BenQ W1500 Home Entertainment Projector – A First Look Review

The BenQ W1500 is the “flagship” of BenQ’s home entertainment projector fleet.  Similar to the popular W1070, and the W1080ST – a short throw version of the W1070, this W1500 comes with some extra features, a zoom lens with 1.6:1 zoom range (the W1070 is only 1.3:1). I thought I’d take a break from the full review to let you folks know that it’s about half written up. There haven’t been many surprises.  As expected the W1500 has some pretty darn good color out of the box, and calibrates beautifully, for accurate color.  Like it’s siblings, it claims 10,000:1 contrast – not bad, considering there’s no dynamic iris, but by any measure, the W1500’s black level performance is mediocre for its just under $2000 street price.
BenQ W1500 Projector - Top-front view showing lens, lens controls, control panel
BenQ W1500 Projector – Top-front view showing lens, lens controls, control panel
But then BenQ sees the W1500 as a home entertainment projector, one more for the family / bonus / living room than for a dedicated home theater.  After all, BenQ offers up one of my favorite DLP projectors, the W7000, for about the same price, and that one has far better blacks, and is definitely more of a home theater projector.  Because it targets less than ideal rooms, and because it doesn’t take much ambient light to wipe out great blacks, all considered, blacks aren’t bad for environments it is most likely to be used in. I like that the W1500 projector has frame interpolation.  True, the W1500 is expensive for a home entertainment projector, but creative frame interpolation is usually not found on lower cost projectors, which is interesting, since more expensive projectors are often bought by folks primarily into movies, and I would think that people putting projectors in family rooms probably have a hire percentage of sports fanatics, etc. Well, enough for now, other than to say that this projector measured a maximum of over 1900 lumens, and that’s without making adjustments for the sake of shaking out extra lumens. All and all, the W1500 is a fine projector.  Check out the review which will publish either 12/23/13 or 12/24/13.   I’m going back to writing more of it now… hang in there, and of course  – Happy Holidays!  -art  

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