It was last year when we reviewed the BenQ W1070, a Full HD 3D projector made for home entertainment and fitted with all possible options of adjusting the image on the wall so that projector can be safely planted away (they generate a lot of heat).
While BenQ has an impressive line up of projectors, we were yet to witness one that could create truly, remarkably amazing pictures at a price that could challenge high end TVs not only for their sheer size and price, but for their color reproduction.
The company launched its plus variant this year with a host of improvements to its innards that is ‘supposed’ provide better image quality and surprisingly, at a lower price!
Around 10k cheaper than the BenQ W1070 at Rs 82,270, it supports DLP 3D, Full HD 1080p resolution and can throw over 100”of screen, while kept only 2.5m (~8ft) away from the screen. How good gets the picture quality? Lets see.
Have seen the BenQ W1070? The W1070+ looks no different. Its quite compact for a Full HD projector weighing just 2.75 Kg. The projector is no broader than a 14 inch laptop.
Dual tone angular parallel vents run at its sides and silver dominates the front and back on a strongly built white shell.
Focus and zoom rings are still put inside the pit at front top edge. The focus ring is covered with dotted grooves for a grip but that only pretends to help. Only a quarter portion of it is exposed and there’s space for just one finger/thumb to get and rotate it. Focus would overshoot most of the times and this becomes a routine. Zoom ring rather has a handle that works well.
A set of buttons give you all the control with simple ones or rather the most frequently used ones accessible directly. Like the keystone adjustment, both horizontal and vertical are handled by the arrow keys while out of menu. Long pressing the right/left keys control the volume.
2D keystone adjustments allow the projector to be placed at any angle with respect to the screen, say on the side of the screen or at a lower height. The image can be tilted to adjust itself fully. Adding to that is a height adjustment option. The lens can be vertically shifted to move the image up or down. But it still needs to be done with a screw driver.
BenQ W1070+ needs a surprisingly short distance to create a huge throw, if we see the home projector scenario. To fill a 120×70 inch space on the wall, the projector was kept no further than 17 ft. And this could be achieved within 12ft using the zoom on the lens fully. It’s an amazing prospect and gives you so many options on placing the projector.
This brings me to the connectivity options that the W1070+ supports, wireless being a critical option among that. It’s not clear if BenQ will make the wireless kits available in India, as they are available for purchase separately and are quite expensive; but it also doesn’t make any sense. There are so many options to adjust to the placement and unless you plan to get it roof mounted or keep it mobile, wireless is not a bargain.
Moreover, there is MHL supporting HDMI connection that can connect to smartphones too. But wireless is a better option for this. Not only because it a mobile phone, that your and you wouldn’t want to be sticking to a wire while you watch, but because it heats up pretty bad; staying near it is out of question.
Since its a compact short throw projector, make shift installations for gaming, get-together, presentations or movie nights at friend’s place would be common; where space is limited. It gets impossible to sit within 3m to the right of the projector 20-30 minutes into the run. It’s fan is diligent enough to throw the heat out with full might to a good distance. So its suggested to be installed in a cool dry place! It comes with a remote (that glows in dark).
As the projector turns ON, it searches for input. The menu for selecting inputs used to appear in the left corner, practically invisible if you are standing more than 2m away. Now that menu is as big to cover the whole screen, the option appear clear from a distance.
But what we didn’t like is that this change is limited to input menu; the main menu options are still kept in the same style, with just a different color. There are tabs, with menu options below in a small font. Looking for options becomes a task sometimes, looking through tabs to find the right option.
Until we switched ON the projector, we still believed it to be the W1070 with just a different remote control; BenQ being one of the few companies starting to realize after all that projectors are meant to be used in dark rooms.
Next, the projector was hooked to an HDMI source feeding it with some HD clips. The realization was instant- that the W1070+ is not just about a backlit remote, it’s a different projector altogether.
Its color reproduction is not only better, it’s almost impossible to get in this price bracket write now. Having Full HD capability
The rendering is very smooth and life like with brightness pouring in like a floodlight.
Texture of color projected on screen has a very realistic touch to it. Like the skin tones appear soft and sharp at the same time, creating a very subtle rendering, somewhat like you will find in high definition LED TVs. In fact every color is bright yet soft in its own right, making the screen very pleasing to look at.
The dark tones are also very impressive for this price range, especially blacks that are finely rendered for cinema like contrast. Only thing that bugged us was the red color that comes out to be too processed sometimes.
It has a small lens at front that covers the 2,200 ANSI lumen lamp, a high number in this price range, and size too. The lamp projects over to a six color RGB color wheel processed by DLP darkchip 3- one of the finest processing chip for DLP based projectors.
Next we tried out some games on it, hooking it to a PS3. Reds were again a problem but brightness also came out to be an issue. Trying to play with some ambient light stay in the room slightly affected the images.
But overall if we compare it with other projectors in the price range and with other BenQ projectors, there is great deal of improvement in the picture quality, that being its greatest strength.
As said, the BenQ W1070+ is not just an extended version of the W1070 nor is a slightly improved iteration of it. It does carry same looks and the interface is an enhanced version of the proprietary BenQ projector interface. But its image quality is altogether a different story. For the price, BenQ W1070+ creates rich and captivating panoramic projection that makes it a good option for setting up your personal theater at home under budget.