a radical surprise, lens shift on a really low cost DLP projector. Unheard of. As mentioned before, it doesn’t have very much shift, but what it does is pretty much where you are most likely to need, and use it. The point is, it has good black levels and no specific reasons why the W1070 wouldn’t make a good dedicated home theater projector for the price.
The remote might not be ideal, but the menu layout is well organized and easy to navigate. Some might find the text a little small if they sit far back, but that’s about it. Oh, they could provide additional info on the Information menu. I could provide a list, or they could just see what some other manufacturers add. Alas now I’m really quibbling. So I’ll stop.
By the way, if you really don’t like the remote, splurge for a decent universal, and control multiple devices.
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