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BenQ W1500 Home Projector - Review

Posted on December 25, 2013 by Art Feierman
BENQ W1500 HOME ENTERTAINMENT PROJECTOR - OVERVIEW Under $2000 gets you the W1500 projector: Good in a theater, better in a family room, it serves up great color, 1.6:1 zoom and wireless HDMI, for convenience, plus plenty of brightness. Happy Holidays from  myself, Lori, Lisa, and the rest of the crew.  -art

Specs Preview

BenQ BenQ W1500 Specs
Price 1999
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2200
Contrast 10,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.60:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 3000 Hours Full Power, 5000 in Economic, 6000 in Smart Economic
Weight 8.6 lbs.
Warranty 1 year P/L

BenQ W1500 Highlights

  • 2200 lumens claimed - suitable for family/living/bonus rooms - or a home theater
  • 3D Capable
  • Good contrast for black level performance
  • Vertical lens shift (the amount is limited, but better than none)
  • 2 x 10 watts of Audio, audio output
  • Wireless HDMI (WHDI) using included dongle
  • Full color management controls, ISF certified
  • Minimal lag times for great gaming
  • Remote control
  • Smart-Eco for energy efficiency (see more below)
  • Very long lamp life (for low cost of operation)
  • New lighter 3D glasses from BenQ (not included)
  • Good warranty
  • All around, well thought out projector

W1500 Projector: Overview

The BenQ W1500 is the third projector in the BenQ lineup that offer essentially the same picture performance.  The W1500 home entertainment projector is by far the most expensive, and most feature laden of the three.  We've previously reviewed the W1500 projector's siblings, the basic, and extremely popular W1070 just one year ago, and the W1080ST (similar but with a very short throw lens).

The BenQ W1500 simply ups the capabilities, without really affecting what is already impressive picture quality.  The major feature additions that make the W1500 BenQ's flagship home entertainment projector, are the zoom lens - which offers more range - 1.6:1, that's twice the flexibility of the W1070 and even more compared to the short throw W1080ST.

But the highlight "extra" feature has to be the Wireless HDMI solution. There are few projectors that offer such capability (and convenience), so far.  Epson, for example offers up their competing Home Cinema 3020e with wireless HDMI, and they also offer it on their $900 more expensive Home Cinema 5030UBe, but that one is a step up projector, not only in price, but performance.

Other than that, there are several 3rd party wireless hdmi solutions out there, in fact I'm reviewing the latest version of the DVDO Air, at the same time as reviewing this BenQ projector.  (I'll even let you know later how the BenQ's WHDI wireless solution performs compared to the outboard competition.

The W1500 is a gamer's projector as well.  It offers up low input lag time numbers that make it more than suitable for serious gamers, so get out your Call Of Duty, or auto racing game, or your other favorite forms of digital distraction, and have a blast on the really "big screen."

One interesting consideration:  BenQ offers a second projector for the home, that sells for about the same price.  That's their W7000.   It too is bright, but that projector is the one really built for your dedicated home theater or cave, thanks to much better black level performance.

Of course there are other trade-offs, such as that the W7000 has shorter lamp life, and lacks the wireless HDMI.  That said, it's nice that BenQ gives you a choice around the $2000 price point, and both do sell for less than that, and typically within $100 - at most $200 of each other.

We'll ultimately discuss the differences between the BenQ W1500 and the W7000 in a separate  head to head comparison review, which will be written shortly after this review first goes live.

In other words, it's not about which is the better projector, they have different "focuses."  Rather, we'll help you decide which of those two similarly priced BenQ projectors is the better solution for your own use.

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