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BenQ W1000+ - Contrast, Sharpness and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
BenQ W1000+


Our Score:


The W1000+‘s punchy colour palette gets decent extra definition, too, from what’s a really good contrast performance for the price. Dark parts of the picture look a fraction deeper than those of the original W1000, and peak whites look a touch crisper. And this is improving, let’s not forget, on what was already a very respectable contrast performance for such an affordable model.

The good news isn’t over yet, either. For the W1000+ deserves credit, too, for how sharp and detailed its HD pictures look. Its Full HD native resolution and quite aggressive (in terms of contrast and colour) approach to picture reproduction, especially with BrilliantColour engaged, makes its images look sharp and textured almost to a fault, at times. We noticed shortcomings in the complexions of some of our favourite stars, for instance, that even projectors many times more expensive don’t expose.

This sharpness is slightly better than it was on the original W1000, moreover, because the improved colour wheel appears to have also boosted the projector’s clarity when showing objects moving across the screen – or camera pans.

The sharpness is so acute, indeed, that it might not to be to everyone’s taste. In fact, now we come to think of it, there’s a general brashness about the W1000+’s pictures, with their high brightness, strong colours and exaggerated detailing, that might not sit too well with very refined home cinema palettes.

But then it seems unlikely that a truly refined home cinephile would only be looking to spend £750 on a projector. Instead the W1000+’s most likely buyers are relatively casual projector fans unlikely to have the sort of totally blacked out, perfectly organised home cinema room higher-end projectors might like to find themselves in. And to those people, who will likely have a relatively poor screen (or just a matt wall) and likely some ambient light around too, the W1000+’s in-your-face approach is just what the doctor ordered.

One last point to mention concerns the W1000+’s running noise. The cooling fans can be quite noticeable when you’re running the projector in its Normal mode - which we’d recommend if you’ve got some ambient light to contend with. But the racket diminishes quite nicely in the lamp’s eco setting, without brightness being compromised as badly as you might expect.


If you’re after genuine big-screen thrills without the big wallet spills, then the W1000+ is simply the most ridiculously great-value entry-level projector we’ve seen to date.

Sure, spending more can get you a much-enhanced performance. But the bottom line with the W1000+ is that it performs well enough to rival projectors costing hundreds of pounds more, making us wonder if a lovely new round of industry-wide projector price slashing might be just around the corner...


August 31, 2010, 4:52 pm

For years your reviews of projectors have been crazy for me cos the the price of them. This is one of the first times I've taken any interest. But even still it's £200-400 more than what a lot of projectors are selling for in the shops.



Plenty there around £500 (and if you look around you can find older models cheaper).

Now for me I don't play games, I don't watch TV, I don't have a standalone DVD or Blu-Ray player or any interest in surround sound and HD home cinema. All I want is to occassionally (like once a month) hook a cheap projector up to my laptop, plug the laptop into my hi-fi and watch a film that's either an AVI or on DVD. Can someone suggest a decent projector for this basic need at the £200-400 price range, cos for me with such infrequent use I'd never spend more than that. This is somethng I've wanted to do for a couple of years, but the reviews here are always silly money and I've never known what to get from looking at websites.


August 31, 2010, 4:55 pm

A quick look on Amazon gives me this:


5 star reviews from nearly everyone and it's £400. Why spend £750 or more on such things?


August 31, 2010, 7:42 pm

@HK: I'd personally recommend an Optoma. The replacement bulbs are cheaper than their rivals. Also Ikea do some pretty good blackout blinds which you'll also need along with the screen.

Also avoid Dabs, their a ripoff.


August 31, 2010, 8:15 pm

Thank you Frank, it does seem more like what I need. I've got a white wall and my house is dark, shouldn't need a blind but thanks for the tip.

I just used Dabs as it's easy to find stuff, I always shop around whenever i'm getting anything. Though Dabs seem much the same price wise as anywhere else really these days.


August 31, 2010, 8:47 pm

Honestly, you get what you paid for, that's it. Under £400 projectors are 720p only. I think the published price is fair for a 1080p full HD.


August 31, 2010, 9:21 pm

@exmila: Fair enough. Thing is I don't really know or want to know what the difference is between 720p and 1080p (or 1080i). It's just numbers to me, I realise 1080 is better but since I've been happy to watch films on a 13" laptop screen then I reckon a £400 projector is good enough for me. It's just that with that ignorance (which I happily admit to) I find it impossible to choose one that will be reliable, work with my laptop and not need it's bulb changed every 6 months.

Tim Sutton

September 1, 2010, 5:02 am


DVDs have a resolution of 720 × 576, so in theory even a 720p projector which displays 1280×720 is more than you'd absolutely require.

I'd agree that an Optoma suits you, but I'd step down to the ES 520 if you really and truly have no desire for HD viewing. It'll cost you less than £150 and the reviews are sparkling.

http://audiovisual.kelkoo.c..., links to reviews and so forth.

You know what you want far better than me of course, but honestly I think you should go to a friends house and watch a HD film on a half-decent setup first though. I'd be a bit surprised if afterwards you still felt that sub-HD was worth spending any money on at all :-)


September 1, 2010, 4:10 pm

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts that was really helpful.

It's strange, when it comes to mp3 players, phones, cameras then i'm really bothered by quality and I do enjoy going to the cinema to watch a film. But at home as long as I can see it and hear it that's enough, and a laptop is fine most of the time, occasionally I'd like a bigger picture which is why I've wanted a projector (I don't even have a TV). I tend to watch independent and foreign films, nothing too bright and loud Hollywood style, so I guess the need for pin-point detail, colour accuracy and mind-blowing immersive sound aren't so necessary.

I didn't think I could get anything for £150, my budget is higher than that but if it does everything I need I shan't complain! This cheaper player will display DVDs even if it doesn't get the best out of them, yeah?

Tim Sutton

September 1, 2010, 5:57 pm


Not at all, you're very welcome.

Yes, it'll show DVDs absolutely perfectly. I'd highly recommend spending some of the money you save on a screen, a floor standing pull up screen is invisible when you're not using it and a decent screen makes a good projector look like a great one. Displaying on a wall means you'll lose a lot of image quality, and makes complete darkness almost essential.

http://www.projectorpoint.c... has some good guidelines, but for your needs I'd take a good look at the Sapphire Portable Pull Up line they have in the Portable Home Cinema section. You want a 16:9 widescreen :-) The hydraulic ones in the Rapid line are sexier, but the screens are identical across the range.


September 1, 2010, 9:21 pm

@ HK & Tim Sutton

Just a couple of points I thought I'd mention: firstly, it would be a very good idea to audition the Optoma ES520 before you buy, because cheaper DLP projectors tend to elicit the 'rainbow effect' John referred to in the review more noticeably than more expensive projectors ones, due to speed & type of colour wheel implemented. Some people suffer very badly from the RE, whereas others hardly at all (hence the need to see it for yourself).

The second point is just that the ES520 appears to be a 4:3 projector, so a 16:9 screen would be a little wasted :o)

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