- High brightness picture modes
- Excellent input lag
- Built-in speaker
- eARC to pass multi-channel audio back to external audio system
- No vertical lens shift
- Tops out at Rec.709 coverage
- Unusually long HDMI sync
- Slightly below-average black levels
The BenQ TK700 is a very competitively priced, high-lumen gaming projector with excellent input lag suitable for today’s fast-paced gaming. Its performance will allow users to game on the big screen without breaking the bank.
The BenQ TK700 is a long-throw version of the BenQ TK700STi short-throw projector previously reviewed by ProjectorCentral and boasts many of the same feature set, with a few slight differences from its predecessor. The primary focus of this projector is gaming, and this is very evident with its impressive input lag spec'd at 16.7 milliseconds for 4K/60 and 1080p/60, 8.3 ms for 1080p/120, and as low as 4.2 ms at 1080p/240 from a PC. Even though it is targeted towards gamers, it's also is a solid performer for watching movies in most rooms due to its high light output. At the time of this review, the price of the TK700 is a very attractive $1,499—$200 less than the TK700STi— while offering some of the lowest input lag you'll find on a projector along with 4K resolution and HDR support. And the TK700 does so while providing high brightness in multiple picture modes and avoiding any obvious green bias, as can be seen with many projectors that have a high lumen output specification.
Users who are looking for an affordable, well-performing projector capable of taking advantage of the newest current-generation gaming consoles but have always been on the fence about projection gaming will be glad to know that this is a very suitable solution—assuming you can work around or live with some of the TK700's limitations.
The TK700 utilizes a lamp based light source and Texas Instruments 0.47-inch DLP chip. Any single chip DLP projector has the potential for showing rainbow effects, but fortunately, during my time with the projector, I did not experience any in any content that I viewed. Of course, 4K projectors that use the 0.47-inch DLP DMD are not true native 4K. They actually utilize 4-way XPR (Expanded Pixel Resolution) pixel shift at 240Hz to take the DMD's native 1920x1080 resolution up to 8.3 million pixels on screen. The projector does accept a 3840x2160 resolution signal and it's actually quite sharp, to the point where only those with the keenest eyes would likely be able to see it is not native 4K.
The light source life span with lamp projectors is often a concern for some. However, with the multiple ECO modes available in the TK700, the lamp life span can range from 4,000 hours in Normal mode, 8,000 hours in SmartECO, 10,000 hours in ECO, to upwards to 15,000 hours in Lamp Save mode. When factoring in the amount of time this projector may be used, the need to replace the lamp would be pretty far off, and when the time does come for a replacement, the lamps are very inexpensive as they average $159 at time of writing on BenQ's website. The projector has rated ANSI lumens of 3,200, which is 200 lumens higher than the TK700STi. Our measurements came in at 2,818 ANSI lumens in the brightest picture mode, which is within the allotted 20% ISO21118 tolerance range.
Similar to its predecessor, the TK700 has a specification of covering 96% of the Rec.709 color gamut; we verified it with a very close measurement of 94.6%. So, while there are definitely some similarities between the two models, the most obvious difference is in throw ratio, where the TK700's 1.3X zoom is spec'd at 1.13 to 1.46:1. The TK700 also has only one special genre-based game mode where its predecessor had three (more on that below). Outside of the obvious difference in the lens (which has a shroud on the TK700STi to prevent light spill) and a few various markings, such as the LumiExpert and 4K badges, the design of the TK700 and TK700STi look identical.
The TK700 is a reasonably compact design weighing in at 6.8 lbs., with the overall dimensions of 12.2 x 4.3 x 9.6 (WxHxD). With its size it offers a fair amount of portability as well as more permanent installation options such as ceiling mounting. This is where one of the projector's more major drawbacks comes into play, in my opinion. The TK700 does not have any vertical or horizontal lens shift. So even though the projector is somewhat on the portable side, it requires very specific height in its placement in relation to the projection screen. The projector does have feet that can be used to angle the projector some, but to make best use of them you have to be pretty close to the exact angle and height to start with, as the feet are really only useful for fine-tuning the image position. This is even more important due to the 110% projection offset, as the projector will need to sit 10% above or below the screen depending on installation and this will vary slightly depending on throw and zoom. So, placement should be planned carefully for permanent installs. Once the projector is positioned use of the very refined and precise manual zoom and manual focus will help dial the picture in as needed. In a scenario where placement is temporary, keystone adjustment is available up to +/- 30 degrees vertical and horizontal.
The image size will be determined by the distance to the screen in conjunction with manual zoom. As mentioned, BenQ lists the TK700 as having a 1.13 to 1.46:1 throw ratio and a 1.3x zoom and an image range from 30- to 300-inches diagonal. This allows the projector lens to be as close as about 2.8 feet from the screen for a 30-inch image to approximately 25 feet to produce a 300-inch image. During my review I was approx. 8.2 feet away from my screen to produce a 100-inch, 16:9 diagonal image which is in line with BenQ's specified distance. As always it is important to keep in mind, however, that the larger the image, the higher the impact on overall light output. To determine throw distance for your preferred screen size you can utilize the ProjectorCentral BenQ TK700 projection calculator.
The TK700 offers a decent amount of connectivity with, technically speaking, three HDMI 2.0b ports with HDCP 2.2 support, and eARC support on the HDMI 2 port. HDMI 1 and 2 are readily accessible on the rear connection panel while the third HDMI port is actually underneath a cover that is accessible by unscrewing a standard Philips head screw and sliding the cover off. This exposes the third HDMI port and a micro-USB that can be used to power a small streaming device. The port actually is labeled for HDMI QS01, which is BenQ's current Android media streaming stick that comes with the TK700STi and some other BenQ projectors, but not the TK700. However it can be used for any HDMI device connected to it and the micro-USB can power other devices as well, which I did in testing to power a Fire TV. Using an alternate device may be the best option anyway given that the QS01, which ProjectorCentral has reported on in other BenQ reviews, is not approved to stream Netflix. Additional ports found on the back of the projector are an RS-232 control port, an audio out 3.5mm mini jack, and a USB 2.0 Type A input that allows 1.5A power supply.
Additionally, the TK700 includes one 5W chamber speaker that utilizes treVolo and Bongiovi DPS technology, which optimizes the audio signal in an attempt to add depth and immersion to the sound. This is available in the included Cinema, Music, Game, Sports, and User presets. I found the speaker suitable for some content such as watching YouTube or something of the like, however it was not really suitable for movies and an external audio solution is highly recommended such as a soundbar or AVR and speakers.
Among the other notable features of the TK700 is 3D, which is actually very bright when triggered, though the projector does not offer any control to increase or decrease the 3D effect. Also, the TK700 includes BenQ's LumiExpert, which is useful for automatically adjusting perceived brightness by tweaking the gamma based on the ambient light in the room. This feature may prove useful if you place this projector in a multi-purpose room such as a living room that has a fair amount of ambient light that changes throughout the day or you like to watch with different levels of room lighting at different times.
Lastly, the TK700's focus on high-performance gaming is expressed in a special game mode that optimizes response time and visuals. There is a dedicated Game Settings menu that allows you to select an FPS Game Mode that unlocks the ability to utilize the Details Adjustment and Fast Mode options. (Unlike its sister projectors including the TK700STi, X3000i, and X1300i which offer special modes for two additional game genre types—RPG for role-playing and SPG for sports—the TK700 offers only an FPS mode option.) You can enable, disable, or select the intensity of the Details Adjustment, and enable or disable Fast Mode. Details Adjustment essentially raises the overall brightness of the picture at a small sacrifice to the overall black level. This would come in handy for games that are very dark or have a lot of shadows. Fast Mode is required to reduce response time and latency for gaming, and does so very well, though at the expense of disabling keystone correction. Fast Mode is only available for1080p/60Hz, 1080p/120, 1080p/60, 1080p/240, and 4K/60 signals. Another requirement is that the aspect ratio of the projector must be set to Auto.
Color Modes. The TK700 has six picture modes for SDR and two modes for HDR. SDR modes include Bright, Living Room, Game, Sports, Cinema, and User. As noted, within the Game mode, BenQ further offers the Game Settings menu with an FPS game preset and access to the Detail Adjustment and Fast Mode options. HDR picture modes are HDR10 and HDR Game, which offers the same access to the Game Settings. Thankfully, the brightest picture modes are very much usable and do not exhibit any green bias to the picture, which is unfortunately a common trend in order to get more lumens out of picture modes and have a higher ANSI lumens rating. This is not the case here, so good on BenQ for that.
This is not to say there is not a slight color push, because there is. It's just that the color shift is biased towards blue or red dependent on color temperature, which is much easier on the eyes and makes the mode actually usable. The two brightest modes, Bright and User, have a bias towards blue, where all other picture modes have a bias towards red. This can change somewhat depending on color temperature selected, though in all picture modes this mostly held true.
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The color temperature settings that were most accurate out of the box were actually Native and Cool, which provided a tighter grayscale until about 50% stimuli (brightness) and then starts to push blue through the remainder of the grayscale as it gets brighter. The Normal and Warm color temperature settings pushed red throughout the entire grayscale range. Measurements also revealed that Native color temperature put colors within the Rec.709 color space closer to being on target as well.
Initial impressions of the out of the box (OOTB) performance pre-calibration were that Bright and User would be very suitable for Bright Room viewing with a fair amount of ambient light. If you wanted a little more accuracy in that setting, the Living Room picture mode would be the ideal go-to. Dark room viewing would be best to utilize Cinema picture mode. With any of these picture modes using either Native or Normal color temperatures would come down to preference. The HDR modes are a little simpler due to both modes performing roughly the same. None of the picture modes were dead on accurate OOTB however, and that was very visible in all of the colors.
Users who would calibrate will be glad to know you can get a fairly accurate picture with the controls given. The controls provided within the projector are your standard fare of 2-point grayscale controls and CMS (color management system) to adjust RGBCMY primary and secondary color points. These same controls are available in HDR picture modes as well. Grayscale can be dialed in nicely, though given the gamut specification, color can't be dialed in to fully cover the Rec.709 color space, and there's no support for WCG (wide color gamut) for HDR.
The TK700 did a decent job with shadow detail and highlights in SDR. In HDR it didn't fare as well as I would have hoped; note that the TK700 does not offer any type of dynamic iris to assist with dark content. Motion was excellent however in everything I demoed while using it from games, to movies, and test patterns. This projector does not have any motion interpolation features, which makes perfect sense considering it is a gaming projector and to get the best performance when it comes to input latency you would want all of that turned off. So it's nice to see it has such good motion on all types of content without the need of such features.
I calibrated the TK700 with Calman Ultimate calibration software from Portrait Displays, a Colorimetry Research CR-250 Spectroradiometer, a Colorimetry Research CR-100 Colorimeter, and a Murideo 8K Seven Generator. The projector was placed 8 feet 2 inches away and utilized zoom to project a 100-inch, 16:9 image on a reference 1.3-gain, 135-inch 2.35:1 Stewart Filmscreen. User picture mode had large dE (DeltaE) errors, which is the metric used to determine the visible error. It has been determined that anything over a dE of 3 is visible, anything over 2.3 is a just noticeable difference for trained eyes and anything below 2.3 won't likely be seen to the eye. Pre-calibration measurements of User picture mode had dE errors over 3 from 60% to 100% stimuli patterns, with 100% having a DeltaE of 10. Color gamut color points for the Rec. 709 color space had dE errors that exceeded 10dE for all colors and several actually well into 14dE. Gamma tracked correctly per menu selection and for calibration, a setting of 2.4 was chosen.
Using the provided 2-point grayscale controls I targeted the production industry standard D65 neutral gray white point. Afterwards, a full CMS (color management system) calibration for the RGBCMY primaries and secondary colors was performed as well. Results for post calibration grayscale came in very well given the TK700 only has a 2-point control for grayscale. Max DeltaE was 2.6 for 100% white, while 3 points were under 2dE, the rest being under 1dE. With the CMS portion I targeted 75% saturation and luminance so as to capture where the majority of content resides. 80% and lower looked great though for 100% saturated colors the dE max figures were as high as 8dE.
HDR calibration for grayscale had similar results. Where HDR calibration will suffer though is in the CMS due to being limited to Rec.709 color space.
The devices I used for reviewing content post-calibration were Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Gaming PC with Nvidia GeForce RTX3090 graphics, Oppo UDP-203, and Fire TV 4K.
Gaming. I'll start with gaming since it is this projector's primary focus. All gaming was done using BenQ's Game mode with Fast Mode on and Details Adjustment on Low as I found that provided the best balance. During my time with the TK700 I played several games across multiple genres. I started with the Xbox Series X and Halo Infinite. Immediately upon just going into the Series X dashboard I was able to feel the responsiveness. With the Series X I had it set to output at 4K/60Hz, and while in game it felt great. It wasn't as fast as, say, a dedicated gaming monitor or a something like an OLED, but it was pretty good—to the point that I didn't have to change anything with how I play normally to adjust. The HDR added a great sense of depth and highlights. I didn't feel like I was missing anything and being able to play with that level of responsiveness at 100 inches was a real treat.
Having played an FPS, I figured the next type of game that should be tested is something that requires more precision. So, I opted to play a fighting game, deciding on King of Fighters XV on PlayStation 5. As with most fighting games on consoles they are locked to 60 fps, so during my time playing KOF15 the PS5 ran the game at 4K/60Hz. When I last played KOFXV I was working on mission trials, so I was very familiar with the timing needed to execute the combos due to the amount of time I would practice a given combo over and over to ensure I can land it when needed. In this instance I did have to slightly adjust my timing compared with playing on my OLED TV. When I attempted various inputs, I was dropping the combos. It didn't take long however, and after about 10 mins or so I was able to adjust and I was completing the combo as normal. One thing to note is that KOF's art style and saturated colors really did the projector justice as everything looked vibrant and rich.
The next game I wanted to try was Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation 5. This game also required a small amount of time to adjust to the difference in latency, though it took less time than with King of Fighters. Unfortunately, GT7 does not have a 120fps mode. While running the game in its 4K/60 HDR mode I found that my breaking was slightly off when going around corners. Outside of that everything else virtually felt the same as when played on my OLED. This was another game that was displayed beautifully on the projector with rich and vibrant colors, great HDR, and pure immersion. Another treat playing at 100 inches in HDR.
The last game I played was Ori and the Will of the Wisps on PC. I actually played this in multiple resolutions and framerates including 4K/60Hz, 1080p/120Hz, and 1080p/240Hz. In each it felt great. Ori was responsive in all aspects of the platforming and attacks. In fact, if someone is interested in experiencing gaming on a projector, this is the game among all of those I played that I would highly suggest they try first. HDR presentation is great, color looked good, it was responsive, and the brightness available with the TK700 really does the game justice on a big screen. One thing to note is that while in game and returning to windows settings to change resolution, the game had no problems with the change in resolution or framerate. However, the handshake does take awhile so you will not have much time to confirm the switch once the screen is displayed again.
1080p/SDR Viewing. I decided to watch Skyfall in 1080p and the presentation was good. In the scene where Bond meets Q in the Museum the flesh tones looked mostly right—not the best that I've seen, but very good. All the detail I was expecting to see was there as well, such as those in the design on the wallpaper behind them, the stripes in Q's white shirt, etc. Everything resolved perfectly. The only thing that was a little off was the color and flesh tones. It wasn't bad, but it was missing just a tad bit of saturation that I know should be there in Q's face.
UHD/HDR Viewing. Viewing HDR on the TK700 was somewhat hit or miss. It was excellent overall while gaming, which again is this projector's primary focus. In higher APL (average picture level) scenes for both gaming and movies it also performed very well. It was in movies that had dark scenes with low APL where it sometimes performed well and at other times not so much.
For example, I started with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and at the very start of the movie there's a fairly dark scene where Poe is in the tent receiving the map from Lor San Tekka. The light from the fire has a very diffuse effect on each character. Lor's face and some of his clothing was not fully reproducing the color that should be seen due to a lack of gradation; it had a dull look to it. It stood out and was very noticeable, though in this movie, which is mastered for a peak of 1,000 nits, I only saw this kind of issue to that degree on this particular scene. The rest of the movie did fairly well. Space scenes rendered almost all of the stars without issue. The only other somewhat similar but less pronounced effect was with blaster fire, and particularly on red blasters. The light was just missing that gradation on the blaster that you would hopefully see as you start to look out from the source of the shot to the outer edges of the blast. This is likely due to the TK700 being limited to Rec.709 color space.
Kong: Skull Island was next. Particularly, the scene of Kong's warm welcome, where the crew first encounters Kong with the sun in the backdrop and Kong's imposing figure just waiting. The projector kept up with the action well and the motion was excellent. As before, though, the color felt slightly muted. I've watched this scene on multiple projectors and displays, and in the explosions—particularly at the end where Kong and Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) are staring one another down—the fire that is produced is usually richer. However, the detail on Kong was excellent as were many other details, such as when the team was flying in and approaching Kong with the smoke coming from the helicopter. Everything resolved well, with excellent sharpness.
The BenQ TK700 is a gamer's projector, there is absolutely no question about that. It is a solid performer for cinema as well, provided you can live without the very last word in color accuracy and saturation. It's bright and the bright picture modes are actual viable options for use. It offers excellent performance for gaming and in my experience takes very little to no time to adjust to the difference in latency if coming from a high performance gaming display with very low latency and G-SYNC or FreeSync while running high framerates. If you're not coming from a high-performance gaming display this will be a noticeable improvement in many users' cases.
With that being said, I do feel it lacks in a few key areas, some of which can be expected given the TK700's relatively low cost. The first is that there's no vertical lens shift. With the offset of the projector and the lack of this feature, many will find they have to get the projector positioned very, very low depending on the height of their projection screen. This may not be the case for everyone but it is something one should keep in mind, and it can definitely force the use of undesirable keystone correction in installations where you might not want to use that.
Another issue I found that was somewhat annoying was with the HDMI signal handshake that takes place whenever there's a change from SDR to HDR, or really any change of signal resolution or frame rate. The amount of time it takes for the projector to display an image is fairly long—roughly 10 to 12 seconds to lock on and display an image. So, if you are watching a disc and the menu is 4K/60Hz, and the signal changes to 4K/24Hz when you press play, you will likely have audio playing before you see a picture. And the last issue of concern, along with the less-than-perfect out-of-box color accuracy, is the limitation to the Rec.709 color space. Admittedly, the projector produces a great, sharp image, and game colors look fantastic on it. Even with movies, many viewers might not notice missing saturation or vibrancy. But to my eye, the lack of WCG support on movies was evident. It didn't make the picture bad; I just knew there was more there that I wasn't seeing.
Keeping all of that in mind, if a user is looking for a projector primarily for home cinema, this may not be the projector for them. But if a user is looking for something for a mix of movies and games, the TK700 is worth serious consideration. And if a user's primary focus is gaming, this projector is a no brainer. The price is great, the performance is there, the feature set is good, and if a user is utilizing one of the latest consoles such as a PlayStation or Xbox, you have all your apps on your console for media and games. It is a solid choice for sure and would be one of my first recommendations. For a serious gamer on a tight budget who wants to game on a big screen, this is the answer.
Brightness. The TK700 is rated for 3,200 ANSI lumens. The brightest picture mode in both SDR and HDR was Bright while in Normal lamp mode. In SDR, this picture mode measured 2,818 ANSI lumens, which is 12% lower than its rated specification. HDR10 mode in HDR measured 2,796 ANSI lumens, which is 13% under the rated spec.
User picture mode uncalibrated is 99.6% as bright as Bright picture mode and HDR10 picture mode is 99.2% as bright.
Moving the Lamp Mode from Normal to ECO resulted in a 33% reduction of light output in any picture mode, while Smart ECO resulted in a 33% reduction in light output, and Lamp Save resulted in 33% light reduction while in SDR.
In HDR, changing Lamp Mode from Normal to ECO resulted in a 30% reduction of light output in any HDR picture modes, while Smart ECO resulted in a 27% reduction in light output, and Lamp Save resulted in 38% light reduction.
BenQ TK700 ANSI Lumens
|Mode||Normal||ECO||Smart ECO||Lamp Save|
Zoom Lens Light Loss. The TK700's light loss when shifting from the widest zoom ring position to its longest telephoto ring position was 16.1%.
Brightness Uniformity. The TK700 projecting a 100-inch diagonal image resulted in measured brightness uniformity of 75% while in wide angle zoom, and 80% in telephoto zoom. The brightest portion of the screen was the middle bottom sector, and the dimmest the top left. The difference in brightness on a full white screen was not noticeable, nor was it noticeable in viewing of normal content.
Fan Noise. BenQ rates the fan noise for the TK700 at the following dB for the respective modes: Normal 34dB(A), Eco 28dB(A). Using Room EQ Wizard software and a Umik-1 microphone, my theater room ambient noise floor is 33.3 dBA. Measuring the TK700 at approximately 4 feet away from multiple locations (all 4 sides as well as above) the TK700 measured between 36.5 and 38.1 dBA in all picture modes, both SDR and HDR, with the respective Lamp Modes from Normal to Lamp Save.
Input Lag. Input lag measurements were taken using the lag measurement function on a Murideo 8K Seven Generator. Within the TK700's Game picture mode, in the Game Settings menu, Fast Mode must be turned to on to receive the lowest input lag. These measurements were performed three times for each signal listed for a total of 30 measurements. All measurements averaged 2-3ms higher than the measurements listed in specification, though additional testing with other displays suggest this may be attributable to the measuring device.
|Resolution/Refresh Rate||Input Lag||Picture Mode||Fast Mode|
- HDMI 2.0b (x3; HDCP 2.2, eARC HDMI 2)
- 3.5mm Mini Jack Audio out
- USB 2.0 (1.5A power delivery, no media playback)
Calibrated image settings from any third-party do not account for the significant potential for sample-to-sample variation, nor the different screen sizes and materials, lighting, lamp usage, or other environmental factors that can affect image quality. Projectors should always be calibrated in the user's own space and tuned for the expected viewing conditions. However, the settings provided here may be a helpful starting point for some. Always record your current settings before making adjustments so you can return to them as desired. Refer to the Performance section for some context for each calibration.
Picture Mode: User
Brilliant Color: 3
Advanced Color Settings
Gamma Selection: 2.4
Color Temperature Tuning
Color Temperature: Native
R Gain: 100
G Gain: 94
B Gain: 98
R Offset: 246
G Offset: 256
B Offset: 252
|R Gain||G Gain||B Gain|
Light Source Mode: Lamp Save
Picture Mode: HDR10
Brilliant Color: 10
Advanced Color Settings
Gamma Selection: BenQ
Color Temperature Tuning
Color Temperature: Native
R Gain: 88
G Gain: 85
B Gain: 85
R Offset: 241
G Offset: 259
B Offset: 252
|R Gain||G Gain||B Gain|
Light Source Mode: Normal
HDR Brightness: 1
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our BenQ TK700 projector page.