BenQ MW535A WXGA Business Projector Review

The BenQ MW535A is a bright WXGA projector intended for the business and education market.  BenQ claims a bright 3,600 lumens for this projector, making it appealing for environments with little control over ambient light.  There are plenty of inputs to satisfy the requirements of classroom and conference room environments, and a contrast ratio advertised at 15,000:1.  Not bad for a DLP projector with a price tag of right around $550.

We’ll start our review with a tour of the projector itself; and in depth look at the hardware and special features.  We will then dive into a discussion of picture, video and audio quality (there is a built in speaker,) and we’ll even find out if it stands up to its advertised brightness of 3,600 lumens.  We end with a summary page with a quick overview of what we discussed on the previous pages.  By the time we’re all done, you will know if BenQ’s MW535A WXGA business and education projector is up for your tasks.  Let’s start now!

BenQ MW535A Specs
PriceN/A
TechnologyDLP
Native Resolution1280x800
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3600
Contrast15000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio1.20:1
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life5000 hours
Weight5.3
WarrantyN/A
View Full Specifications Here >>

Overview

The BenQ MW535A projector is advertised as being intended for use in a smaller conference room or classroom for presentations, with a maximum audience size of 10 participants.  The MW535A is native WXGA, which means a native resolution of 1280×800.

This projector runs with a 210-watt mercury lamp as its light source, which allows for a bright image in smaller conference rooms and classrooms. Brightness is exceptionally important in conference rooms with windows, or classrooms with little lighting control.  Too much ambient light causes a washed out image; text becomes difficult to read and what should appear black can be seen as shades of gray, which is unpleasant, to say the least.  A brightness claim of 3,600 lumens helps combat the effects of ambient light.  BenQ also makes a fairly bold claim on the life-span of the lamp: 5,000 hours in Normal Mode, 10,000 Hours in Eco Mode, and a whopping 15,000 Hours in SmartEco; this claim almost rivals that of those projectors that utilize a laser light engine. For your reference – most lamp based projectors have a lamp life estimate of around 3,000 to 8,000 hours. This projector is designed to project an image between 30 inches and 300 inches diagonally.

Contrast is claimed to be 15,000:1 for crisp and clear text.  Though we’re not able to test contrast, I will say that it is very easy to read text when viewing presentations.  The WXGA resolution allows for some great images and video; The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea and Journey to Space look incredible!

The BenQ MW535A is designed for quick setup with digital vertical keystone, and even built in test patterns.  This ensures proper color for your presentation and proper squaring on your screen.  The MW535A WXGA business projector is designed to be mounted on a table top in front of the screen, ceiling mounted in front of the screen, and mounted on a table top behind the screen, or ceiling mounted behind the screen for rear projection.  There is no onboard storage, and though presentations can be displayed without a PC, you must use a Mini-USB correction to connect your media to the projector, as there are no regular-sized USB ports available.  There is a single 2-watt speaker built in, which we will discuss later in this review.

The big draw to the BenQ MW535A Eco-Friendly business projector is its SmartEco mode, which maintains brightness very near Normal Mode while conserving up to 70% of lamp power.  Eco Blank mode activates after 3 minutes of inactivity, dimming the image to blackness and thereby saving energy.  The projector has an Auto Power Off feature, which powers down the projector after 20 minutes of inactivity.  When in standby mode, the MW535A draws a minimal 0.5W of power.  These are great methods of saving energy and ensure an environmentally smart choice in the BenQ MW535A.

Highlights

  • 3,600 Lumens
  • $549 Street Price
  • WXGA (1280×800) Resolution
  • Lamp Life up to 15,000 Hours
  • SmartECO Mode offers minimal loss in brightness over Normal Mode
  • 15,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • 30” to 300” Diagonal Projection
  • One Touch Access to Install Functions
  • Dual HDMI and VGA ports
  • Compatible with PC and Mac computers
  • Digital Vertical Keystone and Built-In Test Patterns for ease of setup
  • Digital Zoom – Increases readability of small text and image details
  • Closed Captioning
  • 3D Capable
  • Blackboard Wall Color Mode

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