BenQ LW61ST LCD Projector - Review Summary
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A summary of the LW61ST projector and a list of this BenQ projector's pros and cons.
5-30-2012 - Art Feierman
BenQ LW61ST Projector: Bottom Line
I do like just about everything about the BenQ LW61ST (click for specs) projector. OK, I'm not thrilled about the up front price, but that's the trade-off with
lamp free projectors such as this BenQ. The overall package is impressive!
This BenQ projector offers tremendous source flexibility. Not only does it support all the traditional inputs, but also USB Display. The LW61ST also can work right off of a USB thumb drive with a reader. What made me happy was the ability to use my iPad with it. I have an iPhone too, but I figure if the iPad works - and it does - the iPhone will too.
The laser light source is the marquee feature of course. BenQ puts their max spec at 20,000 hours, and the low number at 10,000 hours. The projector, a DLP, is also filter free. Theoretically, once installed, this projector should only need someone keeping the spiderwebs off of the lens, as far as long term maintenance goes. That's a real boon to organizations managing a lot of projectors, but it's even better for that single projector in a company. Mount it on the wall right over a screen or whiteboard and theoretically, no bother after that, for its useful life.
Brightness in Dynamic mode is 1485 lumens, but this BenQ projector's color is a lot better than I expect to find in most other projectors in their "dynamic" or other brightest mode (some call it Bright mode, or...) Thanks to the laser light source, this projector is still going to be putting out over 1000 lumens, about 10,000 hours or so, down the road. It's an up and down thing with projectors using conventional lamps. A projector with a lamp, will typically be down to 50% of original brightness before the lamp gets replaced, and that's typically between 2000 and 4000 hours.
Chart provided by BenQ (from documentation)
The LW61ST projector won't need any replacement lamps, as the laser light source is expected to outlast the usefulness of the projector. (Let's estimate 10 years or so!)
BenQ LW61ST Projector: Pros, Cons
BenQ LW61ST Projector: Pros
- Long life laser lightsource rated at 2000 lumens, measured out to 1485 lumens in Dynamic Mode
- Very good color, in all modes, brightest mode especially good compared to competition
- With relatively limited tendency to dim, ends up brighter than many much brighter conventional PJs.
- Low long term cost of operation, due to limited maintenance, no lamp replacements
- Very good 3 year parts and labor warranty on projector and light source
- Short-throw design for lower cost installations, front of the room setup
- Wireless support for iPhone/iPad (requires optional wireless "dongle")
- Standard networking, AMX compatible
- Presentation timer (a nice touch some will really like)
- Basic remote mousing, page up/down via USB - essentially limited interactivity
- Extremely source flexible: project fromcomputer, network, USB Display (from source) and USB Reader (PC free)
- Eco-Blank - low power instant blanking of the screen
- Should offer excellent long term price/performance when used a great deal
BenQ LW61ST Projector: Cons
- While acceptable, the 1485 lumens was no match in brightness compared to traditional lamp projectors (until their lamps get old)
- No zoom, so placement is critical to achieve your desired image size (typical of the projector type)
- High price tag - almost $2000 street price is very high for the brightness, even for a projector this feature laden
- No optional full interactivity - BenQ does support this projector with various electronic white boards.
- Modest color shift issue with Macbook with its Display and Color LCD both set to 1280x800
- Could definitely be quieter - a bit higher pitch than most
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