BenQ W1200 Home Theater Projector Review

BenQ’s W1200 projector is their newest, lower cost 1080p home theater projector. It positions itself about $500 less than their highly regarded W6000, one of our favorite home theater projectors. The W1200 performs more like a home entertainment projector – than one designed for a dedicated home theater. It should be an excellent choice in the family room, out back in the yard, in summer, a basement or bonus room. Anywhere where light control is less than ideal, walls not dark, etc. is a likely home for the W1200!

BenQ W1200 Projector Highlights

  • Very bright overall, with exceptionally bright “best mode”, and above average overall brightness
  • Color performance is good, for the class, very good post calibration
  • Better black level performance than most entry level priced projectors
  • 2500/4000 lamp life – better than average but some competition does better still
  • Built-in speaker – with reasonable sound!
  • Picture In Picture, and side by side sources
  • Solid feel, finish. Professional looking projector
  • More lens zoom range than most of the competition – for better placement flexibility than competing DLP’s but still no match for a good LCD in this regard – such as the Epson Home Cinema 8350
  • Physically small enough and light enough to double for portable business use
  • Competent for business and education use, though primarily for home.

BenQ W1200 Projector Overview

The BenQ W1200 physically looks good. It seems more finished and has a better mechanical feel than most of the competition around its price.

It is a single chip DLP projector that’s pretty bright. That is to say, its Best mode, even after calibration is noticeably brighter than most of the home theater projectors we review in their best modes.

For a family room type environment, it’s also great that the W1200 has plenty of lumens. Though we clocked only 1400 and change out of BenQ’s claimed 1800, and our preferred bright mode was down around 1200 lumens, that still is a lot better than most of the competition.

I mentioned taking it out back. Unlike most home projectors, this BenQ has audio built in. It won’t rock the house, but it will work well enough out back, especially if you are clever and rig up a powered subwoofer – really easy to do.

An additional note – with sound built in, and the usual host of features, this W1200 may well appeal to a lot of business people looking for a projector for work that can double at home. It certainly is perfectly capable as a 1080p resolution widescreen business projector!

In this review we primarily put the W1200 up (in conversation and in terms of competitive images), with the Mitsubishi HC4000. In reality, though a step up in some ways, the W1200 is more in line – feature wise, with less expensive projectors including the Vivitek H1080, the widely popular Optoma HD20, and a couple of other $1000 or less projectors. The BenQ’s price, in that sense is a bit high, but it has advantages, starting with the best lens and placement flexibility of the lot. More in our Competition section.

Mount the BenQ, or put it on a table, move it from room to room. It’s versatile, if nothing else. Only the lack of lens shift (which isn’t found on any DLP projectors in this price range), and a lot of fixed lens offset limit it, placement wise. But it still bests the competition in that regard.

What we have here is a brighter than average projector, capable of very good color, and possessing an exceptionally sharp image. It’s not going to be the bargain basement priced projector, but one typically worth a bit more than those which are.

Ok, that’s enough of a “taste”. Let’s start looking at the details

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