BenQ W1080ST Home Theater Projector Review

BenQ W1080ST Projector - Appearance

Click to enlarge, so close

BenQ puts some racing stripes (it’s two toned) on the side and interesting design elements on the W1080ST short throw home theater projector. It has a standard box shape, and is mostly white/off white.  The “box” has rounded edges, and the sculpting it has, does add a bit of panache’.  Whether it’s going to win a aesthetic design award, I don’t know, but it is dressed up to be sort of cool.  I like the hexagonal elements. As I said about the almost identical W1070, the BenQ W1080ST is one of the cuter small projectors out there.

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The BenQ W1080ST looks almost identical to the longer throw W1070 projector with the obvious difference being the much more impressive looking short throw lens.  The other key difference you can’t see.  The W1080ST does not have vertical lens shift, which on the 1070, hides behind the silver panel behind the zoom and focus controls. The lens is mounted to the right (facing the front of the projector).  A bar/button in the lower center front adjusts the front foot.  There are two rear feet, one of which is adjustable.  As with the other BenQ, table top setup would be much easier if both rear feet were adjustable. As I move this projector around, I find lacking adjustability to be a definite minor nuisance.  I find my self on occasion sliding a cd case or business cards under it to get things really level.

The controls of the W1080ST projector’s short throw zoom llens are recessed and located on the top.  There are separate trim rings for focus and zoom, as you can see in this image.

Towards the back and further to the right is the pretty standard control panel.  All the inputs and other connectors are located on the back panel.  This BenQ W1080ST has audio as well.

The inputs and other connectors are located in the back.

W1080ST Control Panel

The W1080ST projector has a nice, compact control panel, it has the power switch to the left side. To it’s right are its nine buttons in three rows. The navigation arrows are the top and bottom center buttons and the left right center ones. Enter is located in the dead center.

The top left is the Menu, while the bottom left is for Eco mode selection. The bottom right is the Source select, and the top right is an Auto setup.

The left and right navigation arrows double as volume controls when you aren’t using the navigation system.  The up and down arrows double for keystone correction.

Three indicator lights for Power, Temp, and Lamp are just toward the front.

W1080ST Projector - Input/Output

Let’s look from the left:  Two HDMI inputs (1.4a for Blu-ray 3D compatibility) are located on the right side of the back (facing the back).  Note that BenQ has put in some reasonably good spacing between all the connectors, which makes life easier for those buying better quality cables which often are thicker, and sometimes hard to get into tight places.

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Moving to the right, you will find a 12 volt screen trigger for controlling a properly equipped motorized screen (or anything else that’s compatible with such triggers).  Then comes the component video input (three color coded  RCA jacks).  A USB connector is next.  A PC analog input is next, and also a RS232 serial port below it.  The basic video inputs consist of a DIN connector for S-video, and a yellow RCA for composite video.  There are a pair of additional RCA jacks for stereo audio.  A second audio input uses a mini jack, while below it, is a stereo audio out, which might be handy if you are using this projector portably, and might want to plug in a bigger sound system (perhaps a boom box for out back family viewing on an inflatable screen.

There’s also the power receptacle, and as with most projectors, a Kensington lock slot (far right, down low). The inputs and outputs of the BenQ W1080ST projector are nicely done, with a simple layout overall.

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