1080p 3D Home Video Projector
May 7, 2013
No 2D-3D conversion. Despite the W1080ST's full HD 3D capability, 2D to 3D conversion is not included. If 2D to 3D is non-negotiable for you, there are other projectors in the price range that do include this feature -- though they suffer in other areas relative to the W1080ST.
No lens shift. Lens shift isn't common on inexpensive DLP projectors, but the W1070 did have some vertical lens shift which the W1080ST lacks. Then again, lens shift and short throw are two things that don't often mix well, mostly due to the tight tolerances used in a short-throw system.
SmartEco. While the SmartEco function works exactly as designed, it isn't designed very well. Users who want to reduce light output first have to find content that matches the brightness level they want, then lock the projector into SmartEco mode while that content is on screen. How this is supposed to be simpler than just picking lamp power level from an onboard menu is a mystery.
Unusual glasses. The W1080ST runs at 144Hz in 3D, which helps to reduce crosstalk and flicker. Unfortunately, it also means that a number of DLP Link glasses are not compatible, as they run at 120Hz. Be sure you are purchasing 144Hz-compatible 3D glasses. If that fails, at least order from a store with a generous return policy.
As one of the only 1080p home video projectors to feature a short throw lens, the BenQ W1080ST is in a class of its own. This $1299 powerhouse combines high light output, strong dynamic range, excellent color, no significant rainbows, and respectable 3D performance to create a powerful image that's sure to please. With an onboard speaker and a razor-sharp short-throw lens, the W1080ST is a mobile powerhouse, a serious gaming machine, and a portable movie theater all rolled into one. While it has its quirks, including nonstandard 3D glasses and a lack of 2D to 3D conversion, the W1080ST is a strong performer that is well worth the money.