Posted on June 16, 2013 By Art Feierman
The BenQ W1080ST is almost identical to the last BenQ home projector we reviewed, which would be their W1070. The BenQ W1080ST is a home theater projector that differentiates itself by sporting a short throw zoom lens. That makes the W1080ST a more convenient alternative for those who are placing on a table top, in many homes. It puts the projector in front of the audience, closer to the screen. It means people can move around without necessarily blocking the image (walking through the bright light).
Ultimately the BenQ W1080ST is a great little home entertainment projector. It has built in sound, so you can take it outside in the summer for entertainment without much fuss (a waterproof extension power cord, and a garage door to shine a movie on).
The W1080ST is a single chip DLP projector. It is full 1080p resolution, and it is 3D capable. It has HDMI 1.4 which allows this BenQ W1080ST projector to support Blu-ray 3D, which gives it a competitive edge over several lower cost projectors and crossover projectors.
Physically the W1080ST is a good looking box, as BenQ has attempted to give it some style. But, it’s still a box shaped projector. More important is its smallish size, and far more important is its picture quality!
Also of extreme importance to you all is the BenQ W1080ST price. The official MAP price, the lowest an authorized dealer is allowed to advertise on the internet (or anywhere), is $1099. Keep that in mind, if you see it for less, then the dealer is quite possibly not an authorized dealer, which raises a number of potential issues, including post sale support. Having owned a large online dealership, I believe consumers are better off when they deal with authorized dealers, if for no other reason than they tend to be more knowledgeable.
The projector recently started shipping. We received this projector for review before shipping started, but with a backlog and a couple of reports and Infocomm to deal with in April/May/June, we’ve finally finished it. Note that 3D Glasses are optional – as in, extra. The official price for the glasses is $79. Even that is a little less than most others.
The BenQ W1080ST, like its longer throw twin has very good contrast and blacks for the price range, but don’t confuse that with dramatically better black levels found on many projectors starting at less than twice the price. Contrast is very good for a family room projector. Not so much if you have a dedicated home theater with excellent lighting control.
What else does the BenQ W1080ST projector have going for it? Let’s consider:
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