UPDATE: The BenQ W1200 projector review has been posted!
Just a quick update: The W1200 is now at photo shoot stage (tonight), and I’m already starting to write up the standard stuff – the Physical Tour, Performance page, etc. -art
I needed this – the BenQ W1200 to review.
Ahh, finally, the Classroom projector report is pretty much history, and it’s home theater projector time again. Good thing, I need my fix. Sure, I’ve been watching plenty of home theater, including basketball playoffs, but it’s been two months since I worked on a home review – the Sony VW90ES. This BenQ, unlike the ten thousand dollar Sony, is rather affordable, at about $1500 street price (based on a quick web search).
So, what is the scoop with the BenQ W1200 – it’s a single chip DLP, 1080p resolution projector. Sorry, no 3D for those who were wondering. It claims 1800 lumens, and while I haven’t seen the measurements yet, the first thing that struck me when I powered it up was: Bright!! (and I was coming from an Epson 8700ub in Dynamic mode, which is already fairly bright.
The BenQ W1200 is really more of a home entertainment projector than home “cinema”. It’s strengths include a very bright picture, rich colors, and a very sharp image, but the projector isn’t quite so spiffy when it comes to dark images, and dark shadow detail.
Contrast is only claimed at 5,000:1 – very basic these days. And this BenQ actually has sound – a 20 watt system. Sure, still no deep bass, but an audio out will allow you to tie in a nice little subwoofer, if desired. (and they come pretty small).
This BenQ projector hits its stride in a family room, or a converted bedroom – a bonus room, anywhere but a dedicated home theater. Oh, use it there, too, but if you have a proper room for a theater, this projector won’t be able to take full advantage on those dark scenes, due to limited black level performance. On the other hand, the Bulls vs. Miami game was absolutely stellar – in my home theater, with all the lights on (they are towards the back of the room, but still. Also, even with the blinds on the back windows partially open, and a lot of indirect sunlight hitting the screen, the BenQ W1200 still did pretty nicely.
That’s really all for now. I can’t yet comment on color accuracy. I only viewed the projector for 2 days, before Mike picked it up, and mostly I watched sports and HDTV. When Mike brings the W1200 projector back tomorrow, after he’s done calibrating and playing with it, I’ll get serious about movies too. Look for a standard “First Look” blog on Thursday. It will be short, due to this blog, but should hold you all, until the review publishes early next week. -art
This BenQ W1200 may well be a strong direct competitor to the Mitsubishi HC4000 – our favorite DLP projector in the price range so far. That Mitsubishi will still beat this BenQ in terms of black levels, but for those more interested in general viewing, in a family friendly environment, the W1200 may well prove to be the better choice for many. We shall see! -art