Projectors have been and are mostly still being marketed at large organizations. The cost of projectors have gone down considerably over the last year and manufacturers are now targeting home users as their primary audience. BenQ, a company, which is widely known in the market for their displays and other PC related products have launched a line-up of projectors designed for home entertainment. One of these are the BenQ W700 that features DLP Link technology which offers 3D content through a single feed.
Design and Build Quality
The BenQ W700 is a slightly large projector and is made entirely out of hard plastic. It has a glossy white and matte dark grey finish. The glossy white adds to the stylishness of the W700. While most of the projector has a white finish, the grey is featured only on the front, back and strips at the side. There are vents that run along the sides and half of the front - this helps in the cooling process of the projector.
The controls are easy to navigate through
At the bottom centre is a push to release stand. The button to deploy feels sturdy. To aid in straightening of this stand are feet that are located at the bottom on the rear of the projector. These feet have to be rotated to get it to its maximum length. Together, with the stand and the feet, this projector can be well-balanced. The focal ring along with the zoom ring are finished in silver and located directly above the W700’s lens. The controls for this projector are located on the bottom right of the top panel. They, like the rest of the top panel are finished in glossy white. The spacing of the buttons is large and within a matter of minutes one can easily use the controls without looking at the pad. The bundled up remote control is black and has a whole lot of controls, which are well spaced out. The build quality of the remote control is good and could survive even after a couple of accidental drops. Overall, the BenQ W700 is a stylishly designed projector that is well-built as well.
The W700 DLP projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 720, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio. This ratio is a common feature found on most displays nowadays, be it televisions or monitors. The brightness levels of this projector are 2200 lumens as rated by BenQ. Apart from this, BenQ claims that the W700 has a contrast ratio of 10000:1.
Large vents help the cooling process immensely
The interface is simple to navigate through. The design of it is rather plain with the interface in Grey. A tad bit more colour would make it look better. The default mode when connected to a notebook is the Cinema mode. Other modes included in this projector are User 1, User 2, Game, Bright and Living Room. While tweaking the settings in the default preset are limited, one can easily tweak brightness, contrast, etc in the User modes.
A host of connectivity options
Various connectivity options are found on this projector and the most interesting ones are the two HDMI inputs. These can be used to connect to a home theatre system or a gaming console allowing people to project the content on a large surface. Other connectivity options include component, composite, D-Sub, mini USB, RS-232 as well as a 3.5 mm audio jack. All in all, the W700 has some interesting features that can be used in either a home or a small conference room.
The BenQ W700 projector was tested using a notebook and all the lights in the room were turned off to get optimum results. We ran the DisplayMate test along with a number of videos to check the performance. Let’s start of by mentioning that this projector does not emit a lot of heat, but the top panel gets a bit warm. Another thing we noticed was that there was a constant low humming sound noticed. Connected to the notebook, we used the default settings to check how well the projector fares out of the box.
Video playback is really good
During the DisplayMate test, we noticed that greys and whites reproduced well in the intensity range test. Black levels noticed were really good and colours were very accurate in the colour contrast test. There was a lot of sharpness noticed throughout all colours and there was a noticeable difference between each scale in the colour intensity scales test. During video playback colours rendered accurately and watching videos through this projector was an enjoyable experience. Out of the box, the BenQ W700 performs really well and there is no need for tweaking, whatsoever.
The BenQ W700 sells at a market operating price of Rs. 52,000. The projector is mainly designed for home use and with a price point as such we get back to the debate of whether one should pick up a large screen LCD HDTV or a projector.
Simple yet stylish design
While there may be no match for a television as of now, this projector surely closes the gap between the two. While we do not discard the fact that one should not buy an HDTV, if the BenQ W700 falls in one’s budget, this can be a very good solution for a large viewing area home theater setup.
Updated 22 May, 2013, 9:27 pm IST
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