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BenQ W1000+ review

John Archer




  • Recommended by TR

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BenQ W1000+
  • BenQ W1000+
  • BenQ W1000+
  • BenQ W1000+
  • BenQ W1000+
  • BenQ W1000+
  • BenQ W1000+
  • W1000 Video Projector


Our Score:


Back in November 2009, BenQ launched the great value W1000 home cinema projector. Sure, it had its issues, but nothing that couldn’t comfortably be forgiven within the context of a sub-£1,000 price. In fact, at that price level, the BenQ’s brightness, rich colours and raw picture drama really helped it stand out.

So we’re positively brimming with excitement at the arrival of the new, improved, even cheaper version of the W1000: the cunningly named W1000+.

Starting with the pricing, BenQ has somehow knocked a significant amount off the price, making the W1000+ just £750. Including VAT. Considering we scored the W1000 a 10 for value at just under a grand, this new price attached to a supposedly improved projector could take its value mark off the scale. Or in Spinal Tap terms, the W1000+’s value rating might just 'go to 11'...

Whatever upgrades BenQ might have made for the W1000+ aren’t apparent from its exterior, however. For sadly it’s still a rather plasticky, unstylish and business-like machine. The white finish of most of the bodywork should, on paper, work quite nicely with the silver used for the lens barrel and control button strip - but somehow it just doesn’t hang together.

The W1000+’s connections don’t show signs of change either. Though this isn’t such a concern, since the connections rate as very strong for such a cheap machine, thanks to its twin HDMIs, D-Sub PC port, component video port, and USB/RS-232 control ports.

The projector even carries audio inputs, for the good reason that in keeping with many cheap, 'convenient' projectors it carries built-in audio, via a 3W speaker.

This obviously is hardly the stuff of home cinema dreams. But that’s not its point. Rather the speaker is there to help people who take the projector out and about for games or footie match nights, since it relieves them of the need to always finding some external audio system if they want sound to accompany the projector’s pictures.

The original W1000 also had a built-in speaker, though, so there’s nothing different here. Instead, our search for reasons why the ‘+’ has been added to the W1000 takes us inside the W1000+’s optics. Where the single most potentially important change is the discovery of a revamped colour wheel.

This wheel has been tweaked in three different ways. First, it’s a revamped design with a new coating on it. Second, its waveform software has been fine-tuned. But probably the single most important change finds the colour wheel being increased, to give a 3x speed.

This speed boost is unlikely to be enough to completely remove the appearance of DLP’s rainbow effect (stripes of pure red, green and blue) from the W1000+’s pictures, but it should certainly reduce it versus the original W1000.


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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