BenQ W1200 Home Theater Projector Review

The Very Bottom Line on the W1200 Home Theater Projector

I really like the BenQ W1200. Its combination of color, brightness, and sharpness give it boost over entry level DLPs. The W1200 however, faces some real competition at its selling price and a couple hundred dollars below, from the Mitsubishi HC4000 (not as bright – better blacks), the Epson Home Cinema 8350 (even better blacks, best placement flexibility…) and the Sanyo PLV-Z700… My biggest issue has to be the variable fan speed and noise.

Note that only the Mitsubishi of those mentioned is a DLP. Up around $1500 you run into some fine LCD projectors that mostly I’ve felt that only the Mitsubishi HC4000 among the lower cost DLP’s has competed well against.

I’d be happier if the W1200 sold for a couple hundred less, but then who wouldn’t. It’s worth considering, it’s a really nice machine with a lot of pluses, but I don’t see it as a price performance leader. More of a somewhat premium product for a somewhat premium price. I hope that makes sense. That wraps this review up, except for our lists of Pros and Cons… Our next review is the Runco LS-5 – a bigger, badder single chip DLP projector for about five times the price (and it’s not near as bright). Go figure!

BenQ W1200 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

BenQ W1200 Projector: Pros

  • Bright entry level home projector with sufficient lumens to double as a portable business projector
  • Definitely has that famous DLP look – with deep rich saturated colors
  • Capable of screens up to 130″ and maybe even larger depending on room etc.
  • Color is very good post calibration, not bad right out of the box its very watchable
  • Extremely sharp image
  • Has everything you need to double as a competent portable business projector
  • Well endowed with inputs, including 2 hdmi, 1 computer, 1 component, composite, s-video, 1 USB, 2 audio…
  • Solid feel, more precision, unlike many low cost projectors that just feel cheap
  • Big audio – a pair of 10 watt speakers, three audio inputs (five including HDMI), even audio out
  • For portable use for home entertainment, you can use that audio out to connect a powered subwoofer
  • 1.5:1 zoom lens for more range than most competitors
  • Good (low) operational cost with longer than typical lamp life of 2500/4000 hours
  • Large lens offset good for mounting in rooms with high ceilings, and when placing projector on low tables or floor.

BenQ W1200 Projector: Cons

  • Could be a bit quieter at full power, though it is quieter than most other low cost DLP’s but noisier than the LCD projectors
  • Worse, the projector has a variable fan level – it will speed up or slow down every so often. Many will notice when it speeds up
  • Both rear feet should be adjustable
  • Significant lens offset can make mounting in average or low ceiling rooms challenging
  • Lack of lens shift (although typical of lower cost DLP projectors)
  • Warranty could be longer – one year is minimal in the industry
  • Inability to access Color saturation control with HDMI source.
  • Black level performance is “entry level”
  • Lacking a dynamic iris for better black level performance
  • Leaks some light though the lens – not an issue though.

BenQ W1200 Projector: Typical Capabilities

Other than the BenQ W1200 looking a lot like many other projectors (though it has a touch more style than many), most typical is the documentation: Not a lot of depth, or advice on why to use certain settings.

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