BenQ W1200 Projector - Warranty
5/26/2011 - Art Feierman
The BenQ W1200 is a moderately low cost 1080p projector. As such, one doesn't expect the best or longest warranty in the business, and as it turns out, the BenQ warranty tends to match expectations.
Most under $1000 projectors tend to come with a single year warranty. A few offer two years.
Of the home theater projectors in the $1000 to $2000 street price range, where this BenQ W1200 projector is, most projectors offer more than one year.
This BenQ W1200, though, offers only a basic , limited, one year warranty, which is not surprising as that's the same as their more expensive W6000.
Of note, they do provide a 500 hour or 6 month warranty on the lamp. The 500 hour is pretty standard, but many manufacturers still only provide a 90 day on the lamp.
We're not a big fan of one year warranties. Projector repairs can be rather expensive, so we like to see at least two years.
Though I'm not a fan of 3rd party warranties (although a bit happier with optional manufacturer extended warranties), if you are buying a projector with a one year warranty, I have to recommend getting a low cost second year warranty.
A major failure , say, after 13 or 16 months, is going to ruin your day, and may even turn a projector into a doorstop, due to the cost of repair. With two years, at least, projectors (failing after 2 years) should have newer replacements that are improved and with a lower price as well. Your lamp also by then, probably has enough hours on it , that a new projector might make a lot of sense.
The BenQ has no filters to change.
Taking a quick look at the competition: Low cost home theater projectors competing against the BenQ W1200 overall, include BenQ's own W1000+ (1 year warranty), the Optoma HD20 (1 year warranty), Vivitek H1080 (also 1 year warranty), but there's also the Mitsubishi HC4000 with a 2 year parts and labor warranty!
In the slightly more expensive group: Epson Home Cinema 8350 (two year warranty, with replacement program), Mitsubishi HC4000 (two year warranty), which sells for about the same price or less. Epson's less expensive Home Cinema 8350 offers two years and includes a replacement program for both years.
The longest warranty of a lower cost projector goes to the Viewsonic Pro8200, which for a similar price offers a three year warranty.
Bottom line - BenQ is offering the minimum. No brownie points for warranty duration!
One bright note, however, BenQ support, over the years has been very good. I'm speaking now, as a former owner of three different BenQ home theater projectors (though none recent). And more importantly, BenQ has done extremely well by their customers, when encountering a serious problem that managed to get through to production projectors four-five years ago. Back then, they launched a projector that, as it turned out, blew out almost everyone's lamp in the 300 to 1000 hour range. It took them a few months to recognize the problem (how many people watch more than 50 or 100 hours a month)?
Ultimately, though, they replaced every lamp, and upgraded every projector, solving the problem. It took almost a year from the time the projector first shipped, and 6 months from the time the problem was first determined. After BenQ started replacing/upgrading the original projectors (PE7700), about the only complaining I could find on the forums was from people who's lamps still hadn't blown, complaining that BenQ was replacing projectors first for those folks whose lamps had already blown (no projector to watch). Now when you have to replace essentially every projector shipped over about a year(of that model), you can't do them all the same week. As I said BenQ took care of their PE7700 users. I thought they handled a difficult situation, about as well as possible. There are few affordable brands with excellent reputations for post sales support. I have to consider BenQ one of those.
Still a 2 year warranty would have been better!