Posted on February 17, 2021 By Philip Boyle
BENQ X1300i Gaming Projector Review – Special Features: Optimized for Gaming, LED Light Engine, Android TV OS, Chromecast Wireless Sharing, Google Assistant, HDR, 98% of Rec.709 Color Accuracy, Auto Keystone Correction, 3D
If I were going to build a gaming projector, it would need multiple elements to qualify as a “gaming” projector. Quick access to specially-tuned game modes, preferably by both the manufacturer and me, would be essential. My gaming projector would have to be great at taking me into the game, especially through sound. Finally, it would need to have really low-input lag. Because that would give me a better chance for smooth victories in any game where my reaction time is critical to living or dying. Low-input lag would probably be the most important element of my great gaming projector. So, is the X1300i “the one?” BenQ says the X1300i is built for “extended entertainment” and Gaming is at the top of their list.
At the heart of this BenQ gaming experience is what BenQ calls GameMaestro Technology. BenQ GameMaestro Technology not only provides gamers low latency performance but also optimizes visual and audio settings for RPGs, Sports, Shooters, and custom user EQ, with visual and audio adjustment presets. Game visuals display vibrant colors, while the audio you hear, tuned by treVolo-Bongiovi Digital Power Station (DPS), enhances music of all types for engaging auditory experiences. I kid you not, out of the box, this is one of the best cinematic gaming projectors I’ve gotten my hands on. GameMaestro offers the gamer three preset modes that adjust Video, Audio and Input Speed based on the type of gaming experience you want.
Here’s how BenQ describes what you should experience when you choose one of these presets.
RPG Mode – Full Cinematic Immersion
Fully experience both the subtlety and intensity of the virtual world. As you explore a ruinous building rich in captivating detail, let powerful orchestral music with crisp strings and resounding bass guide you through the whole adventure in the medieval era.
FPS Mode – Marks Nearby Threats
Refined details reveal enemies hiding in the shadows, lying in wait. Virtual surround stereo, enhanced gunshots, bombastic effects and trailing footsteps from far and near warn you of approaching threats, so you are prepared to face any foe. You are sure of surviving the battle.
SPG Mode – For Real-Time Thrills
Designed to offer realistic, real-time sports games with green grass, diverse skin tones, vibrant uniforms, and accentuated details. Hear and understand clearly the announcers’ booming voices while fans cheer on your team. You’ll be transported from your home theater to the center of the action.
Cinematic Visual Advantage
Attention to color accuracy, overall image quality, and rendering of details by the projector inspired BenQ to develop their own exclusive suite of features including special video/sound modes and detail adjustments, designed specifically for different gaming genres. Coupled with these features is a high-performance Fast Mode that reduces input lag to a minimum.
Gaming Auditory Advantage
X1300i’s treVolo-tuned 5W x 2 virtual surround stereos use what BenQ calls “Acoustic and Psychoacoustic Sciences” designed to balance three game sound qualities. Bongiovi DPS technology augments depth, clarity, definition, presence, and stereo field imaging. Whether you’re playing games, watching movies, or listening to music; you can enjoy its crisp, and dynamic audio.
Bongiovi DPS technology uses a patented algorithm with 120 calibration points for real-time audio signal optimization. Expect added depth, clarity, definition, presence, and enhanced stereo field-imaging in real time. Bongiovi DPS also offers Dynamic Stereo Enhancement to generate reactive surround sound for different listening needs. Bongiovi DPS enhances video games, apps, music, and movies when played through the X1300i’s onboard speakers, external speakers, or headphones.
Low Input Latency
Reducing input lag is critical to serious games for serious gamers. Split-second decisions determine whether you live or die. Gamers need to ensure that nothing gets in the way of their decision-making, including the gear they use for their gaming setup. Serious gamers are used to seeking out the highest performing equipment they can find. The same goes for their display solutions.
Projectors have been moving to fill the gap that large-sized displays just can’t, due to screen size limits and price. There has been a growing movement away from traditional TVs/displays in favor of gaming projectors but, historically, the downside of a projector is its input lag.
The BenQ X1300i is spec’d to provide an impressive 8ms* response @120Hz frame rate designed to provide players, almost real-time control and smooth action when Game Mode is enabled.
Simply put, LED projectors are projectors whose light sources are LED lights assembled on chips. Whereas traditional projectors use a single incandescent bulb as their light source with that light passed through a color wheel to produce its primary colors, LED projectors use individual lights for each primary color. Why choose an LED projector? What are the benefits of an LED projector?
Some of the main benefits of using an LED projector are the same as those of using familiar household light bulbs: their long lifespan and energy efficiency. On average, an LED projector provides up to 20,000 hours of use in normal setting, while hitting up to 30,000 hours of use in Energy-Saving mode. This is almost 10 to 15 times the lifespan of a traditional projector’s lamp, helping LED projectors avoid the maintenance costs associated with lamp replacement.
In terms of the quality of LED projector lights, their color range ends to cover almost all of the entire REC. 709 color gamut is used in High-Definition video mode. This means purer colors with greater color contrast when compared to the lamps used in traditional projectors; making LED projectors ideal for watching Blu-Ray movies or playing video games with artificially vivid colors.
Another major benefit of an LED projector is smaller form factors that allow some LED projectors to be more portable. Compared to traditional bulbs, LED lights are less susceptible to the effects of dust and other damaging elements. LED projectors often do not emit heat levels like traditional lamps so cooling is less of an issue. When combined, these factors make the technology behind LED projectors ideal for Gaming and Home Entertainment.
The BenQ X1300i is a 4LED projector that adds an additional blue “pump” LED to the 3LED ecosystem whose light is also converted to green via the ceramic phosphor medium in order to amplify the overall output of green light. By adding this separate light, the output of green light is increased by 40%, which in turn leads to an 8% to 12% increase in overall brightness when compared to a 3LED projector. This type of design also helps keep the surface area of the original three LEDs unchanged, thereby avoiding both the need to significantly increase the projector size to accommodate larger LEDs and the additional heating that would be produced by those LEDs, which would otherwise affect the LED’s lifespan.
BenQ offers a slate of features which help optimize the LED projector viewing experience such as an auto color calibration feature that allows for more consistent color during the inevitable decay of the LEDs over the course of the projector’s lifespan. Normally, as projector use continues, the LED lights in the projector tend to deteriorate unevenly. Usually, the red LEDs deteriorate far more rapidly than the others, causing a greenish-blue tint in the resulting image. BenQ’s auto color calibration prevents this phenomenon by adjusting the other LEDs accordingly, ensuring color consistency throughout the lifespan of the projector.
Today’s smart projectors like the X1300i have caught up with t smart televisions. The X1300i gives you access to apps and services like Google Play, Prime Video and YouTube right on the projector, with the included BenQ QS01 Android TV HDMI streaming stick. Now, you don’t have to split your time between a projector for movies and a TV for streaming. With the included media stick, you can watch all your content on the same big screen home theater.
Once installed, the included Android TV dongle acts as a streaming and media box with many channels and apps built-in. It simplifies streaming as you no longer need to run HDMI and power cables to a game console or PC. With the Android TV dongle, there’s no cable mess to deal with and no separate power supply required. Just plug the Android TV device into HDMI and power it from a USB port on your projector, and that’s it. You’re good to go.
FYI, when you log into the Google Play app store you will see an option to download and install Netflix for Android TV. Frustratingly, the Netflix app will launch and take you to the profile login screen if you already have set up Netflix for Android TV on another device. Just when you think it’s going to work, you get an error message and have to close the app. As of the date of this review, it’s not working even when it looks like it is.
As the Android TV marketplace grows, BenQ expects additional apps and services to become available. For example, as of this writing, the X1300i streaming stick does not support Netflix, but you can easily cast Netflix from your phone or PC. If you want it all built into one system, you can use a separate media box like the new Chromecast with Google TV or an Amazon FireTV, or a game console to watch Netflix content.
The BenQ X1300i streaming stick comes with Chromecast Built-in. In addition, Google-certified Android TV has built-in Chromecast technology. Cast your favorite entertainment; movies and TV shows; music; games; sports; photos; videos and more from your Android or iOS device, Mac or Windows computer, or Chromebook to your projector; all without needing to purchase a TV stick.
With a compatible Apple device, the X1300i’s media adaptor also supports AirPlay, enabling you to stream to your projector or share your photos with everyone in the room.
Android TV with Google Assistant functionality allows me to easily search and watch movies, stream apps and play games. But what I find really useful about my Google Assistant is that I can ask questions and see answers from Google on the big screen.
I use the Google Assistant to help me manage different tasks and get a clear picture of my day with scheduling or viewing upcoming events and reminders. I can even add items to my shopping list.
I can, and often do, ask Google questions about a variety of things through the day. With the X1300i I can now see the answers on my projector screen. I can be watching movies and almost instantly get answers related to what I’m watching: favorite shows, characters, or actors. Since Google Assistant is connected to the internet, I can also get information on local businesses. I can check incoming flight details or get caught up on game scores. It’s a pretty cool feature to have on your projector, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the things that can be done with it.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a standard that offers a higher dynamic range in video signals, allowing an image to be shown with more brightness and increasingly detailed color tones. HDR enhances the light areas of the image while also allowing dark areas to be shown in deeper contrast. This represents the original image more completely and faithfully, and closer to what the human eye can see.
BenQ integrates software and hardware technologies together in order to present an authentic HDR image with more detail and better picture quality than non-HDR systems.
Video presented through HDR technology is capable of showing more detail and color for a more accurate depiction of light and dark areas of any given image. Therefore, HDR has become an important spec that both media industry professionals and entertainment enthusiasts are pursuing.
Wide color gamut is also crucial for HDR; therefore, BenQ developed its own Cinematic Color Management technology. It not only matches the wide color space set by the film industry, but also provides an exclusive, dedicated, manual calibration mechanism to present images with accurate color, saturation, brightness, and color temperature. Coverage reaches about 98% Rec. 709 color gamut, and even meets the requirements of DCI-P3 cinematic wide color gamut. The Color Mapping function of the projector can also automatically adjust the color of HDR content to the richest and most accurate color under any condition.
Rec. 709 uses specific red, green, and blue colors and illuminant D65 (6500k) for the white point to build a standardized color space and reproduce accurate color gamut and grayscale.
Color perception can be subjective – some may see red, while others see pink. The Rec. 709 color standard was created by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) for TV, movie, and A/V industries. It ensures all HD equipment, including displays, DVD, and Blu-ray, use the same color gamut, resolution, frame rate, and video specifications.
Just as in movie theaters, 3D projectors allow you to be fully immersed in a three-dimensional experience. 3D projectors for home theater allow the user to play 3D games and watch compatible 3D movies. While 3D content is no longer taking the world of movies and Gaming by storm, it is still available, and BenQ has decided to recreate your home entertainment with the combination of industry-leading 3D technologies.
The BenQ X1300i features a 3D function that allows you to enjoy 3D movies, videos, sporting events and games in a more realistic way by adding depth to the image when you are wearing a pair of optional, compatible, 3D glasses.
Many projectors at this price point only offer Vertical Keystone correction. The X1300i is equipped with 2D Keystone correction with a range of ±30°. The two-dimensional Keystone feature dramatically reduces the trapezoid effect, which occurs when a projector is installed off-center. The keystone correction is done automatically or can you adjust manually via the Display submenu.
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