BenQ HC1200 Review
sRGB Conference Room Projector
February 10, 2015
Most conference room projectors are bright, first and foremost. Often, this comes at the expense of color and contrast performance as accuracy is traded for even more lumens. And while this super-bright concept works well in certain applications, it isn't for everyone.
Enter the BenQ HC1200. The HC1200 is a novel concept: it's a reference-grade 1080p conference room projector. Instead of maximizing light output at the expense of all else, BenQ engineered the HC1200 for color accuracy and high contrast. Built around the sRGB color gamut, the HC1200 is intended for business applications where a big picture with accurate color is needed; in other words, for those times when a reference monitor is too small for the group you're meeting with. And the HC1200 is built with business in mind, so it has two VGA inputs, monitor pass-through, wired networking, and a laser pointer in the remote - features that are useful in a conference room, but are seldom found on home theater projectors. So whether you work in graphic design, advertising, video production, or photography, you can count on the HC1200 to produce an accurate sRGB image straight out of the box.
The Viewing Experience
When I started reviewing the HC1200, I briefly thought we'd been sent the wrong projector. After all, the BenQ HC1200 is marketed as a conference room projector, but the image had accurate color, high contrast, and a balanced picture reminiscent of home theater projectors. Conference room projectors aren't exactly known for their subtlety.
And that's the draw of the HC1200, in a nutshell. The HC1200 is BenQ's statement that super-high white light output isn't the only important characteristic in conference room projectors. It offers the kind of color accuracy and contrast normally only found on home theater projectors, but it packages them with the features and connectivity that businesses need. Add a 1.5:1 lens to give it some flexibility and a three-year warranty to give the users some peace of mind and you end up with a unique product that's perfect for those times when light output isn't the single most important consideration.
Not that it isn't bright. The projector's most accurate image modes both produce over 2,000 lumens at factory settings, so you don't sacrifice a lot in terms of brightness to get a great picture. The picture in sRGB and Cinema mode is balanced, with bright highlights, strong ANSI contrast, and good color saturation, brightness, and accuracy. These image modes make photographs and video look natural and life-like.