The BenQ CH100 is a slick, small, HD resolution, DLP portable business projector with an LED light engine, claiming 1,000 lumens. The lamp-free quality of this projector gives it an advantage over its lamp-based counterparts, most obvious in the rated lamp life. The CH100’s light source can last 20,000 hours at full power, 30,000 in Eco mode. By comparison, I reviewed a similarly-priced lamp-based crossover (business and home) projector, which could get up to 8,000 hours in Eco mode. That provides an excellent value proposition when considering that you would need to change that lamp just under four times before the LED light of the CH100’s engine will need maintenance.
The 1000 lumen rating is, these days, is less than half of most lamp based competitors, and more typical of the brightest pocket projectors (which are LED powered but smaller). BenQ, however, offers up the CH100 in a competent attempt to cross a pocket projector with a "real" full sized one.
The CH100 is very portable and slim, weighing in at just over five pounds. It’s a short throw projector, but has a longer throw distance than is average for show throws. It sits a full two feet back from where the Acer (recently reviewed) was to fill a 92-inch screen – putting it at nearly six feet back from the screen (though for business and education applications, it's not likely that you will need to fill a screen so large). The BenQ CH100 handles ambient light fairly well, but you’re likely to want to have at least some degree of control over the lighting in the room. This projector is a definite contender for those where portability, price, and picture are of great importance.
The BenQ CH100 is a $999 portable business projector that is the embodiment of simplicity. With only a few inputs and connectors on the rear panel, the projector is easy to use – ideal for those who just want a “plug-and-play” projector. We’re talking simple, straightforward, with no frills whatsoever. For video and image sources, there are only two HDMI inputs and a VGA connector. See? Simple. That’s pretty much all you’ll need for your business or scholastic presentation anyway.
The CH100 projector features full HD resolution, which was a huge plus for me. Many business/education projectors are WXGA resolution, which is lower than HD at 1200 x 800 pixels, rather than 1920 x 1080 (HD). The result is a crystal clear picture and sharp text.
The color on the CH100 is excellent, with each mode having great, albeit similar color. The differences between modes are often subtle, so it will really just come down to preference and how bright you need the image to be. The CH100 has a high contrast ratio of 100,000:1. Though close, the projector did not meet its 1,000-lumen claim. Visually, it appeared to be brighter than expected, and can cut through some real ambient light despite its low lumens – it’s actually better at handling ambient light than that Acer I mentioned earlier, which had over 2,000 lumens. Got to love that LED light engine.
It does not have any traditional inputs for Local Area Networking, but there is an optional wireless presenting capability.
In some cases, especially for “road warriors,” wireless is more desirable than carrying long cables with you, draping them across the table or floor, so that as the wireless feature gives the presenter a more “professional” look (neater, sleeker setup when using) that could subconsciously impress those being presented to.
The CH100 has stereo speakers and, though lacking in bass, they produce fairly loud sound. Overall, the BenQ CH100 seems ideal for start-ups and small businesses who want a crisp image, portability and an affordable price – but that’s my opinion. The projector could easily be used in larger scale businesses if the lack of LAN inputs doesn’t bother you. About the price – MSRP is $999, as mentioned, but I found this projector online for $100 less.
BENQ CH100 HIGHLIGHTS
1,000-lumen claim is enough for conference rooms and classrooms where there is some control over ambient light
Low maintenance with a lamp-free light source and no air filters to clean/replace
Full HD native resolution – 1920 x 1080 – very clean image and sharp, readable text
Single chip DLP for a sharp image
Very good color accuracy
Built-in dual 5-watt speakers that produce fairly loud sound suitable for medium sized conference rooms and classrooms
20,000 to 30,000 rated “lamp life”
Quick On/Instant Off – 15 seconds to full brightness and two-touch off with no cooldown time
Optional wireless presenting from a computer via QCast Dongle
Easy to carry and set up
3-year parts and labor warranty
Time to turn to our Special Features page where we explore some of these capabilities.