BenQ W1070 full review

BenQ W1070

A low-priced projector capable of high-quality 1080p HD film playback, the BenQ W1070 can be a useful living-room addition. It cuts a dapper figure in its polished white casing, although it’s not especially light at 2.65kg. See Digital Home Advisor.

Its high 2000 ANSI lumens brightness rating might seem to make it a good choice for offices as well, but there are a few issues there. The remote control, for one, is a little too small to operate easily, and the BenQ W1070 lacks the backlighting crucial for use in darkened meeting rooms. See all projector reviews.

The BenQ W1070 is also tricky to set up. The zoom is a little underspecified, and the controls are rather cumbersome. Then there's the vertical projection offset (or vertical lens shift, as it's more commonly called), which is accessible only through a screw, concealed underneath a top-mounted sliding panel behind the lens.  

Not that we should really be carping about its ease of access, as a vertical lens shift control is rarely offered on a projector this cheap anyway. Admittedly, it doesn't allow for a great deal of movement, but it's still likely to cut down on the need to employ keystone correction. You will, of course, need an available screwdriver, plus the time to get the BenQ W1070 projector properly optimised.  

And that's the point about the BenQ W1070. If you're prepared to spend some time setting it up, the results can be very good. The menu options are very impressive, even if it's annoying that some of the colour options are excluded when using the projector with HDMI – surely today the most likely connection for this model, since it has not one but two HDMI ports situated alongside the usual slew of video, audio in, component and VGA connectors.  

Speakers are included, although you'll almost certainly want to replace these with external speakers for anything serious. The BenQ W1070's short-throw lens means you can create a big image in a relatively modest space – a 79in picture is available at a distance of just two metres. 

The BenQ W1070 has another rather neat trick up its sleeve. Besides the usual eco mode (a rather blunt tool that simply dims the brightness settings, thus creating an inferior image), we have the new 'SmartEco' option. This brilliant feature adjusts the settings to suit the amount of light in the room. 

In practice, this highly adaptable option often produced better quality than the full mode, generating a rich and varied colour palette that succeeded even in those fiendishly dark film sequences that were typically rendered with much less subtlety when eco options were all turned off.  

The BenQ W1070's image isn't the slickest, and fast sequences can be a little jerky. However, for the budget price, movie rendering is superb. It's also largely untouched by the dreaded rainbow effect, due to a fast-spinning colour wheel. The ample 2000 ANSI lumens brightness rating means that images look pretty good even in daylight or partially-lit rooms, although you will need to close the curtains for best results.  

It's not the quietest projector, though, with the BenQ W1070 hitting 30dB even in full eco mode, and those sensitive to noise will want at least 3-4dB less. 

3D is built in, although you will have to buy your own glasses. BenQ's Triple Flash feature (which supposedly triples the frame rate from 48Hz to 144Hz) helps create a clean image. The BenQ W1070 is a little too dim in 3D mode, but we were generally pleased with the quality. 

Whether it's worth buying some 3D glasses may depend on the price you have to pay. The BenQ choice will set you back close to £100, which seems steep for a single pair. Look around, and you can find compatible glasses at a fraction of the cost, making the BenQ W1070 a more viable option for 3D.


BenQ W1070: Specs

  • DLP technology projector
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 2000 ANSI lumens specified brightness
  • 10,000:1 specified contrast ratio
  • 5% vertical horizontal offset
  • 33dB/30dB (eco) noise
  • 2x HDMI
  • VGA
  • USB
  • audio in/out
  • composite
  • display size: 40-235in
  • 2m gives 79in
  • throw ratio: 1.15-1.5
  • 3500 hours (normal), 6000 hours (SmartEco) lamp life
  • 240 watt lamp
  • 10 watt speakers
  • 312 x 244 x 109 mm
  • 2.65kg