BenQ W1200 Home Theater Projector Review

Time for a short summary of the BenQ W1200 projector’s pros and cons and capabilities.

BenQ W1200 Projector - The Bottom Line

The BenQ W1200  isn’t priced as an entry level 1080p projector. Those projectors are under $1000. The W1200 competes price wise more with several very good, step up home theater projectors. At the time of this review, online prices for the W1200 are not far below $1500. The W1200 in some ways seems to be entry level, but in others, definitely not. In overall design – no lens shift, lots of lens offset (a problem with relatively low ceilings if you are mounting, but great for table top use), its decent, but not overly impressive shadow detail and black level performance.

On the other hand, the image is probably the sharpest of any of the under $1500 projectors we’ve reviewed. The projector has a lot more lens throw than most DLP’s with 1.5:1, for improved placement. This W1200 projector has a proper color management system and is capable of more accurate color than many of the lower cost projectors, and that, for me, is a significant plus.

W1200 Brightness: No complaints here. True, some of the less expensive cross-over type projectors like the Vivitek H1080, are even brighter, but it’s hard to complain since this projector is well brighter than average. The most similar projector from a competitive standpoint must be the Mitsubishi HC4000. While the Mits may have the black level advantage, the W1200 definitely has the brightness edge. In a family room type environment – lighter walls, more ambient light, much of the difference in black levels can be lost to the viewer (not completely though), which makes the W1200 a serious competitor to a favorite of ours, but for the right room, and viewing habits.

I sort of slandered “cross-over” projectors above. Not intentionally, and the W1200 certainly is one, it’s just a more expensive one with a better lens… Definitely consider the W1200 an expensive (relative to brightness), but fully functional business projector. That 1400 lumens or so it about it, and other business projectors for less might do 2500, few of us really need more than 1000 lumens for presentations. And those brighter ones aren’t going to be a match when you bring it home.

I do appreciate the speakers in the BenQ W1200. I sometimes forget that a good percentage of home projectors never get mounted. They sit on tables. They get taken out of the closet for movies or a sporting event. Some make it out back or fire a movie onto the garage door.

I really think any loud action movie should have at least good bass, and no home theater projector I know of, has good bass (of those with speakers), not even the combo projectors.

For that reason, I love that the W1200 has an audio output. That can always be fed to a nice (fairly portable) powered sub-woofer). You can find small ones for under $100 that will make a world of difference! Note: I use a small one – that I hide – to help out in our great room with the bass – it weighs maybe 8 pounds. What a huge difference that makes when attached to the W1200!

I like the remote. The remote is one of the better ones around (it’s white – easy to find, too).

Back on the plus side, the W1200 projector is loaded with inputs. Dual HDMI and dual analog computer inputs, plus a separate component video. Once again, the BenQ boasts its audio abilities with three sets of stereio audio inputs, and an audio output too.

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