BenQ W20000 1080p, DLP, Home Theater Projector Review

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The recent price drop to $3999 street (MAP) price makes the BenQ W20000 a highly competitive projector. Overall, it is not the best projector for purists, but for those not overly worried about the last 3-5% of performance (relative to other under $10,000 projectors), it is an excellent value proposition. It’s got a lot going for it, and not a major flaw.

To me the W20000 is most similar, in many ways, to the more expensive InFocus IN83, one of my favorite projectors. I give the edge to the InFocus in overall picture quality, primarily for being just a little bit better in color accuracy. But we will get into that comparison, further down.

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The “guys” were over for college football this past weekend. They are used to watching on different projectors almost every weekend. One of them asked what projector I was using this weekend, he actually noticed, and said it looked really good. Now the guys really don’t pay any attention to the picture, they come to watch football. It’s a compliment that a couple of them noticed the W20000. No wonder, it’s not about individual aspects of performance, but the final picture. Think of audio. Most people will pick one pair of speakers over another roughly equal quality pair, if the first pair is played just 2 or 3 db louder. Brightness tends to work like that. No doubt the guys liked the brightness as a major factor, but then, you probably would as well.

 

The trick is to choose a projector that best meets your needs, that does very well, all the things that are most important to you, without having any serious flaws that annoy you. The BenQ W20000 is one of those. Very good to excellent at many things, and no major flaws.

Time to map out those strengths and weaknesses, and then see how the W20000 stacks up against the competition.

BenQ W20000 Projector, Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

BenQ W20000 Projector: Pros

  • Very bright 1080p projector – one of the brightest available, and significantly brighter than most in “best mode”. The same is true for brightest modes.
  • Extraordinary shadow detail
  • Very good black levels, thanks combining a Darkchip3 with a dynamic iris
  • Very sharp and crisp image, with good “depth”
  • Very good color accuracy after calibration, not the best, but very good!
  • Dynamic Black iris produces better black levels than most Darkchip3 DLP projectors can deliver
  • Manual iris allows further improved black levels, when you don’t need maximum lumens
  • ISF certified for calibrators, with ISF Day and Night protected memories
  • Two HDMI inputs with support for 24fps
  • Support for an anamorphic lens
  • Very good remote control
  • Good selection of inputs
  • Image noise not a problem
  • One of the few DLP projectors with vertical lens shift, allows for shelf mounting
  • Longer than average throw distance 1.2:1 zoom lens suitable for shelf mounting from rear shelf in most peoples’ room
  • Excellent 3 year warranty with first year replacement program

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