BenQ W1100 and W1200
1080p Home Theater Projectors
Digital noise/DLP dither. Unlike LCD or LCOS imaging systems, DLP pixels can only ever be fully on or fully off. As a result, shades of gray are represented by quickly fluttering a mirror between the on and off positions, allowing some percentage of light to reach the screen. The side effect of this is called dithering, which appears very similar to digital noise. All DLP projectors exhibit this to some degree, though the W1100 and W1200 show more than the average amount. This noise cannot be reduced by noise reduction circuitry as it is a function of the projector's hardware, not the video signal. If you are particularly sensitive to digital noise, these two projectors might not be for you.
Quirky menus. Occasionally, we encountered a "quirk" in the menu system that made us scratch our heads. For example: color temperature cannot be adjusted unless BrilliantColor is enabled, though the two have nothing to do with one another. Once BrilliantColor is enabled, you'll need to reduce White Peaking or highlights appear too bright in relation to the rest of the picture; however, it is not possible to completely disable White Peaking while BrilliantColor is active. We also encountered a bug during testing. On occasion, we would open the menu system to adjust color temperature only to find the options on the "Picture: Advanced" page disabled, despite being in User mode and having BrilliantColor enabled. The way to fix this was to close and then re-open the menu system. This is an easy fix, but the problem itself is odd. This may be related to the 1.02 firmware on our test sample; a new unit using BenQ's new 1.03 firmware is on the way and we will update this review upon its arrival.
Video delay. The W1200's image appears smoother and more detailed than that of the W1100, but it comes with a price. Even with Frame Interpolation disabled, the W1200 exhibits more delay than the W1100 does, which causes slightly more evident lip synch issues. Ironically, the delay is most noticeable when using the projector's onboard speakers. In any event, with a normal surround sound set up you will want to use the audio delay in your A/V receiver, or acquire an external audio delay box if your receiver lacks this function. The W1100 will be a superior choice for video games due to its quick response time, while the W1200 would be better suited for movies.
BenQ's two new 1080p projectors, the W1100 and W1200, are an attractive blend of high performance and low price. High dynamic range and dead-on color accuracy make them outstanding video performers despite their low price. The W1200's Frame Interpolation system adds options for video and animated film not present on much of the competition. A 1.5:1 zoom lens adds some placement flexibility. The two projectors have their quirks, but both deliver solid performance above and beyond what the price tag might imply. At $1299 and $1499 respectively, the BenQ W1100 and W1200 are definitely worth the money.
|Review Contents:||Best Uses||Advantages||Additional Advantages||Limitations and Conclusion|