Back in November Benny came away rather nonplussed from quality time spent in the company of BenQ's W10000 projector. Not because it was no good as a performer; on the contrary, its movie-playing qualities were impressive. But it just seemed way too pricey for today's marketplace.
Cue BenQ's W9000, which lops off the odd feature here and there but sells for well under half the price of its flagship sibling. Provided the picture quality hasn't taken too much of a hit during BenQ's bid to keep costs low, this could be a massively more appealing proposition.
One promising bit of news right away is the fact that the W9000 is impressively well built. It weighs a tonne, hinting at quality innards and a sound-damping chassis for reducing the projector's running noise. It's not exactly the prettiest projector around in its rather angular lines and ‘industrial' finish, but it certainly looks serious, and that will give it appeal enough in many home cinephile's eyes.
The build quality even extends to the W9000's lens array, which feels emphatically robust and a million miles away from the flimsy plastickiness of Optoma's rival HD80 projector.
Why do we mention the Optoma HD80 in particular in this review? Because like the W9000 the HD80 (which we reviewed a few weeks back) is a full HD DLP projector selling for what is, by today's standards a very affordable price. In fact, it is actually a few hundred quid cheaper than even the W9000, but the BenQ's superior build quality is already going some distance towards explaining the difference.
Setting the W9000 up is surprisingly easy for the most part. Zoom and focus can both be set electronically rather than fannying about with the usual imprecise zoom and focus rings around the lens. Plus you can also use the remote to shift the image vertically to help get it in the right place on your screen, and call into play digital keystone correction if your image's edges initially appear at an angle.
The only limitation we spotted during set up is the paucity of optical zoom on offer. The zoom ratio is just 1.15, meaning there's precious little variation to help the W9000 fit into wildly different room sizes. To give you some idea of whether the W9000 has any chance of fitting into your viewing environment, BenQ suggests that you should be able to get a 100in image with around 4m between the projector and the screen.