BenQ W2000 projector review – Sub £800 Rec.709
Projectors are generally designed to perform well and yet be hidden away. The BenQ W2000 has been designed for living rooms. It also boasts being able to perfectly render the Rec 709 global HDTV colour standard. GadgetyNews takes a front-row seat.
The W2000 is a Full HD single-chip DLP projector. It features BenQ’s CinematicColour technology, which aims to deliver the full Rec.709 colour standard for HD images. This should mean more accurate colours straight out of the box.
BenQ W2000 design
The W2000 brings the bling thanks to its champagne gold coloured fascia. This might not be to everyone’s taste, but it does make it distinctive. This is also BenQ showing that the W2000 is designed to look good in a living room.
It is compact and lightweight projector and neatly designed with gently curved edges and a mostly white plastic body, save for that golden flourish.
The HDMIs can handle the MHL protocols for playing content from your mobile phone.
Additionally, there’s a 12V trigger output (handy for those with a motorised screen), a 3.5mm audio loopthrough, and both standard and mini USB ports. You also can buy an optional Wireless Full HD Kit (WDP01).
Those USB ports are for powering the wireless kit and for updates. They’re not there for playing multimedia off thumb drives. Bit of a shame that.
BenQ W2000 performance
As is normally the case with single-chip DLP projectors, colour is delivered via a six-segment (RGBRGB), six-speed wheel. This has been specially coated and angled to help achieve that Rec.709 standard.
You may shrug your shoulders as everyone seems to be all about HDR these days. However, Rec.709 is still the standard for Blu-ray. Also, I for one am not grumbling about it boasting its Rec.709 credentials, especially at this price.
The use of an all-glass, low-dispersion coated lens (not something commonly found in the sub-£1000 projectors) and the fact DLP systems tend to suffer less of a reduction in colour accuracy over their lifetime than rival projection platforms only adds to the projector’s value.
It’s a relatively short-throw projector, allowing for a picture of up to 100-inches from 2.5m away.
However, with just a 1.3x zoom on board, you’ll want it a little closer to get a decently-sized picture.
Side projection and settings
I really like the W2000’s ability to project from the side. Not all homes can allow for a projector sitting front and centre. Thanks to the Side Projection with 2D Keystone, the trapezoid effect is eliminated when the projector is placed at an indirect angle. So, you can set up the projector in a corner or on a side table to free up valuable space.
There’s a handy built-in test pattern that certainly helps get things right. A little tweaking using the manual focus, zoom and vertical image shifting controls tucked away under a sliding panel on the top and all is golden.
I used the Cinema Rec.709 picture mode from the settings. This, as expected, is pretty much spot on from what I can tell.
If you wish, the W2000 is also ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) certified for pro calibration.
The ISF presets are available for day and night, alongside ‘bright’, ‘vivid’ and a handful of others. I still preferred ‘cinema’ and found it to be the most natural and accurate.
I ran the lamp at ‘normal’ – you can also opt for ‘eco’ or ‘smart eco’ (a sort of dynamic contrast setting that will adjust itself based on the content on screen). My opinion is to stick with normal.
At 2000 ANSI lumens max brightness, there are brighter. That said, the W2000 goes for colour accuracy above all else. Moreover, it does this very well. Besides, having to draw the curtains is hardly a chore
Its particularly good at handling colour. Straight out of the box using the Cinema preset with no manual adjustments made, the tones look wonderfully natural and nuanced.
The sense of balance in the colour palette is outstanding too. At no point is one of the six main colour elements attempting to dominate over any of the others.
Skin tones look believable under even the most difficult of film lighting conditions, with no blocking or striping.
There’s easily enough colour tone subtlety to ensure people’s faces always look natural rather than doll-like.
Nothing is ever overblown or overdone. Lesser projectors in this price bracket may be tempted to push colour saturation up so the image pops, but you tend to lose natural tones. However, the W2000 remains superbly balanced.
It handles depth really nicely too. Images appear layered. By this I mean buildings appear to stand in front of one another and textures have a great sense of realism. It makes for a wholly immersive picture that is complemented by its superb handling of colour.
OK, go for something more expensive and you will get more detail and sharpness. Yes, there is a touch of softness here and there. You might lose a little of the finer details in faces and clothing, but it still does really well.
Contrast is reasonably strong, especially if you use the Smart Eco mode, thanks to the punchy look the W2000 delivers with bright colours and whites, even during dark scenes.
You do get a smattering of DLP’s rainbow effect in exceptionally bright areas, but I have seen much worse.
My favourite film is Blade Runner, I also quite enjoyed Blade Runner 2049. Both favour plenty of dark scenes and this is where the W2000 shows its weakness. Black levels just don’t go deep enough for this kind of behaviour.
On occasions, it left things looking a little washed out, this in turn affects shadow detail too.
Additionally, I must add that this issue really only stands out in very dark scenes, and won’t affect that much of your overall viewing time. The black level shortcomings are far less of an issue in rooms where there’s a touch of ambient light around than they are in completely blacked out rooms too.
Motion, on the whole is pretty darned good.
Content hardly suffers from judder. I say hardly, as I did notice a few moments where edges of buildings in extremely clear shots were affected. But, I was paying particular attention to them. I very much doubt that such things would be caught in the average viewer’s peripheral vision.
However, the W2000 does take its audio duties remarkably seriously. It combines 20W of audio output with a resonant sound chamber design. Also, there’s ‘MaxxAudio’ processing and algorithms apparently used by Hollywood studios to boost the perceived bass and treble range.
It possibly is the best sounding projector I’ve tested. If you have the projector in front of you the audio is almost good enough for you to be convinced that its emanating from at least somewhere in the vicinity of the pictures on the screen. Almost.
The mid-range is clear and open and there is plenty of treble detailing.
Bass presence is reasonable but it is the treble that seems to get the extra helpings here.
The W2000 has not been put over as a gaming projector.
Input lag isn’t really that noticeable to my casual gaming prowess, however, I have read figures of between 30ms and 60ms of input lag (the amount of time it takes to render its pictures). Again, anyone looking for a professional grade gaming projector may feel this.
What is impressive is just how how quietly the W2000 runs. The fan is working but the large chassis certainly must aid airflow as I wasn’t distracted by any cooling noises.
BenQ W2000 review conclusion
The BenQ W2000 certainly boasts bang for buck.
It produces a natural colour palette and wholly immersive picture that’s way above its pay grade.
BenQ have really worked hard to enable the W2000 with the skills to deliver Rec.709 remarkably well right out of the box. Unfortunatley, this prowess with colour highlights its weakness with with black level response.
Home cinema fans will love its range of connectivity as well as that excellent Rec.709 preset.
To round up, the BenQ W2000 looks decent, has amazing colour skills and connection options. It might not be as strong with its black levels but it’s still worth checking out at this price.