Review Price free/subscription
BenQ W5000 Full HD DLP Projector - BenQ W5000
It's worth stating, too, that the picture's immense sharpness works wonders with video games. The breathtaking - if shallow - beauty of Assassin's Creed on the Xbox 360 looks nothing short of stunning when fed through the W5000 onto my rather nice 140in screen. (Grins)
It's clear from this extreme detailing and depth of field that the W5000's lens quality is a considerable cut above what we'd normally find at this sort of price point - something which makes us considerably more tolerant of the lens array's rather paltry optical zoom flexibility.
Yet more good news concerns the W5000's colours, which manage to combine two of our favourite things: exceptional richness, and consistently natural tones. Few films provide a tougher test of a projector's colour talents than Apocalypto, with its tough combination of many dark scenes, numerous shades of green, and an endless parade of unclothed human skin. Yet the W5000 rises to all colour challenges with aplomb and a really dynamic sensibility, especially if you set the BrilliantColour mode to on.
And still we're not done with the good stuff, as Apocalypto's frequent motion-packed sequences, such as the opening pursuit of a wild boar, are delivered with practically no trace of DLP's ‘traditional' dithering noise over horizontally moving objects. There's a touch of motion blur, perhaps, but this is seldom distracting and is actually something I strangely found myself getting used to over time.
One final unexpected strength of the W5000 is its almost total freedom from affordable DLP's traditional ‘rainbow effect', whereby the machinations of the DLP colour wheel can cause stripes of red, blue and green to flit around in your peripheral vision, or over areas of extreme contrast.
In fact, only one aspect of the W5000's images gives us any pause for thought: the amount of grain and dot crawl they sometimes betray. Some of the Apocalypto footage can look slightly grainy at the best of times, but on the W5000 the dot crawl effect definitely seems exaggerated, particularly with the BrilliantColour system activated.
Curiously I spotted similar issues on BenQ's much more expensive W20000 model, suggesting that there's definitely something going on in either BenQ's processing or optical design that would bear improvement.
The presence of the noise we've just described effectively means you have a choice to make regarding the W5000. If your image tastes are driven predominantly by sharpness, detail and vibrancy, then at £1,359.25 the W5000 is just about as big a no-brainer purchase as we've seen in a while.
If, however, you'd rather go for an image with a little less extreme sharpness and ‘aggression' but which arguably looks slightly smoother and more movie like, than you might want to check out the similarly priced InFocus IN78.
The key point here, though, is that whether you end up with the Full HD BenQ W5000 or the HD Ready InFocus IN78, you'll still have bagged yourself one of the biggest bargains the projector world currently has to offer.