Projector Reviews

BenQ MX631ST Short Throw Projector Review – Summary

Summary

While the BenQ MX631ST has most of the essential features needed to compete with other business/educations projectors in this class, perhaps it biggest selling point for some customers will be the short throw feature.  This will allow this projector to be used in some room layouts and situations where a medium throw projector would limit the screen size to smaller than desired.

BenQ offers two other short throw models in this MX63xST series.  The less expensive MX630ST with 800 x 600 resolution and the more expensive MX632ST with 1280 x 800 resolution.  Feature-wise these are all very similar.

I had issues with the adjustments available with this projector, especially for signals being input via the projector’s HDMI input.  Basically, many of the picture adjustment settings are greyed out and not available, thus not allowing the user to improve the image beyond the factory default settings.  One option that is available is the ability to turn off the Brilliant Color feature and doing so substantially improves the image accuracy, but at the expense of a substantial reduction in image brightness.  This latter point related to Brilliant Color is typical for many DLP projectors of this class.

I did find that when using Cinema Picture Mode and with Brilliant Color turned off, the resulting picture was certainly watchable, but could have been improved further if the menu’s were not greyed out (i.e., not accessible to the user) for such adjustmens as color temperature.

Pros

  • Sharp display with good focus uniformity, limited only by the projector’s native 1024 x 768 resolution.
  • Short throw may make some installations easier than with projector’s having a mid-throw
  • Relatively quick and easy setup with factory default setup settings appropriate for most users using this as portable projector.
  • Unusually long lamp life, especially when operated in SmartEco mode
  • Supports MHL via HDMI input for connection of MHL capable smart phones and tablets
  • Superior contrast as compared to 3LCD business/education projectors in this same price range
  • Built-in speaker produces adequate volume for most moderate size conference rooms or classrooms

Cons

  • Many picture adjustments are greyed out (i.e., not available to the user) when using HDMI inputs, which limits the ability of the user to improve picture accuracy
  • While the manufacturer’s lumen rating was verified, these White Lumens values can be misleading when comparing to other projectors that offer similar white lumens but much higher Color Lumens
  • No microphone input may be a limitation for some business or classroom applications
  • No network based management tools offered which could be an issue for applications where multiple projectors are to be installed (i.e., not simply used as a portable or standalone installation)
  • Remote control has no backlight make is difficult to operate in dim room lighting
  • Brightness uniformity of the projected image was not very good will a brightness fall-off toward the right side, when the projector was table mounted.