As you move to the top of the projector you will see the control panel. It was nice to see a full control panel that was well labeled and easy to use. The fact that the control panel can control every function in the projector is a really great design feature since losing the remote, or just not having it readily available, can sometimes mean you have little control of the projectors functions. Lower cost projectors can sometimes be very limited in control panel features to save in manufacturing costs. Having full control without a remote might be doubily important in a educational environment where the projector might constantly be moved around to different classrooms, where items can be lost along the way.
The rear of the projector houses all the inputs. The BenQ MS517 accepts a wide array of inputs. It has two VGA inputs and one monitor out. Impressive! It also has a RS232 input for command and control. The standard input for composite and s-video is there as well. There is also a audio in and audio out in a mini dim type input. Quite interesting there is a USB Type B port as well. Also, although you don't see a component input, with a special component to VGA adapter, you can use VGA input 2 as your component video input.
The menu system ranks as one of the nicer ones I have used. Was easy to understand and navigate. The different sections were appropriately labeled and made learning about the projectors functions even easier. Never a bad idea to read over the manual to learn even more, but you could get around pretty easy without it. Of course, read the safety precautions and maintenance in the manual so you can extend the life of the projector and to make operation safe.
BenQ MS517 Menus Slideshow
BenQ MS517 Menus
System setup: Basic
BenQ MS517 Menus
System setup: Advanced