BenQ W100 Projector Reviews – General Performance

Menus

The BenQ W100 digital home theater projector offers a reasonably well laid out menu system that is very easy to navigate. In addition, after some basic initial setup options (like how long you want menus to appear on the screen before they turn off, or what background color gets projected if there is no source signal), most features are directly accessable from the remote with specific buttons (Brightness, Contrast…).

W100 menu

The image  is the main image menu (you can see the 5 different main menus across the top). BenQ doesn’t give them formal names. Note in particular, that the image shows Movie as the preset (application mode) and Color Temp is T2. In reality, we did most viewing of movies, set for Cinema, and primarily used T4 which is the correct color temperature for movies (6500K).

This deals with audio (yep, the BenQ has a speaker), OSD time (how long the menus stay on the screen, and other general settings, these are all pretty much “set once and forget” settings.

The other “settings menu, below, shows settings for ceiling mounting or rear screen, as well as whether you want the projector to automatically scan for a live source (most people prefer this off, as it can be pain). There’s a high altitude mode where the fan runs faster, for you mountain folks (or those with a hot room?) And of greatest interest is the Lamp Power mode labeled Economic mode, which controls the projector’s brightness (and lamp life).

In addition there is a status menu, and an aspect ratio menu, neither merit images.

 

User Memory Settings

This is too easy – the BenQ doesn’t have any user savable settings. It does however remember the previous settings for a device. If you were watching a DVD for example, in Cinema mode with a T4 color setting, and switched to HDTV in Family room mode with a T3 setting, when you next go back to the DVD, the projector will be back in Cinema and T4, etc. For a projector designed for the simplest effort in operation, that’s about all you need!

 

BenQ W100 as a Business Projector

While it can be used for business, and thanks to a 7 segment wheel (one is clear) for extra lumens, it’s not bad on your basic Powerpoint type presentation, but if you are trying to do small type, such as email, spreadsheets, and Word documents, the compression of taking a typical 1024×768 laptop down to a usable 640×480 (for normal 4:3 computers) means hard to read, not pretty text. For the occasional presenter, sticking to large type presentations, it may be OK, and if you are a widescreen laptop user, with a 1280×800 laptop (like my Dell), it does do the widescreen well, but the compression is still a problem.

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