BenQ W500 projector
There’s more to image quality than a massive pixel-count
Review An entry-level 720p projector will give you a huge display that’s great for gaming and TV. BenQ’s W500 sits just above that price point and delivers some improvements in image quality.
With all the hype surrounding Full HD you may scoff at 720p, but there’s a lot more to image quality than a massive pixel-count and the W500 incorporates a lot of clever technology to ensure your picture looks great, be it from a high definition or standard definition source.
BenQ W500: designed more to blend in than to stand out
BenQ’s product photos don’t really do this projector justice. Yes it’s just a white box, but it’s a very smooth and shiny white box – with silver bits. OK, it may not have the same kind of space-age looks we’ve seen in similar models from Samsung or InFocus, but this W500 is designed more to blend in than to stand out. What’s more, being white it’ll be lot less conspicuous should you decide to mount it on the ceiling.
At 349 x 120 x 277mm it’s a little larger than the smallest 720p projectors. While it may be considerably larger than Optoma’s tiny HD65, it’s much smaller than a 1080p projector, so finding somewhere to put it really shouldn’t be a problem. Because the main air vent is at the front of the device, you can mount it safely on a shelf where’s there’s not much space at the rear.
Horizontal and vertical digital keystone adjustments are available via the on-screen menu, but one of the most useful features of the W500 is its omni-directional lens-shift: Getting your picture lined up squarely on your screen can test the patience of the best of us, but a small joystick on the front of the projector lets you move the whole protected image around quickly and easily without the distortion introduced by digital adjustments.
LCD vs DLP
Does anyone know how this compares to the Optoma HD700X? That one is under £400 at Amazon, but it's DLP and I'm nervous about seeing wheel artifacts.
You certainly win points for the jelly tots reference :-)
Price isn't bad but the Panasonic I've got is so much brighter that I think it's worth the extra cash.
Got mine last Xmas after the TV packed up (was £300 more back then but still worth it at that price). One of my friends with the 48" plasma TV he bought 3 years ago for close to £3k is still green with envy... it makes his monster of a TV look tiny and for a fraction of the price.
Biggest problem is the natural light, I had to get proper blackout blinds in order to use the projector when the sun is out fully during the day.
When all is said and done, invite the friends over, get the popcorn going and watch films wall sized.
Or for any gamers considering one... have you ever tried a 4 player console game on one TV? Found yourself squinting at a quarter of a TV screen from the sofa? Get one of these and then a quarter of your wall is probably bigger than the entire TV screen it replaced ;)
Oh and the free Xbox it comes bundled with is the Arcade version for anyone wondering.
you can pick this up for about 420 quid, its 720p and DLP and brighter than this IIRC. I run mine off a philips hmdi upscaling dvd player (a whole 60 quid) and play onto a 120" screen (thats like just under 3m wide). fantastic picture.