BenQ W1070 3D Home Video Projector Review
• 3D in Full HD
• 10,000:1 Contrast Ratio
• Decent Lamp Life
• No Bundled 3D Glasses
The world of movies is going 3D. Every now and then we have a 3D movie being released (not to mention the remakes). Many new technologies have found their way in to home entertainment devices. We have huge wafer thin TVs with smart functions and 3D capabilities. But a projector weighs advantageous on several crucial aspects. While the size of the TV gets smaller as soon as it enters the house because the neighbors are planning to get the latest one which is few inches bigger, the humble projector screen can become as big as the biggest wall in the house (its good if you have a dedicated screen for a projector but white walls are fine too, no harm done to picture quality).
Another thing is the portability. Not that you take your big TV screen outdoors on events and get-togethers, shifting it to the next room can be quite a task.
Now we should not forget the most important thing the TV has- picture quality. They have dedicated image processing engines powering the LED panels. Enter Full HD projectors. Capable of delivering theater-like image quality, they compare head-to-head with HDTVs.
BenQ W1070 displays a resolution of Full HD even in 3D.
W1070 is built on the old school design with dull box like figure. But combinations of grey and white that run all over the body; the side grills shaped with a sports car like streamlining does grant it some eloquence. And apart from sitting in living room and being another piece of furniture, its capabilities claim that it very much likes to go out (check how in performance)
Moreover, it’s the size that takes the numbers here. For a 2.6 Kg projector doing 3D in Full HD, it’s quite compact and lightweight.
Control buttons are mounted on the left side from front on the top surface while the lamp is placed on the front right side. Focus and zoom rings take the place above on top surface in a greyish silver panel. A sliding cover on the half of the panel reveals the lens shift screw.
The Lens Shift is a rare to find feature. It can be used to shift the lens up/down to adjust the height of the projection by nearly 20% of the image. Now if the projector is fixed or the image adjustment calls for increase/decrease in height it becomes immensely helpful.
But W1070 uses a screw which needs to be rotated for the shift and you need to be resourceful if you don’t have a screwdriver around as the human fingers are not enough to rotate it.
If kept on the table, the height can be adjusted using a push-out stand on the front. One leg on the back is actually a screw and can be used to adjust the projected image by tilting it in horizontal plane.
Setup and Controls
At the back, w1070 has an array of connectivity options. It has 2 HDMI ports for connecting with laptops, gaming consoles and Blu-ray players and prefect for 3D output; one VGA port (D-Sub) for connecting laptop/desktop; RS232 and the most commonly used composite video with audio (L/R) and RGB component. On the extreme right are audio in and audio out ports in the standard 3.5mm jack size. A USB port for direct plug and play is given a miss.
Like most of the projectors, it has it can be mounted on the ceiling or a shelf or simply kept on a table. Given its adjustment options, it’s quite flexible whether kept on the table or mounted overhead.
After the setup, the projector is turned on with the power button on the projector which needs to be pressed hard. Fortunately it can also be controlled with a remote.
The projected image is brought in focus using the focus ring after image is adjusted in size using the optical focus. The image keystone can also be adjusted by up to +/-20% directly from the up and down arrow keys. Other direct controls on remote include volume +/-, digital zoom. The mode button is used to switch between five viewing modes.
The single press controls are quite interesting if you are planning it for educational purposes. The blank option turns off the screen and revives it when pressed again. The Pause and play button freezes the frame the projector is currently showing (but the source continues to play). This comes handy if you want to skip a part of a video or just want to freeze the frame to do some analysis specially while playing a game which doesn’t have a pause control.
The Lamp life of W1070 is 3500 hours under the normal usage. In Economic and SmartEco modes it goes up to 5000 and 6000 hours respectively. A projector with a Lamp life of around 2000 hours is considered respectful. So with all the use (and abuse) W1070 can take, the lamp is here to stay. And it is evident from the fact that its design keeps a good eye on cooling, though it makes it bit noisy. At startup, a big fan whirls inside the front grille and two more on the either side of the projector. Plus a lens cap (fastened to a springy chord attached to the projector body) makes it less vulnerable and exposed. Long live the lens!
In SmartEco mode the projector controls the amount of power the lamp receives based on the source signal and goes only as high as the signal demands. This helps in power consumption reduction without affecting the output much.
W1070 has a throw ratio of 1.15-1.5:1 which is fairly a short throw. This means that for projecting a 100 inch wide image, it needs to be kept at around 9 feet away from the screen.
But there are projectors in the market specializing in short throw projection and better suited for gaming like the W1080ST.
Viewing and Image Quality
The image quality of W1070 is quite commendable. Even when the lamp faces a power cut in the SmartEco mode, the picture remains high in contrast and compensates very little on brightness.
The color count of the projected image is staggering 1 billion. Its Full HD 1080p resolution reproduces the screen in high quality with great color sharpness and contrast, nearly to the extent of what we see in theatres. The 2000 lumens lamp is one powerful lamp. In daylight scenes, it flushes a big living room hall with bright light.
W1070 has 6 preset viewing modes three of which can be user defined. Other three are dynamic, standard and cinema modes. In dynamic mode the projected image has a greenish layer to it but the lamp output goes to the maximum, meaning it is useful when the ambient light disturbing normal viewing. Otherwise, cinema and standard modes will be most commonly used.
Another interesting thing is the 5 types of aspect ratios the projector can display. The screen can go from its small real size to wide cinematic view. With a maximum of 235 inch projection lurking out the lamp, you will literally look for bigger walls around your house.
For 3D output, W1070 relies on the DLP link system to display Full HD 3D. While this technology has a very good reputation for displaying seamless 3D and the this BenQ projector does live up to that expectation, it also requires for the 3D glassed to be simultaneously switching sides (left and right), technically termed synchronization. The 3D glasses synchronized using DLP can lose sync if the glass wearers move around too much.
Still the 3D output is very crisp and sharp and given the price of, it certainly performs at par with others in this category
The brightness goes down a bit after wearing glasses but that happens in the theater as well while there are only few projectors in market that are able to keep up the shine. But they have a more powerful lamp and consume more power.
BenQ W1070 can be considered amongst the best performing projectors in the price for viewing 2D content and immersive 3D in a pitch dark room. If 3D is not on the cards and if you can do away with probably a lower screen resolution, there are many other projectors that are priced much lower than this. But considering the image quality of W1070, it can very much act as a replacement of a TV much more expensive than its own price.