Review: BenQ W7000

Our score: 4/5
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Published: June 13, 2012 2:17 PM
By Pierre-Jean Alzieu / Pierre Anzil
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
The W7000 is BenQ's first 3D projector for the consumer market. But while the 3D emitter is built into the projector, no 3D glasses are supplied as standard. With DLP Link technology, the W7000 is announced as being one of the best projectors of its kind, with 3D picture quality promised to be smooth and free from crosstalk (the left and right images overlapping in 3D mode). Promises kept?

Hardware & Handling4/5

The W7000 has a fairly striking design, mainly due to the large, centrally positioned lens. However, some parts of the casing do feel a little cheap, such as the lens focusing ring, for example.

The projector lens has a powerful 1.5:1 zoom and—good news—unlike most DLP projectors, the W7000 has a lens-shift function so you can move the projected image around to line it up perfectly on your screen or wall. That said, the image hardly moves at all on the horizontal axis and movement along the vertical axis is still tighter than in most LCD projectors.

The W7000 ships with a backlit remote, which is always handy when you've got the lights down low. Plus, the remote's relatively elongated design means there's room to pack in plenty of shortcut keys.

BenQ W7000 review - lens shft
Lens-shift
 
BenQ W7000 review - connections Connections
 

BenQ W7000 review - OSD
Menu: quite basic
BenQ W7000 review - remote
Remote with backlighting on and off

2D Image Quality3/5

Even after spending several hours testing the various settings (see inset), we still weren't able to get an entirely satisfactory result with this projector. Colour fidelity proved particularly problematic. While most competitor models manage to get the average Delta E down under 3 (which makes for accurate colours), this projector can't get past 6.4 with colours that look too bright and intense.

BenQ W7000 review - contrast
35% white test card in User 1 mode (see inset): contrast 460:1

BenQ W7000 review - more contrast
1% white test card in User 1 mode (see inset): contrast 790:1
 
The second rather disappointing thing is that contrast is a little on the low side. We measured contrast at between 460:1 and 790:1 depending on how much white was in the overall image. Even with the white at 900 cd/m², the black hovers between 1.14 cd/m² and 1.95 cd/m² and generally looks a bit grey.

BenQ W7000 review - colours
Colours in User 1 mode (see inset): average Delta E 6.4

Thankfully, though, all is not lost, as high and low levels of brightness in the image are managed perfectly. Plus, the colour temperature over the greyscale is a constant 6700 kelvins, which is perfectly respectable.

For anyone looking for ultra-smooth images, a frame interpolation function is on hand to reduce judder. A word advice, though—don't go any higher than the 'Low' setting. At higher settings, artefacts and a 'camcorder' effect are visible.

Finally, as with other DLP projectors, the W7000 can be prone to rainbow effects. Not everyone is sensitive to this effect, but those who are might get annoyed with the blue, green and red flashes in highly contrasted images (especially in black and white films, for example).

3D Image Quality5/5


BenQ W7000 review - 3D glassesTo make the W7000 easier to use in 3D mode, BenQ has built the emitter directly into the projector. However, no 3D glasses are supplied, and pairs can cost up to £100. Note that DLP Link compatible glasses can also be used with this projector, and can prove a cheaper alternative.

We tested the 3D mode with two pairs of BenQ glasses. In spite of their rather square design, they're actually quite comfortable to wear.

We don't have any complaints about 3D picture quality—it's quite simply excellent. As BenQ promised, there's no crosstalk, and protruding objects are rendered well, as is the general impression of depth.

Below—the result as seen through 3D glasses (Top: BenQ W7000 / Bottom: Acer H9500BD):

BenQ W7000 review - crosstalk L
BenQ W7000 review - crosstalk R

 With a perfect result, we shouldn't see any trace of the 'R' frame on the left, and, vice versa, none of the 'L' frame on the right. For the time being, only plasmas from Samsung and Panasonic get this right.

Noise & Energy Consumption3/5

The fan isn't always as quiet as it could be in this projector. In 2D mode it's relatively discreet, but it gets noticeably louder as soon as you switch to 3D.

Finally, with the white at 900 cd/m² it's no surprise to see that power use is high in the W7000, at around 325 W in use and 0.5 W on standby.
4/5 BenQ W7000 DigitalVersus 2012-06-13 15:17:00

Pros

  • Good brightness, even in 3D
  • Excellent 3D picture quality, no crosstalk
  • Backlit remote
  • Lens-shift function

Cons

  • Fan is noisy in 3D mode
  • Colour fidelity could be better: average Delta E 6.4
  • DLP technology can lead to rainbow effects

Conclusion

The BenQ W7000 projector has a great 3D mode, giving a nice, bright image with no crosstalk. However, BenQ could still work on its image calibration, especially when it comes to colour fidelity. On that front, the Acer H9500BD does a better job.

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