720p DLP Home Video Projector Review
October 8, 2013
The BenQ W770ST is a lightweight, portable 720p projector with a short-throw lens that's perfect for living room and gaming use. Producing 2500 lumens in its brightest mode, the W770ST has the power to overcome ambient light, while its 13000:1 contrast and solid color performance make it a respectable movie projector when the sun goes down. Full HDMI 3D compatibility and a ten-watt speaker round out the projector's features, while its $799 price tag makes the W770ST a great option for those on a budget.
The W770ST comes wrapped in a sturdy soft carrying case, complete with a front pocket to hold the remote control and any necessary cables. The remote itself is a small "candy bar" model that feels good in the hand, but might get lost in the couch cushions if you're not careful.
The "ST" in the projector's model name stands for short throw, so you will want to place it on a table fairly close to the screen. A 60" diagonal image, which is about the right size for a room with moderate ambient light, can be displayed from a throw distance between 3' 2" and 3' 9" depending on zoom. That doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room, but as a portable projector, the W770ST can usually be physically moved if the zoom range is inadequate. The W770ST places the bottom edge of the projected image a few inches above the lens centerline -- on a 60" diagonal image, it's a 2" offset, for example, assuming the projector is level.
The Viewing Experience
The W770ST produces a bright, powerful image from the get-go. Light output is sufficient to illuminate a 60" diagonal screen in moderate ambient light or a 80" diagonal screen in low ambient light. Black levels are excellent for such an inexpensive projector, and SmartEco mode can make them even better in scenes with low average illumination. The W770ST's default color calibration is slightly under-saturated but accurate, averaging around 7000K across the grayscale without any adjustment. Color brightness in the W770ST's Cinema mode is only about 630 lumens, or 35% of white, but knocking BrilliantColor down can make the image appear much better balanced at the cost of white light output. (Click here for more info on DLP technology and Color Light Output).
The W770ST has full HDMI 3D compatibility, and the projector uses DLP Link to create the 3D image. 3D performance is largely dependent on which glasses you use, as the projector does not come bundled with any eyewear. Like most DLP Link projectors, the W770ST's 3D image is free of crosstalk and has very little flicker thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate.