BenQ PE7800 - Overview
This is perhaps the easiest review I have had to do. A about a month ago, BenQ started shipping the PE7800 home theater projector, which in almost all ways, is the same as their popular and top rated (by just about everyone), PE8700 and it's replacement, the PE8700+ projectors. The PE7800 is less expensive, and slightly lower resolution. In other words, the PE7800 is a great choice, for less money.
FYI, I use a PE8700 projector as my “reference” projector, and when reviewing other projectors, invariably comment as to how they compare to the 8700. Since so much is the same on these two models, both reviewing and writing about the PE7800, proved easy.
Let’s cover the basics: This BenQ PE7800 projector uses the “Matterhorn” DLP chip from Texas Instruments, giving it a native resolution of 1024x576. This is one notch lower than the PE8700’s 1280x720, but still noticeably higher resolution than your favorite DVD. The projector’s contrast ratio is stated as 2000:1, very typical for HT DLP projectors.
The PE7800 sells for around $3000 on line, but of course prices vary. As such it has little competition at its price point, primarily, NEC’s 4:3 ratio HT1100, and Sony’s HS-20.
The PE7800 comes with the same fully backlit remote as the PE8700. It has an excellent layout, but more on that later.
Brightness is rated at 800 lumens, less than the 1000 lumens of the PE8700, but typical or slightly brighter than most projectors in its price range.
I have stated in the past that the PE8700 (or plus version) is the best value out there, and now there is a less expensive version, which means those of you on a tight budget will have a tough choice between these sibling projectors. I will discuss the differences in performance, and how to decide which of these will serve you best in the Summary section.