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BenQ W10000 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Performance

Posted on October 7, 2006 by Art Feierman

W10000 Pros

  • Extremely sharp image
  • Brighter than most other 1080p projectors
  • Very good black levels
  • Good color out of the box (could be better)
  • Lens shift for better placement flexibility
  • Very good remote control
  • ISF Certified (if you are really serious, get the W10000 professionally calibrated by an ISF calibrator)
  • Support for 24fps (1080p/24) without adding 3:2 pulldown
  • Great warranty - best around
  • Multiple user saveable modes, as well as ISF Day and ISF Night (for calibrators only)
  • Very good build quality
  • Premium performance for a very reasonable price
  • Effectively invisible pixels
  • Lamp can be changed without unmounting a ceiling mounted projector
  • 12 volt screen trigger (for equipped motorized screens)
  • Low image noise
  • Sealed light path
  • Good shadow detail
  • Comment - BenQ will also be introducing a motorized anamorphic lens in the very near future, for those that want to go full Cinemascope with their screens and not have letterbox.

W10000 Cons

  • Lens has very limited zoom range (1.15:1)
  • Only 1 HDMI input (overall very basic selection of inputs)
  • Manual could use better explanation and (more) detail about use of certain functions
  • Leaks light out the front (although extremely low levels, it's not detectable if looking for it, even with light walls around the screen, and a black image on the screen)
  • One of the larger projectors out there (might be a problem for someone)

W10000 Typical Capabilities

  • User Manual
  • Audible noise levels (certainly very acceptable, but noiser than LCD competitors)
  • Requires occasional filter cleaning
  • Average lamp life

W10000 Summary

Click to enlarge. So Close. They say the guy who fell of the top of the Empire State Building was heard saying all the way down: "So far, So good". I am reminded of that, because so far, the BenQ W10000 is the best (affordable - under $10,000) overall 1080p projector we have reviewed. Over the next 2 - 3 months we will have, several additional reviews, including the Optoma HD81 which will post by December 20th. We hope to also get in the Sony Pearl, and a JVC D-ILA projector that isn't even scheduled to ship until Feb. 2007.

Click Image to Enlarge

The combination of a really sharp image, a bright, vibrant image even in "best mode" very good black levels, rich colors, lens shift, very good, (not exceptional)l out of the box color, and the ISF calibration option, make the W10000 a standout product. Only zoom lens range is a limiting factor for some. My impression is that the W10000 "so far" is the best affordable 1080p projector out there.

There are less expensive 1080p models out there, but in terms of image quality, the BenQ overall has the advantage. The price is reasonable, and the price/performance has to be considered very good, at least.

As noted I'm a current owner of the very similar 720p PE-8720 projector and have been extremely pleased with it since I got it. It's definitely looking like I'm going to replace my 8720 with the W10000. The Panasonic isn't a contender nor is the Mitsubishi, they're just aren't bright enough for me, along with some other issues, and from all I hear the same is true of the Sony.

I will however put off my decision, at least until I get the Optoma HD81 in in a couple of days.

I'm just like many people; placement is a problem in my room, my 8720 is shelf mounted in the back, and due to the more limited zoom range of the W10000, I'm going to have to extend my shelf another 16 inches, but since my wife will let me... The point is, despite the extra hassle, I consider the W10000 good enough for me.

Like most of you, I'll just have to wait a few more years until those 3 chippers come down to prices for normal folks.

If your budget can take you over $5000, put the W10000 at the top of your shopping list. It's at the very top of mine!

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