Trailblazing its way through new standards and benchmark pricing, BenQ has for the past few years dominated the sales and psyche of the projector-buying diaspora. Even with stiff competition from brands such as Optoma, Epson and Viewsonic in the entry to mid-level segment, BenQ has consistently managed to pepper its products with interesting features that resonate with the consumers.
Although it held back on 4K for a long time and HDR even longer, the two new projectors, W2700 and W5700 launched last month proved that there was a method to their madness. Now we got the W2700 first on our test bench, which is the smaller and cheaper one of the two but it’s not so much about its retail price as much as its application. While both the models are capable of reproducing extended colour range, the W2700 is actually a bit brighter, making it better suited to everyday and every kind of room.
Design : Clean and compact
The compact form factor makes it easy to be placed even in tight spaces and the throw ratio of 1.13 : 1.47 means that it can fill up your room with a gigantic 100in image from only 2.5mt.
In our room, we got a sizeable 130in image on our Milan screen that was almost larger than life, without complaints! Setting up the W2700 takes a bit of work in terms of geometry since it only comes with a vertical keystone adjustment and no lens shift.
You’ll have to ensure that the placement of the projector is bang in the centre of the screen for optimal geometry, only giving a few inches in way of height adjustability. But once set, the brand new Texas Instruments 0.47in DMD chip promises true 8.3 million pixels of 4K goodness, not the pseudo 4K with pixel shifting. So, does the W2700 live up to its value for money UHD moniker?
Picture : Ultra bright and sharp
It’s a reassuring feeling when you find a factory calibration report inside the box, promising great picture with factory presets. While the Cinema mode is useable, there are too many variables for projectors to be simply “plug and play” so we did have to spend some time to coax out the best picture from the W2700.
Using an Apple TV 4K as the primary source and a library of iTunes 4K HDR movies, we started with The Revenant which is a great test for any video display with its palette of frozen landscapes that test the dynamic range. The W2700 is neck deep in features like HDR Pro, Cinematic Colour, 100% REC-709 and 95% DCI-P3 colour space support, all of which ensure that you can strike the perfect balance between brightness, contrast and rich colours.
HDR10 is supported and switches on automatically when appropriate content is detected and we found that setting the HDR Brightness to -1 and a Gamma of 2.3 provided the necessary level of deep blacks we’ve come to associate with the best LED TVs. Bohemian Rhapsody on 4K UHD proved to be hugely entertaining thanks to the rich colours and a resolution that was devoid of any colour banding.
The live concert sequences with 70s colour gobos serving up a fantastically vivid picture. For best results though, it’s recommended to keep the Motion Enhancer off since it not only falls victim to the soap opera effect but also throws the lip sync off. Watching soccer or Formula One where the video is supported by a commentary is the only time we would keep it on.
BenQ W2700 Verdict
What you see from the W2700 depends a lot on how you set it up. For example, the Wide Colour Gamut is useful in extending the colour space to beyond the REC 709 standard, but for it to be effective, you will need a completely dark room.
Even an errant light source will diminish any signs of extended detail and the image will just appear to be a dim mess. Dynamic Iris negates most of the perceived dimness and helps achieve a picture that you could be happy for many years to come.