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BenQ MS517 DLP Projector - Review Summary

Posted on May 3, 2013 by Eric Pfoutz

A summary of the BenQ MS517 projector's pros, cons.

BenQ MS517 Projector: Bottom Line

Ultimately, the BenQ MS517 has its pros and cons and they are important to consider. Being a native SVGA(800x600) projector means it will be a little cheaper than other projectors on the market with higher resolutions. Its 13000:1 contrast ratio makes it a good choice over other slightly more expensive projectors on the market, if you are planning to use it as a tool for teaching via video. Not to mention it has the ability to project 3D via Blu-Ray and a HDMI source. That is pretty unique for a projector in sub $500 price range.

Brightness levels were very good and picture quality overall was nice assuming you were planning to just project very simple slides without a lot of text, or high resolution details. If you are looking for absolute color accuracy when doing slide presentations, then I could not recommend the MS517, but video and movies will actually show color in a much more accurate way because of the different technology used to process color when displaying video.

The MS517 is pretty well designed and maintenance free, aside from having to change the lamp. Changing the lamp is a little more work on the BenQ MS517 compared to other projectors on the market, but the design, and look of the projector reflects this. I like to think that it is kind of the like the iPhone. Simple, beautiful, but ultimately not easy to tamper with. That could be a positive in a classroom environment where lots of different people are going to be accessing the projector. Oh, and a final note, it does have a Kensington Lock to keep it safe and secure.

BenQ MS517 Projector: Pros

  • Has a very high contrast ratio of 13000:1
  • Sharp image even when projecting higher than native resolutions
  • 3D from a Blu-Ray player via HDMI
  • Brightness readings were extremely close to the advertised brightness
  • Estimated 6000 hours of lamp life when running in ECO Mode

BenQ MS517 Projector: Cons

  • For very specific applications color may need a lot of adjustment
  • Resolution is low so not great for spreadsheets or teaching software applications
  • Lamp not very accessible.
  • Not a short throw projector so the projector needs to be pretty far back to achieve average size 80" diagonal image

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